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Redbacks ready to return

PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 March 2014

Franklin Martinez hits out for Essex Redbacks (pic: Steve Petit-Coombs)

Franklin Martinez hits out for Essex Redbacks (pic: Steve Petit-Coombs)

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Baseball squad prepare for pre-season event

Essex Redbacks Baseball & Softball first team puts its pre-season work to the test in the annual pre-season competition, the Herts Spring League, on Sunday.

It is the first of three semi-competitive games before the full season begins in mid-April and Redbacks will face local rivals Essex Arrows in their first match in Waltham Abbey.

The two faced each other four times in the National Baseball League (NBL) last year, with the Arrows winning three of the encounters, but both teams have had a significant change in personnel since they last met in July and will come hard at each other in their first games of 2014.

Redbacks first team manager Vince Warner said: “Last year was tricky in the NBL and although we beat the Arrows once, they got stronger throughout the season and finished strongly, making the play-offs, while we never managed to build significant momentum.

“However, I’m confident that with our excellent pre-season training and a fantastic team mentality within the squad we’ll give them a heck of a match-up.

“It’d be a great way for us to kick off the season and if we can win this one, I fancy us to pick up a bit of silverware in the Herts Spring League too.”

Assistant Manager Sam Rounce added: “Next weekend’s game will be a cracker for fans of the sport in Essex as the two best teams in the county square off. It’ll also be a great opportunity for our new and emerging players to take on some of the country’s best young talent in the Arrows’ line-up and show us they’re ready to make the first team this season.

“The same weekend last year we were inundated with snow when we tried to play against the Arrows and the HSCN Neunen from the Netherlands, so hopefully we’ll be blessed with a bit of sunshine as well as a win to start our campaign!”

A total of 19 teams are taking part in the Herts Spring League in 2014 across three weekends as the best British Baseball Federation clubs begin their warm-up for the season, which starts on Sunday April 13 for the Essex Redbacks in the AAA and Single-A divisions.

New players are welcome throughout the pre-season and when the summer begins as the club continues to grow and introduce more people to the sports of baseball and softball in Essex and East Anglia.

The youth teams (for under-16s) resume training from Sunday April 6 at James Hornsby School, in Laindon, from 2-4pm and begin their competitive fixtures in mid-April as well.

For more information about joining either the adult or youth teams, contact Redbacks secretary Sean Briscomb at sean@essexredbacks.com or visit the website at www.essexredbacks.com.

Stay up to date with all the goings-on at the Redbacks via @essexredbacks on Twitter.


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