The Herts Falcons have announced the arrival of American pitcher Ian Sales as they look to boost their National Baseball League title credentials.
Sales is expected to make his debut for the Falcons on Sunday in the three-team series against the South London Pirates and the Southampton Mustangs.
The right-handed starting pitcher has just moved to London after graduating from Grinnell College this year. Herts fans will remember that one of its star players, Robbie Unsell, is a Grinnell alumni.
Despite being in America, Unsell continues to support Herts and the club understands that it was Unsell who recommended the Falcons to Sales.
Sales has just completed his season with the Grinnell Pioneers and was awarded pitcher of the year in his conference.
During the season his record was 5-1 with a 2.89 ERA overall and a .238 opponents batting average. His ERA in conference was even better at 1.52 and opponents’ batting average of .217.
He struck out 26 batters and allowed only 1 home run in his 46.2 innings of work over the course of the season. From his five wins, two were complete game shutouts.
Prior to Grinnell, Sales played two years for Calabasas High School until 2011. His career also includes a spell with the Columbus Bruins under coach Douglas Myers.
This is a very timely boost for a Falcons team which has just lost four games in a row.
Despite this, the Falcons are in a strong position in the playoff race, currently sitting in third place – but they have a major fight on their hands with three teams chasing right behind them.
The Falcons have had one of the best batting line-ups in the NBL so far this season , but they have also had the worst defence leading the league in runs allowed, so the addition of a high class pitcher like Sales is exactly what they need as the team enters the second half of the regular season.