Opening Round 2014

Ballarat and Guild were in dominant form to post two massive wins apiece, while Bellarine did it in offence to enjoy a day out with a pair of wins at Wallington on the Saturday afternoon of an action-packed A Grade Opening Round.

Saints recovered from the Saturday disappointment with a mercy-rule drubbing of Corio, while Lara opened its winning account with a hard-fought win over Bacchus Marsh.

GUILD 7 defeated DEAKIN 0
Guild could hardly have been more impressive in posting a thumping win over the Blues as the first stage in the quest for a fourth successive A Grade title to emulate an earlier remarkable performance over three decades ago. Welcoming Jason Landthaler back in the managerial role, the Lions' offence provided great support for a quality outing by pitching ace Brad Egan, who strangled the Deakin offence to a tune of four scattered hits while racking up a staggering fifteen strike outs over the seven-innings contest. Showing the way with three of his side's hits, Landthaler had grand support from Chris Durston and Troy Snarey as the Lions took full advantage of some early Deakin fumbles and built an unassailable lead through the middle innings. 
DEAKIN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  (0)
GUILD 0 0 3 2 0 2 x  (7)
Hits.  
Guild: J.Landthaler 3, C.Durston 2, T.Snarey 2, R.Stewart, L.Harty, J.Lekkas, B.Jensz, J.Wood
Deakin: R.Millard 2, C.Webb, A.Ross
Pitching.  
Guild: B.Egan 7 inn, 4 H, 15 Ks, 2 BB, 0 ER
Deakin: K.Zablan 3 inn, 3 H, 4 Ks, 4 BB, 0 ER
  A.Ross 3 inn, 9 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 4 ER
BALLARAT 10 defeated WERRIBEE 0

While it is only early days, the Brewers played faultless defence and made a serious offensive statement behind a stellar first-up outing by Ross Hipke, who posted four hits of his own while whiffing fifteen Werribee hitters. Blasting three in the first, the Brewers were never threatened in piling on the runs at regular intervals while the Giants could manage just two runners on base in a mismatch that was mercifully wrapped up in seven.

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BALLARAT 3 1 0 2 0 0 2 2  (10)   0 errors
WERRIBEE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   (0)    4 errors
Hits.  
Ballarat: R.Hipke 4, A.Irons 2, L.Ashmore 2, R.Evans
Werribee: S.Riches
RBIs.  
Ballarat: A.Irons 3, L.Ashmore 2, R.Evans 2, S.Kugele
Werribee: nil
Pitching.  
Ballarat: R.Hipke 7 inn, 1 H, 15 Ks, 0 BB, 0 ER
  S.Kugele 1 inn, 0 H, 3 Ks, 0 BB, o ER
Werribee: D.Gregory 3 inn, 4 H, 0 Ks, 2 BB, 3 ER
  D.Hartigan 4 inn, 4 H, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 3 ER
  J.Curnow 1 inn, 2 H, 0 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
BALLARAT 14 defeated DEAKIN 3

In a rare vein of early form, the Brewers backed up in the late game with an imperious offensive display over the Blues, who found it tough going against Rory Meddick, who was impressive in collecting the win before Cameron Smith closed out the game. The damage was done early on, when the Brew Crew chased Deakin starter Chris Webb from the hill with a rollicking first couple of innings that placed the game beyond doubt. All up, the Brewers carded twenty hits, with seven players posting multiples. Among those, Ross Hipke extended his streak to seven hits from eight trips, while Ryan Evans, Meddick and Leigh Ashmore stood out in a fearsome hitting display. Although Deakin battled the game out, their offence was limited to solid contributions from Webb and Wade Balzer.

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BALLARAT 2 7 2 0 2 1 x   (14)  3 errors
DEAKIN 0 0 1 1 0 0 1    (3)   2 errors  
Hits.  
Ballarat: R.Hipke 3, R.Evans 3, R.Meddick 3, L.Ashmore 3, C.Smith 2, S.Kugele 2, L.Karslake 2, D.Hamilton, A.Irons
Deakin: W.Balzer 2, C.Webb, C.Gibbons, G.Morris, A.Ross
RBIs.  
Ballarat: R.Evans 3, R.Meddick 3, R.Hipke 2, A.Irons, L.Karslake, S.Kugele, L.Ashmore, C.Smith
Deakin: C.Webb, C.Gibbons
Pitching.  
Ballarat: R.Meddick 5 inn, 4 H, 7 Ks, 1 BB, 0 ER
  C.Smith 2 inn, 2 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 1 ER
Deakin: C.Webb 2 inn, 11 H, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 9 ER
  R.Millard 4 inn, 9 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 5 ER
BELLARINE 10 defeated CORIO 3
This was a tight game early, with Scott Brackley holding sway for the Tigers and Matt Price a surprise package on the hill for the Bears, who faced a two-run deficit into the bottom of five. However, with the Tigers making some untimely defensive errors and the Bellarine offence stirring from its slumber, the game changed complextion very quickly with a flurry of scoring through the later innings. While Adam Flowers and Garry Kevelham were terrific with three knocks each for Corio, Bellarine made the most of its scoring opportunities thanks largely to Brad McKentish, Andrew Riddett and Jonathon Lowe - who drove in three of his side's runs, including a solo bomb in the last.
CORIO 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0   (3)   6 errors
BELLARINE 1 0 0 0 2 3 3 1  (10)  2 errors
 Hits.  
Bellarine: B.McKentish 2, J.Lowe 2 (inc home run), A.Riddett 2, C.Barker, S.Murry, G.Rowe, Z.Buhrmann
Corio: A.Flowers 3, G.Kevelham 3, J.Addlem 2, S.Wise, R.Addlem, J.Hughes
RBIs.  
Bellarine: J.Lowe 3, B.McKentish, C.Barker, S.Murry, G.Rowe, Z.Buhrmann
Corio: P.Brackley, G.Kevelham, J.Addlem
Pitching.  
Bellarine: M.Price 6 inn, 6 H, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 1 ER
  J.Crotty 2 inn, 5 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 ER
Corio: S.Brackley 6 inn, 8 H, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 4 HPB, 4 ER
BELLARINE 9 defeated LARA 3
Dire predictions of where the Wildcats might be at were well and truly dispelled as the club suited up a quality lineup spearheaded by Cameron Forbes, who was fresh off a championship with at the Victorian Masters. With Forbes well in control and with Simon Murry steady for Bellarine, scoring opportunities were at a premium before the home side scored an unearned run in the fourth. Although the Wildcats replied with one in the sixth, the Bears kicked away and were never headed as Lara suffered some subsequent issues on the hill. Simon Murry smacked a two-run homer in the sixth and the Wildcats were further deflated as reliever Jonathon Lowe crushed a grand slam in the seventh and Wayne Visser delivered the last rites with a solo shot to give the Bears a perfect start to the 2014 season.
LARA 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0  (3)  2 errors
BELLARINE 0 0 0 1 0 2 5 1  (9)  4 errors
Hits.  
Bellarine: J.Lowe 2 (inc grand slam), B.McKentish, S.Murry (home run), W.Visser (home run), A.Hockey, Z.Buhrmann
Lara: R.Wilson 2, C.Forbes 2, D.Anson, S.Forbes, C.Mason, P.Pruis
RBIs.  
Bellarine: J.Lowe 4, S.Murry 2, B.McKentish, W.Visser
Lara: R.Wilson, J.Ricketts
Pitching.  
Bellarine: S.Murry 4 inn, 3 H, 3 Ks, 2 BB, 0 ER
  J.Lowe 4 inn, 5 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 3 ER
Lara: C.Forbes 4 inn, 0 H, 6 Ks, 1 BB, 0 ER
  S.Forbes 2 inn, 3 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 2 ER
  R.Wilson 0 inn, 0 H, 0 Ks, 2 BB, 2 ER
  P.Pruis 1.1 inn, 4 H, 0 Ks, 2 BB, 4 ER
GUILD 12 defeated SAINTS 3
Coming off an impressive Friday night win over Deakin, Guild demonstrated its senior depth by strolling away from a gallant East Belmont Saints after the game had been in balance through the early innings. The Lions gained a break in the fourth and were well-served by Lee Harty on the hill before James Wood entered the fray to close out the game. Although youngster Tyler Huisman was terrific in driving in all three of Saints' runs, the Guild offence was relentless against all comers. Seventeen hits to eight told the tale of this game, with Harry Levy (four) a standout in a Lions lineup that had nine players making a contribution to the hit parade.
GUILD 0 0 1 5 1 0 2 3 0  (12)  2 errors
SAINTS 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0   (3)   4 errors
Hits.  
Saints: J.Lee 2, T.Elliott, A.Hoe, S.Talbot, G.Carter, L.Sherwell, T.Huisman
Guild: H.Levy 4, J.Durston 2, T.Snarey 2, R.Stewart 2, J.Lekkas 2, J.Smyth 2, C.Durston, J.Landthaler, B.Jensz
RBIs.  
Saints: T.Huisman 3
Guild: J.Durston 2, T.Snarey 2, R.Stewart 2, J.Smyth 2, H.Levy, J.Wood
Pitching.  
Saints: J.Lee 4 inn, 9 H, 0 Ks, 5 BB, 5 ER
  J.Isbister 2 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 1 ER
  S.Talbot 1 inn, 3 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 2 ER
  E.Rickard 1 inn, 3 H, 0 Ks, 1 BB, 2 ER
Guild: L.Harty 5.1 inn, 6 H, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 3 ER
  J.Wood 2.2 inn, 3 H, 0 Ks, 1 BB, 0 ER
SAINTS 10 defeated CORIO 0
Saints rebounded from the Guild loss with a thumping mercy-rule result over Corio, which again looked to workhorse Scott Brackley to shoulder responsibilities on the hill. While the Tigers were solid through the early innings, Saints put the game beyond reach with a flurry of runs through the fourth to the sixth - including a telling two out rally in the fifth. Doing a fine job over five innings, winning pitcher Jacob Gale handed the pill to Duane Davenport to close out the game against an opponent that made a couple of key errors in what was an otherwise competitive outing. For Saints, Jordan Isbister (two hits and two RBIs), Luke Sherwell (two and one), Gerard Carter (one and two) and Emerson Rickard (one and two) were best with the bat, while Pat Brackley posted a pair of knocks for Corio.
CORIO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   (0)   3 errors
SAINTS 0 3 0 2 3 2 x  (10)  1 error
Hits.  
Saints: J.Isbister 2, L.Sherwell 2, T.Huisman, G.Carter, E.Rickard, C.Alldis, J.Lee
Corio: P.Brackley 2, K.Little, A.Fielden, S.Brackley, B.Wadley
RBIs.  
Saints: G.Carter 2, E.Rickard 2, J.Isbister 2, C.Alldis, L.Sherwell
Corio: nil
Pitching.  
Saints: J.Gale 5 inn, 5 H, 5 Ks, 2 BB, 0 ER
  D.Davenport 2 inn, 1 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 0 ER
Corio: S.Brackley 5 inn, 7 H, 5 Ks, 2 BB, 4 ER
  S.Wise 1 inn, 2 H, 0 Ks, 2 BB, 2 ER
LARA 5 defeated BACCHUS MARSH 1
In a high-standard defensive game that augurs well for both clubs, Lara responded to an early challenge and established a three-run break after four - more than enough, as it happened, with Dan Anson serving up a solid start before Cameron Forbes exerted his authority in middle relief and Steve Wilson closed out the game with a minimum of fuss. For Forbes, it was his second mound appearance in twenty-four hours and his third outing in the past seven days - a mark of the durability and skill of a league veteran. With two hits and an RBI, Anson made a serious contribution with the bat against an opponent that stayed well in the game compliments of superb relief stints by Trent Pantelleresco and former professional Tayler Rowe. Although Shannon Hornstra picked up a couple of hits, the Bacchus Marsh offence was unable to create the scoring opportunities that it would have liked.
BACCHUS 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  (1)  0 errors
LARA 2 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 x  (5)  1 error
Hits.  
Lara: D.Anson 2, S.Baumann, C.Mason, B.Hammer, C.Forbes, S.Wilson
Bacchus: S.Hornstra 2, E.Byrne, J.Warwick, A.Wallis-Taylor
RBIs.  
Lara: D.Anson, C.Mason, C.Forbes, S.Wilson
Bacchus: E.Byrne
Pitching.  
Lara: D.Anson 5 inn, 5 H, 3 Ks, 2 BB, 1 ER
  C.Forbes 2 inn, 2 H, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 0 ER
  S.Wilson 2 inn, 0 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 0 ER
Bacchus: R.Shaw 4 inn, 6 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 4 ER
  T.Pantalleresco 2 inn, 2 H, 3 Ks, 2 BB, 1 ER
  T.Rowe 2 inn, 1 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 ER

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