Round Two 2014

 ROUND TWO:   Saturday 3 May

Bacchus Marsh inflicted a first defeat on Bellarine with an impressive 6-3 result at Wallington this afternoon, while Lara handed a fourth straight loss to Deakin with a 6-0 whitewash, Ballarat made better of tough conditions to hold on 5-3 against Saints and Werribee generated a couple of big innings to run away from Corio 14-1.

While it may not have been the greatest day for baseball, we are reminded that if we choose to play the game as a winter sport then we should reasonably expect to play in wintry conditions. Notwithstanding those conditions, Geelong Baseball Association again produced its share of tight contests, close finishes and outstanding individual efforts – notably in A Grade competition, where several clubs have already emerged as finals contenders and where thus-far more modestly performed clubs are far from being out of the equation.

It was an historic weekend for baseball in our region, with Ballarat fielding a junior team for the first time in thirteen years. Comprised of kids who are mostly just twelve or thirteen, the Under 15 Ballarat side performed admirably against a well-drilled Saints outfit that was turned out immaculately and played the game in the respectful and spirited manner for which the East Belmont club is renowned. IMAGES FROM THIS GAME

With Bacchus Marsh also doing terrific leg-work in resurrecting its junior programme, there is a definite sense that baseball in our region is taking positive steps to arrest a decline in the sport by once again working towards making baseball an attractive and viable sporting option for our young people.

It is a challenge, and there is great commitment required. Yet with the people of will and enthusiasm who are currently involved, we should approach the future with optimism and excitement for the sport.

LARA 6 defeated DEAKIN 0

Steadily building their season, the Wildcats sit in equal second placing – with two other clubs – after a comprehensive result over a winless Deakin that is finding it tough going with run production.

Getting a break with two in the first, Lara was never really threatened as Cameron Forbes delivered another outstanding start for his club before Daniel Anson closed out the game.

Four scattered hits over eight was insufficient for the Blues against an errorless Lara defence, although Kelii Zablan did a terrific job for the visitors and kept his side well in the contest until lower order hitter Luke Arandt (two hits and two RBIs) sealed the deal with a timely run-scoring blow off reliever Wade Balzer late in the game.

While Forbes was again the main man for Lara, it was other old stagers in Chris Mason, Ben Hammer, Steve Baumann and Ross Wilson who stepped up in offence when required.

DEAKIN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  (0)  1 error
LARA 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 2  (6)  0 errors
Deakin: W.Balzer, R.Hickey, C.Millard, A.Ham
Lara: L.Arandt 2, C.Mason, B.Hammer, R.Wilson
Deakin: nil
Lara: L.Arandt 2, S.Baumann, R.Wilson, C.Mason, B.Hammer
Deakin: K.Zablan 6 inn, 4 H, 8 Ks, 4 BB, 2 ER
  W.Balzer 2 inn, 1 H, 2 Ks, 4 BB, 2 ER
Lara: C.Forbes 5 inn, 3 H, 5 Ks, 0 BB, 0 ER
  D.Anson 3 inn, 1 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 0 ER

The Tigers posted their second win of the season with an impressive performance over a seasoned Bellarine outfit that was undefeated coming into this game.

With starters Josh Crotty and Tayler Rowe holding sway early, there was nothing much doing in offence until the third, when Bacchus Manager Earl Byrne blasted a solo shot that was backed up by Rowe’s two-run scoring hit that gave the visitors a three-zip lead.

Hitting back with three of its own in the bottom of four, the Bears were subsequently shut down by former Twins professional Rowe, who tossed the complete game in scattering just six hits – two of those apiece to Simon Murry and Chris Barker.

Leading his club’s offence, Byrne had great support from Daniel Wilkie, Jarrod Norquay and Leigh Davis (all with two hits). It was a great team effort by the Tigers, who today enjoyed great club success across the board and who – at two and one, with a miserly nine runs scored against – sit just outside the leading four.

BACCHUS 0 0 3 0 2 1  (6)  1 error
BELLARINE 0 0 0 3 0 0  (3)  2 errors
Bacchus: E.Byrne 2 (inc home run), D.Wilkie 2, J.Norquay 2, L.Davis 2, S.Hornstra, T.Rowe, T.Shaw
Bellarine: S.Murry 2, C.Barker 2, B.McKentish, L.Hockey
Bacchus: E.Byrne 2, J.Norquay, T.Rowe
Bellarine: L.Hockey, C.Barker, J.Crotty
Bacchus: T.Rowe 6 inn, 6 H, 8 Ks, 3 BB, 1 ER
Bellarine: J.Crotty 4 inn, 5 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 2 ER
  S.Murry 2 inn, 6 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 2 ER
WERRIBEE 14 defeated CORIO 1

Werribee posted its first win of the season with a thumping mercy-rule result over Corio, which contributed to the carnage by making six defensive errors and conceding eight unearned runs.

Despite a scrappy first two innings, the Tigers kept the score to manageable proportions until Werribee put up a five spot in the fifth and smacked another four in the seventh to force an early finish.

Having a day out for the Giants, Daniel Hartigan picked up a couple of knocks while scattering four hits over a complete-game outing that included eight strike outs and no free passes.

Hartigan was well supported by a tight Werribee defence and a lineup that amassed fourteen hits – with other telling contributions coming from Evan McPherson (three hits and four RBIs), Cameron Wilson (three and three), Matt Collins (two and two), Simon Riches (two hits) and John Curnow (home run and three RBIs).

WERRIBEE 1 3 0 1 5 0 4  (14)  0 errors
CORIO 0 0 0 0 0 1 0   (1)   6 errors
Werribee: E.McPherson 3, Cameron Wilson 3, S.Riches 2, M.Collins 2, D.Hartigan 2, J.Curnow (home run), K.Hartifgan
Corio: K.Little, A.Fielden, M.Taylor, S.Brackley
Werribee: E.McPherson 4, J.Curnow 3, Cameron Wilson 3, M.Collins 2, K.Hartigan 2
Corio: K.Little
Werribee: D.Hartigan 7 inn, 4 H, 6 Ks, 0 BB, 1 ER
Corio: S.Brackley 2 inn, 5 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 0 ER
  S.Wise 4 inn, 5 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 4 ER
  D.Kinaird 1 inn, 4 H, 0 K, 4 BB, 2 ER
BALLARAT 5 defeated SAINTS 3

This game looked all but done when the Brews Crew came out all guns blazing in the bottom of the first to smack four runs off Saints starter Sean Talbot – compliments largely, it should be said, of a costly two out defensive blunder.

Settling into his work after that point, Talbot held the Brewers scoreless over the next five innings before conceding a fifth run in the bottom of seven after Saints had hit back in the top of the frame with run-scoring hits to Tyler Huisman and Coleby Alldis.

Collecting another win for the Brewers, Ross Hipke whiffed fourteen in greasy conditions before handing the pill to Adam Irons to close out the last of what was a pretty decent contest that saw Saints in fact out-hit the Brewers five to four.

That muffed flyball in the first proved decisive in the context of a game that threatened to blow out but was thankfully pulled back into an intense contest that stayed in the balance until the last.

SAINTS 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0  (3)  2 errors
BALLARAT 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0  (5)  0 errors
Saints: T.Elliott, L.Sherwell, S.Talbot, T.Huisman, C.Alldis
Ballarat: L.Ashmore, S.Kerr, S.Kugele, R.Meddick
Saints: C.Alldis 2, T.Huisman
Ballarat: S.Kugele 2, L.Ashmore, R.Meddick
Saints: S.Talbot 7 inn, 4 H, 6 Ks, 4 BB, 2 ER
  D.Davenport 0 inn, 0 H, 0 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER
Ballarat: R.Hipke 7 inn, 4 H, 14 Ks, 1 BB, 3 ER
  A.Irons 1 inn, 1 H, 0 Ks, 0 BB, 0 ER

GUILD has the A Grade bye this week