|ROUND SEVEN: Saturday 14 June|
|*** Scroll down for images from Prince of Wales Reserve today ***|
Club baseball resumed this week after a highly successful Winter Championship hosted by Geelong Baseball Association and which produced quality baseball across the two groups – City Division and Country Division.
Playing in the City Division, the GBA squad did a terrific job (two wins, two losses and two drawn) against well-credentialled squads and it should feel well pleased in drawing games against eventual finalists in Dandenong and Ringwood.
Well done, again, to all concerned. We look forward to the under-aged Winter Championships scheduled over the next several weeks.
Back at club level, A Grade competition remains wide open, with an undefeated Guild appearing assured of finals action (in search of its fourth successive pennant) and Ballarat Brewers looking strong in second. Little seems to separate at least another five clubs, which augurs for an interesting and hotly-contested second half of the season.
|BALLARAT 14 defeated BACCHUS MARSH 3|
There was plenty on the line for both clubs, with the Brewers coming off a heavy loss to Bellarine a fortnight ago and Bacchus Marsh looking to build further after its barnstorming finish against Guild.
Sending a refreshed Rory Meddick to the hill, the Brewers made their offensive intentions clear from the start by bludgeoning eight runs in the first two innings before the Tigers hit back with three of their own in the top of the third – a flurry that drew an immediate response as the home club surged further ahead before rain forced an early finish.
While Meddick was terrific in scattering just four hits – two of those to Bacchus Manager Earl Byrne – the Brewers amassed fifteen of their own as Roland Shaw (three innings) and Jarrod Norquay were put to the sword.
Having by far his best outing at this level, Dan Hamilton smacked a triple and two doubles for the Brew Crew while driving in five of his side’s runs, while Ross Hipke (two hits and two RBIs), Leigh Ashmore (two and three), Lyndon Karslake, Scott Kerr and Steve Kugele contributed to the carnage.
Its win strengthens the Ballarat hold on second placing, while Bacchus Marsh sits just a half-game out of the four and will go to the bye confident in the knowledge that it is well in contention when its full playing list is available on any given day.
|BACCHUS||0 0 3 0 0 (3) 2 errors|
|BALLARAT||3 5 3 2 1 (14) 2 errors|
|Bacchus:||E.Byrne 2, D.Wilkie, R.Shaw|
|Ballarat:||D.Hamilton 3, L.Karslake 2, R.Hipke 2, L.Ashmore 2, S.Kerr 2, S.Kugele 2, R.Meddick, H.Pfeiffer|
|Ballarat:||D.Hamilton 5, L.Ashmore 3, R.Hipke 2, S.Kerr, H.Pfeiffer, L.Karslake|
|Bacchus:||R.Shaw 3 inn, 12 H, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 10 ER|
|J.Norquay 2 inn, 3 H, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER|
|Ballarat:||R.Meddick 5 inn, 4 H, 6 Ks, 1 BB, 2 ER|
|DEAKIN 5 drew with SAINTS 5|
As anticipated, there was very little – in fact nothing, on the day – to separate these two clubs, both of which remain among the contenders for post-season action.
While the Blues gained an early break and edged away after four – thanks largely to the timely hitting of superstar Kelii Zablan – Saints regrouped to draw level in the top of five and threatened to make the Blues pay for some errant defence that yielded three unearned runs.
Tossing the shortened five-innings contest for Deakin, Zablan (two hits and two RBIs) was a factor in offence – along with Wade Balzer – while Trevor Elliott (two hits) was dangerous for Saints, who would be delighted with another quality outing from Josh Lee before Sean Talbot closed out the last innings under enormous pressure.
Sitting level on winning ratio not far adrift of third and fourth placing, both clubs face an interesting next few weeks against clubs at both ends of the current A Grade table.
|SAINTS||0 0 2 1 2 (5) 0 errors|
|DEAKIN||2 1 1 1 0 (5) 1 error|
|Saints:||T.Elliott 2, K.Wilson, A.Hoe, L.Sherwell, G.Carter, J.Lee, C.Rickard|
|Deakin:||W.Balzer 2, K.Zablan 2, C.Webb, C.Gibbons, A.Ham, R.Millard|
|Deakin:||K.Zablan 2, W.Balzer, N.Warren, A.Ham|
|Saints:||J.Lee 4 inn, 8 H, 5 Ks, 3 BB, 5 ER|
|S.Talbot 1 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 ER|
|Deakin:||K.Zablan 5 inn, 8 H, 7 Ks, 3 BB, 2 ER|
|LARA 3 drew with CORIO 3|
Though it has been a while coming, the Tigers of Corio enjoyed their first real encouragement of the 2014 season with a split result against one of the league’s powerhouse clubs of the past decade.
Spanning just seventy-five minutes in inclement conditions, the game was highlighted by a couple of notable individual performances – in particular, by Corio’s Joel Hughes (who tossed the three innings played while driving in two of his team’s runs) and Lara livewire Steve Baumann (with a couple of knocks and a crucial RBI).
Daniel Anson scattered four hits for the Wildcats, who would be somewhat relieved to get out of this one with a draw – a result that could well have different had Corio not slipped up a couple of times in defence.
Clinging to fourth, the Wildcats will be at home to Bellarine in a vital game next Saturday, while Corio has a real shot at posting a well-deserved win when it plays host to a moderately-performed East Belmont Saints.
|CORIO||0 3 0 (3) 2 errors|
|LARA||1 2 0 (3) 1 error|
|Corio:||K.Little, S.Brackley, K.Willmott, J.Hughes|
|Lara:||S.Baumann 2, B.Hammer, C.Mason, J.Fraim|
|Corio:||J.Hughes 2, K.Little|
|Corio:||J.Hughes 3 inn, 5 H, 0 K, 5 BB, 2 ER|
|Lara:||D.Anson 3 inn, 4 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 3 ER|
|GUILD 14 defeated WERRIBEE 0|
The Lions continued their roaring start to the season with a thumping win over the Giants, who were strangled to the tune of three hits by Brad Egan – who tossed the complete five innings played.
While Guild scored a modest three runs in the first and was shut out in the second, the avalanche arrived with four in the third and a match-breaking seven in the bottom of four – set up in large part by a string of passes and some errant defence that saw the visitors concede seven unearned runs.
Leading the league hitting - at over .500 - Troy Snarey (three hits and five RBIs) had another day out for the Lions, while Jarrod Durston and Lee Harty chimed in with a couple of knocks in a consistent team effort against three hurlers called upon by the Giants.
The task becomes no easier for Werribee next week - when they make the trek to Ballarat – while Guild is away to Deakin.
|WERRIBEE||0 0 0 0 0 (0)|
|GUILD||3 0 4 7 x (14)|
|Werribee:||D.Gregory, C.Baker, Connor Wilson|
|Guild:||T.Snarey 3, L.Harty 2, J.Durston 2, J.Lekkas, C.Durston, R.Stewart, J.Wood, J.Smyth|
|Guild:||T.Snarey 5, J.Lekkas 2, C.Durston 2, J.Smyth 2, J.Wood|
|Werribee:||Connor Wilson 2.1 inn, 5 H, 1 K, 4 BB, 6 ER|
|J.Curnow 1.2 inn, 7 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 ER|
|C.Baker 1 inn, 0 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 0 ER|
|Guild:||B.Egan 5 inn, 3 H, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 0 ER|
|BELLARINE has the A Grade bye this week|