Round Ten 2014

ROUND TEN:   Saturday 5 July
*** Scroll down for images from Prince of Wales Reserve today   ***

Although it was another not-so-flash day for baseball across the region, spirits were by no means dampened and we were treated to some heavy scoring and emphatic results in the A Grade competition – which has opened up even further as seven clubs remain in contention for a playoff berth.

Shooting for its fourth pennant on the trot, undefeated Guild is not yet at full strength but still had the wherewithal to account for Ballarat Brewers, which remains in third despite second-placed Bellarine dropping its game to East Belmont Saints – which has edged from seventh to sixth on the basis of that result.

Fourth-placed Lara Wildcats strengthened its position by dealing mercilessly with eighth-placed Werribee, while Bacchus Marsh squared the win/loss ledger and has moved into fifth after being seriously tested by winless Corio.

Watching on with the bye, after a stunning win over Ballarat, Deakin had no control over its immediate destiny – slipping to seventh on offensive percentage only behind Saints.

The current top four have five games each to play, the others have six. While Guild is already assured of post-season action, six other clubs remain in the mix – assuring us of a fascinating next few weeks.   

GUILD 7 defeated BALLARAT 0

Handling the chilly conditions far better than the home club, the Lions played errorless defence and utilised their superior base speed to exploit scoring opportunities against a Brewer side that made it tough for itself by conceding four unearned runs.

Tossing another steady five innings, Guild workhorse Brad Egan picked up the win before James Wood closed out the game with two scoreless innings, while starter Dan Hamilton stepped up for the Brew Crew in conceding a solitary hit and an earned run in the fourth.

While the Brewers out-hit the visitors seven to three – with Leigh Ashmore and Steve Kugele posting two knocks each – errant throwing and a muffed infield fly ball allowed the Lions to scoot away after a tight first four innings.

Still undefeated after eleven outings, Guild will take a rest with the bye next week, while third-placed Ballarat faces a tough assignment against a resurgent East Belmont at Pioneer Park on Saturday.

GUILD 0 1 0 1 3 1 1  (7)  0 errors
BALLARAT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  (0)  4 errors
Guild: C.Durston, J.Wood, H.Levy
Ballarat: L.Ashmore 2, S.Kugele 2, H.Burrows, H.Pfeiffer, E.Etheridge
Guild: J.Wood, C.Durston, H.Levy
Ballarat: nil
Guild: B.Egan 5 inn, 6 H, 3 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
  J.Wood 2 inn, 1 H, 3 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Ballarat: D.Hamilton 5 inn, 1 H, 1 K, 6 BB, 1 HPB, 1 ER
  L.Ashmore 2 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER

Bacchus Marsh squared its season ledger at five and five, although it certainly did not have things its own way against a Corio outfit that threatened with a big third innings and came home strongly as both clubs landed late scoring blows.

Light on for pitching options this week, Bacchus looked to Jarrod Norquay for the start before Chris Porter assumed mound duties in a clash that saw both clubs commit costly defensive mistakes – more so the Marsh, which conceded half a dozen unearned runs.

Using Joel Hughes, Scott Brackley and Karl Willmott at the end, the Lions of Corio were unable to contain a Bacchus offence that had terrific contributors in Dan Wilkie (three hits) and Manager Earl Byrne (two), while Jarrod Warwick and Porter - surely player of the match - both cleared the yard to drive in multiple runs for their club.

Matt Taylor (two hits and two RBIs) and Scott Brackley (two hits) were best with the stick for Corio, which again showed the offensive intent that was missing earlier in the season.

Well among the finals contenders, Bacchus faces what will be an interesting home clash with Bellarine next Saturday, while Corio will make the trek to Werribee with a spring in their step given their form of the past fortnight.

BACCHUS 1 2 3 0 0 2 4  (12)  4 errors
CORIO 0 0 4 0 0 1 2   (7)   6 errors
Bacchus: D.Wilkie 3, E.Byrne 2, J.Norquay 2, J.Warwick 2 (inc home run), S.Hornstra, C.Porter (home run), J.Lindsay, J.Baker
Corio: M.Taylor 2, S.Brackley 2, P.Brackley, K.Willmott, A.Flowers, K.Little
Bacchus: C.Porter 3, S.Hornstra 2, J.Warwick 2, D.Wilkie, J.Norquay, J.Baker
Corio: M.Taylor 2, J.Hughes, A.Flowers, J.Addlem, K.Little
Bacchus: J.Norquay 2.2 inn, 3 H, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 3 HPB, 0 ER
  C.Porter 4.1 inn, 5 H, 3 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
Corio: J.Hughes 2 inn, 3 H, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
  S.Brackley 4.1 inn, 10 H, 4 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 5 ER
  K.Willmott 0.2 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 ER
LARA 13 defeated WERRIBEE 1

The Wildcats remain clear in fourth placing after a thumping win over the Giants, who could manage just four hits as the visitors called upon their three quality arms in Cameron Forbes, Daniel Anson and Joel Ricketts.

The sole unearned Werribee run came in the bottom of the fifth in a stunning – albeit forlorn - response to a stunning Lara opening that drove starter Duane Gregory from the hill and debited nine earned runs against middle relief Connor Wilson.

While free passes were unhelpful for Werribee, Lara had far too many contributors in offence as eight players contributed to the hit parade – with Ricketts (three hits and two RBIs), Cam Forbes (two and two), Ross Wilson (one and two), Anson (one and two) and Alister Mueller (two and one) doing the bulk of the damage.

Not conceding a walk between them, the Lara pitching staff dominated proceedings against a Werribee offence that appeared quite strong on paper but struggled to create opportunities.

Lara will be away to Deakin next Saturday, while Werribee will play host to Corio in what shapes as an evenly-matched contest with both clubs rightly confident of a win.

LARA 4 1 3 5 0 0  (13)  2 errors
WERRIBEE 0 0 0 0 1 0   (1)   3 errors
Lara: J.Ricketts 3, C.Forbes 2, A.Mueller 2, S.Forbes, R.Wilson, C.Mason, D.Anson, L.Arandt
Werribee: S.Riches, A.Christou, D.Gregory, C.Wilson
Lara: R.Wilson 2, C.Forbes 2, J.Ricketts 2, D.Anson 2, S.Forbes, C.Mason, A.Mueller
Werribee: E.McPherson
Lara: C.Forbes 3 inn, 1 H, 4 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
  D.Anson 2 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
  J.Ricketts 1 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Werribee: D.Gregory 1 inn, 3 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
  C.Wilson 2 inn, 7 H, 0 Ks, 5 BB, 2 HPB, 9 ER
  S.Riches 3 inn, 2 H, 3 Ks, 6 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
SAINTS 10 defeated BELLARINE 2

Desperately needing a win to keep its finals hopes alive, Saints produced arguably its best all-round performance of the season with a thumping win over Bellarine, which holds second on head to head advantage over the Brewers.

Shrugging off the difficult conditions, Saints starter Sean Talbot held the Bears scoreless over five before handing the pill to Josh Lee to deliver the last rites.

Between them, Talbot and Lee scattered five hits against a dangerous lineup, while their own offence came to the party with a run in the first, three in the second and a damaging four-spot in the fourth as Bellarine superstar Simon Murry was put to the sword.

Kurt Wilson and evergreen Chris Rickard led the Saints offence with three hits apiece, though they received terrific support from Tyler Huisman (two hits and four RBIs), Gerard Carter (two and one) and Luke Sherwell (one and three.

Still a chance of finals action, Saints face a massive home game against Ballarat next week, while Bellarine will be away to Bacchus Marsh in a pivotal clash for both clubs.

BELLARINE 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1   (2)   2 errors
SAINTS 1 3 0 4 0 2 0 x  (10)  2 errors
Bellarine: W.Visser, J.Lowe, C.Barker, J.Crotty, G.Rowe
Saints: K.Wilson 3, C.Rickard 3, G.Carter 2, T.Huisman 2, L.Sherwell, M.Ernstzen
Bellarine: B.McKentish, L.Hockey
Saints: T.Huisman 4, L.Sherwell 3, K.Wilson, G.Carter
Bellarine: S.Murry 5 inn, 8 H, 6 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 4 ER
  J.Crotty 2 inn, 4 H, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
Saints: S.Talbot 5 inn, 4 H, 4 Ks, 4 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER
  J.Lee 3 inn, 1 H, 2 Ks, 4 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
DEAKIN had the A Grade bye this week