Round Twelve 2014

ROUND TWELVE:   Saturday 19 July
***   Scroll down for images from Bacchus Marsh today   ***

Shocking events of recent days place many matters in perspective.

They remind us of the frailty and uncertainty of human life, even for those of us fortunate enough to be living in a country far removed from trouble-spots around the globe. A country where we can enjoy our freedoms, cherish our relationships and pursue our dreams.

Where we can play sport - with and against like-minded people. Where we can take up bats, balls and gloves in the spirit of healthy competitiveness as an alternative to taking up arms and weapons of mass destruction against other human beings for some spurious cause that in the end can never justify its cruel means. 

Even then – as citizens of the world – we know that we should never take anything for granted. At least for as long as there are those who seek to cause harm to others – for political gain or for any other questionable purpose. Or even - as it may be in some cases - out of sheer stupidity.

Fortunate as most of us may be – and hopefully may continue to be - we share our humanity with living beings in this country and across the globe. What diminishes any of us diminishes all of us.

The horror of recent days is difficult for any decent human being to comprehend. As we continue to go about our lives – as we should and must do - those of us not directly affected by this atrocity can only imagine what the experience must be like for those whose loved ones have been taken and whose existence will never be the same.

May the victims rest in peace. May their loved ones, over time, somehow find solace.

GUILD 13 defeated WERRIBEE 2

Although this loomed as a mismatch – with the Lions rollicking along at the top of the table and the Giants languishing in the cellar – the result could have been somewhat different had the hosts brought their defensive game to the ballpark.

Smacking three in the first and four in the second, the Lions took full toll of fielding lapses and free passes to establish an unassailable lead before wrapping the contest up in seven innings – despite being out-hit eight to seven by a Giants side that had contributors in Simon Riches and Connor Wilson (both with two hits).

Hanging in there until the seventh, Wilson may have conceded just seven hits – two of those to Jack Smyth - but he was made to pay dearly for landing too many runners on base in the early innings.

In contrast, big righties in starter Lee Harty (five innings) and Brad Egan (two) were on song in conceding just a solitary earned run in recording another Guild win – albeit one that will not be among the clubs most memorable for the season.’

It becomes more challenging for Guild next week – when they meet Lara at the snakepit – while Werribee makes the trek to Bellarine keen to atone for a flogging at home earlier in the season.

GUILD 3 4 0 0 3 1 2  (13)  3 errors
WERRIBEE 0 1 0 0 0 0 1   (2)   6 errors
Guild: J.Smyth 2, J.Lekkas, C.Durston, J.Durston, H.Levy, B.Egan
Werribee: S.Riches 2, Connor Wilson 2, E.McPherson, D.Gregory, C.Baker, D.Trewin
Guild: J.Wood 2, J.Lekkas, C.Durston, H.Levy, J.Landthaler
Werribee: D.Trewin
Guild: L.Harty 5 inn, 6 H, 4 Ks, 1 BB, 2 HPB, 1 ER
  B.Egan 2 inn, 2 H, 3 Ks, 0 BB, 0 ER
Werribee: C.Wilson 6.2 inn, 7 H, 4 Ks, 6 BB, 2 HPB, 9 ER
  S.Riches 0.1 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 ER
DEAKIN 7 defeated SAINTS 2

While the result was not what Saints would have wanted, it was another wonderful occasion at Pioneer Park as the club presented its annual “Go Pink for Cancer Day” that has become a highlight of the Geelong Baseball Association calendar.

Going yard in the first, Kelii Zablan set the offensive tone for the Blues, who stretched the lead in the third before the home side hit back with a couple of its own.

Although Saints starter Sean Talbot came in for some early treatment, Josh Lee was quite superb over six innings of relief that yielded another two earned runs as the Deakin bats continued to apply pressure in support of Chris Webb (two earned runs into the seventh) and Zablan – who carded the save in a contest that went the full nine.

With four of his side’s thirteen hits (including the home run), Zablan was a standout with the stick for Deakin, who had other grand contributors in evergreen Mark Rigby (three hits and two RBIs), Webb (one and one) and Cameron Gibbons (two and one).

Chris Rickard, Luke Sherwell and Tyler Huisman were productive for East Belmont - which now lies seventh and is effectively out of contention for the playoffs with an away game to Bacchus Marsh next week.

Mathematically still a chance, sixth-placed Deakin would need to win all four games to come – starting with its away game against an improving Corio next week.

DEAKIN 2 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 1  (7)  2 error
SAINTS 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0  (2)  3 errors
Deakin: K.Zablan 4 (inc home run), M.Rigby 3, C.Gibbons 2, C.Webb, W.Balzer, N.Warren, G.Morris
Saints: C.Rickard 2, L.Sherwell, J.Isbister, T.Huisman, T.Leslie
Deakin: K.Zablan 2, M.Rigby 2, C.Webb, C.Gibbons
Saints: L.Sherwell 2
Deakin: C.Webb 5.2 inn, 5 H, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
  K.Zablan 3.1 inn, 1 H, 4 Ks, 0 BB, 0 ER
Saints: S.Talbot 2.1 inn, 5 H, 3 Ks, 2 BB, 3 ER
  J.Lee 6.1 inn, 8 H, 7 Ks, 0 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
  C.Alldis 0.1 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 ER

Missing a couple of key players, Bacchus Marsh was not really in the hunt against a Brewers outfit that was never in danger despite squandering a welter of scoring opportunities.

Lead-off hitter Lyndon Karslake set up early scoring for the Brew Crew and went on to a stunning four from five outing as his side amassed fifteen hits – with other contributors being Ross Hipke, Adam Irons, Leigh Ashmore, Scott Kerr and Steve Kugele (all with two hits).

Although stranding eleven runners on base, Ballarat played immaculate defence and had the game well in hand as Hipke (six innings) and reliever Rory Meddick (three innings) dominated on the hill in a tandem effort that gleaned just three hits – and no walks – in a nine-innings contest that was decided in under two hours.

While Roland Shaw went the distance in a gutsy outing for the Tigers, his side had only one runner (Chris Dugan) to reach third base – and he was gunned down at the plate trying desperately to score with two out in the second.

Solid in second, the Brewers have the bye next week while fifth-placed Bacchus Marsh is still a rough chance of finals action but would need to win all four games starting with Saints - at Masons Lane - next Saturday.

BALLARAT 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1  (4)  0 errors
BACCHUS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  (0)  2 errors
Ballarat: L.Karslake 4, R.Hipke 2, A.Irons 2, L.Ashmore 2, S.Kerr 2, S.Kugele 2, R.Meddick
Bacchus: E.Byrne, C.Dugan, A.Wallis-Taylor
Ballarat: A.Irons, L.Karslake, L.Ashmore, R.Meddick
Bacchus: nil
Ballarat: R.Hipke 6 inn, 3 H, 6 Ks, 0 BB, 0 ER
  R.Meddick 3 inn, 0 H, 4 Ks, 0 BB, 0 ER
Bacchus: R.Shaw 9 inn, 15 H, 4 Ks, 1 BB, 4 ER
LARA 9 defeated CORIO 4

While it was not their best defensive effort by either team, the Wildcats did enough to secure an important win that effectively secures a spot in the playoffs.

Gaining a break with a couple in the first, Lara put up a five-spot in the third for a massive lead that was protected by starter Cameron Forbes – who went hitless over three.

Relishing the pitching change, Corio managed three in the fifth and another run in the sixth - as Stuart Forbes came in for some treatment – although the Wildcats edged away again to put the result beyond doubt.

With both sides making errors, it was Lara that was better able to capitalise as Cameron Forbes (two hits and three RBIs), Steve Baumann (two and two) and Stuart Forbes drove in runs for their side.

Managing just three hits for the game - two of those by Karl Little – the Tigers struggled to convert, while Lara was recipient of eleven passes as Scott Brackley put up another lion-hearted performance to toss 165 pitches over the complete game.

Facing a tough run to the finals – interspersed with a bye - Lara will be at home to Guild on Saturday, while Corio plays host to Deakin.

LARA 2 0 5 0 0 0 2  (9)  4 errors
CORIO 0 0 0 0 3 1 0  (4)  4 errors
Lara: S.Baumann 2, C.Forbes 2, L.Arandt, D.Anson
Corio: K.Little 2, B.Witham
Lara: C.Forbes 3, S.Forbes 2, S.Maumann 2, L.Arandt, D.Anson
Corio: J.Hughes 2, B.Witham, K.Little
Lara: C.Forbes 3 inn, 0 H, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 0 ER
  S.Forbes 2 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
  R.Wilson 2 inn, 1 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 ER
Corio: S.Brackley 7 inn, 6 H, 5 Ks, 10 BB, 1 HPB, 4 ER
BELLARINE had the A Grade bye this week