|ROUND SIXTEEN: Saturday 16 August|
|*** Scroll down for images from the final home and away round ***|
What a stunning end to the 2014 regular season!
It could hardly have been scripted better, although one A Grade club – Bacchus Marsh – would be bitterly disappointed that results did not fall its way, especially given its head of steam built up over recent weeks.
Needing to win or at least to draw with Guild, the Tigers produced a fantastic showing to force a nil all draw with the Lions after ten innings. The split result was not quite enough, however, as Lara took the points over Saints and Bellarine salvaged a draw with Ballarat Brewers.
The four is now settled, with Guild (fifteen wins, no losses and a draw) taking the minor premiership ahead of second-placed Ballarat (11-4-1), while Bellarine (8-5-3) retained third placing on head to head advantage over Lara (9-6-1).
Bacchus finished in fifth – marginally behind both – followed by Deakin, Saints, Corio and Werribee.
Knockout Semi-Finals will be played next Saturday, in all senior grades. Guild will take on Lara at Geelong Baseball Centre, while Bellarine will return to Ballarat for another crack at the Brewers. It will be mothballs for the losers and a 30 August rendezvous – at Waurn Ponds - for the victors.
Scores and details for lower grades will be posted here during Sunday.
Check back here late Tuesday or Wednesday for our Semi-Final Preview.
|BACCHUS MARSH 0 drew with GUILD 0 (10 innings)|
Needing a win or at least a split result to have a chance of making the playoffs, Bacchus Marsh almost achieved the remarkable against a tough opponent well on target for a fourth successive pennant.
As it was, the Tigers broke a Guild winning streak going back to the middle of the 2013 season. But it was not quite enough, as Bellarine and Lara battled to successfully retain their positions in the leading four.
There have been a few pitcher-dominated affairs this season. None more so than this arm wrestle over ten tense innings that saw Tayler Rowe throw another pearler for the Pearler, while the Lions called upon two of their very best in Brad Egan and Lee Harty to quell a late-season charge by a Bacchus Marsh club that has had a terrific season across the board as it continues to rebuild from a perilous state just a couple of years ago.
While Egan and Harty were superb, Bacchus had its scoring opportunities in out-hitting its more favoured opponent - with Rowe and Chris Porter both hitting safely twice from a team total of eight.
Whiffing eleven while scattering four hits was an outstanding return for Rowe against a Guild offence that averaged over nine runs a game coming into this contest.
While there are great signs for the Marsh –especially with its young players coming through – Guild is again a deserving A Grade minor premier that will field multiple sides in finals series this year.
|GUILD||0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (0) 1 error|
|BACCHUS||0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (0) 3 errors|
|Guild:||J.Lekkas, T.Snarey, J.Wood, H.Levy|
|Bacchus:||C.Porter 2, T.Rowe 2, D.Wilkie, J.Norquay, J.Warwick, J.Jansson|
|Guild:||B.Egan 7 inn, 7 H, 6 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER|
|L.Harty 3 inn, 1 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER|
|Bacchus:||T.Rowe 10 inn, 4 H, 11 Ks, 3 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER|
|BALLARAT 4 drew with BELLARINE 4|
While Ballarat was assured of a second-placed finish and a home Semi-Final, there was no post-season certainty for the visiting Bears, who were well aware of their vulnerability in the event of a loss and a Bacchus Marsh upset over Guild.
Ballarat was on the board with a couple in the first, stringing together four hits off starter Josh Crotty, who settled quickly into his work to shut down the local club through subsequent innings.
Aided by some errant Brewers defence, the Bears replied decisively by putting up a three spot in the second before Rory Meddick was summoned to the hill to replace an injured Dan Hamilton.
Despite conceding a run in the third, Meddick imposed his authority on the game - striking out ten and conceding just two hits in six innings of work – although his side’s offence continued to be well held until making a charge in the bottom of seven, when a two-out duckfart by veteran Greg Ashmore delivered the tying run.
Out-hitting the Bears nine to five, Ballarat had solid contributors in Manager Leigh Ashmore and Meddick (both with two knocks), although Crotty did a sterling job for his side – which remains unbeaten in two meetings between the clubs this season.
Wayne Visser and Zac Buhrmann were best with the bat for Bellarine, which will return to Prince of Wales next Saturday for an elimination Semi-Final against a Brewers outfit that may line up somewhat differently as both clubs strive for a spot in the Big Dance.
|BELLARINE||0 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 (4) 1 error|
|BALLARAT||2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 (4) 5 errors|
|Bellarine:||W.Visser 2, L.Hockey, C.Bramwell, Z.Buhrmann|
|Ballarat:||L.Ashmore 2, R.Meddick 2, L.Karslake, S.Kerr, D.Hamilton, G.Ashmore, E.Etheridge|
|Bellarine:||Z.Buhrmann 2, S.Murry|
|Ballarat:||D.Hamilton, R.Meddick, G.Ashmore, L.Ashmore|
|Bellarine:||J.Crotty 8 inn, 9 H, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 4 ER|
|Ballarat:||D.Hamilton 2 inn, 3 H, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER|
|R.Meddick 6 inn, 2 H, 10 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER|
|DEAKIN 22 defeated WERRIBEE 0|
Arguably an under-achiever for this season – given some mercurial talent – Deakin was in with a chance of play-off action until a week ago, making lowly Werribee this week pay for any frustration or disappointment felt by those of the Blues fraternity.
This game was effectively over in the first, when Deakin smashed ten runs in the bottom of the frame before following up with other free-scoring innings resulting in a serious blowout.
Neither Werribee starter Connor Wilson or reliever Matt Collins was able to apply the brakes to the Deakin offence, although five errors – contributing to fourteen unearned runs – was a stark reflection on the flimsy defensive support provided by their club.
Wilson was the only Werribee player to hit safely while Wade Balzer, Chris Webb and Cameron Gibbons all had a trundle on the hill for Deakin, which racked up eighteen hits as Webb (three), Russell Millard (three), Aidan Ham (three), Kelii Zablan (two), Andrew Ross (two) and Gibbons (two) all posted multiples in an old-fashioned rout.
Troubling sides above it at various times, Deakin finished with a respectable fifty fifty winning record on the season, while Werribee trailed the field but would not be overly concerned as it looks forward to an exciting Summer League season.
|WERRIBEE||0 0 0 0 (0) 5 errors|
|DEAKIN||10 4 5 3 (22) 0 errors|
|Deakin:||C.Webb 3, R.Millard 3, A.Ham 3, K.Zablan 2, A.Ross 2, C.Gibbons 2, W.Balzer, G.Morris, M.Rigby|
|Deakin:||W.Balzer 3, G.Morris 3, R.Millard 3, C.Webb 2, K.Zablan 2, C.Gibbons 2, A.Ross|
|Deakin:||W.Balzer 3 inn, 1 H, 4 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER|
|C.Webb 1 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 ER|
|C.Gibbons 1 inn, 0 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 0 ER|
|LARA 7 defeated SAINTS 3|
Much was riding on this game for the Wildcats, a powerhouse of the last decade that has been doing it somewhat tougher with the departure of key players in recent seasons.
Sending superstar Cameron Forbes to the hill, Lara assumed early control of the contest, plating a run in the second and another in the fifth off quality Saints southpaw Josh Lee.
With both pitchers being relieved, the game took a dramatic turn in the seventh, when the Wildcats gained a five zip break and looked the goods before Saints hit back with three of their own as the Lara defence faltered under pressure.
Regrouping to gain a break against Saints closer Jordan Isbister, Lara owed much to the offensive contributions of Steve Baumann (three hits and three RBIs), Joel Ricketts (two hits, including a solo home run) and Ross Wilson, while Kurt Wilson (two hits), Coleby Alldis (two hits and an RBI) and Lee were among the action for Saints.
While Saints are out of contention for 2014, Lara faces what should be a ripper elimination Semi-Final clash against Guild at Geelong Baseball Centre next Saturday
|LARA||0 1 0 0 1 0 3 2 (7) 5 errors|
|SAINTS||0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 (3) 2 errors|
|Lara:||S.Baumann 3, J.Ricketts 2 (inc home run), S.Forbes, R.Wilson, L.Arandt, A.Mueller|
|Saints:||K.Wilson 2, C.Alldis 2, T.Huisman, J.Lee, J.Isbister|
|Lara:||S.Baumann 3, R.Wilson 2, C.Forbes, J.Ricketts|
|Saints:||J.Lee 2, C.Alldis|
|Lara:||C.Forbes 5 inn, 2 H, 10 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER|
|J.Ricketts 3 inn, 5 H, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER|
|Saints:||J.Lee 6 inn, 6 H, 4 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER|
|K.Wilson 1 inn, 1 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER|
|J.Isbister 1 inn, 2 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER|
|CORIO had the A Grade bye this week|