Wildcats stifle Rams: Bears too strong
2 June 2018
With club stalwart Chris Lewis playing a starring role, Lara posted its second win of the A Grade season – and in so doing dealt a second successive loss to Newport – while Bellarine blasted a five-spot in the second against a Saints outfit that could muster just two hits, Mounties edged out Deakin in a thriller and Guild was too accomplished for a gutsy Colac side that was far from disgraced in a twilight game.
As we head to the Queen’s Birthday weekend break, the premier GBA competition could hardly have been more intriguing, with three clubs – Newport, Guild and Bellarine – all at eight wins and two losses though as yet unable to be fully separated on head-to-head record (Newport has beaten both to hold top place, while Guild and Bellarine have a win apiece in their meetings with each other). Despite dropping its game to Mounties, Deakin remains clear in fourth placing but still has plenty of work to do if it is to hold off second-half season challenges from Saints – and even Mounties and Lara, both of whom can never be discounted by opponents.
Although languishing at the bottom of the table – for now at least - Colac Braves have made significant advances during the season and should rightly feel proud of their efforts thus far in challenging themselves to develop as a contender at the highest winter level.
MOUNTIES 5 defeated DEAKIN 4
Coming off five consecutive wins – including a ten-run romp over Mounties back in Round Three – Deakin began with a rush, plating three in the first before starter Gavin Smith had settled for the home club.
Mounties had other plans than a loss for the afternoon, though, following up with a couple of frames of solid defence before breaking out to level scores after three – compliments of timely hitting that including a booming triple by Brad Jones.
Gaining an edge with another in the fourth, the Mounts generated a fifth run in the six for a lead protected by Smith, who withstood a challenge in the top of the last – when a Matt Belfrage sacrifice halved the lead – to earn the win with probably his best outing of the season, a complete game for seven hits, seven strikeouts and minimal free passes.
While Chris Webb went the distance for Deakin in an equally stout-hearted performance, Mounties enjoyed a hitting advantage delivered by Brad Jones (four knocks for three RBIs), Leigh Ashmore and Xavier Woolley (both with two hits), while Andy Medew (two hits and an RBI) and Webb (two hits) were best of the Deakin offence.
Mounties will resume with an away game against Newport, while Deakin will be looking to consolidate in fourth when it fronts up against Guild at the stadium.
DEAKIN 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 (4) 2 errors
MOUNTIES 0 0 3 1 0 1 0 x (5) 1 error
Deakin: A.Medew 2, C.Webb 2, P.Moulton, M.Belfrage, S.Fraser
Mounties: B.Jones 4, L.Ashmore 2, X.Woolley 2, M.Collins, S.Best
Deakin: A.Medew, M.Belfrage, A.Ham
Mounties: B.Jones 3, S.Jones, L.Ashmore
Deakin: C.Webb 7 inn, 10 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
Mounties: G.Smith 8 inn, 7 H, 7 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
GUILD 11 defeated COLAC 1
While not too many would have reasonably expected an upset in this game, Colac should be commended on at least two fronts – first, for agreeing to a reschedule in unfamiliar territory for most of its players under lights, and secondly for relatively containing a powerful Guild lineup in a high-standard defensive contest.
Plating three in the first and two in the second, the Lions were always well in control as the Braves shared mound duties between four players who all pitched to contact and gave little away after the initial onslaught, while Brad Egan was his typically stingy self on the hill for Guild in conceding just three hits over five scoreless innings.
With Angus McNee and Jarryd Wood tossing an innings each in relief, Guild was never going to let this one slip – especially given the contributions of Tyler Luther Wilson (three hits and four RBIs), Lee Harty (three and two) and Wood (three hits) as their side amassed fifteen knocks over the seven innings played.
The solitary run scored by Colac was courtesy of four passes on the trot issued by McNee in the sixth, the only blemish on Guild pitching dominance that gleaned thirteen punchouts over the seven innings played.
Guild (eight and two) goes to the break as one of three league-leading clubs and will be at home to Deakin on resumption, while Colac will rest up and reassess before meeting Saints in an eminently winnable home fixture.
COLAC 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 (1) 1 error
GUILD 3 2 0 3 2 0 1 (11) 0 errors
Colac: M.Reid, B.Delorenzo, A.Lewis
Guild: Jarryd Wood 3, L.Harty 3, T.Luther-Wilson 3, C.Durston, R.Stewart, T.Snarey, H.Levy, B.Spencer, J.Durston
Guild: T.Luther-Wilson 4, L.Harty 2, R.Stewart, T.Snarey, H.Levy, B.Spencer, J.Durston
Colac: J.Hay 2 inn, 5 H, 1 K, 5 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
A.Lewis 2 inn, 4 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
M.Reid 2 inn, 5 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
B.Delorenzo 1 inn, 1 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
Guild: B.Egan 5 inn, 3 H, 9 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
A.McNee 1 inn, 0 H, 2 Ks, 4 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
J.Wood 1 inn, 0 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
BELLARINE 9 defeated SAINTS 1
Although both sides slipped up in defence more often than they might have liked, Bellarine was never seriously threatened after constructing a five-run second inning around three consecutive walks issued by Saints starter Sean Talbot that were exploited by four subsequent base hits.
While the haloes settled into their work after that – and they would be especially pleased with the outing of youngster Connor Hughes, who whiffed four and conceded no earned runs in relief – the Bears were able to tack on more runs mid-game and effectively put the game beyond reach with a two-RBI Simon Murry single in the fifth.
Going hitless and scoreless over three, starter Lachlan Hockey was outstanding on the hill for Bellarine before handing the pill to Josh Crotty to mop up despite conceding the only two hits posted by Saints for the game – to George Polley and Luke Sherwell.
By contrast, the Bears had solid contributions throughout the order – in particular nine hitter Matt Sage (two hits and an RBI), Brock Wells (one and two), Murry (one and two) and Cameron Brown (two and one).
One of three clubs in a logjam at the top of the A Grade table, Bellarine will resume with a home game against Lara, while Saints will make the trek to Colac for a game that may prove vital for their post-season prospects.
BELLARINE 0 5 1 1 2 0 (9) 3 errors
SAINTS 0 0 1 0 0 0 (1) 3 errors
Bellarine: C.Brown 2, M.Sage 2, B.Wells, L.Weldon, S.Murry, C.Barker, L.Stott
Saints: G.Polley, L.Sherwell
Bellarine: B.Wells 2, S.Murry 2, C.Brown, L.Stott, J.Auld, M.Sage
Bellarine: L.Hockey 3 inn, 0 H, 3 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
J.Crotty 3 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Saints: S.Talbot 4.1 inn, 8 H, 4 Ks, 6 BB, 1 HPB, 8 ER
C.Hughes 1.2 inn, 1 H, 4 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
LARA 7 defeated NEWPORT 3
Around the money for effectively all of their close losses this season, Lara finally broke through to take a real scalp against Newport Rams – who appeared in imperious form until stumbling against Deakin last week.
Busting to an early lead and making it super tough for the Rams with a three-spot in the fourth, the Wildcats could muster just four hits yet managed to fully exploit the opportunities delivered their way as Rams starter Jason Lester gifted more passes and HPBs than he would have liked before handing the ball to emerging star Kyle Morrison – who impressed in his first game of a handful before heading off to college in United States.
In something of an upset result, however, the star of the show for Lara was without a doubt their off-speed hurler Chris Lewis, who stroked a timely two-RBI single and spun 6.1 innings of mesmeric work for six hits and a solitary earned run against a potent Rams offence before Dan Anson slammed the gate despite a couple of late unearned runs.
Other standouts for the Wildcats were Clinton Lewis (two hits and an RBI), Stuart Forbes and Anson (two ribbies each), while Reece Longstaff (two hits and an RBI) was best of a subdued Newport offence.
Lara will be away to Bellarine on resumption in a fortnight, while Newport will be looking to consolidate at the top of the table when it plays host to Mounties.
NEWPORT 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 (3)
LARA 2 1 0 3 1 0 0 x (7)
Newport: R.Longstaff 2, Z.Seipolt, J.Walshe, J.Lester, M.Wray, K.Morrison
Lara: Clinton Lewis 2, J.Fraim, Chris Lewis
Lara: Chris Lewis 2, S.Forbes 2, D.Anson 2, Clinton Lewis
Newport: J.Lester 4.1 inn, 3 H, 5 Ks, 4 BB, 2 HPB, 7 ER
K.Morrison 2.2 inn, 1 H, 4 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Lara: Chris Lewis 6.1 inn, 6 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
D.Anson 1.2 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Scroll down for a selection of images from Round Eight.
IN OTHER GRADES….
Bellarine rebounded from a loss and retains top billing in A RESERVE after its 6-0 win over fifth-placed Saints, while Guild Lions (third) dealt a 10-3 defeat to second-placed Guild Cubs, Deakin consolidated in fourth with a 13-4 result over Mounties and Newport stayed in the mix by downing Lara 8-7. With its 4-1 win over fourth-placed Bacchus Marsh, Sunshine has gained a break on the five-club field in B GRADE, where Alfredton (second) jumped Deakin early days and strolled away 9-0 behind another fine performance by Dan Hamilton on the hill.