Bears belt Wildcats: Royals top Guild
25 May 2019
It was an unproductive Saturday for A Grade clubs of the feline persuasion, as Bellarine (5-3) consolidated at the top of the table with a thumping 12-3 win over Lara Wildcats (3-5) and Ballarat Royals (4-4) registered an impressive 8-2 victory over a subdued Guild Lions (4-4) that is in rebuilding mode after years of paralleled success.
Contrasting with two clear-cut results – of which there have been a few in recent weeks - the thriller of the round was delivered at Deakin, where the Blues (3-4, with a draw) recovered from a difficult position to force a 6-6 split with East Belmont Saints (4-3-1), which coughed up unearned runs in the last.
Scroll down for a selection of images from this round.
BALLARAT ROYALS 8 defeated GUILD 2
Looking very much the part in both appearance and demeanour, the rebranded Ballarat club plated three in the first – compliments of timely hitting – and it held the Lions to a one-run third after the visitors threatened to construct a big inning.
A second Guild run in the top of four closed the gap, although Royals starter Jordan Isbister was steady on the hill and was accorded offensive support with a score in the equaliser and a three-spot in the fifth – an outburst sparked by a booming RBI-triple off the bat of pinch hitter Brendan Walsh followed by singles to Mitch Collins and Leigh Ashmore as Guild reliever Hayden Peoples came under fire.
Among players representing the future of their club, starter Travis Duxson and Peoples were solid enough for Guild, whose offence – aside from Jarrod Durston (two hits and an RBI), Tyler Luther-Wilson and Peoples himself (two knocks) - was well-held by Isbister in a complete-game outing, while Ashmore (three hits and two RBIs), classy third-sacker Tyler Channell (three and one), Hayden Pfeiffer (hit and two RBIs), Scott Kerr and Walsh all struck timely blows for the Royals.
Saints will be at home to the Royals next Saturday for what should be a cracking game between two league improvers, while Guild faces a tough assignment when it plays host to league-leading Bellarine.
GUILD 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 (2) 2 errors
ROYALS 3 0 0 1 3 1 x (8) 0 errors
Guild: J.Durston 2, H.Peoples 2, T.Snarey, T.Luther-Wilson, J.Renouf, S.Barnes
Royals: L.Ashmore 3, T.Channell 3, S.Kerr, M.Collins, H.Pfeiffer, J.Miller, B.Walsh
Guild: C.Durston, T.Luther-Wilson
Royals: L.Ashmore 2, H.Pfeiffer 2, S.Kerr, M.Collins, T.Channell, B.Walsh
Guild: T.Duxson 3.1 inn, 5 H, 2 Ks, 5 BB, 2 HPB, 4 ER
H.Peoples 2.2 inn, 6 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 2 HPB, 3 ER
Royals: J.Isbister 6.1 inn, 8 H, 3 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
DEAKIN 6 drew with SAINTS 6
Enjoying a terrific run in recent weeks, Saints were provided early impetus when Steven Fox blasted a solo missile over the leftfield wall in the first, although the Blues manufactured a reply of their own and remained well in the contest as Chris Webb settled into his work.
Scores in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh helped Saints to a handy lead behind starter Emerson Rickard, who conceded a second run in the fifth – both thus far unearned – before handing the pill to import Cody Anderson after a stellar outing for the haloes.
While Fox knocked in a sixth run for Saints in the top of the last – to extend the lead – the game was far from done as the Blues engineered an unlikely comeback that exploited some errant pitching, defensive slip-ups and timely hitting by Cameron Moule and Rudy Jaramillo that gleaned four late runs and an unlikely split result.
Fox (two hits – including the homer - and two RBIs), Josh Lee (one and two), Will Brennan (hit, two walks, RBI) and Cooper Rickard (hit, RBI) were best with the bat for Saints, while Rudy Jaramillo (two hits and an RBI), Troy Malthouse, Moule and Mark Rigby (two walks) were important in a game in which unearned runs played a pivotal role.
Fifth-placed Deakin will be away to Deakin next Saturday - in a game of import to both clubs - and Saints plays host to Ballarat Royals coming off a big win over Guild.
SAINTS 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 (6) 4 errors
DEAKIN 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 (6) 2 errors
Saints: S.Fox 2 (home run), J.Lee, D.Kirchner, W.Brennan, C.Rickard
Deakin: R.Jaramillo 2, C.Moule, T.Malthouse, Z.Seipolt, E.Hosking
Saints: S.Fox 2, J.Lee 2, W.Brennan, C.Rickard
Deakin: C.Moule, T.Malthouse, R.Jaramillo
Saints: E.Rickard 7 inn, 4 H, 4 Ks, 0 ER
C.Anderson 1 inn, 2 H, 2 Ks, 1 ER
Deakin: C.Webb 7 inn, % H, 7 Ks, 3 ER
P.Hassan 1 inn, 1 H, 0 K, 1 ER
BELLARINE 12 defeated LARA 3
Breezing through a scoreless first on half a dozen pitches, Lara starter Dan Anson was collared in the second, when three strikeouts were counterbalanced by three hits to produce two early runs for the Bears – although the response was decisive, as two walks, a Joel Ricketts double and a grounder squared the ledger for Lara.
In a show of offensive support for starter Josh Crotty, Bellarine continued the attack in earnest during a five-run third that drew Gregg Anderson into the fray with the home club holding a five-run break that was stretched even further when Patrick Brackley smacked a two-run double for the Bears in the fifth before taking the ball in relief of Crotty.
With Anderson having control issues, the Bears posted a late three-spot to emerge a comfortable winner against a Lara outfit that could muster just six hits – two each to Stuart Forbes and Ricketts – while Brackley (two hits and three RBIs, with a walk) was a standout for Bellarine along with evergreen Geoff Rome (two and three, with a walk), Wayne Visser (two and one, with a walk), Lachlan Stott (one and two, two walks) and Lachlan Hockey (two hits).
Bellarine will be away to Guild next Saturday – likely bent on atonement against a club that has caused the Bears grief in recent finals series – while Lara, at home to Deakin Blues, will be looking to arrest its slump.
LARA 0 0 2 0 0 1 (3) 2 errors
BELLARINE 0 2 5 0 2 3 (12) 2 errors
Lara: S.Forbes 2, J.Ricketts 2, D.Anson, P.Pruis
Bellarine: P.Brackley 2, W.Visser 2, L.Hockey 2, G.Rome 2, L.Weldon, D.Stott, L.Stott
Lara: D.Anbson, J.Ricketts, T.Arandt
Bellarine: G.Rome 3, P.Brackley 3, L.Stott 2, W.Visser, L.Weldon, D.Stott
Lara: D.Anson 2 inn, 7 H, 3 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 6 ER
G.Anderson 3.2 inn, 4 H, 0 K, 8 BB, 0 HPB, 4 ER
Bellarine: J.Crotty 5 inn, 4 H, 3 Ks, 6 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
P.Brackley 1 inn, 2 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
Saints joined three other A RESERVE clubs on three wins with a thumping 14-0 result over Deakin, while Bellarine made it two on the trot with a 2-1 thriller over Lara and Bellarine Royals emerged on the credit side of a 16-15 result in a slugfest against Guild Lions.
In what is becoming a fascinating B GRADE competition, Sunshine has assumed ladder leadership with a merciless 25-0 result over Newport, while Corio jumped into second with its last-gasp 9-6 win over Colac, which slips to third on head-to-head above Alfredton, a 12-4 winner over Guild – which was unable to build on an early lead. Always around the money in this grade, Bacchus Marsh finished with a rush against Saints – with four in the eighth that secured a 7-2 win.
Despite its rainout against Colac, Saints have edged into shared leadership with Deakin on the B RESERVE table after the Blues pipped North West Titans 6-5 in a ripper contest. Guild held off a fast-finishing Ballarat Royals 12-9 and Bellarine downed Saints Red 13-8 in a Sunday clash, as this grade continued to tighten around nine teams all having showed their winning capability.
Still undefeated after four, Corio – which is enjoying success across all three teams - was challenged by Colac in C GRADE before emerging an 8-5 winner, while Deakin held sway 14-6 over the Royals, Lara moved into third with a strong 10-4 result over Bellarine Red and Saints notched their first win in an 11-6 clash with Bellarine Blue.