Bears shade Rams: Lions win catfight with late rally
18 August 2018
It was a wild, wet and windy Saturday across the league for the penultimate round of senior games, as finals aspirants sought to consolidate or improve their positions while those falling short of post-season action strove to finish their campaigns on a positive note.
Daunting as conditions were, the round produced two ripping A Grade contests that saw Guild muster four in the last to pinch a 7-5 thriller over Lara Wildcats and Bellarine edge out Newport 6-5 in a result that may – pending final round results - require application of the tie-breaker to decide second placing.
In other games, fourth-placed Deakin found scoring tough going early days before dispensing 11-0 with a gutsy Colac Braves, while Saints smashed fifteen in the second innings on their way to a massive 23-1 win over Mounties in seriously bleak conditions.
What may have developed into a unique situation in Geelong Baseball Association senior competition sees A Grade clubs in Bellarine and Newport potentially dead-locked for second placing – and the coveted double chance – should they win next Saturday, against Deakin and Saints respectively.
Should either lose – of course a possibility – then all of this assumes academic interest only. However, as it stands, both teams are at fifteen wins, four losses and a draw. They have played each other three times – for a win apiece, and a draw, so they cannot be separated on head to head.
When we apply GBA Playing Condition 43 (IE factor in the lesser number of runs allowed in games between the teams), then they can still not be separated. Each has allowed fifteen runs to the other over the three games.
The next relevant criterion is the lesser number of runs allowed in games against the highest-rank team in the competition – IE Guild, which cannot lose top placing. Now if my addition is correct, both Bellarine and Newport have conceded sixteen runs each to Guild over three games played. So that consideration cannot be applied to split the two teams, requiring that we go to runs conceded to the next-ranked team.
Factoring Bellarine and Newport out of that equation (because they cannot yet be split), it appears we then have to consider runs conceded to the currently fourth-placed team – which will be Deakin.
Newport has played Deakin three times and has allowed sixteen runs. Bellarine has played Deakin twice, in allowing twelve runs - and the Bears will play the Blues next Saturday.
GBA folks, this is all off the top of my head as a humble old scribe with maybe too much time on his hands. I could be missing something, the numbers could be wrong, the Pennant Committee or other administrators might have a different take on this altogether. However, the way I see it is this. If Bellarine and Newport both win next Saturday, A Grade second placing will be decided on scores in the Bellarine versus Deakin game.
Bellarine (I reckon) would need to allow no more than three runs to Deakin to nail the double chance.
Should the Bears allow four runs while winning that game, then we would be required to go to Saints, the next-ranked club. Then Lara, Mounties and Colac if required.
A game of numbers indeed, this baseball!
In the meantime, I am sure that GBA administration and certain clubs will be checking results, perusing the regulations and doing the sums to help sort out what is an unusual and fascinating set of circumstances in seeking to separate two most worthy finalists.
DEAKIN 11 defeated COLAC 0
While there may have been nothing much riding on this contest for Deakin – which was already assured of a post-season berth – the Braves did a solid early job of stifling a Blues offence that takes pride in its performance yet was unable to assert its authority until later in the contest.
Taking the start for Colac, Michael Reid did a superb job in scattering five hits and conceding single runs in the third and the fifth before the Blues launched a serious assault against reliever Alex Lewis and put the contest beyond doubt with a five-spot in the last – thanks in part to some errant defence that yielded three unearned when the game was gone.
Connor Hickey (three hits and an RBI), Mark Rigby (one and three), Kobe Greenhalgh (two and one), Lachlan Medew (two and two) and Cam Lyons (two hits) produced the offence for Deakin, while Alex Lewis posted the only safe hits for the Braves – who were well held by Andrew Brady (three innings) and Chris Webb (who went hitless over four).
Such was the dominance of the Deakin pitching that Lewis was the sole Colac runner to reach base – only to be hosed at second anyhow.
After one of its better defensive outings of the season, Colac will look to generate some offence for its home game against Lara next Saturday, while Deakin will trek to Bellarine for what may well be a Semi-Final dress rehearsal.
COLAC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (0) 3 errors
DEAKIN 0 0 1 0 1 5 4 (11) 0 errors
Deakin: C.Hickey 3, K.Greenhalgh 2, L.Medew 2, C.Lyons 2, M.Rigby, P.Moulton, C.Webb
Deakin: M.Rigby 3, L.Medew 2, K.Greenhalgh, C.Webb, C.Hickey
Colac: M.Reid 5 inn, 5 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 3 HPB, 2 ER
A.Lewis 0.2 inn, 3 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 5 ER
B.Delorenzo 0.1 inn, 4 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
Deakin: A.Brady 3 inn, 1 H, 4 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
C.Webb 4 inn, 0 H, 3 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
BELLARINE 6 defeated NEWPORT 5
With the clubs vying for second placing – and a double chance – this clash surely lived up to expectations, with the visitors gaining an early break before a Rams comeback and a game-deciding top of the last when the Bears edged ahead.
Spinning perhaps his best outing of the season for Bellarine, Simon Murry tossed six quality innings in support of his club’s barnstorming start, although he was let down somewhat in defence – with unearned runs proving a factor as Newport took a narrow lead in the bottom of five.
Equally solid for the home side, David Asp departed the hill after six – for two earned runs – before reliever Jason Lester ran into some late strife and the Bears snatched a lead in the top of the last, while their closer Pat Brackley applied the screws with a hitless stint.
With a solo home run, Lewis Weldon made a timely return for Bellarine, who were well served in offence by Brock Wells (two hits and two RBIs), Murry (two hits) and Lachlan Stott (two hits), while James Walshe (two knocks) was a livewire in a Newport side that again enjoyed contributions throughout the order.
Locked in a tussle with the Bears for second, Newport will be away to Saints for what it will regard as a must-win next Saturday, while Bellarine will host Deakin in a match-up of equal import for an ursine brigade bent on going one better than its runner-up status last year.
BELLARINE 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 (6) 3 errors
NEWPORT 0 0 1 2 2 0 0 0 (5) 3 errors
Bellarine: B.Wells 2, S.Murry 2, L.Stott 2, C.Brown, L.Weldon (home run), P.Brackley
Newport: J.Walshe 2, J.Thorne, A.Green, R.Longstaff, Z.Seipolt, J.Charles, J.Vanderlinde
Bellarine: B.Wells 2, L.Weldon, W.Visser
Newport: A.Green, Z.Seipolt, J.Charles, J.Vanderlinde, M.Wray
Bellarine: S.Murry 6 inn, 8 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
P.Brackley 2 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Newport: D.Asp 6 inn, 6 H, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
J.Lester 1 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
J.Thorne 1 inn, 1 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER
SAINTS 23 defeated MOUNTIES 1
Plating four in the first – and with hard-throwing Connor Hughes impressive on the hill - Saints were on pretty good terms with themselves early days, although no-one would have predicted a fifteen-run avalanche in the second that sucked all oxygen from the contest as the visitors built to a thumping final scoreline.
The bizarre second innings breakout was assisted largely by a couple of key Mounties defensive errors with two out, although the home side – which failed to record a hit – was never in the contest and wound down to a comprehensive loss that included eight unearned runs as hurlers Jedd Miller, Gavin Smith and Sean Best did their best to stem the flow.
Despite issuing eight walks in difficult conditions, Hughes was super-impressive, along the way carding three of his side’s RBIs to be among a host of contributors that included Luke Sherwell (two hits and three RBIs), George Polley (two and five), Josh Lee (one and three) and Dion Kirchner (two hits).
A string of extra base hits - in the second, especially – proved too much for a Mounties side that has been seriously outgunned by Saints for three heavy losses this season.
Away to Guild next Saturday, Mounties will be aiming to finish their season with a degree of competitiveness, while Saints will be looking to finish their A Grade season with a bold showing at home.
SAINTS 4 15 4 (23) 0 errors
MOUNTIES 0 0 1 (1) 2 errors
Saints: L.Sherwell 2, G.Polley 2, D.Kirchner 2, J.Hosking, C.Thompson, J.Lee, E.Rickard
Saints: G.Polley 5, L.Sherwell 3, C.Hughes 3, J.Lee 3, C.Thompson 2, J.Hosking, M.Alldis, E.Rickard
Saints: C.Hughes 3 inn, 0 H, 3 Ks, 8 BB, 2 HPB, 1 ER
Mounties: J.Miller 1.1 inn, 7 H, 0 K, 4 BB, 2 HPB, 7 ER
G.Smith 0.1 inn, 1 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 2 HPB, 4 ER
S.Best 1.1 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 1 HPB, 4 ER
GUILD 7 defeated LARA 5
Despite their relative club placings on the A Grade ladder, this always shaped as a tough contest given the quality of playing personnel on both clubs – especially the starting pitching, which pitted two of the league best in Brad Egan and Cameron Forbes.
A defensive slip-up allowed the Lions to score in the top of the first, although they returned the favour with two unearned in the equaliser before the two big righties imposed their authority on the game until the top of fifth – when Lara reliever Chris Lewis conceded two on a HPB and three timely hits by the Guild offence.
Responding with four timely hits of their own, the Wildcats again drew to a one-run lead before it all unravelled in the top of the last – when a couple of passes combined with four hits to glean a match-breaking four runs for the Lions, who held on stoutly in the face of a late challenge.
While Forbes and Egan were both terrific, other name players stood up for their respective clubs – with Troy Snarey (three hits and two RBIs), Chris Durston (three and two), Jarrod Durston (two hits) and Jarryd Wood (two hits) playing key roles for Guild, while Ross Wilson (three hits and two ribbies), Cam Forbes (one and two) and Stuart Forbes (two hits) were productive for the Wildcats.
It has been a topsy-turvy season for the Wildcats, who will bow out for 2018 with an away fixture against Colac next Saturday, while Guild will tune up for another finals campaign with a home game against Mounties.
GUILD 1 0 0 0 2 4 (7) 2 errors
LARA 2 0 0 0 2 1 (5) 1 error
Guild: T.Snarey 3, C.Durston 3, Jarryd Wood 2, J.Durston 2, H.Levy
Lara: R.Wilson 3, S.Forbes 2, C.Forbes, J.Fraim, Clinton Lewis, T.Arandt
Guild: T.Snarey 2, B.Jensz 2, C.Durston 2
Lara: R.Wilson 2, C.Forbes 2
Guild: B.Egan 5 inn, 6 H, 4 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
James Wood 1 inn, 3 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
Lara: C.Forbes 3 inn, 2 H, 6 Ks, 0 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER
Chris Lewis 2.1 inn, 6 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 4 ER
D.Anson 0.2 inn, 3 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
IN OTHER GRADES......
An outside chance of making the playoffs in A RESERVE coming into this round, Newport was highly competitive against league-leading Bellarine Bears, who held out for a 5-4 win, while Guild Lions snuck back into second with its 8-5 result over Lara and Deakin sealed a post-season berth with a 7-2 win over Guild Cubs, who slipped to third. Saints plated four in the first and overcame Mounties 13-2. While Bellarine will finish clearly on top in this grade, the double chance is up for grabs in the last round – when the Bears play Deakin, the Lions host Mounties and the Cubs play host to Lara.
Assured of a top-two finish in B GRADE, Sunshine was too strong for its 11-3 win over Deakin in a rain-interrupted contest and will look on with the bye next week. Blasting seven in the third – and with Dan Hamilton and Ben Mitchell playing starring roles - Alfredton crushed Saints 12-1 to be favoured to snare the minor premiership, while Bacchus Marsh and Saints will fill third and fourth in either order depending on results in Round Nineteen.
While Corio will be a runaway minor premier in B RESERVE, other certain finalists in Saints and Guild will meet next week to decide second placing after the haloes smashed Bellarine 23-7. Colac’s 24-4 result over cellar-dwelling Deakin enabled the Braves to sneak into fourth, although they will meet the Bears next Saturday for what should be a ding-dong battle to decide which team goes through.
With its big win over league-leading Mounties – who should hold their position – Corio has generated real interest into the final round of C GRADE, where second-placed Guild dealt a 9-6 loss to Saints Black, whose game against the Tigers next week takes on decisive proportions. Facing Guild next Saturday for what may be a vital game, Newport strengthened its position with a 22-10 result over Saints Red, who matched the Rams with nine in the last but were always in strife after their opponent plated ten in the first.
JUNIOR GRAND FINALS
Both the Under 12 and Under 14 Grand Finals will be held at Geelong Baseball Centre on Saturday 25 August. Please check back here during the week for starting times and ground allocation.
Scroll down for a selection of images from Round Eighteen.