Bears crush Deakin: Lions roar into third.
13 July 2019
Inclement weather was again a factor in GBA land this week, as biting winds, patchy rain and soggy grounds created a degree of disruption across the league.
While junior competitions were abandoned, along with three games in the lower grades, all A Grade fixtures were completed - each producing a notable outcome that might prove pivotal in the context of the season that has remained remarkably even.
League-leading Bellarine rebounded from a setback last week to trounce Deakin 16-3, Lara steamrolled a disappointing Ballarat Royals 14-4 and Guild stormed into third placing with a thrilling 12-11 result over East Belmont Saints.
Click the "Competition" tab for updated (unofficial) ladders.
LARA 14 defeated BALLARAT ROYALS 4
Although the Wildcats have languished in the cellar for much of this A Grade season, not too many people are in doubt of their capacity – with something approaching a full list of players, and especially at home – to cause baseball grief to any club in this league.
Today it was the turn of Ballarat Royals, who would have made the trek to Lara with a degree of confidence and would have been on decent terms with themselves after plating a couple in the first and holding a narrow lead into the bottom of three – when it all started to unravel for starter Brendan Robinson and reliever Mitch Collins as the Wildcats put up a five-spot backed by a half a dozen in the fifth to set up a comfortable win against a serious finals contender.
Having an apparently mesmeric effect on the Royals hitters – who could muster just three hits against his off-speed offerings – Chris Lewis carded a well-earned win for a Lara side that amassed fourteen hits in a powerful offensive performance which included telling contributions from Travis Arandt (three hits and four RBIs), the reliable Jarrod Fraim (three and three), Jared Berman (three and two), Dan Anson (two and one) and Cameron Forbes (two and one).
Responsible for three of their runs scored, Hayden Pfeiffer and George Davidson were most productive in offence for the Royals.
Now within striking distance of the top four, Lara will be at home to Bellarine next Saturday, while Royals will match up against a resurgent Guild Lions at Geelong Baseball Centre.
ROYALS 2 0 0 0 2 (4) 2 errors
LARA 1 0 2 5 6 (14) 3 errors
Royals: S.Kerr, H.Pfeiffer, G.Davidson
Lara: J.Fraim 3, J.Berman 3, T.Arandt 3, D.Anson 2, C.Forbes 2, R.Wilson
Royals: H.Pfeiffer 2, G.Davidson
Lara: T.Arandt 4, J.Fraim 3, J.Berman 2, S.Forbes, D.Anson, C.Forbes
Royals: B.Robinson 3.1 inn, 7 H, 2 Ks, 5 BB, 0 HPB, 7 ER
M.Collins 1.1 inn, 5 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 2 HPB, 2 ER
S.Jones 0.1 inn, 2 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
Lara: C.Lewis 5 inn, 3 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 2 HPB, 2 ER
BELLARINE 16 defeated DEAKIN 3
With a tenuous grip on third coming into this game, Deakin was rocked in the bottom of the first, when the home side belted five off Blues starter Chris Webb – on a combination of a walk, a fielder’s choice and four hits, including a bases-clearing double by Wayne Visser.
Although conceding a few passes, Bears starter Pat Brackley was offered serious run support as his side piled on three more in the second and third to spell the end for Webb, who was relieved by Ayden Ham with the game well gone despite the Blues scoring a run in the third and two more in the fourth – on a Zac Seipolt single.
The offensive assault continued in the bottom of four, as the Bears again hit through the order for five more – on six hits – before Ham spun a tidy last couple against a side that enjoyed contributions from all nine players in its lineup.
Posting the win for his club, Brackley was relieved by skipper Lewis Weldon, who tossed two scoreless innings towards the end and was among his club’s most prominent hitters (with three knocks and two RBIs) – though he had plenty of mates in a nineteen hit barrage built in large part by Daniel Stott (a blistering four hits and four RBIs), Visser (three and two), Lachlan Hockey (three and one), Brock Wells (two and one) and Simon Murry (two and one).
Holding a decent break at the top of the table but well aware of the vagaries of this competition, Bellarine will be away to Lara next Saturday and Deakin – who have slipped to fifth - will meet Saints at Pioneer Park, with both clubs coming off a loss.
IMAGES from A Grade and A Reserve at Bellarine today (kindly supplied by Mark Lazarus)
DEAKIN 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 (3) 3 errors
BELLARINE 5 3 3 5 0 0 x (16) 0 errors
Deakin: Z.Seipolt, M.Rigby, A.Medew
Bellarine: D.Stott 4, L.Weldon 3, L.Hockey 3, B.Wells 2, S.Murry 2, W.Visser 2, P.Brackley, K.Kiefel, L.Stott
Deakin: Z.Seipolt 2, A.Medew
Bellarine: D.Stott 4, W.Visser 3, L.Weldon 2, P.Brackley, B.Wells, K.Kiefel, S.Murry, L.Hockey, L.Stott
Deakin: C.Webb 3 inn, 13 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 12 ER
A.Ham 3 inn, 6 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 1 ER
Bellarine: P.Brackley 5 inn, 2 H, 3 Ks, 7 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
L.Weldon 2 inn, 1 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
GUILD 12 defeated SAINTS 11
Calling upon club depth of skill and resolve during what has been a challenging season thus far, Guild continues to readjust to changed circumstances, this time inflicting the narrowest of losses on East Belmont – which has had the wood on the Lions thus far in 2019.
Triples by Troy Snarey (Guild) and George Polley (Saints) were highlights of a tight first two innings before the Lions exploded with a six-run third against East Belmont starter Connor Hughes for a commanding break that was shaved drastically in the fourth – compliments largely of a second Polley triple and a Cody Anderson double.
While the Lions continued to press through the late innings, Saints were far from done in support of reliever Emerson Rickard - who conceded a solitary earned run - responding in the bottom of the fifth and again in the sixth (the last), when youthful Guild closer Travis Duxson fought his way out of a jam to retire the final two hitters and strand the tying run at first base.
Both beneficiaries of a couple of unearned runs, the clubs were evenly matched on hitting, with Ben Jensz (three hits and an RBI), Angus McNee (two and three), Troy Snarey (two and two) and Ryan Stewart (one and two) playing starring roles for the Lions, while Polley (two triples and four RBIs) was outstanding for Saints along with Luke Sherwell and Trevor Elliott.
Still comfortably placed in second, Saints will play host to a hot and cold Deakin next Saturday, while Guild – which has gone to third - will be home to the Royals in a game of great import to both clubs.
GUILD 1 1 6 0 2 2 (12) 1 error
SAINTS 0 2 0 4 2 3 (11) 2 errors
Guild: B.Jensz 3, T.Snarey 2, A.McNee 2, R.Stewart, J.Durston, T.Luther-Wilson, L.Harty
Saints: T.Elliott 2, G.Polley 2, T.Huisman, K.Spence, C.Anderson, D.Kirchner, L.Sherwell, G.Carter
Guild: A.McNee 3, R.Stewart 2, T.Snarey 2, B.Jensz, J.Renouf
Saints: G.Polley 4, L.Sherwell 3, T.Elliott, C.Anderson, D.Kirchner, G.Carter
Guild: J.Durston 3.1 inn, 3 H, 2 Ks, 3 BB, 1 HPB, 4 ER
H.Peoples 1.2 inn, 4 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
T.Duxson 1 inn, 3 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
Saints: C.Hughes 2.1 inn, 7 H, 2 Ks, 6 BB, 1 HPB, 8 ER
E.Rickard 4.2 inn, 4 H, 4 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
Posting a commanding 16-7 win over Saints in A RESERVE, league-leading Guild has pushed the haloes to fourth behind Ballarat Royals – who downed Lara 5-2 – and Deakin, which emerged a 2-1 winner over Bellarine to provide the top four with a degree of separation.
With the Saints/Colac and Sunshine/Alfredton games abandoned in B GRADE, it was left to Corio and Bacchus to consolidate their ladder positions – the former edging closer to second with its massive 34-1 win over Guild Lions and the fifth-placed Masons Lane Tigers dealing a 12-0 whitewash to Newport. While placings remain the same – for this week at least – some huge games scheduled over the next few weeks will have monumental bearing on post-season prospects.
North West Titans were the big mover in B RESERVE, inflicting a 7-3 loss on Saints Black, which has been dislodged from the top of the table, while Saints Red posted a 10-1 over Guild that will see the haloes outfit move into the top four, regardless of Sunday games to be played (Bellarine versus Colac and Deakin versus Corio).
With a Saturday washout (Saints versus Bellarine Red) and two C GRADE games still to be played on Sunday, there was little change to the standings, although Ballarat Royals have strengthened their position in the leading group with a hard-fought 8-4 result against Colac.