Bears blank Saints: Deakin, Guild score heavily
28 July 2018
Conceding just three hits in a quality A Grade contest, Bellarine kept its double-chance prospects well and truly alive – and in so doing effectively put paid to Saints’ hopes of post-season action – while Newport overpowered Lara to hold second and Deakin effectively stitched up fourth spot with a thumping win over a Mounties outfit that again gifted a truckload of free passes.
Although fourteen runs in the top of the last capped a massive offensive day for the Lions against Colac, much of the interest in this lop-sided contest was generated by the Guild trio of pitchers – two of whom were the already accomplished sibling sons before father and former GBA superstar Bruce Wood took the pill to close out the game for the league leader.
While we can be sure that all clubs – regardless of current standing – will be keen to finish off their A Grade season in a positive manner, it has been clear for some time that Guild, Newport and Bellarine will fill the top three placings in some order or another. While it is difficult to imagine Guild losing top spot – it would have to drop at least two of its remaining games – the battle for second, and a double chance, is on in earnest.
Newport faces at least two tough contests and its penultimate game – against Bellarine – may be the deciding factor. The Rams certainly would not want to be relying on a last-round win over Saints to secure second placing – although that particular Saturday still might be crucial. While there is a school of thought that downplays the importance of a double chance, the fact remains that any team can have a bad game on any given day – and find itself out of contention notwithstanding its previous form against any particular opponent.
With Deakin beating Mounties today and Saints dropping their clash to Bellarine, the Blues are virtually assured of a post-season berth. Although they still have to face Guild and Bellarine, a win against either Saints or Colac should be to qualify for Semi-Final week.
DEAKIN 15 defeated MOUNTIES 3
Despite matching Deakin on hits – with nine apiece – Mounties were never in this contest after the Blues plated four in the bottom of the first and stormed away with a six-spot in the fourth against an opponent that provided the Blues with frequent scoring opportunities that were no doubt gratefully accepted by an opponent still looking to lock down a post-season berth.
With crafty old stager Andrew Brady again taking the start, Deakin looked to Chris Webb for another workmanlike stint in the set-up role before Pat Moulton closed out the game with two innings of quality work only marred by a two-run bomb to Jedd Miller in the fifth.
While he struggled with control on the hill, Mounties starter Gavin Smith (three hits) was a standout in offence - along with Miller – while Moulton complemented his closing effort with three hits and three RBIs to be among the best with the stick for Deakin, which was well-served by Webb (two and three) and Mark Rigby (two and two).
Playing solid defence, the Mounts could and should have been far more competitive in this contest but for the disparity in free passes – with the Deakin arms conceding just two walks and one HPB while the visitors racked up nine of the former and tattooed another eight.
In what should be another decent test for the 2016 premier, Deakin will host Guild next Saturday, while Mounties will be at home to Newport.
MOUNTIES 0 0 0 0 3 0 (3) 1 error
DEAKIN 4 1 0 6 2 2 (15) 0 errors
Mounties: G.Smith 3, S.Best, J.Miller (home run), S.Jones, G.Davidson, G.Masterson, X.Woolley
Deakin: P.Moulton 3, C.Webb 2, M.Rigby 2, K.Greenhalgh, C.Lyons
Mounties: J.Miller 2, G.Masterson
Deakin: P.Moulton 3, C.Webb 3, M.Rigby 2, K.Greenhalgh, C.Lyons, A.Ham, A.Brady
Mounties: G.Smith 2.2 inn, 5 H, ) K, 6 BB, 3 HPB, 8 ER
X.Woolley 2 inn, 4 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 5 HPB, 6 ER
J.Miller 0.1 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Deakin: A.Brady 1 inn, 1 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
C.Webb 3 inn, 5 H, 5 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
P.Moulton 2 inn, 3 H, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HPB, 3 ER
GUILD 24 defeated COLAC 1
Facing a tough assignment against the league pace-setter, Colac stuck to the task but was seriously out-gunned as the Lions forged to a substantial early break and constructed a crushing final innings as the Braves defence faltered under sustained pressure.
While the result was never in doubt, the scoreline was bloated by defensive errors that gifted ten unearned runs to an unforgiving Lions offence that amassed twenty-one hits through the agency largely of former Brave Troy Snarey (three hits and five RBIs), Jarryd Wood (four and three), Ryan Stewart (three and four – including a home run), Tony Kilfoyle (three and three), Chris Durston (two and three) and Jason Peoples (two and three).
Of special note for the winning team was the performance of its pitchers, with sixteen year-old starter Jarryd Wood conceding one hit over four before older brother James Wood chipped in with a scoreless frame and patriarch Bruce seized upon a rare opportunity to close out the game.
It created a circumstance that may be unique in GBA A Grade competition – one that was only slightly sullied when Brendan Delorenzo, always a terrific competitor, went deep off Wood Senior in the last.
Despite its heavy loss this week, Colac could well be a surprise packet in its away game against Saints next Saturday, and the in-form Guild will not be about to hold back when it meets Deakin at the university.
Scroll down for images from this game at Colac.
GUILD 3 3 2 1 1 14 (24) 0 errors
COLAC 0 0 0 0 0 1 (1) 5 errors
Guild: Jarryd Wood 4, R.Stewart 3 (inc home run), T.Kilfoyle 3, T.Snarey 3, C.Durston 2, J.Peoples 2, James Wood 2, H.Levy, T.Luther-Wilson
Colac: M.Reid, J.Hay, S.Lambert, B.Delorenzo (home run)
Guild: T.Snarey 5, R.Stewart 4, Jarryd Wood 3, T.Kilfoyle 3, J.Peoples 3, C.Durston 2, H.Levy 2, T.Luther-Wilson
Guild: Jarryd Wood 4 inn, 1 H, 4 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
James Wood 1 inn, 2 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER
B.Wood 1 inn, 1 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
Colac: B.Delorenzo 3 inn, 8 H, 3 Ks, 6 BB, 0 HPB, 6 ER
A.Lewis 3 inn, 13 H, 1 K, 4 BB, 0 HPB, 8 ER
BELLARINE 4 defeated SAINTS 0
Needing the win to have any realistic chance of sneaking into the playoffs, Saints played a pretty good game against a Bears side that is deadly dangerous on home turf, without being able to generate the offence – something that has plagued the haloes all season despite scoring twenty in one game a few weeks back.
While Saints could muster just three hits over eight innings played, the Bears made the very most of their limited opportunities against Josh Lee (six innings for eight punchouts), who was taken for a solo bomb by Cameron Brown in the third but was otherwise super-impressive until the home side manufactured a couple of late insurance runs.
In a game of tight defences, Brown, Simon Murry and Matt Sage shared mound duties to effect for the Bears, who are clearly managing their deep pitching roster with an eye to the post-season under Manager Brown – whose two hits (including the homer) were vital along with the contributions from fellow hurlers Murry (two hits and an RBI) and Sage (one and one).
Steven Fox (single and a walk), Gerard Carter (double and a walk) and Chris Rickard (single) were among just eight hitters to land on base for Saints – with none progressing safely past second.
Not wanting to offer any chance of an upset, Bellarine will be throwing everything into its away game against Lara, while Saints – which appears destined to again finish fifth – will be at home to Colac.
SAINTS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (0) 1 error
BELLARINE 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 x (4) 1 error
Saints: S.Fox, G.Carter, C.Rickard
Bellarine: C.Brown 2 (inc home run), S.Murry 2, W.Visser, L.Weldon, L.Stott, M.Sage
Bellarine: C.Brown, S.Murry, M.Sage
Saints: J.Lee 6 inn, 8 H, 8 Ks, 3 BB, 1 HPB, 4 ER
J.Isbister 1 inn, 0 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Bellarine: C.Brown 2 inn, 1 H, 2 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
S.Murry 4 inn, 1 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
M.Sage 2 inn, 1 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER
NEWPORT 11 defeated LARA 3
Now in second on head-to-head after heading the A Grade table for the first half-season, the Rams were not about to let this one slip, chasing Lara starter Chris Lewis from the hill in the second and proving far too accomplished for a seasoned opponent that has languished in the cellar all season.
While the full-on early assault included seven hits off the ever-reliable Lewis, his side’s cause was not helped by a string of Lara errors that yielded six unearned runs before Dan Anson settled the ship with a scoreless stint through the middle innings as the Wildcats chipped away at the deficit – to little avail, however, as the Rams put up a three-spot in the seventh to ice the game.
In probably his last game before heading back to college in United States, starter Tyler Comben was solid over five for the Rams - despite the efforts of Wildcats Ross Wilson (two hits and two RBIs) and Stuart Forbes (two hits) – before a wily David Asp slammed the gate.
For Newport, which played impeccable defence, the scoring firepower was provided by Justin Charles (two hits – including a home run – for three RBIs), Jayde Thorne (two hits and two ribbies), Aaron Green (two and two) and Troy Malthouse (two and one)
The Rams will trek to Ballarat to lock horns with lowly Mounties next Saturday, while it gets no easier for Lara – which will play host to an in-form Bellarine.
LARA 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 (3) 4 errors
NEWPORT 2 6 0 0 0 0 3 (11) 0 errors
Lara: S.Forbes 2, R.Wilson 2, C.Forbes, S.Baumann, M.McConnell, L.Arandt
Newport: J.Thorne 2, A.Green 2, T.Malthouse 2, J.Charles 2 (inc home run), Z.Seipolt, K.Morrison, H.Black, M.Wray
Lara: R.Wilson 2, J.Fraim
Newport: J.Charles 3, J.Thorne 2, A.Green 2, Z.Seipolt, T.Malthouse
Lara: Chris Lewis 1.2 inn, 7 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
D.Anson 3.1 inn, 4 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
C.Forbes 2 inn, 1 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER
Newport: T.Comben 5 inn, 4 H, 5 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
D.Asp 3 inn, 4 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
IN OTHER GRADES......
Guild Lions have slipped ahead of Guild Cubs in A RESERVE, moving to second with their 7-2 win at the stadium on Friday night, although both are still well adrift of Bellarine, which pipped Saints 2-0 in a ripper game for the Bears’ fourteenth win. Newport blanked Lara 8-0 and Deakin accounted for Mounties 12-2 to keep both clubs well in contention along with Saints – who will probably need to win three of their last four to make the post-season.
Already a pronounced favourite in B GRADE competition, ladder-leading Sunshine dealt Alfredton a heavy 14-2 loss, although the Eagles cannot drop lower than second ahead of Saints, who retain third despite being blanked 4-0 in a superb pitching effort by fourth-placed Bacchus – with both yet susceptible should Deakin conjure up a winning streak.
Guild posted a hard-fought 12-7 result over Saints in B RESERVE, taking the Lions into second ahead of the haloes, with Corio certain to finish atop the standings while Colac and Bellarine – who slugged out a 6-6 draw - are rough chances of making the post-season.
Struggling for playing numbers a couple of days ago, Guild strengthened its grip on second in C GRADE, compliments of a thumping 18-1 win over Saints Red, while Mounties held top billing with a comprehensive 18-4 result over Lara. Corio dealt a 7-3 loss to Newport – which remains in third – while fourth-placed Saints Black downed Bellarine 18-9 but did it somewhat tougher than it might have expected against a Bears outfit that has stuck to its guns wonderfully well and deserves a win.