Lions too strong: Bears edge home
4 August 2019
Matched through five by a dogged Ballarat Royals, Guild exploded with a seven-spot in the sixth to set up a decisive 11-2 A Grade result in freezing conditions at Prince of Wales this afternoon, while Bellarine tracked down a deficit in its away game against Lara before delivering a last gasp go-ahead for a crucial 4-3 win that strengthens the Bears’ grip on ladder leadership.
With the Wildcats and Royals both losing their Saturday games, the stage was set for a spirited Sunday clash between Saints and Deakin - one that developed into a ripping defensive contest and pitching duel that saw Saints emerge a 3-0 winner after nine intense innings.
Scroll down for a selection of images from Round Fourteen. Senior Ladders are available under the Competition tabs.
GUILD 11 defeated BALLARAT ROYALS 2
Buoyed by a Brendan Robinson driven triple play to end the reserves game, the Royals breezed through the first of a vital contest for both clubs before Guild reminded all and sundry of its offensive capability when Ben Jensz launched a two-run missile over the leftfield wall in the top of the second.
Settling after the telling blow, consistent Royals starter Jordan Isbister kept tabs on the Lions hitters and was afforded run support in the bottom of five, when Jed Miller smacked a two-out, two-run double in to square the ledger and draw Jarrod Durston to the hill in relief of Hayden Peoples – who had again been quite outstanding for his club.
A muffed defensive play in the top of six appeared the catalyst for the Lions, who fully exploited the opportunity with a blistering seven-run outburst that placed the game well beyond reach of the Royals – who had struggled for offensive production all day and were unable to generate anything of note as Durston and Jarryd Wood combined to close out the game.
Allowed limited opportunities by the Guild pitching trio, the Royals could muster just four hits – with Scott Kerr and Miller the standouts – while their opponent applied enormous sustained pressure through the likes of Chris Durston (two hits and two RBIs), Angus McNee (two and two), Ryan Stewart (one and two), Jarrod Durston (two hits) in support of elder statesmen Jensz (two and two) and the irrepressible Troy Snarey (who did serious damage with four knocks and an RBI).
Still a chance of making the playoffs should they be able to win a couple and have other results fall their way, the Royals will be away to Saints next Saturday - while Guild, on a five-game winning streak, is scheduled for an away game against Bellarine on Sunday.
GUILD 0 2 0 0 0 7 0 2 (11) 1 error
ROYALS 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 (2) 1 error
Guild: T.Snarey 4, C.Durston 2, J.Durston 2, B.Jensz 2 (inc home run), A.McNee 2, R.Stewart, Jarryd Wood, J.Renouf
Royals: S.Kerr 2, J.Miller, H.Pfeiffer
Guild: C.Durston 2, R.Stewart 2, B.Jensz 2, A.McNee 2, T.Snarey
Royals: J.Miller 2
Guild: H.Peoples 4.2 inn, 1 H, 5 Ks, 3 BB, 3 HPB, 2 ER
J.Durston 2.1 inn, 3 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Jarryd Wood 1 inn, 0 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Royals: J.Isbister 5.2 inn, 9 H, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 2 HPB, 4 ER
B.Robinson 1.1 inn, 4 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
S.Jones 1 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
BELLARINE 4 defeated LARA 3
Without Simon Murry, Cameron Brown, Lachlan Hockey and another of their other young guns in Brock Wells – who has embarked upon a United States college career – the Bears were clearly at less than full strength to confront an improving Lara Wildcats, who despatched Cameron Forbes to the hill to make an early statement.
With both clubs going scoreless through three as Forbes and Pat Brackley held sway, Bellarine was first on the board with a run in the top of four for a lead that was quickly relinquished as the Wildcats took toll of defensive slips-ups to drive in three of their own – two of them unearned - in the equaliser.
Responding for his club in characteristic manner, tough competitor Wayne Visser hit safely to draw the Bears level in the top of six as both clubs rang the pitching changes.
Although Chris Lewis and Dan Anson were both terrific for the Wildcats in support of Forbes, the league-leading Bears rode a polished relief outing by Josh Crotty while plating in a go-ahead run in the top of the last for a hard-fought win that may prove pivotal for both clubs in the context of finishing positions after the regular season.
In a tight contest that saw both offences reasonably contained, Visser (hit and three RBIs), Kris Kiefel (two hits), Lewis Weldon (two hits) and Daniel Stott (two hits) showed the way for Bellarine, while Ross Wilson and Jared Berman knocked in a run apiece for the Wildcats.
With fourth placing still up for grabs between three clubs, Lara will be at home to Deakin next Saturday and Bellarine will play host to form side Guild in what should be a ripper Sunday game.
IMAGES from Lara vs Bellarine A Grade and A Reserve (supplied by Mark Lazarus)
BELLARINE 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 (4) 3 errors
LARA 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 (3) 1 error
Bellarine: K.Kiefel 2, L.Weldon 2, D.Stott 2, W.Visser
Lara: S.Forbes, D.Anson, J.Fraim, R.Wilson, T.Arandt
Bellarine: W.Visser 3
Lara: R,Wilson, J.Berman
Bellarine: P.Brackley 5 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 4 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
J.Crotty 3 inn, 3 H, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Lara: C.Forbes 3 inn, 4 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
C.Lewis 3 inn, 1 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
D.Anson 2 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
SAINTS 3 defeated DEAKIN 0 (Sunday)
This Sunday fixture produced the defensive game of the week, as quality pitching and stout defence by both clubs allowed a complete nine innings to be played – with Saints posting another impressive win that enabled them to hold second with just three rounds to play.
Deakin had their chances in the first, with first and second occupied and none out, and again in the third – with runners at second and third with one away – but after that did not advance a runner past second as Saints starter Josh Lee and reliever Cody Anderson applied the screws.
Although the Blues landed nine runners on base they could muster just two hits (Rudy Jaramillo and Lucas Simpson) while Lee and Anderson combined to whiff thirteen in a dominant dual display.
While Pat Moulton – backed by flawless defence - was quite outstanding for Deakin over a complete game for a modest six hits and just three passes, Saints were able to gain a break with a two-run third on knocks to Connor Hughes, Luke Sherwell and Dion Kirchner.
With Moulton spinning a subsequent five innings of scoreless work, it was not until the top of nine that the haloes added some insurance after Sherwell led off with a single and scored on a double to four hitter Anderson, who is proving an invaluable addition to the Saints roster.
Sherwell (two hits and an RBI), Anderson (double and RBI), Kirchner and George Polley (double) were best with the bat for Saints in a high quality contest between evenly-matched clubs – despite the current disparity in their standings.
Running out of chances if the club is to make a late rush for the post-season, Deakin will be away to Lara on Saturday, while Saints will play host to the Royals, who are in equal need of a win as finals loom.
SAINTS 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 (3) 2 errors
DEAKIN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (0) 0 errors
Saints: L.Sherwell 2, D.Kirchner, C.Anderson, G.Polley, C.Hughes
Deakin: R.Jaramillo, L.Simpson
Saints: L.Sherwell, C.Anderson
Saints: J.Lee 5 inn, 1 H, 6 Ks, 4 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
C.Anderson 4 inn, 1 H, 7 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Deakin: P.Moulton 9 inn, 6 H, 4 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
Anchored with a solid complete game outing by Xavier Woolley, Royals prevailed 11-2 in a top of the table clash with Guild in A RESERVE, drawing the Royals even closer to league-leading Lions, while Bellarine retained third with a narrow 4-2 result over cellar-dwelling Lara Wildcats and Deakin moved into fourth with a 6-4 win over Saints – which slipped a win behind the Blues.
High scoring was the order of the day among B GRADE contenders, with Corio thrashing Colac 16-1 to forge to the top of the table and send the Braves tumbling to fourth, while Sunshine moved to second after its 20-3 win over Newport. Alfredton packed too many guns in its 21-2 romp over Guild - enabling the Eagles to slide into third, narrowly ahead of Colac on winning percentage – while Saints posted an 11-4 result over a disappointing Bacchus Marsh. Although the top four clubs cannot miss out on finals action for this grade, there is intense interest in finishing order with a few massive games scheduled for the last three rounds.
There remain six sides in finals contention for B RESERVE, where league leader North West Titans posted an 11-4 win over Guild, second-placed Corio downed Colac 11-6 and Bellarine retained third after the bye. With both clubs scoring ten in a frenetic last innings, Deakin overpowered Saints Black 19-10 to edge ahead into fourth, while the Royals enjoyed a much-needed win – on a one run margin over Saints Red.
Although the current top three cannot miss finals action in C GRADE, Royals strengthened their position with a 10-6 win over Bellarine Blue – after blasting eight in the first – while Colac kept its slim hopes alive with a thumping 15-2 result against Saints, who are well out of contention.