Saints alive: Deakin by a whisker

Kingsley Collins

1 June 2019

After dropping its first three games, East Belmont continued to build its A Grade season – this time with a 5-0 whitewash of the visiting Ballarat Royals – while Deakin moved into third placing with its last-gasp 3-2 win over Lara Wildcats.


Highballing at the top of the table, Bellarine could muster just five hits but was nevertheless able to hold off Guild 4-2 in a pitcher-dominated affair at the stadium.


Although club baseball will take a break over Queen’s Birthday weekend, there will be no rest for some, as GBA will be among contenders at the Senior Winter Championship to be held at Geelong Baseball Centre from Saturday through to Monday. Our Series Preview will be posted early in the week.

SAINTS 5 defeated ROYALS 0

Winless after three, Saints have engineered a stunning turnaround in their form by posting five wins and a draw from their last six outings – enough to lift them into second placing on the A Grade table and in so doing raise the spirits of club faithful who have been starved for a decade of a pennant at this level.


Spinning a complete game against the Royals, new arrival Cody Anderson was quite superb in whiffing ten while conceding three scattered hits – the first of those not until the top of six – and allowing just a handful of runners to land on base.


While Royals starter Brendan Robinson gave his side a quality start, Saints gained a mid-game break – including a three-run fourth sparked by a lead-off double of the bat of youngster Keenan Spence that was backed up by two walks, a sacrifice bunt and three hits.


Although playing errorless defence, the Royals line-up was comprehensively out-gunned by Anderson – who was accorded great support by his own hitters, including the in-form Steven Fox (three hits), Trevor Elliott (two hits and two RBIs), Spence (two doubles), George Polley and Dion Kirchner.


Already looming as a serious contender with eleven regular season games to play, Saints will resume after the Winter Championship with an away game against Guild – who they have already beaten -while the Royals, who have slipped to fourth, will be at home to Lara.

ROYALS   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   (0)  0 errors

SAINTS    0 0 1 3 1 0 0 x     (5)   2 errors


Royals:  J.Isbister, L.Ashmore, H.Pfeiffer

Saints:  S.Fox 3, T.Elliott 2, K.Spence 2, J.Lee, G.Polley, D.Kirchner, L.Sherwell


Royals:  nil

Saints:  T.Elliott 2, G.Polley, D.Kirchner


Royals:  B.Robinson 6.1 inn, 11H, 2 Ks, 4 BB, 1 HPB, 5 ER

M.Collins 0.2 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER

Saints:  C.Anderson 8 inn, 3 H, 10 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER

Scroll down for more images from this game (kindly supplied by Philip Sage):

DEAKIN 3 defeated LARA 2

Despite being on the receiving end of a couple of heavy losses, a full-strength Deakin has been favoured by the pundits from very early this season – and its supporters will clearly relish this important win for the Blues brothers, even though it was tough going against a Wildcats outfit that forced another tight finish.


After Deakin plated early runs, the Wildcats drew level in the bottom of three to provide offensive support for starter Gregg Anderson, who enjoyed a better day at the ballpark than a couple of his more recent outings before handing the pill to Dan Anson with the game up for grabs.


With one out in the top of seven (the last), Troy Malthouse doubled for Deakin and scored on a Pat Moulton single into rightfield for the go-ahead run – a break that proved decisive as Moulton proceeded to close out the game with bases juiced for the Wildcats.


While Anderson and Anson were effective in restricting the visitors to six hits (two of those to Andy Medew), the complete-game Moulton outing was ultra-effective – with Stuart Forbes (two hits), Anson (double), Ross Wilson (double) and Jared Bermann (hit and RBI) delivering a limited Lara offence.


Lara will make the trek to Ballarat when competition resumes on Saturday after the Queen’s Birthday break and Deakin – now sitting third - will be at home to league-leading Bellarine (Sunday game).

DEAKIN   1 1 0 0 0 0 1     (3)  0 errors

LARA       0 0 2 0 0 0 0   (2)  1 error


Deakin:  A.Medew 2, M.Rigby, T.Malthouse, P.Moulton, E.Hosking

Lara:  S.Forbes 2, D.Anson, R.Wilson, J.Bermann, G.Anderson


Deakin:  K.Greenhalgh, P.Moulton, E.Hosking

Lara:  J.Bermann


Deakin:  P.Moulton 7 inn, 6 H, 8 Ks, 2 ER

Lara:  G.Anderson 5.2 inn, 3 H, 5 Ks, 2 ER

D.Anson 1.1 inn, 3 H, 0 K, 1 ER

BELLARINE 4 defeated GUILD 2

The Lions suffered their second loss on the trot – this time at the hands of Bellarine Bears, who remain ensconced at the top of the A Grade table and are looking pretty good to progress towards another post-season appearance.


In a contest dictated largely by emerging young pitching talent, it was the Bears who were able to gain early ascendancy – with two in the second (assisted by an error) and again in the third as Guild starter Hayden Peoples struggled momentarily after a scoreless first frame and Daniel Stott cashed in with a two-RBI double off reliever Jarrod Durston.


While the Lions edged back into contention through the middle innings - and as Durston held the Bears hitters well in check - Bellarine was especially well-served by Lachlan Hockey (two earned runs over four innings) before Pat Brackley relieved with three innings of scoreless work that secured a sixth win of a promising season to date.


Daniel Stott (two hits and two RBIs), Brock Wells (two hits) and Lachlan Stott (RBI) provided the telling offence for Bellarine in a tight offensive affair, while Manager Jason Peoples (two knocks) showed the way for a Guild offence that was unable to convert its opportunities into a winning score.


Sitting fifth going to the break – but obviously well among the action - Guild will play host to Saints in the next club round after the long weekend, while Bellarine will meet Deakin in a Sunday game at the university.

BELLARINE  0 2 2 0 0 0 0   (4)  1 error

GUILD            0 0 1 1 0 0 0   (2)  1 error


Bellarine:  B.Wells 2, D.Stott 2, K.Kiefel

Guild:  J.Peoples 2, R.Stewart, T.Luther-Wilson, T.Snarey, J.Renouf, J.Lekkas


Bellarine:  D.Stott 2, L.Stott

Guild:  T.Snarey, J.Lekkas


Bellarine:  L.Hockey 4 inn, 6 H, 5 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER

P.Brackley 3 inn, 1 H, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER

Guild:  H.Peoples 2.1 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 1 HPB, 3 ER

J.Durston 4.2 inn, 3 H, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER

Images from Guild versus Bellarine games (supplied by Mark Lazarus):      A GRADE        A RESERVE


Enjoying a purple patch in the higher grades, Saints have assumed A RESERVE league leadership (on head-to-head) with a 12-8 result over Ballarat Royals (who led seven-zip early but fell away), while Deakin held its share of first placing with a 4-3 result over Lara – which remains sixth behind Bellarine, after the Bears forced a 4-4 draw with third-placed Guild Lions.


There is intense interest in B GRADE, which this week saw Corio surge to the top of the table with its 11-0 win over Saints and Colac move to second (on head-to-head only) by smashing Sunshine 12-1 in something of an upset, while Alfredton retained fourth with a 9-4 result over a gutsy Newport Rams and Bacchus Marsh (fifth) posted a 14-1 scoreline over winless Guild Lions.


B RESERVE and C GRADE both still have Sunday games to play.

Scroll down for a few shots taken at the Royals versus Bellarine Red C Grade game.