Rams snatch second as Deakin edges Bellarine
25 August 2018
While Geelong Baseball Association regular season finished just as A Grade games began in early April – with bright sunshine and perfect conditions across the league – for some teams there was far more riding on today’s results as they strove to finalise standings for the post-season starting next Saturday.
Already assured of the minor premiership, Guild tuned up for the finals with an 18-3 romp over an undermanned Mounties, while Colac finished its season in a positive vein with a 5-4 result over Lara.
Saints and Newport fought out a thrilling 1-1 draw, a result that was enough to secure second placing for the Rams – compliments of fourth-placed Deakin Blues, who edged out Bellarine 6-5 in an entertaining contest that foreshadows a repeat stoush in the Elimination Final next week.
Semi-Finals will be played next Saturday, with the higher finishing finalist in each senior grade the home team – playing at their club ground. The Semi-Final schedule, with times, will be posted late Sunday or early Monday pending confirmation of match results from this week.
Our Semi-Final Preview will be posted on the league website and linked via Facebook during Tuesday or Wednesday.
DEAKIN 6 defeated BELLARINE 5
While the Blues stood to gain not much from this contest – other than the ephemeral “psychological advantage” heading into the post-season – the home side certainly did, with a win of vital import if it was to challenge for the double chance.
Although Bellarine slugger Wayne Visser went deep in the fourth, solo homers by Cameron Lyons in the second and the fifth gave Deakin the ascendancy until the Bears levelled scores in the sixth on a two-run bomb by Lewis Weldon.
However, the Blues held more in store for Bellarine reliever Pat Brackley, who had thrown a clean sixth before the Deakin lower order came alive with a three-spot delivered by way of a walk and four consecutive hits for a lead that was shaved to within a whisker in a nine-innings arm-wrestle.
While the two Lyons blows were decisive, he shared the Deakin heroics with Chris Webb, who complemented his complete winning game with two hits to offer great offensive support along with Kobe Greenhalgh (two hits and two ribbies), Sam Fraser (two and one), Lachlan Medew and Connor Hickey as the visitors amassed ten hits to seven against an opponent that was best-served by Weldon, Visser, Chris Barker (two hits and an RBI) and Brackley (two knocks).
With Newport forcing a draw with Saints, the Deakin win ensured that Bellarine would finish in third placing on the A Grade table for a home Elimination Final against the fourth-placed club – Deakin – in what shapes as another ripping game at Wallington should today’s form be replicated.
DEAKIN 0 1 0 0 2 0 3 0 0 (6) 4 errors
BELLARINE 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 1 0 (5) 0 errors
Deakin: C.Lyons 2 (both home runs), K.Greenhalgh (two), C.Webb 2, S.Fraser 2, L.Medew, C.Hickey
Bellarine: C.Barker 2, P.Brackley 2, W.Visser (home run), L.Weldon (home run), S.Murry
Deakin: C.Lyons 2, K.Greenhalgh 2, S.Fraser, C.Hickey
Bellarine: L.Weldon 2, W.Visser, C.Barker
Deakin: C.Webb 9 inn, 7 H, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 2 HPB, 3 ER
Bellarine: S.Murry 5 inn, 6 H, 3 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
P.Brackley 4 inn, 4 H, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
SAINTS 1 drew with NEWPORT 1
In a winter season that has been characterised by blowouts and by a clear majority of games not stretching to the regulation nine innings, this was one of three wonderful baseball contests of the final round - although it remained a stalemate after eight.
With second placing potentially up for grabs, the Rams went with South African Olympics Qualifying squad member Jayde Thorne, who did not let his side down – spinning six innings for two hits and nine strikeouts despite a solitary unearned run on a wild throw in the first.
But while Thorne and reliever Jason Lester (two innings) were ultra-impressive for Newport, an errorless Saints defensive unit was brilliant in support of Josh Lee, whose six slick innings on the hill were only slightly marred in the fourth – when Newport converted a walk and three hits into their only run – before hard-throwing youngster Connor Hughes closed out the game with aplomb.
Although Saints stranded five runners on base to the Rams’ two, both sides struggled for offence, with Zac Seipolt (two hits and an RBI for Newport) a standout in a game that produced a combined total of just eight hits.
In a rebuilding phase and experiencing a significant turnover of personnel in 2018, Saints should not be unhappy with their fifth-place finish, while Newport has had a terrific season and has certainly earned a crack at reigning champion Guild Lions for the Qualifying Final at the stadium next Saturday.
NEWPORT 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 (1) 1 error
SAINTS 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (1) 0 errors
Newport: Z.Seipolt 2, M.Wray, R.Longstaff, T.Malthouse, J.Walshe
Saints: S.Fox, G.Carter
Newport: J.Thorne 6 inn, 2 H, 9 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER
J.Lester 2 inn, 0 H, 3 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Saints: J.Lee 6 inn, 6 H, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
C.Hughes 2 inn, 0 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
COLAC 5 defeated LARA 4
There would be few if any Geelong Baseball Association people – except the Wildcats maybe – who would not be delighted with the manner in which Colac has finished a disappointing season onfield.
Competitive in several of its games, the Braves have struggled for depth at this level and have tended to fall away later in games – not so today, however, as they recovered from a deficit to draw level in the seventh on four hits before plating the go-ahead in the bottom of the eighth against a tough offensive outfit.
While Lara starter Cameron Forbes was dominant in whiffing eight through three scoreless frames, the Braves found it a somewhat more comfortable assignment against Chris Lewis and Dan Anson – although both men have been stalwarts for the Wildcats this season.
Of particular note was the complete-game outing by Colac winning pitcher Michael Reid, who held a powerful Lara offence to nine hits – of which Jarrod Fraim (three hits and an RBI) and Cam Forbes (two hits – including a home run – for two ribbies) were major contributors, while Josh Hay (hit and two RBIs), Mark Billing (two hits and an RBI) and Tim Dickson (two hits) were productive for the Braves.
Finishing sixth and eighth respectively, Lara and Colac are no doubt aware of their current limitations at A Grade level, yet have displayed the character and the commitment – invariably within the spirit of the game - that will enable them to build further for 2019.
LARA 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 (4) 2 errors
COLAC 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 1 x (5) 3 errors
Lara: J.Fraim 3, C.Forbes 2 (inc home run), R.Wilson, S.Baumann, Clinton Lewis, D.Anson
Colac: T.Dickson 2, M.Billing 2, M.Reid, J.Hay, S.Lambert, B.Delorenzo
Lara: C.Forbes 2, S.Baumann, J.Fraim
Colac: J.Hay 2, M.Billing, S.Lambert
Lara: C.Forbes 3 inn, 1 H, 8 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Chris Lewis 4 inn, 6 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 1 HPB, 4 ER
D.Anson 1 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 1 ER
Colac: M.Reid 9 inn, 9 H, 6 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HPB, 3 ER
GUILD 18 defeated MOUNTIES 3
Another club that has struggled to perform consistently at this level in 2018 – too often through unavailability of key personnel - Mounties registered four wins on the season and were competitive in numerous games while absorbing more beltings than they would have liked.
Facing league-leading Guild with a depleted squad was always going to be a tough ask for the Ballarat club – and so it transpired, with the Lions plating four in the first, five in the second and an emphatic seven in the third of a lopsided contest before the Mounts rallied with three in the last, including a two-RBI Mitch Collins single.
In what became a common thread for Mounties in the second half-season, seven of the Guild runs were unearned, assisted largely by an overly generous total of eleven walks and two HPBs – mostly conceded by promising youthful starter Collins (2.1 innings) before Xavier Woolley steadied proceedings towards the end.
Collins (hit and two RBIs) and Jedd Miller (two hits and an RBI) headed a subdued Mounties offence, while Guild backed its pitching trio of Brad Egan, Jack Smythe and Jarryd Wood with some timely offence delivered by Harry Levy (two hits, sacrifice fly, walk and four RBIs), Jarrod Durston (two and three), Chris Durston (two and two), Ryan Stewart (one and two), Ben Jensz (two RBIs) and Jordan Lekkas (two ribbies).
While it is mothballs at A Grade level for Mounties – who are looking to success in the lower grades - Guild is building ominously, with its Qualifying Final clash against Newport at the stadium next Saturday the first hurdle as it rolls towards another A Grade title challenge.
MOUNTIES 0 0 0 0 3 (3) 4 errors
GUILD 4 5 7 2 x (18) 1 error
Mounties: J.Miller 2, M.Collins, X.Woolley, A.Creelman
Guild: C.Durston 2, J.Durston 2, H.Levy 2, R.Stewart, T.Kilfoyle
Mounties: M.Collins 2, J.Miller
Guild: H.Levy 4, J.Durston 3, R.Stewart 2, B.Jensz 2, C.Durston 2, J.Lekkas 2, Jarryd Wood, T.Snarey
Mounties: M.Collins 2.1 inn, 5 H, 1 K, 10 BB, 2 HPB, 9 ER
X.Woolley 1.2 inn, 4 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
Guild: B.Egan 2 inn, 1 H, 4 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
J.Smythe 1 inn, 0 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Jarryd Wood 2 inn, 4 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
A GRADE FINAL FOUR: Guild, Newport, Bellarine, Deakin
IN OTHER GRADES……
Runaway A RESERVE leader Bellarine packed too many guns in its 9-3 win over Deakin, who will retain fourth behind second-placed Guild Lions – who enjoyed a whopping win over Mounties – while Guild Cubs finish marginally ahead of the Blues in third, despite being rolled 11-3 by Lara Wildcats. A RESERVE FINAL FOUR: Bellarine, Guild Lions, Guild Cubs, Deakin
Spearheaded by stalwarts Roland Shaw and Chris Porter, third-placed Bacchus Marsh crushed Saints 12-1 in B GRADE, where Sunshine (which had the bye this week) will finish as minor premier regardless of second-placed Alfredton's 11-0 win over Deakin, which will finish fifth. B GRADE FINAL FOUR: Sunshine, Alfredton, Bacchus Marsh, Saints
Saints assured themselves of the B RESERVE double chance by plating six in the last for a famous 15-13 victory over Guild, who will wind up third ahead of Colac – which smashed Bellarine 17-5 to earn an Elimination Final berth against the Lions. Going through its season undefeated, Corio dispensed 17-7 with sixth-placed Deakin. B RESERVE FINAL FOUR: Corio, Saints, Guild, Colac
Mounties sealed the C GRADE minor premiership with a 20-11 result over Bellarine Bears (see images below) – who may not have won a game but demonstrated their unbridled enthusiasm and their improvement over the season by scoring their first double-digit tally of runs. While second-placed Guild and third-placed Newport retained their standings, the big mover was Corio, which surged to fourth with its whopping 20-2 result over Saints Black – which slipped to sixth behind Lara, an 18-1 winner over Saints Red. C GRADE FINAL FOUR: Mounties, Guild, Newport, Corio
JUNIOR GRAND FINALS were played on 25 August, with Deakin edging out Bellarine/Guild 8-6 to win the Under 12, while Saints prevailed 15-2 over Guild in Under 14. Congratulations to the winners, the runners-up, to all teams and to the Most Valuable Players (see images below).