Mothballs for many as playoffs loom
24 August 2019
With the A Grade four already settled, teams qualifying for post-season action had at least something to play for this week – both in terms of gaining that intangible mental edge over their opponents and allowing managers and players the opportunity to work around any injuries, playing form or other concerns in preparation for Semi-Final week.
Embarking on a scoring spree after a tight first two, Bellarine dealt a 10-2 loss to second-placed Saints, Guild faltered against Lara – which posted a 9-5 win in a Retro Day at the stadium – and Royals mounted a stirring recovery to nail Deakin 8-6 before a windswept throng gathered for a reunion of Ballarat baseball personnel.
With uncertainty over final placings in some of the lower grades coming in this week, Round Seventeen resolved the situation in an at times emphatic manner that will help add further interest in Semi-Finals scheduled for next weekend.
Pending notification of all final round results, Don Stephens will be working on a Semi-Final schedule, which we expect will involve both the Saturday and Sunday to some degree – so please keep your options open in that regard until details are released. At this stage it is anticipated that A Grade and A Reserve Semi-Finals will all be on Saturday.
The Semi-Final schedule will be posted both on the website and on Facebook, as it becomes available (the schedule, that is). Our Semi-Final Preview should be available by later on Tuesday.
Congratulations to all teams who have qualified for senior finals! Rest up, others, support your club teams and enjoy the break before we morph into summer season….and another winter….and summer…..dontcha love it?
BELLARINE 10 defeated SAINTS 2
With Cody Anderson (Saints) and Lachlan Hockey (Bellarine) spinning scoreless early innings, it was the Bears who came alive with a three-spot in the top of the third, compliments of timely hitting by key offensive players in Wayne Visser, Simon Murry and Lewis Weldon.
While Hockey held sway to put up zeroes in another superb outing (no hits over four scoreless frames), his side continued to press against Saints reliever Cooper Rickard – who experienced some control issues as the visitors stretched the lead in the fourth and fifth before Connor Hughes was called upon to stem the flow.
Holding a ten zip lead into the middle of six, the Bears remained untroubled despite a couple of late runs off Pat Brackley as the contest petered out to a fairly bland ending.
Applying a total of nine hits in effective scoring conversion, Bellarine was well-served by Visser (two hits and three RBIs in another telling performance), Murry (two and two), Kris Kiefel (one and two) and Weldon (one and two), while Josh Lee, Will Brennan and Connor Hughes were the only players to hit safely for Saints.
Bellarine will be home team to Saints when these two sides meet again in the Second Semi-Final at Bellarine on Saturday.
IMAGES from Saints/Bellarine A Grade and A Reserve (kindly supplied by Mark Lazarus)
BELLARINE 0 0 3 3 3 1 (10) 1 error
SAINTS 0 0 0 0 0 2 (2) 0 errors
Bellarine: W.Visser 2, S.Murry 2, L.Weldon, K.Kiefel, L.Hockey, A.Hockey
Saints: J.Lee, W.Brennan, C.Hughes
Bellarine: W.Visser 3, L.Weldon 2, S.Murry 2, K.Kiefel 2, L.Hockey
Saints: C.Hughes, G.Carter
Bellarine: L.Hockey 4 inn, 0 H, 4 Ks, 5 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER
P.Brackley 2 inn, 3 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
Saints: C.Anderson 3 inn, 5 H, 4 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 3 ER
Cooper Rickard 1.2 inn, 1 H, 1 K, 4 BB, 3 HPB, 6 ER
C.Hughes 1.1 inn, 3 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
LARA 9 defeated GUILD 5
Going with Travis Arandt on the hill, Lara plated a run in the first and would have been delighted with the starting work of its pitcher – who held the Lions scoreless over two while his club put up a four-spot in the top of three..
Although Guild hit back with two in the equaliser, the Wildcats edged further ahead and called Jarrod Fraim into the fray to hold the line through another four innings of impressive work against a strong offensive side that was never in the contest against a couple of part-time hurlers who showed decent control in jointly conceding just two walks over the errorless eight inning contest.
While the Guild pitching trio of Travis Duxson, Jarryd Wood and Angus McNee was equally on song, the Wildcats took full advantage of their scoring opportunities through the likes of Cameron Forbes (three hits and an RBI), Fraim (two and two), Jared Berman (two and one), Dan Anson (two and one), Mitch Miller (one and two), Stuart Forbes (two hits) and Travis Arandt (two RBIs).
Ryan Stewart (three hits and an RBI) and Jarrod Durston (two and two) were the best of a Guild offence that will be well aware of the capabilities of its seasoned opponent when the clubs meet again next Saturday.
Guild will play host to Lara in the Elimination First Semi-Final at Geelong Baseball Centre on Saturday 31 August.
LARA 1 0 4 0 2 0 0 2 (9) 0 errors
GUILD 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 (5) 0 errors
Lara: C.Forbes 3, S.Forbes 2, D.Anson 2, J.Fraim 2, J.Berman 2, R.Wilson, M.Miller, R.Arandt
Guild: R.Stewart 3, J.Durston 2, C.Durston, T.Snarey, B.Jensz, T.Luther-Wilson, J.Renouf, A.McNee
Lara: J.Fraim 2, M.Miller 2, T.Arandt 2, D.Anson, C.Forbes, J.Berman
Guild: J.Durston 2, R.Stewart, T.Snarey, J.Renouf
Lara: T.Arandt 4 inn, 5 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
J.Fraim 4 inn, 6 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
Guild: T.Duxson 4 inn, 7 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 5 ER
J.Wood 3 inn, 4 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
A.McNee 1 inn, 3 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
ROYALS 8 defeated DEAKIN 6
Despite a barnstorming offensive start by the visitors, Ballarat Royals continued its dominance over Deakin this season, recovering from a substantial early deficit to end its inaugural A Grade season on a positive note.
Belting five in the second as Royals starter Jordan Isbister struggled with direction, Deakin was well held through subsequent innings by a home club that played some remarkable defence and remained upbeat while pegging back the early lead and edging to a narrow lead after four – in breezy conditions more conducive to hitting.
Although the Blues tied the game up in the top of five, Isbister stuck to his task and was ultimately rewarded with the win as his side cashed in on defensive miscues and timely hitting to score a game-breaking two runs in the bottom of the last in a highly entertaining contest.
While Deakin hurler Chris Webb (two hits and three RBIs), Zac Seipolt (two hits), Kobe Greenhalgh (two hits and an RBI) and Stephen Pengelly (one and one) were productive for Deakin, the Royals offence exploited the offensive grunt provided by Leigh Ashmore (two hits and two ribbies), Jedd Miller (three and one), Isbister (two and one) and Tyler Channell (one and two).
Both clubs have failed to qualify for the A Grade finals, although we can be sure they will be following with interest the fortunes of their lower grades – where both have teams qualified for the playoffs.
Scroll down for images from Prince of Wales today.
DEAKIN 0 5 0 1 0 0 (6) 4 errors
ROYALS 0 2 2 2 0 2 (8) 0 errors
Deakin: Z.Seipolt 2, K.Greenhalgh 2, C.Webb 2, S.Pengelly, P.Moulton, L.Simpson, R.Millard
Royals: J.Miller 3, L.Ashmore 2, J.Isbister 2, S.Kerr, S.Jones, H.Pfeiffer, T.Chanell, D.Mason
Deakin: C.Webb 3, Z.Seipolt, K.Greenhalgh, S.Pengelly
Royals: L.Ashmore 2, T.Channell 2, J.Miller, J.Isbister
Deakin: C.Webb 6 inn, 12 H, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 5 ER
Royals: J.Isbister 6 inn, 10 H, 3 Ks, 2 BB, 4 HPB, 6 ER
Guild had already snared the A RESERVE minor premiership and its 4-6 loss to Lara was inconsequential for the Lions – but certainly not for Saints, who snatched fourth on head-to-head advantage over Deakin by beating Bellarine 4-2 and cashing in on the Royals belting the Blues 13-5.
Bacchus Marsh forfeited to Colac in B GRADE, with the 9-0 result serving to deliver second placing for the Braves ahead of Sunshine, which was beaten 6-5 by league-leading Corio and slipped to third. Although thrashed 5-13 by Saints, Alfredton will hold fourth, while Newport defeated Guild 14-5 to edge ahead of the Lions toward the bottom of the table.
Although they might have found game a little tougher than they might have liked, North West Titans secured a home Second Semi-Final with their 9-7 over Colac in B RESERVE, while second-placed Corio downed Saints 11-8 and third-placed Bellarine nailed a home Elimination Final by beating the Royals 11-3 and Deakin – fourth – blanked Guild 17-0.
Royals moved into second on the C GRADE table with a last-gasp 7-6 win over Lara, which drops to third and is set for an Elimination Final stoush with Deakin, who thrashed Saints 23-3. Fifth-placed Colac downed Bellarine Blue 10-0 and Corio beat Bellarine Red 15-4 to clearly retain ladder leadership.