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Blue day for Deakin: Guild dominates catfight
11 May 2019
Improving markedly as a unit each week, new club entity Ballarat Royals blasted six in the first on its way to a thumping 14-6 win over Deakin in bleak conditions at home this afternoon, while the Guild offence was at its imperious best in mauling Lara Wildcats 15-5 and Saints rode a terrific start by Emerson Rickard to sink Bellarine 3-0 in a pitcher-dominated affair.
For the second week running, the three lower-placed teams in A Grade standings downed their counterparts at the top of the table – with all six now boasting a 50-50 record as further evidence of just how tight the competition has become.
Among many highlights of GBA action this week was the achievement of Bellarine Blue C Grade, which demonstrated its improvement by winning its first game in mainstream competition since entering as a women's team in 2018.
Scroll down for a selection of images from a big afternoon of action at Prince of Wales Reserve.
BALLARAT ROYALS 14 defeated DEAKIN 6
While the absence of key players was arguably more of a handicap for the visiting team, the Royals made their intentions clear in the bottom of the first by tagging seasoned starter Andrew Brady for a six spot and chasing him from the hill with bases juiced and none out in the second.
Although the Blues offence posted one in the first and again in the second, the assignment appeared well beyond them when the home club surged to a ten run lead after four – a break that was shaved just slightly when Deakin reliever Pat Moulton tugged a booming round-tripper over the rightfield wall in the top of five.
Consolidating in the equaliser and calling Brendan Robinson from the pen to deliver crowning rites, the Royals conceded late runs without ever being in danger against a side that slipped up in defence on occasions and which – aside from Moulton (two hits and three RBIs) - was well held in offence by winning pitcher Jordan Isbister, who complemented a fine game by driving in two of his side’s runs.
A standout for the Royals with three hits and four ribbies, outfielder Scott Kerr received noble support from a string of players including Jedd Miller (three hits and two RBIs), Jarryd Bannan (three hits) and Matt Jones (two RBIs).
Developing very much into a solid combination with an infusion of new players into the Ballarat baseball scene, the Royals will make the trek to Bellarine next Saturday, while Deakin will be looking to put this heavy loss behind them in readiness for their away clash against Guild.
DEAKIN 1 1 0 0 1 3 (6) 3 errors
ROYALS 6 3 0 3 2 x (14) 1 error
Deakin: P.Moulton 2 (home run), E.Hosking, C.Lyons, Z.Seipolt
Royals: S.Kerr 3, J.Bannan 3, J.Miller 3, L.Ashmore, T.Channell
Deakin: P.Moulton 3, E.Hosking, C.Lyons, Z.Seipolt
Royals: S.Kerr 4, M.Jones 2, J.Miller 2, J.Isbister 2, L.Ashmore, S.Jones, T.Channell
Deakin: A.Brady 1 inn, 4 H, 0 Ks, 3 BB, 4 HPB, 6 ER
P.Moulton 4 inn, 7 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 5 ER
Royals: J.Isbister 5 inn, 3 H, 3 Ks, 3 BB, 2 HPB, 2 ER
B.Robinson 1 inn, 3 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 1 HPB, 3 ER
SAINTS 3 defeated BELLARINE 0
Posting their third win on the trot after a slow start to the season, the haloes would be delighted with the manner in which they came out on top against a Bellarine outfit that has not yet produced its offensive form of the past few seasons.
In saying that, all credit should be extended to Saints starter Emerson Rickard, who spun six scoreless innings for two hits and six punchouts before handing the pill to Josh Lee to slam the gate with two quality innings at the end of a contest that saw the Bears unable to get a runner past second base for the duration.
Sharing the pitching for Bellarine, Pat Brackley and Lachlan Hockey delivered as their club would have liked despite a productive third innings rally started for Saints by Lee and which produced a game-defining pair of runs on three hits and two walks – followed by a further run scrambled in the next.
Lachlan Hockey and Lachlan Stott were the only players to hit safely for Bellarine, while Dion Kirchner (two hits), Lee (two hits), Trevor Elliott (hit and an RBI) and Tyler Huisman (one and one) made key contributions in a high-quality defensive game.
Seemingly building its season, Saints will play host to Lara next Saturday, and Bellarine will be at home to the Royals, who just may be a tougher proposition than the club with which they split a doubleheader back in early April.
BELLARINE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (0) 1 error
SAINTS 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 x (3) 1 error
Bellarine: L.Hockey, L.Stott
Saints: D.Kirchner 2, J.Lee 2, T.Elliott, T.Huisman, W.Brennan
Saints: T.Elliott, T.Huisman
Bellarine: P.Brackley 4 inn, 4 H, 4 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
L.Hockey 3.1 inn, 3 H, 3 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Saints: E.Rickard 6 inn, 2 H, 6 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
J.Lee 2 inn, 0 H, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HPB, 0 ER
GUILD 15 defeated LARA 5
Coming off a disappointing loss to Saints, the Lions passed up a scoring opportunity in the first – with bases loaded and none out – before gaining a break in the bottom of the second and responding to a challenge with a six-spot in the third as Wildcats reliever Gregg Anderson was put to the sword.
Settling into his work after a rough third inning, Guild youngster Travis Duxson spun a solid 4.2 innings before handing the ball to Hayden Peoples as the Lions offence powered ahead with four in the fourth and three more in the fifth to nail a comprehensive victory.
While Nick Van Baar posted two of four Lara hits, Guild had nine players contribute to a strong offensive effort – with the standouts being Peoples (three hits and three RBIs), Chris Durston (two and four, with two walks and a HPB), James Renouf (one and two), Tyler Luther-Wilson (one and two), Ryan Stewart (double and three walks), Lee Harty (two hits) and Jarrod Durston (home run).
Relying increasingly on its emerging talent base – which is absolutely appropriate - Guild is at home to Deakin next Saturday, while Lara meets Saints at Pioneer Park looking to make it a sweep, thus far, after snaring the doubleheader on Opening Day.
LARA 0 0 3 0 2 0 (5) 0 errors
GUILD 0 2 6 4 3 x (15) 1 error
Lara: N.Van Baar 2, J.Fraim, G.Anderson
Guild: H.Peoples 3, C.Durston 2, L.Harty 2, R.Stewart, T.Luther-Wilson, J.Durston (home run), J.Lekkas, J.Renouf, A.McNee, T.Duxson
Lara: S.Forbes, D.Anson, P.Pruis
Guild: C.Durston 4, H.Peoples 3, T.Luther-Wilson 2, J.Renouf 2, R.Stewart, J.Durston, A.McNee
Lara: C.McNish 1.2 inn, 1 H, 2 Ks, 3 BB, 2 HPB, 2 ER
J.Fraim 0.1 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
G.Anderson 3 inn, 13 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 13 ER
Guild: T.Duxson 4.2 inn, 4 H, 5 Ks, 6 BB, 1 HPB, 4 ER
H.Peoples 1.1 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Testament to its club depth, Guild remains unbeaten in a seemingly very even A RESERVE competition, while winless Bellarine will be looking to improve after its barnstorming 2018 season. A beefed-up B GRADE has already seen Colac and Sunshine appear as real contenders, although Alfredton and the heavy-scoring Corio are among the early action. Eight sides have already won at least one game in B RESERVE, where Deakin is unbeaten after its two outings. There is serious interest in C GRADE, where North West Titans dominate to this point, although Corio has enjoyed two big wins and Bellarine Blue has added a further dimension with the women’s side poised to build on its first on-field winning success.