Dirty day for felines: Bears prevail
16 June 2019
Although it turned into a rather pleasant afternoon, weather-wise, the two A Grade Saturday games were a definite let-down for Guild and Lara – two powerhouse GBA clubs of the past fifteen seasons.
Building its season as an energetic new entity, Ballarat Royals blasted six in the first against a shell-shocked Wildcats outfit that toiled bravely through the middle innings but was unable to counter an opposition offence that tacked on a couple in the seventh to force a mercy-rule call and deliver Jordan Isbister a complete-game 10-0 win.
Despite restricting its opponent to half a dozen hits, Guild forfeited an early lead to Saints, who plated four in the fourth and another two in the seventh to provide telling run support for rangy starter Cody Anderson – who whiffed eleven in a one-hit outing before handing the ball to fellow southpaw Emerson Rickard to close out an impressive 7-2 win.
Plating four in the second, Bellarine was never headed as it toughed out a 6-2 win over Deakin on Sunday.
Scroll down for a selection of images from Prince of Wales Reserve on Saturday.
ROYALS 10 defeated LARA 0
The Royals drew back to a 50-50 win loss record with another important win in the context of their season – one that demonstrated a tight defensive capacity and degree of hitting depth borne from the addition of key players and a confident approach that has been building each week.
Missing key players but certainly never looking to offer that as an excuse, the Wildcats were stunned in the bottom of the first, when the Royals clubbed their way through the order – including an in the park home run by Jedd Miller - to amass a game-breaking half a dozen off gutsy Lara starter Chris Lewis.
With Lewis settling into his work after the opening outburst, the Wildcats had a serious scoring opportunity in the third, when speedy youngster Jordan Baumann was hosed at the plate trying to stretch a lead-off triple – a play that typified some classy Royals defence and a certain lack of fortune by the visitors.
Spinning a terrific complete game for his new club, Jordan Isbister was accorded further run support with runs in the fourth and fifth, when Lara called upon Dan Anson to keep his side in the contest – although the Royals were not about to let this one slip, with Leigh Ashmore leaving the yard with a massive two-run blast over the leftfield wall to end the contest in seven.
Playing errorless defence behind Isbister, the Royals were well-served by Manager Matt Jones (three hits and two RBIs), Miller (two and three), Ashmore (two and two), Hayden Pfeiffer (two and two) and Mitch Collins (two and one), while Stuart Forbes (two hits), Jarrod Fraim and Baumann were the best of a Lara side that sits on three wins but has the capacity to trouble any club in the second half of the season.
The Royals will be at home to Deakin for what should be a ripper contest next Saturday, while the Wildcats play host to Guild in a game that both clubs will be desperate to win.
LARA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (0) 3 errors
ROYALS 6 0 0 1 1 0 2 (10) 0 errors
Lara: S.Forbes 2, D.Anson, D.Wilson, J.Fraim, P.Pruis, L.Arandt, J.Baumann
Royals: M.Jones 3, M.Collins 2, L.Ashmore 2 (inc home run), H.Pfeiffer 2, J.Miller 2 (inc in the park H/R), S.Kerr, S.Jones, J.Bannon, T.Channell
Royals: J.Miller 3, L.Ashmore 2, H.Pfeiffer 2, M.Jones 2, M.Collins
Lara: C.Lewis 5.2 inn, 14 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 2 HPB, 8 ER
D.Anson 1.1 inn, 1 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
Royals: J.Isbister 7 inn, 8 H, 7 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
SAINTS 7 defeated GUILD 2
Since its most recent pennant back in 2008, Saints A Grade onfield performance has likely been something of a disappointment to supporters of a terrific winter club accustomed to success for decades – although it is now evident that the haloes are on the ascendancy, while Guild finds itself in a rebuilding phase after an extraordinary run at this level.
Taking the start for Guild, teenager Travis Duxson was solid through three – with scores levelled at one apiece – before walks became a factor and Saints were able to exploit their opportunity with a four-run fourth that included timely hitting by the likes of Dion Kirchner and Trevor Elliott.
Facing a serious deficit, the Lions hit back with a run in the bottom of five before the visitors chimed in with a two-run sixth for a lead that proved a bridge too far against Saints reliever Emerson Rickard – who spun two innings of scoreless work to close out the game.
Following up from a stellar outing against the Royals prior to the Winter Championship, Cody Anderson carded the win for Saints with a five innings start for a solitary hit and eleven strikeouts, a line marred slightly by five walks and three HPBs that went unpunished as the Guild offence failed to capitalise.
In a contest dominated largely by pitching and defence, Jarrod Durston and Troy Snarey were the only players to hit safely for Guild, while Kirchner (two hits and three RBIs), Elliott (two and one), Keenan Spence and George Polley were best with the stick in another crucial win for Saints.
Without stalwart Josh Lee for several weeks but still looking strong, Saints will be away team for a top-of-the-table clash against Bellarine next Saturday, while Guild will be looking to arrest its slide when it takes on Lara – an ever-dangerous proposition at the snakepit.
SAINTS 0 1 0 4 0 2 0 (7) 2 errors
GUILD 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 (2) 1 error
Saints: T.Elliott 2, D.Kirchner 2, K.Spence, L.Sherwell
Guild: J.Durston, T.Snarey
Saints: D.Kirchner 3, T.Elliott, G.Polley
Saints: C.Anderson 5 inn, 1 H, 11 Ks, 5 BB, 3 HPB, 1 ER
E.Rickard 2 inn, 1 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Guild: T.Duxson 3.2 inn, H, 1 K, 6 BB, 2 HPB, 5 ER
J.Durston 3.1 inn, 3 H, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
BELLARINE 6 defeated DEAKIN 2
Progressively building its list during an already impressive season, Bellarine confirmed its league-leading status with a hard-fought win over Deakin on the sabbath.
Given a terrific start by GBA Carnival Most Valuable Player Matt Sage, the Bears blasted four in the second and were never headed in this contest – tacking on two more in the fifth and playing solid defence behind their starter, who gave up a solitary earned run in his winning outing.
While Deakin ace Pat Moulton spun six innings of quality work, his line was damaged by some Deakin defensive slip-ups and a two-run homer off the bat of Cameron Brown – whose availability will be a key factor as the Bears build towards what looms as another inevitable finals appearance.
Key to his side’s offence, Brown had superb back-up in Manager Lewis Weldon (three hits and an RBI), Brock Wells and Kris Kiefel, while Kobe Greenhalgh (two hits and an RBI), Stephen Pengelly (one and one) and Andy Medew (two hits) were best for a Deakin side that matched the Bears on hitting output without being able to make scoring inroads after the second innings outburst.
Bellarine will play host to Saints in a crucial top-two clash next Saturday, while Deakin will trek up the highway to take on an in-form Ballarat Royals club that has already inflicted a heavy loss on the Blues this season.
Images from A Grade/A Reserve games at Deakin (taken and supplied by Mark Lazarus): https://photos.app.goo.gl/NyPjANcHip6Y6H698
BELLARINE 0 4 0 0 2 0 0 (6) 1 error
DEAKIN 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 (2) 3 errors
Bellarine: L.Weldon 3, C.Brown 2 (inc home run), B.Wells, S.Murry, K.Kiefel
Deakin: K.Greenhalgh 2, A.Medew 2, M.Rigby, C.Moule, R.Jaramillo, S.Pengelly
Bellarine: C.Brown 2, L.Weldon, K.Kiefel
Deakin: K.Greenhalgh, S.Pengelly
Bellarine: M.Sage 6 inn, 8 H, 0 K, 1 ER
L.Hockey 1 inn, 0 H, 1 K, 0 ER
Deakin: P.Moulton 6 inn, 8 H, 6 Ks, 3 ER
P.Hassan 1 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 0 ER
Its narrow 8-6 win over Saints has enabled Guild to take league leadership in a very even A RESERVE competition that sees three sides locked in second – headed by Royals (head to head) after its 15-1 demolition of Lara, while Bellarine continued to make ground with a 5-3 result over Deakin, which slipped to fourth on head to head behind Saints.
Colac retained top billing in B GRADE with its 17-3 drubbing of fifth-placed Bacchus Marsh – which has fallen off the pace somewhat – while Sunshine edged into second with a strong 14-8 result over Corio, Alfredton went to third with a thumping 24-1 crushing of a youthful Saints outfit and Guild posted its first win of the season, a narrow 7-4 result over Newport, which continues to improve despite its lowly ladder position.
A fascinating situation has developed in B RESERVE, where Corio beat Saints Black 13-3 to give those two clubs a share of top placing ahead of Saints Red – which downed Colac 8-6 – and four clubs snapping at their heels on a fifty-fifty record after Bellarine edged out Titans 5-4 and Royals recovered from a huge deficit to take the honours 11-10 over Deakin. With Colac and Royals both on two wins towards the bottom of the table, anything might happen in this grade over the next ten weeks.
Scoring in five of the six innings, top-placed Corio extended its unbeaten C GRADE streak with an 11-2 result over Lara, which slips to third behind Royals - who overpowered Bellarine Blue 26-1 – while Colac edged closer to the leading group with its 14-3 win over seventh-placed Saints and Bellarine Red blanked Deakin 8-0, sending the Blues back to fourth for the time being at least.