Egan spins a pearler: Rams cut it fine

Kingsley Collins

14 July 2018

While not even the supreme optimist would claim that spring had quite sprung - after a dismal few weekends for baseball – a modicum of sunshine appeared to stir the spirits of many, with some terrific contests and superb individual performances being generated across the league in Round Thirteen.

 

With Brad Egan conceding a solitary hit in the match of the round, Guild blanked Bellarine to shorten even further as favourite for another A Grade title, while second-placed Newport marginally held off Deakin in a thriller at the Ram Dome.

 

Recovering twice from a deficit, Mounties headed Colac when it mattered in an evenly-matched affair played in great spirit at a chilly Prince of Wales, while Saints downed Lara in a similarly tight contest.

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NEWPORT 6 defeated DEAKIN 5

 

Out of the blocks early - with a four-spot in the second off Deakin reliever Chris Webb after starter Andrew Brady had conceded a run in the first - Newport was pegged back through the middle innings as the Blues levelled scores at five apiece after five.

 

Paying dearly for defensive errors earlier in the game, the Blues could and should have been in a somewhat better position before the vastly experienced Rams plated a run in the bottom of the last to pinch this game by the narrowest of margins.

 

Conceding two earned runs over 5.1 innings of work, Webb did a solid job for Deakin, which delivered some quality offence through the likes of Mark Rigby (three hits), Pat Moulton (two hits and an RBI), Ayden Ham (two and one) and Lachlan Medew (one and two).

 

In the end, though, it was the timely contributions of Jayde Thorne (two hits), Justin Charles (two, with an RBI), middle relief David Asp (two and one), Mitch Clement (two and one) and Zac Seipolt (one and two) that produced enough in offence for the Rams to snatch a narrow victory.

 

Not yet secure in fourth, Deakin will be away to Saints for the annual Go Pink Day next Saturday, while Newport faces a tough challenge against league-leading Guild at the stadium on Sunday.

DEAKIN        0 0 1 1 3 0 0    (5)  4 errors

NEWPORT    1 4 0 0 0 0 1   (6)  1 error

Hits.

Deakin:   M.Rigby 3, P.Moulton 2, A.Ham 2, L.Medew, C.Webb, R.Hickey

Newport:   J.Thorne 2, J.Charles 2, M.Clement 2, D.Asp 2, Z.Seipolt, K.Morrison, J.Walshe

RBIs.

Deakin:   L.Medew 2, C.Lyons, P.Moulton, A.Ham

Newport:   Z.Seipolt 2, J.Charles, M.Clement, D.Asp

Pitching.

Deakin:   A.Brady 1 inn, 1 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER

C.Webb 5.1 inn, 10 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER

Newport:   J.Lester 3.2 inn, 3 H, 5 Ks, 4 BB, 4 HPB, 2 ER

D.Asp 2.1 inn, 6 H, 3 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER

K.Morrison 1 inn, 1 H, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER

 

MOUNTIES 6 defeated COLAC 4

 

The Braves were off to a flier, with a triple by lead-off Michael Reid setting the base for a two-run first, although Mounties responded through the agency of Leigh Ashmore – whose two-out triple plated two for the home club.

 

Although both clubs had their chances, neither was able to gain a break, with a Colac run in the top of five again drawing a swift response.

 

It was only in the bottom of six that the Mounties collared Braves reliever Reid, forging to a three-run break that proved adequate despite a Colac challenge in the last.

 

Tossing a complete game, Scott Jones carded the win for Mounties despite conceding a dozen hits that were dominated by Brendan Delorenzo (three, and an RBI), Reid, Josh Hay and Alex Lewis (all with two knocks), while Ashmore (two and two) was a standout for a home club that made the most of its opportunities in a tight and entertaining contest.

 

Collectively conceding just six hits, Hay (two innings) and Reid (four) again did a solid job for the Braves, who will feel – given the opportunities they generated – that they passed up a real opportunity to post their second win against Mounties.

 

Mounties may fancy their chances of a fifth win when they trek to Lara next Saturday, while Colac faces a tough assignment away to Bellarine – which will be smarting after its tame loss to Guild.

COLAC            2 0 0 0 1 0 1   (4)  3 errors

MOUNTIES    2 0 0 0 1 3 x   (6)  0 errors

Hits.

Colac:   B.Delorenzo 3, M.Reid 2, J.Hay 2, A.Lewis 2, S.Mai, S.Collins, W.Stevenson

Mounties:   L.Ashmore 2, M.Collins, H.Pfeiffer, S.Jones, J.Miller

RBIs.

Colac:   B.Delorenzo, S.Collins

Mounties:   L.Ashmore 2, H.Pfeiffer, J.Miller, S.Jones, G.Masterson

Pitching.

Colac:   J.Hay 2 inn, 1 H, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER

M.Reid 4 inn, 5 H, 3 Ks, 3 BB, 1 HPB, 4 ER

Mounties:   S.Jones 7 inn, 12 H, 7 Ks, 5 BB, 0 HPB, 4 ER

 

GUILD 6 defeated BELLARINE 0

 

This shaped as a crucial clash for both clubs, with the Lions striving to hold their clear break at the top of the table and the Bears currently locked in a battle for second with Newport Rams.

 

While the scoreline shows the Guild offence converting  in three of the seven innings played – including two in the third, one in the fourth and a game-breaking three-spot in the fifth – the final outcome is probably an unfair reflection on the Bellarine pitching staff, who collectively conceded just a solitary earned run as defensive errors took their toll.

 

According to the adage, good pitching will always beat good hitting – and even if we factor out the defensive miscues, Bellarine was never in this contest thanks to a complete-game Egan gem that saw the big righty allow just two runners on base (a hit and a walk), both of whom were retired at second.

 

Ryan Stewart (two hits and two RBIs), Tyler Luther-Wilson (two hits) and Jordan Lekkas (two hits) were standouts in a Guild offence that was pretty well held by Lachlan Hockey, Simon Murry and Cameron Brown, while Wayne Visser’s lead-off knock for Bellarine in the second was nullified when he was gunned down at second.

 

A dangerous offensive unit - especially on its own patch - Bellarine will be in no mood for niceties when it plays host to Colac next Saturday, while Guild will be at home to Newport for what should be another cracking game on Sunday.

BELLARINE   0 0 0 0 0 0 0   (0)  4 errors

GUILD             0 0 2 1 3 0 0     (6)  0 errors

Hits.

Bellarine:   W.Visser

Guild:   R.Stewart 2, T.Luther-Wilson 2, J.Lekkas 2, L.Harty

RBIs.

Bellarine:   nil

Guild:   R.Stewart 2, Jarryd Wood, T.Kilfoyle

Pitching.

Bellarine:   L.Hockey 3 inn, 3 H, 3 Ks, 5 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER

S.Murry 2 inn, 3 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER

C.Brown 1.2 inn, 1 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER

Guild:   B.Egan 7 inn, 1 H, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER

 

SAINTS 6 defeated LARA 4

 

Saints have moved closer to a potential post-season berth with a hard-fought result over an ever-competitive Lara, which gained a break in the fourth behind starter Chris Lewis but bled a string of runs through the later innings and was unable to bridge the gap when it mattered most.

 

After the Wildcats edged ahead against starter Emerson Rickard – who had been solid over four for two earned runs – Saints called upon fellow lefty Josh Lee to hold the line while his offence pegged back the deficit and snatched the lead on a two-RBI Rickard single in the seventh.

 

A sacrifice flyball by Trevor Elliot stretched the break in the top of the last for an advantage that proved adequate despite Lara pinch-hitter Travis Arandt offering some late hope with an RBI-single.

 

In what was an evenly-poised contest throughout, Elliott (two hits and the sacrifice), Charles Thompson (two hits and an RBI), Emerson Rickard (one and two) and Luke Sherwell (two hits) were prominent with the bat for Saints, while Stuart Forbes (two and one), Clinton Lewis (two hits, including a triple), Matt McConnell and the reliable Jarrod Fraim led the offence for Lara.

 

With Saints breathing down the neck of fourth-placed Deakin, there will be much riding on their clash at Pioneer Park next Saturday, while Lara will be at home to Mounties for what should be another interesting stoush between proud lower-placed clubs.

SAINTS    1 0 0 0 1 1 2 1    (6)  3 errors

LARA       1 0 0 2 0 0 0 1   (4)   1 error

Hits.

Saints:   T.Elliott 2, L.Sherwell 2, C.Thompson 2, J.Lee, S.Fox, E.Rickard, J.Hosking

Lara:   S.Forbes 2, Clint Lewis 2 (inc. triple), C.Forbes, J.Fraim, M.McConnell, L.Arandt, T.Arandt

RBIs.

Saints:   E.Rickard 2, S.Fox, C.Thompson, T.Elliott

Lara:   J.Fraim, M.McConnell, S.Forbes, T.Arandt

Pitching.

Saints:   E.Rickard 4 inn, 6 H, 4 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER

J.Lee 4 inn, 3 H, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER

Lara:   Chris Lewis 6.2 inn, 9 H, 4 Ks, 4 BB, 0 HPB, 4 ER

D.Anson 1.1 inn, 1 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER

Scroll down for a selection of images from senior games this afternoon. Images from the Guild versus Bellarine game were captured and generously provided by Gary Simper.

IN OTHER GRADES.....

While we await confirmation of lower grade results at the time of publication of this report, there were already some interesting developments across the league. Edging out Guild by a run in A RESERVE (after plating two in the last), Bellarine strengthened its hold on top spot and the Lions dropped back to third behind Guild Cubs – who withstood a mighty challenge by cellar-dwelling Mounties. With its big win over Lara, Saints have moved to fourth in that grade and Newport has edged to fifth with its clear-cut result over Deakin.

Employing the long ball to effect against fourth-placed Deakin, Sunshine further strengthened its hold on B GRADE league leadership, while second-placed Alfredton - at home - was seriously pressured by a youthful Saints outfit before gaining a decisive break late in the contest.

Some ladder movement in B RESERVE this week, with Guild dropping to third after its heavy loss to undefeated Corio, allowing Saints to slip into second by virtue of a clear-cut result over Bellarine - which was replaced in fourth by a Colac side that dispensed with sixth-placed Deakin.

 

Of special note in C GRADE was the outing of Newport, which gained an early break over the previously unbeaten Mounties before withstanding a late challenge and emerging as a 12-10 winner – a result that strengthens the Rams’ position among the leading group. Having a red-hot crack in its first season as a women's team, Bellarine C Grade today proved its increasing capacity to score runs against experienced opponents. Keep at it!

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