Bears steamroll Royals: Lara, Saints split
27 July 2019
Coming off a heavy loss during an inconsistent several weeks, Bellarine rebounded with a vengeance at Wallington this afternoon, swatting eight in the sixth to set up a 10-3 win over the Royals in A Grade competition.
Never headed in a clash of importance to both clubs, Guild strengthened its grip on third by wearing down Deakin 8-2, while Lara - taking on a new lease of life in recent times - finished with a rush to force a 7-7 draw against Saints.
The A Grade ladder remains unchanged with four to play, although the tightness of the competition ensures great interest in the race to the post-season. The situation is no less fluid in the lower grades, where results of Round Thirteen thus far have proved decisive to standings.
BELLARINE 10 defeated BALLARAT ROYALS 3
With two ordinary performances in its past three games, Bellarine would no doubt have been committed to a stronger performance at home this week, though there may have been early concerns when the visitors plated a run in the second – on a wild throw and hits to Scott Jones and Jesse Sherman (double).
It was a short-lived lead, with Wayne Visser knocking in a couple in the bottom of the fourth as starting pitchers Josh Crotty (Bellarine) and Brendan Robinson (Royals) exercised a degree of dominance for their respective clubs.
Tying it up with a run in the sixth, Ballarat might have fancied their chances in a tight game, although the Bears had other plans when Robinson issued a lead-off walk in the equaliser and was made to pay dearly when four hits and two errors produced an eight-run avalanche – four of those unearned – before Xavier Woolley was called upon to stem the flow.
Taking the pill from Crotty, Patrick Brackley closed out the game with a minimum of fuss as the Bears posted an important victory against an opponent that was in with a real chance until that late fadeout which was fully exploited by the home club in generating a result not fairly indicative of the contest.
Scott Jones, Sherman and Hayden Pfeiffer were all multiple hitters for the Royals, while Daniel Stott (three hits and two RBIs), Lachlan Hockey (two and one), Chris Hockey (one and two), Crotty (one and two) and Visser combined to do much of the scoring damage for Bellarine.
Again consolidating atop the A Grade table, Bellarine will be away to Lara next Saturday, while the Royals – still marginally adrift of fourth - will play host to Guild.
IMAGES from Bellarine today: A Grade and A Reserve (kindly supplied by Mark Lazarus).
ROYALS 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 (3) 2 errors
BELLARINE 0 0 0 2 0 8 x (10) 2 errors
Royals: S.Jones 2, J.Sherman 2, H.Pfeiffer 2, S.Kerr, J.Miller, M.Jones, B.Robinson
Bellarine: D.Stott3, L.Hockey 2, L.Weldon, W.Visser, C.Hockey, J.Crotty
Royals: M.Jones, M.Collins
Bellarine: D.Stott 2, C.Hockey 2, J.Crotty 2, W.Visser 2, L.Hockey
Royals: B.Robinson 5 inn, 7 H, 1 K, 4 BB, 0 HPB, 6 ER
X.Woolley 1 inn, 2 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Bellarine: J.Crotty 6 inn, 9 H, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
P.Brackley 1 inn, 1 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
GUILD 8 defeated DEAKIN 2
Progressively building after a sluggish mid-season, the Lions made it four on the trot with an all-the-way win over Deakin, which passed up a real opportunity to improve its position given other results.
With Pat Moulton taking the start for Deakin, Guild by no means had it their own way through the early innings, when two of its four runs were unearned against a Blues defence that was otherwise very solid over the entirety of the contest.
However, with teenager Hayden Peoples spinning a stunning start for the Lions, Deakin landed just a handful of runners on base through his six innings of work (three hits and two walks), leaving it all to a late assault on reliever Jarrod Durston – who was taken for a couple in the seventh but was able to escape the innings with bases juiced.
Perhaps that was a spur for the Guild offence, which responded against a tiring Moulton for a match-breaking four more before part-time hurler Russell Millard retired the side.
The Peoples outing was quite superb and he received invaluable support from an errorless field, along with an offence led by Troy Snarey (three hits and four RBIs), Jarrod Durston (two and one), Ryan Stewart (hit and three passes) and Ben Jensz – while Ethan Hosking (two hits) and Mark Rigby (hit and two ribbies) were best of a subdued Deakin lineup.
Solid in third placing and with club sights clearly set on another finals appearance, Guild will be away to Ballarat next Saturday and Deakin – which is running out of chances - plays host to Saints in a Sunday fixture.
DEAKIN 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 (2) 1 error
GUILD 1 0 1 1 1 0 4 (8) 0 errors
Deakin: E.Hosking 2, Z.Seipolt, M.Rigby, L.Simpson, R.Millard
Guild: T.Snarey 3, J.Durston 2, R.Stewart, B.Jensz, T.Luther-Wilson, J.Peoples, J.Renouf, A.McNee
Deakin: M.Rigby 2
Guild: T.Snarey 4, J.Durston, B.Jensz, J.Renouf, A.McNee
Deakin: P.Moulton 6.1 inn, 11 H, 4 Ks, 3 BB, 1 HPB, 6 ER
R.Millard 0.1 inn, 0 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Guild: H.Peoples 6 inn, 3 H, 7 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
J.Durston 1 inn, 3 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
SAINTS 7 drew with LARA 7
Having beaten every other club this season, and already with two wins over Saints, the Wildcats have managed their A Grade list admirably and may yet be a real factor come finals time – though none of their vastly experienced personnel will yet be publicly entertaining such ambitions.
Although Lara workhorse Chris Lewis was taken for runs in the first three innings, his club stayed in the contest with a three-spot in the second and was able to call upon a class act in Cameron Forbes to spin a couple of innings of containment work – one that included five strike outs of six.
The Wildcats drew to within two runs after five but were up against it when Saints plated another off Dan Anson in the sixth while the visitors worked around their left-armed trio of Emerson Rickard, a returning Josh Lee and Cody Anderson – all of whom will play key roles in the post season.
However, with the haloes defence slipping up at crucial points in this clash – all up conceding five unearned – the Wildcats offence cashed in to blast three in the top of the last and hold on for a gutsy draw.
Making the very most of its opportunities, Lara had telling contributors in Jared Berman (hit and two RBIs), Anson (two hits), Jordan Baumann (two hits), Ross Wilson, Jarrod Fraim and Cameron Forbes, while Saints – who outslugged their opponent thirteen to seven – were well served by Connor Hughes (two hits and two RBIs), Luke Sherwell (two and one), Dion Kirchner (two and one), Josh Lee (two hits) and George Polley.
Still holding a break in second, Saints will meet a disappointing but ever-dangerous Deakin at the University next Sunday, while Lara will be at home to Bellarine for an interesting Saturday clash.
LARA 0 3 0 0 1 0 3 (7) 0 errors
SAINTS 1 3 2 0 0 1 0 (7) 4 errors
Lara: D.Anson 2, J.Baumann 2, R.Wilson, J.Fraim, J.Berman
Saints: L.Sherwell 2, D.Kirchner 2, J.Lee 2, C.Hughes 2, C.Anderson, G.Polley
Lara: J.Berman 2, S.Forbes, R.Wilson, C.Forbes, L.Arandt
Saints: C.Hughes 2, L.Sherwell, D.Kirchner, G.Polley
Lara: C.Lewis 3 inn, 7 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 6 ER
C.Forbes 2 inn, 1 H, 5 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
D.Anson 2 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
Saints: E.Rickard 4 inn, 2 H, 2 Ks, 4 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
J.Lee 2.1 inn, 5 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
C.Anderson 0.2 inn, 0 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Far and away having the least number of runs scored against in A RESERVE this season, Bellarine – the reigning premier – eased past Royals 6-4, the Ballarat side remaining in second behind Guild, which enjoyed an 11-3 result over fifth-placed Deakin. Lara posted just its second win of the season – a 2-1 result against East Belmont Saints, who hold fourth on head-to-head advantage over the Blues.
With four games to play, the B GRADE finalists have been effectively decided – barring earthquake, famine or some other divine intervention – although finishing order is definitely up for grabs. While Saints gained the early break, Corio came back strongly for a 5-4 win that sees them move to the top of the table on head-to-head advantage over Colac, which was beaten 5-0 by third-placed Sunshine in a thriller. Solid in fourth, Alfredton trounced Newport 18-0 and Guild moved from the cellar with a surprise 11-4 upset of Bacchus Marsh – which is fifth, but looks destined to miss the playoffs.
While there are some games still not played – or for which a result has not yet been notified – we issue warm congratulations to Lara Wildcats stalwart Barry Lidster, who we are reliably informed played game 400 in C Grade this weekend. A great effort by a fine servant of the club!