Blues, Lions turn on the power: Bears edge home
13 April 2019
Played in picture-perfect conditions, Round Three of the A Grade season produced some ferocious offence at Geelong Baseball Centre, where Guild and Deakin blasted a passage to their second wins in competitive, tight contests that blew out late – while Bellarine, at home, recovered from an early deficit and held on comfortably against Lara Wildcats.
Even after three rounds it appears that we are in for a very even A Grade competition – with four clubs at two and one ahead of Ballarat Royals just off the pace and Saints well among the action despite three losses.
Hostilities will resume after the Easter break, when lower and junior grades will commence their seasons. A complete draw – for all grades – should be available by early in the week.
GUILD 15 defeated BALLARAT ROYALS 7
Still not at full strength – with skipper Mathew Jones and catcher Leigh Ashmore unavailable – the Royals began brightly with two in the first, turning a crucial double play in the equaliser for a short-lived early break before the Lions launched an assault that drove Ballarat starter Brendan Robinson from the hill in a six-run second.
Not to be out-done, the visitors maintained the pressure on Guild fifteen year-old Hayden Peoples – who took his first A Grade pitching start and was relieved in the third, after the Royals levelled scores at six apiece, due largely to a defensive error and timely hitting by their own reliever Jordan Isbister.
A key factor in this contest, Lions reliever Jarrod Durston took full toll of damaging walks in the bottom of the frame, belting a grand slam over the leftfield wall for a lead that was built upon with five more in the fourth as the Royals’ pitching was put to the sword.
Again playing tight defence, the Royals paid for a surfeit of walks as Ryan Stewart (three hits and five RBIs), Jarrod Durston (grand slam) and Tyler Luther-Wilson (two hits and two ribbies) led the Guild hitting – while Isbister (two and two) was a stand-out in offence for Ballarat, who again looked dangerous while they are adjusting to an influx of new players.
ROYALS 2 0 4 1 0 (7) 0 errors
GUILD 0 6 4 5 0 (15) 1 error
Royals: J.Isbister 2, J.Bannan, S.Kerr, J.Miller, T.Channel
Guild: R.Stewart 3, T.Luther-Wilson 2, J.Durston (grand slam), T.Snarey, L.Harty, H.Peoples
Royals: J.Isbister 2, J.Bannan, H.Pfeiffer
Guild: R.Stewart 5, J.Durston 4, T.Luther-Wilson 2, C.Durston, L.Harty, H.Peoples, A.McNee
Royals: B.Robinson 1.2 inn, 6 H, 0 K, 3 BB, 3 HPB, 6 ER
J.Isbister 2 inn, 1 H, 0 K, 6 BB, 0 HPB, 6 ER
S.Best 0.1 inn, 2 H, 0 K, 4 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
M.Collins 0.2 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Guild: H.Peoples 2.1 inn, 5 H, 1 K, 4 BB, 0 HPB, 4 ER
J.Durston 1.2 inn, 1 H, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
T.Duxson 1.0 inn, 0 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
DEAKIN 14 defeated SAINTS 7
Already looking a strong contender for 2019, Deakin took an early lead – with two in the first, compliments of two tattooed hitters and an infield error – although Saints hit back with three of their own before the match eased into more sedate mode as starter Connor Hughes and Chris Webb (Deakin) settled into their work.
Two walks and four hits – including a two-run Pat Moulton double – gleaned another five for Deakin in the top of four for a handy lead that was shaved to one when the haloes plated a run in the equaliser and two more in the fifth to spell the end for Webb.
Three hits, a walk and a defensive error produced four in the fifth for Deakin, who placed the game beyond reach with a couple more in the last as reliever Andrew Brady spun two innings of scoreless work to hold the Saints offence at bay.
A total of twenty-six hits ensured an exciting afternoon for an army of supporters at Pioneer Park, although Saints faithful would be disappointed with their scoring output given the contributions of Trevor Elliott (three hits and an RBI), Keenan Spence (two and two), Josh Lee (two and one), Dion Kirchner (two and one) and Tyler Huisman (two hits).
For its part, Deakin owed plenty to the offence of Andy Medew (three hits and four RBIs), Moulton (two and three), Kobe Greenhalgh (two and one) and Mark Rigby (two hits).
DEAKIN 2 0 1 5 0 4 2 (14) 1 error
SAINTS 3 1 0 1 2 0 0 (7) 3 errors
Deakin: A.Medew 3, M.Rigby 2, K.Greenhalgh 2, P.Moulton 2, E.Hosking, T.Malthouse, S.Pengelly
Saints: T.Elliott 3, T.Huisman 2, J.Lee 2, K.Spence 2, D.Kirchner 2, W.Brennan, S.Fox, C.Hughes
Deakin: A.Medew 4, P.Moulton 3, K.Greenhalgh, T.Malthouse, S.Pengelly
Saints: K.Spence 2, L.Sherwell, T.Elliott, J.Lee, E.Rickard, D.Kirchner
Deakin: C.Webb 5 inn, 13 H, 3 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 5 ER
A.Brady 2 inn, 1 H, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Saints: C.Hughes 3.2 inn, 4 H, 5 Ks, 4 BB, 2 HPB, 5 ER
J.Lee 3.1 inn, 8 H, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 5 ER
BELLARINE 5 defeated LARA 3
Playing host to an undefeated Lara, the Bears were rocked in the first when an error, a HPB, a bases-loaded walk and a two-run Alistair Mueller single produced three off starting pitcher Lachlan Hockey, who shook off the early setback and went on to spin a stunning five innings for his club.
Super-efficient early days for the Wildcats, Dan Anson conceded a run in the second – on a sacrifice fly ball – before posting zeroes until the sixth, when the Bears offence emerged from hibernation to drive in a game-breaking three runs on the back of timely hitting by Lachlan Stott and Daniel Stott (both with doubles), a walk, a HPB and a Brock Wells single for the go-ahead.
Calling on Cameron McNish to hold the line for Lara, the Bears middle order combined for a further run in the seventh, while Pat Brackley spun three innings of scoreless work in support of Hockey – between them not conceding an earned run for the game.
While Mueller struck the early telling blow, the Lara offence was well-held – to the tune of just four hits – while Bellarine was very well-served by Wells (three hits – including a triple and double – for an RBI), Daniel Stott (hit and two RBIs), Lachlan Stott (two hits) and Brackley (two knocks).
LARA 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (3) 1 error
BELLARINE 0 1 0 0 0 3 1 x (5) 2 errors
Lara: R.Wilson, D.Anson, T.Arandt, A.Mueller
Bellarine: B.Wells 3, P.Brackley 2, L.Stott 2, D.Stott, A.Hockey
Lara: A.Mueller 2, D.Wilson
Bellarine: D.Stott 2, B.Wells, C.Hockey
Lara: D.Anson 5.1 inn, 7 H, 3 Ks, 4 ER
C.McNish 1.2 inn, 2 H, 2 Ks, 1 ER
Bellarine: L.Hockey 5 inn, 3 H, 6 Ks, 0 ER
P.Brackley 3 inn, 1 H, 6 Ks, 0 ER