Saintly milestone: Bears, Rams share the spoils
7 July 2018
East Belmont celebrated A Grade game number 500 by stalwart Chris Rickard with a thumping 20-1 win over Mounties, while Bellarine and Newport fought out a 3-3 draw in a quality contest down at Wallington.
By virtue of the split result and its hard-fought 7-4 win over Lara Wildcats, Guild has taken a narrow lead at the top of the table after a round played in wild weather conditions across the league.
Recovering from a deficit after the home side had made the running, Deakin edged away 10-6 over Colac Braves to stay clear in fourth.
DEAKIN 10 defeated COLAC 6
Coming off a tough loss to Lara, the Braves exploded to an early lead against the visiting Deakin Blues – smacking two in the first and another three in the second off seasoned starter Andrew Brady, who was not assisted by some errant defence that yielded four unearned runs
While Colac stretched its lead marginally against reliever Pat Moulton, the Blues were not about to capitulate, racking up the hits against Michael Reid through the middle innings before mounting a full-on assault against Alex Lewis in the top of the last – when five successive hits help generate four runs and a match-winning break for the visitors.
It was another whole-hearted performance by the Braves, who had solid offensive contributors in Reid (three hits), Josh Hay (two hits and an RBI), Brendan Delorenzo (two and one), Lewis (two and one), Steven Mai (one and three) and Nat Bannan (two hits), while Deakin amassed fifteen knocks largely through the agency of Cam Lyons (three hits and four RBIs), Mark Rigby (two and one), Russ Millard (two and one), Andy Medew, Chris Webb, Rob Hickey and Andrew Brady (all with two hits).
Colac will make the trek to Ballarat to confront Mounties in what should be a tight game next Saturday, while Deakin - keen to replicate its home success against the same club just a few weeks back – will clash with Newport at the Ram Dome.
DEAKIN 0 1 0 1 2 2 4 (10) 2 errors
COLAC 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 (6) 3 errors
Deakin: C.Lyons 3, M.Rigby 2, A.Medew 2, C.Webb 2, R.Hickey 2, R.Millard 2, A.Brady 2
Colac: M.Reid 3, J.Hay 2, B.Delorenzo 2, A.Lewis 2, N.Bannan 2, S.Mai, S.Lambert
Deakin: C.Lyons 4, M.Rigby, R.Millard
Colac: S.Mai 3, J.Hay, B.Delorenzo, A.Lewis
Deakin: A.Brady 2 inn, 6 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
P.Moulton 5 inn, 7 H, 5 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
Colac: J.Hay 2 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 4 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
M.Reid 3 inn, 10 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER
A.Lewis 1.1 inn, 5 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 4 ER
S.Mai 0.2 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
BELLARINE 3 drew with NEWPORT 3
This much-anticipated clash would surely not have disappointed baseball purists, with classy pitching and defence coming to the fore and the result – or non-result, if you like – only being decided by acts of individual brilliance.
The Rams made an early statement off Bellarine starter Brock Wells with a two-spot in the second delivered by way of two passes and RBI-singles to Mitch Clement and Reece Longstaff before Simon Murry was called into the fray to quell the dangerous Newport offence.
Lewis Weldon walked in the bottom of four and Wayne Visser left the yard with a two-run blast that squared the ledger for the home side – which was again under the pump when Zac Seipolt blasted a solo shot for Newport in the top of six.
However, with the game on the line, it was Visser who again played a key role by drawing a walk in the equaliser, stealing second and scoring on a Rams throwing error that knotted scores at three apiece – perhaps the appropriate outcome for a high intensity clash between two classy outfits.
Tossing a complete game for Newport - his second week on the trot - Jayde Thorne was superb in allowing just two hits (double to Weldon and the homer to Visser), while Murry was equally impressive for the Bears against a Rams offence that owed plenty to Longstaff (hit and an RBI) and Seipolt (home run) in a contest dominated by the pitchers.
With a three-way go for the double chance now on in earnest, Bellarine will meet league-leading Guild at the stadium on Saturday, while Newport will play host to Deakin in a clash of great import to both clubs.
NEWPORT 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 (3) 1 error
BELLARINE 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 (3) 3 errors
Newport: R.Longstaff , Z.Seipolt (home run), J.Charles, K.Morrison, M.Clement
Bellarine: L.Weldon, W.Visser (home run)
Newport: R.Longstaff, Z.Seipolt, M.Clement
Bellarine: W.Visser 2
Newport: J.Thorne 7 inn, 2 H, 7 Ks, 4 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
Bellarine: B.Wells 2 inn, 3 H, 0 K, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER
S.Murry 5 inn, 2 H, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HPB, 1 ER
SAINTS 20 defeated MOUNTIES 1
It was a tough day for the Mounts, who were again short-staffed and who were coming up against a proud club - on its home turf – that appeared intent on delivering the goods for one of its favoured sons on this auspicious occasion.
Playing in A Grade game 500 for Saints – and senior game 600 for the club overall – catcher Chris Rickard was a key factor in the massive win, providing guidance for son Emerson and reliever Jordan Isbister on the hill while himself posting two key hits and driving in four of his club’s runs.
It was a rugged A Grade initiation for Mounties starter Dan Piper as Saints amassed six in the first and four more in the second before repeating the pattern over the next two frames and forcing the contest to an early finish.
While Scott Jones (two hits and an RBI) and Jedd Miller (two hits) were solid with the bat for Mounties, their side – which could manage just six runners on base - was well out-gunned by a Saints offence led by Rickard, Luke Sherwell (three hits and four RBIs), Steven Fox (three hits and a walk for three ribbies), Gerard Carter (two and two), and Josh Lee (three hits, HPB and an RBI).
Buoyed by the massive win over Mounties, Saints will fancy its chances away to Lara on Saturday, while the Mounties will regroup and look to a stronger showing at home against Colac.
MOUNTIES 1 0 0 0 0 (1) 5 errors
SAINTS 6 4 6 4 x (2) 0 errors
Mounties: J.Miller 2, S.Jones 2, S.Best
Saints: S.Fox 3, J.Lee 3, L.Sherwell 3, G.Carter 2, C.Rickard 2, M.Alldis, T.Elliott, C.Thompson
Saints: C.Rickard 4, L.Sherwell 4, S.Fox 3, G.Carter 2, M.Alldis, C.Thompson, J.Lee, D.Kirchner
Mounties: D.Piper 2.1 inn, 10 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 4 HPB, 12 ER
G.Davidson 1.1 inn, 6 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 4 ER
S.Best 0.1 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Saints: E.Rickard 4 inn, 5 H, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER
J.Isbister 1 inn, 0 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
GUILD 7 defeated LARA 4
Although by no means having it their own way in this contest, Guild did enough against the Wildcats to post an important win and to assume league leadership for the time being at least.
With Lara opening scoring and the Lions responding in the bottom of the first, starters Brad Egan (Guild) and Chris Lewis (Lara) held sway through the early innings before Guild cashed in on defensive slip-ups and timely hitting to plate a game-breaking four runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Although the Wildcats hits back with a couple of their own, scores remained static over the later innings as Dan Anson (Lara) and Jack Smyth both put up zeroes for their clubs.
Marginally out-hitting the Lions – by ten to nine – Lara had solid contributors in Stuart Forbes (two hits), Ross Wilson (two hits), Cam Forbes (hit for two RBIs) and Jarrod Fraim, while Tony Kilfoyle (two hits and three RBIs) was a standout for Guild along with Chris Durston (two hits) and Troy Snarey (two RBIs).
Notwithstanding one spectacular fly ball taken by Lara centrefielder Stuart Forbes, both sides were not at their very best in defence, although the five unearned runs conceded by the Wildcats proved far more damaging in the context of an otherwise tight game.
No doubt keen to retain ladder leadership, Guild will play host to Bellarine in what should be a ripper game on Saturday, while the Wildcats come off a strong showing against the Lions for their home clash with Saints.
LARA 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 (4) 4 errors
GUILD 2 0 0 1 4 0 0 0 (7) 3 errors
Lara: S.Forbes 2, R.Wilson 2, D.Anson, C.Forbes, J.Fraim, M.McConnell, L.Arandt, T.Arandt
Guild: T.Kilfoyle 2, C.Durston 2, J.Lekkas, R.Stewart, James Wood, B.Spencer
Lara: C.Forbes 2, J.Fraim, T.Arandt
Guild: T.Kilfoyle 3, T.Snarey 2
Lara: Chris Lewis 5 inn, 6 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 2 ER
D.Anson 2 inn, 1 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
Guild: B.Egan 6 inn, 10 H, 3 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 4 ER
J.Smyth 2 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER
IN OTHER GRADES.....
Posting its eleventh win with a one-run result over Newport, Bellarine heads the A RESERVE table in the knowledge that its only loss has been to Guild Lions, the side strong in second ahead of Guild Cubs, which this week dispensed with fourth-placed Deakin rather easily. Vying for fourth after receiving a forfeit from lowly Mounties, Saints look best of the other prospects, although Newport is certainly not out of the running after its strong showing against the Bears.
While it appears one-way traffic in the five-team B GRADE competition – where Sunshine comfortably dispensed with Bacchus Marsh this week – Alfredton is always a danger and will certainly stay in touch along with an ever-competitive Saints and an experienced Bacchus outfit that can only get better.
Dominant with eleven wins on the trot in B RESERVE, Corio is clearly the team to beat, although Saints gave the Tigers a decent contest this week and are in the running for a top two berth despite slipping to third as Guild handed a pasting to Colac, which is vying with Bellarine and Deakin for fourth placing.
Unbeaten in C GRADE, Mounties appears almost certain of a top-two finish, although second-placed Guild is always dangerous and Newport could surprise on any given day, while Corio, Saints Black and Saints Red appear very evenly matched as we negotiate the last seven weeks of the regular season – when Lara might yet emerge as a contender after its blistering win over Saints Red this weekend.
Scroll down for a selection of images (three pages) from Geelong Baseball Centre this afternoon. Clubs should feel free to use any of the GBA images as they see fit for promotional and reporting purposes.