Geelong squanders chance:  Ringwood takes championship

Kingsley Collins

11 June 2018

Ringwood is the premier regional Victorian league for 2018 after edging out Geelong 2-0 in the final of the Senior Winter Championship that concluded at Geelong Baseball Centre this afternoon.

 

With former Major Leaguer Travis Blackley (pictured) calling the shots on the mound for Ringwood, the home association was wonderfully served by Josh Lee – who tossed six quality innings after a complete game outing in the semi-final but was saddled with the loss as his team passed up a rare opportunity to score in a pivotal sixth innings.

 

Sunraysia has earned the Division Two title with a 7-6 win over North Eastern, which went into the final unbeaten.  

DIVISION ONE GRAND FINAL

RINGWOOD 2 defeated GEELONG 0

In another contest dominated by the pitchers, Ringwood rode a brilliant complete game by Travis Blackley to blank a gallant Geelong outfit that came up just short of replicating its Division One success of last year.

 

Conjuring up another terrific spell after his complete game in the semi-final against City, Josh Lee contained the Ringwood offence wonderfully well until the bottom of five, when Leigh Bertrand drew a pass, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and a grounder before crossing the plate on a Jordan Young single.

 

Brisbane Bandits pitcher, long-term Australian representative and a former playing professional with five MLB clubs – now suiting up for Forest Hill in Melbourne Winter League – Blackley was challenged in the sixth, when Jordan Lekkas reached first on an infield error with none out.

 

Even after Lekkas was picked off by Blackley – who still has one of the best moves in the business – Kobe Greenhalgh, who posted two of Geelong's three hits for the game, revived Geelong hopes momentarily with a booming double before being gunned down desperately trying to reach third.

 

When Jarryd Wood drew a walk there was still a flicker of hope until Blackley whiffed the dangerous Cameron Brown and Ringwood stretched the break off Geelong reliever Jayde Thorne in the equaliser – when a misplayed bunt allowed a second run to cross the plate.

 

Congratulations to Ringwood, which went undefeated over five games and was a worthy winner of the Division One championship! Very well done to Manager Lewis Weldon and his Geelong squad, who enjoyed a superb tournament and whose younger players would derive great benefit from competing at this level. The final was just a terrific game of baseball about which all participants should feel proud.

GEELONG      0 0 0 0 0 0 0   (0)  1 error

RINGWOOD   0 0 0 0 1 1 0    (2)   1 error

Hits.

Geelong: K.Greenhalgh 2, C.Durston

Ringwood:   Jordan Young 2, M.Ley

RBIs.

Geelong: nil

Ringwood:   Jordan Young

DIVISION ONE SEMI-FINAL:

GEELONG 2 defeated CITY 1

Geelong qualified for a berth in the championship game with a thrilling result over City in a contest dominated by quality pitching and defence.

 

Scoring in the first on a walk, a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice, City was matched by the host association when Cameron Brown hit safely with two out, advanced on a walk and scored on a Brock Wells single.

 

With Josh Lee settling into precision work on the hill, Geelong edged ahead in the third, when Brown again hit safely before two walks and a Lee grounder enabled him to cross the plate for the go-ahead that was protected over ensuing three frames of high-quality defensive baseball.

 

Tossing just 70 pitches for one hit – a two-out single in the last – Lee was outstanding for Geelong, although his counterpart in Dennis Neal was equally impressive and certainly earned plaudits from all and sundry for a pair of terrific outings over the tournament.

CITY            1 0 0 0 0 0   (1)  0 errors

GEELONG   1 0 1 0 0 0   (2)  1 error

Hits.

City:   M.Formisano

Geelong:   C.Brown 2, B.Wells

RBIs.

City:   O.Box

Geelong:   B.Wells, J.Lee

DAY THREE RESULTS

DIVISION TWO SEMI-FINALS:

NORTH EASTERN 7 defeated DANDENONG (UNDER 23) 2

SUNRAYSIA 10 defeated LATROBE VALLEY 2

DIVISION ONE SEMI-FINAL:

GEELONG 2 defeated CITY 1

DIVISION ONE CONSOLATION (fourth versus fifth)

DANDENONG 18 defeated MOUNT GAMBIER 9

DIVISION TWO FINAL:

 

SUNRAYSIA 7 defeated NORTH EASTERN 6

DIVISION ONE FINAL:

RINGWOOD 2 defeated GEELONG 0

Loss against Ringwood a setback for GBA

Kingsley Collins

10 June 2018

After posting a comprehensive 17-3 win over Mount Gambier on Sunday morning, Geelong was outplayed 9-5 by Ringwood – which remains undefeated and will head straight to the Monday afternoon Division One final. To earn another crack at Ringwood in the decider, Geelong – now second - will need to win its Monday morning semi-final game against City, while Dandenong and Mount Gambier will play off to decide fourth and fifth tournament placings.

Monday morning Division Two games will pit North Eastern (first) against Dandenong Under 23 (fourth) and Sunraysia (second) against Latrobe Valley (third), with the two winners progressing to an afternoon final.

All final scores and standings will be posted as they are made available by Baseball Victoria.

 

DAY TWO RESULTS

GEELONG 17 defeated MOUNT GAMBIER 3

Eight runs in the first and seven in the second set up a thumping win for the local squad, which the recipient of a dozen walks and five unearned runs as the Mount Gambier defence was placed under enormous pressure behind three hurlers tried on the hill.

 

By contrast – except for a muffed flyball that allowed two unearned runs in the second - the Geelong field was solid in support of David Asp, Tyler Comben and Matt Sage, who combined to scatter three hits in a massive win that effectively placed Mount Gambier out of championship contention.

 

With three hits and four of his side’s RBIs, Jayde Thorne enjoyed a day out for Geelong, although he had plenty of offensive mates including James Renouf (two hits and two RBIs), Kobe Greenhalgh (one and two), Tyler Luther Wilson (two ribbies), Chris Durston (three walks) and Lachlan Stott (two walks and a HPB).

GEELONG                    8 7 1 0 1   (17)  1 error

MOUNT GAMBIER    0 3 0 0 0  (3)  3 errors

Hits.

Geelong:   J.Thorne 3, J.Renouf 2, Jarryd Wood, K.Greenhalgh, B.Wells, M.Sage

Mount Gambier:   B.Foster, B.Marcele, A.Lewis

RBIs.

Geelong:   J.Thorne 4, T.Luther-Wilson 2, J.Renouf 2, K.Greenhalgh 2, L.Stott

Mount Gambier:   L.Tilley 2, E.Chuck

RINGWOOD 9 defeated GEELONG 5

In what was a much-anticipated clash – and a potential rehearsal for the championship game – Ringwood gained an early break, with sacrifice flyballs in the first and some Geelong defensive slip-ups in the second enabling it to forge to a telling lead after four.

 

With southpaw Mitch Ley delivering a quality start for Ringwood, the Geelong offence was held in check until a productive fifth that gleaned a promising four-spot before the green and gold edged away late for a clear-cut win.

 

Complementing his winning outing on the hill, Ley stroked a pair of hits for Ringwood, although its stars in offence were certainly Jordan Young (four hits and two RBIs), Jack Dunn (three hits), Leigh Cartwright (two hits) and Charlie Keyhoe (one and two) – while Manager Lewis Weldon (two hits and three RBIs) was the beacon for a Geelong lineup that could muster just six knocks to fifteen.

 

Negotiating its preliminary games undefeated, Ringwood has booked a saloon passage ride to the Division One final, while Geelong will regroup for a Monday morning semi-final clash with City.

RINGWOOD   2 2 0 2 1 0 0 2     (9)  4 errors

GEELONG      0 0 0 0 4 0 1 0   (5)  4 errors

Hits.

Ringwood:   Jordan Young 4, J.Dunn 3, M.Ley 2, L.Cartwright 2, J.Barnett, O.McMahon, L.Bertrand, C.Keyhoe

Geelong:   L.Weldon 2, K.Greenhalgh, C.Brown, T.Luther-Wilson, J.Lekkas

RBIs.

Ringwood:   Jordan Young 2, C.Keyhoe 2, O.McMahon, Jamie Young

Geelong:   L.Weldon 3, Jarryd Wood

RINGWOOD 6 defeated CITY 5

LATROBE VALLEY 9 defeated SUNRAYSIA 5

NORTH EASTERN 10 defeated DANDENONG (UNDER 23) 2

DANDENONG 11 defeated MOUNT GAMBIER 8

NORTH EASTERN 8 defeated SUNRAYSIA 6

DANDENONG 5 defeated CITY 4

Geelong begins strongly at Winter Championship

Kingsley Collins

9 June 2018

Facing a powerful City offence in its opening game, Geelong gained a break mid-game and held on for a 6-4 win before blanking Dandenong 6-0 in the afternoon game - while Ringwood, who are always a tough assignment, showed early form with a 10-3 result over Mount Gambier before being treated to a quality outing by former Major Leaguer Travis Blackley while crushing Dandenong 9-2.

Unofficially after Day One, Ringwood (2-0) and Geelong (2-0) remain unbeaten from two, ahead of Sunraysia (1-0), Northeastern (1-0), City (1-1) and Latrobe Valley (1-1). Mount Gambier (0-2), Dandenong (0-2) and Dandenong Under 23 (0-2) are still to post a win.

Nine teams are contesting the Senior Winter Championships being held at Geelong Baseball Centre over the long weekend. With pleasant weather expected for the entirety, baseball fans are urged to come on down and support their team in the series - which is being covered online by Baseball Victoria. Finals will be played on Monday afternoon.

Scroll down for a selection of images from Day One.

DAY ONE RESULTS

GEELONG 6 defeated CITY 4

Aided by a couple of defensive errors, Geelong plated two in the first while City forged to a narrow lead after two – one that was erased rather quickly when walks to Jayde Thorne and Lewis Weldon were converted on a triple by Brock Wells and a Tyler Luther-Wilson double.

 

Calling on Mounties hurler Gavin Smith to protect their break, Geelong tacked on another in the fourth before City exploited a series of passes that shaved the lead marginally in the last.

 

Although conceding a combined total of ten walks, starter Lachlan Hockey and Smith were effective in scattering just two hits to a potent City offence, while Dennis Neal pitched a solid game for his side despite being collared for key knocks by Wells and Luther-Wilson – who were outstanding with the bat.  

CITY             1 2 0 0 1   (4)  2 errors

GEELONG   2 0 3 1 0   (6)  2 errors

Hits.

City:   J.Sinclair, W.Balzer

Geelong:   B.Wells 2, C.Brown, Jarryd Wood, J.Thorne, T.Luther-Wilson

RBIs.

City:   W.Balzer 2, J.Gill

Geelong:   B.Wells 3, T.Luther-Wilson 2, C.Brown

GEELONG 6 defeated DANDENONG 0

Although Lewis Weldon drove in a Geelong run in the first – after Cameron Brown had swatted a double – starters Jeff Guerro (Dandenong) and Jayde Thorne were dominant on the hill through the early innings.

 

A pitching change for Dandenong in the top of six marked a pivotal point in the contest, as Geelong forced a string of defensive errors that gleaned a match-breaking five unearned runs.

 

Whiffing ten and scattering three hits, Thorne was a clear standout for Geelong, who maintained the offensive pressure behind multiple-hit games by Weldon (two hits and an RBI) and Josh Lee (two hits).

GEELONG          1 0 0 0 0 5    (6)  0 errors

DANDENONG  0 0 0 0 0 0   (0)  6 errors
Hits.

Geelong:   L.Weldon 2, J.Lee 2, J.Wood, C.Brown, T.Luther-Wilson

Dandenong:   W.Tucker, C.Barnett, N.Thompson

RBIs.

Geelong:   L.Weldon, T.Luther-Wilson

Dandenong:   nil

RINGWOOD 10 defeated MOUNT GAMBIER 3

SUNRAYSIA 5 defeated DANDENONG UNDER 23 0

NORTH EASTERN 4 defeated LATROBE VALLEY 1

CITY 8 defeated MOUNT GAMBIER 2

RINGWOOD 9 defeated DANDENONG 2

LATROBE VALLEY 7 defeated DANDENONG UNDER 23 5

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