GBA finish second in Under 14 Winter Championship
Unbeaten on Day One and already having drawn with a powerful Dandenong side, Geelong found it tougher going in a Sunday Semi-Final against the same opponent – which gained an early break with two in the second before piling on the runs as GBA pitchers Will Cavanagh, Tyson Sherry and Christian Sollberger battled hard to keep their side in the game. Mustering just two hits (Harry Jones and Liam Smith) and making a couple of defensive errors, Geelong scored late runs but was never really in this game as Dandenong went on to register a 13-2 win.
Dandenong qualified directly for the Grand Final, scheduled to play the winner of the Geelong versus Sunraysia game.
Rebounding from the morning loss, Geelong produced its very best form, scoring five in the first and again in the third to set up a thumping 12-3 result over Sunraysia, which are always a tough opponent at under-aged championships. GBA Assistant Coach Jason Peoples reports that the team produced "very good hitting throughout the lineup" in support of Riley Peoples and Zachary Arnell, who were outstanding on the mound.
PLAY-OFF GAME: DANDENONG 11 defeated GEELONG 4
Facing an unbeaten Dandenong in the Pool A Grand Final, Geelong was off to a flier with two in the top of the first, although the Dandy offence hit back with five off GBA starter Bradyn Barker – who pitched plenty of strikes against a strong and aggressive hitting opponent.
Although Liam Smith and Harry Jones picked up early hits for Geelong, Dandenong starter Shunsuke Okuda was a tough proposition and his side provided further run support in the second before the GBA scored a third run in the top of three and Harry Jones was called on in relief.
While the Geelong lads continued to swing the bats and they scored a couple of late runs, Dandenong held a substantial lead and comfortably held on for a 11-4 win.
Congratulations to the Dandenong team, which went undefeated through the tournament. Very well done to the GBA squad, which represented the league with great spirit – for three wins and a draw - and will have gained plenty from the experience.
DAY TWO RESULTS:
LATROBE VALLEY4 lost to SUNRAYSIA 9
DANDENONG 13 defeated GEELONG 2
DIAMOND VALLEY 12 defeated CITY WEST 7
SUNRAYSIA 3 lost to GEELONG 12
CITY WEST 9 defeated RINGWOOD 3
DIAMOND VALLEY 3 lost to RINGWOOD 4
LATROBE VALLEY versus SUNRAYSIA
GEELONG 4 lost to DANDENONG 11
Geelong started the tournament brightly by jumping out with four in the first of Game One against Latrobe Valley and tacking on another five in the second after the home association had responded with two of its own. A further four runs in the third gave GBA an unassailable lead, although scores reverted back to 9-3 with time not allowing equal innings.
Assisted by some Latrobe Valley errors, Geelong showed good pitch selection and took full advantage of its opportunities, with Zach Arnell (two RBIs), Alex Paddle and Will Cavanagh leading the offence in support of solid pitching – especially by Cooper Laurie.
Blasting six in the first, Geelong withstood a strong offensive challenge to emerge an impressive 7-4 winner over Sunraysia in its Game Two, a contest in which Bradyn Barker, Hugh Milne, Cade White and Riley Peoples had fine stints on the mound. With two hits, Peoples was a prominent in offence, along with Hugh Milne and Cooper Laurie – who both drove in two runs in a high-standard clash.
Set on their heels when Dandenong plated four in the first of Game Three, Geelong hit back with three in the second, tied up the contest in the third and forged to a clear lead with four in the top of the last. Not to be denied, however, the Dandenong squad came from a seemingly hopeless position – with two out and no-one on – to level scores before time was called and the game reverted to a 4-4 draw.
Terrific over 3.2 innings, Liam Smith was also one of the GBA’s better hitters, along with Christian Sollberger (who was outstanding with three hits and an RBI), Harry Jones, Cade White and Cooper Laurie.
The tournament will continue on Sunday, with a full round of semi-finals and playoffs.
DAY ONE RESULTS:
LATROBE VALLEY 3 lost to GEELONG 9
SUNRAYSIA 7 lost to DANDENONG 10
DIAMOND VALLEY 15 defeated CITY WEST 1
DANDENONG 11 defeated LATROBE VALLEY 1
GEELONG 7 defeated SUNRAYSIA 4
CITY WEST 1 lost to RINGWOOD 15
LATROBE VALLEY 10 lost to SUNRAYSIA 15
DANDENONG 8 drew with GEELONG 8
RINGWOOD 7 defeated DIAMOND VALLEY 5
The 2019 Under 14 State Winter Championship will be held in Morwell/Traralgon (LVBA) over 29 and 30 June.
Geelong Baseball Association Board and Junior Committee are pleased to announce the squad (see below) that will contest the Under 14 Baseball Victoria Winter Championship. Well done on selection, and our very best wishes for each tournament!
GBA UNDER 14 SQUAD
Grant DEW (Head Coach)
Brian ARNELL (Assistant Coach)
Jason PEOPLES (Assistant Coach)
Joy SOLLBERGER (Scorer)
Stacey BARKER (Executive Officer)