Kingsley Collins (9 September 2017)
Guild is the Geelong Baseball Association A Grade premier – for the sixth time in seven seasons, and seven of the past nine – after downing a gutsy Bellarine 6-5 in the bottom of a twelfth of an enthralling marathon at Geelong Baseball Centre this afternoon.
In a terrific day of finals baseball, there was a certain symmetry about the senior results – with Guild nailing both the A and A Reserve pennants, while Colac had dual success in B Grade and B Reserve and Lara posted massive wins in C Grade and C Reserve. Scroll down for our coverage of a massive day at Geelong Baseball Centre.
Well done to all participating clubs. Special contributions to the winners. May they party hard and long!
GUILD 6 defeated BELLARINE 5
While the disappointment will be palpable down Wallington way – after the Bears constructed a magnificent season and held a lead at three different stages of this game – this was truly one for the ages, as both clubs were fully stretched and showed great heart under enormous pressure.
As anticipated, starters Brad Egan (Guild) and Josh Crotty (Bellarine) were dominant early on, although the Bears had their opportunities while the Lions could muster just one hit into the bottom of four, when it threatened to unravel for Bellarine.
After a walk, a HPB and a wild pitch, a James Renouf bleeder scored a first run for Guild – although the damage could have been far greater were it not for a timely double play with bags loaded.
After plating two unearned to gain the lead in the top of six, the Bears were again under pressure when Guild landed two runners on base and teenager reliever Lachlan Hockey struggled momentarily – conceding the equaliser on a sacrifice fly and loading the bases on a walk that drew Simon Murry into the fray to mop up.
While the Bears again edged ahead in the top of seven, Guild responded with two in the bottom of the eighth, on a run-scoring walk to Jordan Lekkas and a two-out RBI single by Jarryd Wood.
However, as they had done all game, the Bears hit back to draw level in the top of nine – subsequently forcing the game into extra innings.
After scoreless tenth and eleventh frames, Bellarine converted a lead-off Murry single to again edge ahead in the twelfth and give themselves a real chance to break their premiership drought. However, the Lions clearly had other ideas, with Lekkas and Jarryd Wood hitting safely before some effective small ball generated a first run, followed by a Ryan Stewart sacrifice for the go-ahead.
“It was just a fantastic game of baseball,” said Guild Manager Jason Peoples. “We have had some great battles with Bellarine this season and this one was really a toss of a coin.”
“Both sides deserved to win, although obviously only one can,” he said. “Bellarine just kept coming at us and there were never any breaks for either side. It was an incredible game.”
“We played the short game pretty well when we had to today, but both sides had their chances and fortunately for us we were ahead when it mattered.”
Paying credit to pitchers on both sides for their outstanding work, Peoples made special mention of 39 year-old Brad Egan, who has started in seven A Grade winning Grand Finals in Geelong Baseball Association – six with Guild and one with East Belmont Saints.
“Brad has been just amazing for us,” Peoples said, “and he has to be regarded as one of the best ever in this league. We are just rapt that he is a part of the Guild family – for that is what we pride ourselves on being. Everyone gets along so well, whether they have been here for a year or twenty years – like a few of us have.”
“We just stick together – like family – and that is what makes days like this so important to us.”
The tightness of the contest to which Jason Peoples alluded is reflected in statistics coming out of the game, which saw each club amass twelve hits – among the more prominent being Guild players Jarryd Wood (Grand Final MVP with three hits and an RBI), Troy Snarey (two hits) and Chris Durston (two hits), while Wayne Visser, Lewis Weldon, Matt Sage and Jack Auld all hit safely twice for the Bears.
Whiffing six over six innings for no earned runs, Egan had outstanding back-up in Andy Radevski – whose six innings were delivered in a pressure-cooker situation – while Bellarine gave itself a real chance through the heroics of Josh Crotty and Simon Murry, who came off a complete-game outing in the Preliminary Final to show typical strength and character to keep his club in the contest.
|BELLARINE||0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 0 1 (5) 4 errors|
|GUILD||0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 2 (6) 2 errors|
|Bellarine:||W.Visser 2, L.Weldon 2, M.Sage 2, J.Auld 2, C.Brown, S.Murry, L.Stott, L.Medew|
|Guild:||Jarryd Wood 3, T.Snarey 2, C.Durston 2, T.Kilfoyle, M.Miller, J.Renouf, J.Lekkas, L.Harty|
|Bellarine:||W.Visser, L.Stott, M.Sage, J.Auld|
|Guild:||Jarryd Wood, R.Stewart, J.Renouf, James Wood, L.Harty|
|Bellarine:||J.Crotty 5 inn, 5 H, 0 K, 3 BB, 2 HPB, 2 ER|
|L.Hockey 0.1 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER|
|S.Murry 6 inn, 7 H, 3 Ks, 4 BB, 1 HPB, 4 ER|
|Guild:||B.Egan 6 inn, 7 H, 6 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER|
|A.Radevski 6 inn, 5 H, 4 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER|
AND IN OTHER GAMES.......
Blasting ten in the first off accomplished Lara hurler Greg Anderson, Guild held off a determined Lara Wildcats – who chipped away at the massive early lead – and ran out a 15-5 winner in the A RESERVE Grand Final. Making a late surge in its season, Bacchus Marsh performed wonderfully well to qualify for the B GRADE Grand Final, but was brought back to earth rather abruptly by Colac, which rode a Kurt Wilson no-hitter and smacked the baseball hard and often en route to a 15-0 mercy-rule result. While Guild took on the B RESERVE deciding game with real gusto, in the end it was no match for Colac – which took the title 12-3. A pace-setter all season across the grades, Lara managed to take two senior titles home – by crushing Guild 26-3 in C GRADE and dealing a similarly outlandish outcome in C RESERVE, where it toppled a disappointing Deakin Blues 26-4.
Congratulations, again, to all winners. Very well done to all clubs and all finalists for continuing to fly the flag for Geelong Baseball Association winter clubs. Best wishes to all players, administrators, families and supporters involved in Summer League – now or into the future.
Scroll down for a selection of images from Grand Final Day 2017.
Kingsley Collins (2 September 2017)
With Simon Murry conceding a sole earned run over a complete-game outing, Bellarine has advanced to the A Grade Grand Final – and a showdown with Guild Lions – after a hard-fought Preliminary Final result over a disappointing Lara Wildcats, which matched the Bears on hitting but was unable to convert while paying dearly for defensive slip-ups.
BELLARINE 6 defeated LARA 1
An untidy start to this contest set the tone of an unfortunate afternoon’s proceedings for the Wildcats, who were bundled out of the playoffs by a Bellarine outfit that proved itself a genuine contender that will lock horns with Guild Lions in the Grand Final next Saturday.
Wearing a pitch in the top of the first, Bears skipper Cameron Brown stole second, forced a throwing error on a muffed pick-off and scored on a Lewis Weldon grounder - followed up in the second, when a dropped third strike, an errant throw and a base hit handed Bellarine a two-zip lead against Lara starter Cameron Forbes.
Keeping the Wildcats hitters off balance early, Simon Murry allowed just one runner on base through the first four – a single by Ben Hammer – while his side stretched the lead with a three-spot in the top of three, when Brown, Weldon and Murry all hit safely.
With three of the first five runs unearned, Lara ace Cameron Forbes showed typical class to escape a tough situation in the top of four before his side finally hit the scoreboard in the equaliser, when Jared Berman scooted home on a Hammer sacrifice.
While Forbes held the Bellarine hitters in check from the fifth through to the last – other than a Wayne Visser double – the Wildcats landed runners on base in the last four frames but were thwarted by the canny Murry and a slick Bellarine defence that turned crucial double plays in the eighth and ninth to secure a shot at the ultimate team prize.
Scattering nine hits and not issuing a walk over the distance, Murry was quite outstanding for the Bears – as was Forbes, who whiffed eleven over a complete game that was far more competitive than the final scoreline might suggest.
Better able on the day to exploit its scoring opportunities in support of faultless defence, Bellarine had grand contributors in Weldon (two hits and three RBIs), Brown (two hits), Murry, Lachlan Medew and Lachlan Stott, while Stuart Forbes (two hits), Berman (two hits), Jarrod Fraim (two hits) and Hammer were best of a Wildcats offence that struggled with run conversion when it mattered most.
The A Grade benchmark all season, Lara faltered at the inopportune time and was outgunned in this one by a Bellarine outfit that played a terrific all-round brand of baseball and earned another shot at breaking a lengthy premiership drought when it meets Guild at the stadium next Saturday.
|BELLARINE||1 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 (6) 0 errors|
|LARA||0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 (1) 3 errors|
|Bellarine:||C.Brown 2, L.Weldon 2, C.Barker, W.Visser, S.Murry, L.Stott, L.Medew|
|Lara:||S.Forbes 2, J.Berman 2, J.Fraim 2, A.Green, C.Forbes, B.Hammer|
|Bellarine:||L.Weldon 3, S.Murry, M.Sage, L.Medew|
|Bellarine:||S.Murry 9 inn, 9 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER|
|Lara:||C.Forbes 9 inn, 9 H, 11 Ks, 1 BB, 3 HPB, 3 ER|
Played in very pleasant conditions at Geelong Baseball Centre, Preliminary Final Day generated euphoria for some – and disappointment, inevitably for others. While Lara is out of A Grade contention, it has already booked a berth in the A RESERVE Grand Final – where it will meet Guild Lions, who overpowered Saints 11-2 to knock the haloes out of contention. Heading the B GRADE table all season, Alfredton – to most – looked the goods against Bacchus Marsh, which showed real heart in engineering an upset of sorts with a thrilling 10-9 win that earns the Tigers a crack at Colac in the Grand Final next Saturday. Already qualified for the Big Dance in B RESERVE, Colac now knows that it will be matched against Guild, which dealt a 7-0 whitewash to a Saints side that faltered after a brilliant regular season. Incredible scenes in C GRADE today, where Guild came from a massive deficit to down Deakin 14-12 – thanks in large part to a grand slam by Stephen More that helped secure a Grand Final berth against Lara. In C RESERVE, Lara posted what one observer dubbed an “ugly” 7-4 win over Colac – a result that was adequate, however, to earn the Wildcats another crack at Deakin to decide the title in this grade.
For those who might detect a certain familiarity about some of the club names– and hence some of the Grand Final scheduling – it is indeed true that Guild has qualified four senior teams for the big day (A Grade, A Reserve, B Reserve and C Grade) and it is correct that Lara will be contesting three Grand Finals (A Reserve, C Grade and C Reserve). Brilliantly well done to those two clubs, along with Colac (who have two teams qualified), to Bacchus Marsh (which came from the clouds after a rugged start to the regular season) – and of course to other teams still in contention.
More of that during our Grand Final Preview, which will be posted with the Grand Final Schedule late Monday or early Tuesday.
|Finally, on a personal, more sombre note. The GBA Board and affiliate clubs again extend sincere condolences to association administrator, umpire and all-round baseball lifer Don Stephens on the passing of his mother Beatrice Stephens late last week. Our thoughts are with Donny, at this sad time.|
Guild has qualified for yet another A Grade Grand Final appearance in Geelong Baseball Association by whitewashing Lara 14-0 in a seven-innings mercy rule Second Semi-Final that was both deflating for the Wildcats and a disappointment to supporters who expected a far more competitive outing from a club that has led the standings all season. While Guild has next weekend off, Lara will regroup for a Preliminary Final clash with Bellarine Bears - who eliminated Deakin.
The Preliminary Final schedule will be posted early in the week, along with our PREVIEW.
A GRADE QUALIFYING FINAL.
GUILD 14 defeated LARA 0
The Lions have stormed into the A Grade Grand Final – their ninth consecutive appearance in the big dance – with a blistering mercy-run result over Lara, which had won all four games between the clubs during the regular season.
While the Wildcats did not help their own cause – in making four defensive errors that helped leak seven unearned runs – they were out-hit, out-pitched and out-defended by an opponent that blasted six in the second and stunned Lara with another seven in the sixth to force an early finish.
In his accustomed starting role for the Lions, Brad Egan was at his dominant best – conceding just two hits over a stellar complete game outing against a potent and experienced Lara offence that could land just a handful of runners on base.
Taking the start for the Wildcats, the well-credentialled veteran Cameron Forbes whiffed eight but came in for some rare treatment as three walks, three HPBs and some clean clutch hitting by the Lions saw seven earned runs debited against him before he was relieved by Dan Anson with the game well gone.
With seven of its lineup making a contribution in offence, Guild was shown the way by James Wood (with two hits and four RBIs batting in the nine-hole), Troy Snarey (two and one), Mitch Miller (one and three) and teenager Jarryd Wood (one and two).
It was a letdown of some magnitude for the Wildcats, who will be looking to reverse their fortunes big-time when they face an in-form Bellarine Bears in the Preliminary Final next Saturday.
|GUILD||0 6 0 1 0 7 0 (14) 2 errors|
|LARA||0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (0) 4 errors|
|Guild:||T.Snarey 2, James Wood 2, Jarryd Wood, T.Kilfoyle, M.Miller, R.Stewart, C.Durston|
|Guild:||James Wood 4, M.Miller 3, Jarryd Wood 2, T.Kilfoyle, R.Stewart, T.Snarey, C.Durston|
|Guild:||B.Egan 7 inn, 2 H, 3 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER|
|Lara:||C.Forbes 5 inn, 4 H, 8 Ks, 3 BB, 3 HPB, 7 ER|
|D.Anson 2 inn, 5 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER|
After a sedate start to the Elimination First Semi-Final, Bellarine switched on the offensive power in a blistering display of hitting led by Cameron Brown, Wayne Visser, Lewis Weldon, Matt Sage andSimon Murry that produced a game-breaking eight runs through the middle innings to set up a 13-3 mercy rule win for the Bears and brought a shuddering end to Deakin’s A Grade finals campaign.
A GRADE ELIMINATION FINAL.
BELLARINE 13 defeated DEAKIN 3
Bellarine has qualified for the Preliminary Final in the most convincing fashion by outplaying Deakin in all aspects of the game to force a mercy-rule call after seven at Wallington Reserve this afternoon.
After a scoreless first frame, Deakin plated a run in the top of the second – on a Cameron Lyons double – but promptly surrendered the lead as the Bears exploited a defensive error to draw level in the equaliser.
Although its defence faltered four times overall in conceding three unearned runs, Deakin was placed under sustained pressure and could hardly be blamed for those slip-ups as the home side amassed nineteen hits in an extraordinary offensive display that generated five in the third and three in the fourth as the scoreline blew out to unmanageable proportions.
Conceding fifteen of those hits, Deakin starter Chris Webb was solid through two before Cameron Brown belted a two-run homer in the third to spark an assault that saw he and Lewis Weldon crunch back-to-back solo bombs in the fourth as a string of other players joined in the hit parade.
While Brown (four hits for four RBIs – including the twin homers) and Weldon (home run, triple, single and a walk) properly gained plaudits for leaving the yard, they had plenty of support, with Wayne Visser (five from five, including two doubles and an RBI), Matt Sage (three doubles) and Simon Murry (three hits and a walk – for two RBIs) delivering equally outstanding contributions for Bellarine.
Playing errorless defence, the Bears would be delighted with the all-round game of Murry, who spun six innings of work for one earned run before Brown and Lachlan Hockey mopped up at the end against a Deakin squad that was unable to stem the flow despite seven of its players hitting safely.
While the result spelled a disappointing end to an up and down season for Deakin, Bellarine will take enormous confidence into its Preliminary Final clash against either Lara or Guild – whichever club falls short in Sunday’s Qualifying Final at Lara.
|DEAKIN||0 1 0 0 0 0 2 (3) 4 errors|
|BELLARINE||0 1 5 3 1 1 2 (13) 0 errors|
|Deakin:||C.Webb, K.Greenhalgh, A.Medew, M.Rigby, C.Lyons, M.Belfrage, A.Ham|
|Bellarine:||W.Visser 5, C.Brown 4 (inc 2 home runs), M.Sage 3, L.Weldon 3 (inc home run), S.Murry 3, C.Barker|
|Deakin:||C.Webb, K.Greenhalgh, M.Belfrage|
|Bellarine:||C.Brown 4, L.Weldon 2, S.Murry 2, W.Visser, L.Stott, J.Auld|
|Deakin:||C.Webb 6 inn, 15 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 8 ER|
|S.Fraser 0 inn, 4 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER|
|Bellarine:||S.Murry 6 inn, 4 H, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER|
|C.Brown 0.1 inn, 3 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 2 ER|
|L.Hockey 0.2 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER|
Lara Wildcats are through to the A RESERVE Grand Final with an 8-7 win over Saints, who recovered from an eight-zip deficit to plate six in the last of a great contest that had supporters of both clubs enthralled. Saints will have a second chance in the Preliminary Final against Guild, who knocked Mounties out of contention with a 12-2 result.
A dominant all-round display in B GRADE gave Bacchus Marsh a comfortable 8-2 win over Newport, which is out of the race, while the Marsh goes to the Preliminary Final – where it will meet Alfredton, which was edged out 6-4 by Colac in a superb game that saw the Braves book their spot for the Grand Final in a fortnight.
Ultra-combative against each other all season in B RESERVE, Colac and Saints fought out a ripper in which the Braves established a massive lead and held on 10-8 despite Saints scrambling seven in the last. While Colac goes straight through, Saints will head to a Preliminary Final showdown with Guild, whose youngsters outplayed Alfredton 14-3 to eliminate the Eagles.
Lara is through to the C GRADE Grand Final with its thumping 19-2 result over Guild, which will lick its wounds and regroup for a Preliminary Final stoush with Deakin, which put Saints out of the race with a 13-4 result in the Elimination Final.
Scoring in every innings bar one, Deakin upset Lara in a C RESERVE slugfest, running out an 18-15 winner over the Wildcats and earning a direct passage to the Grand Final. Presumably stung by the loss, Lara will head to a Preliminary Final encounter with Colac after the Braves eliminated Corio 11-10 in a thrilling First Semi-Final that could easily have gone either way.
Scroll down for a selection of images from senior Semi-Final day, including pictures from a terrific morning of junior Grand Finals. Well done to all junior teams, with special congratulations going to SAINTS (Junior League Premier with its 9-5 win over Guild) and to DEAKIN (which is Little League Premier after defeating Guild 8-5).
Schedule and times for senior Preliminary Finals will be posted during Monday.
With two wins from its six games, Geelong has finished a creditable fourth in the Under 16 Winter Championship played in Wangaratta over the weekend. READ MORE.......
Following the 2017 AGM in December, the following appointments have been made to league office-bearers and Board for the ensuing twelve months:
President: Don Stephens
Vice-President: Chris Rickard
Treasurer: Roland Stott
Junior Chair: Phill Northfield
Executive Officer: to be announced
Board Members: Lee Harty, Jordan Lekkas, Leigh Holmes, Jen Mason
Further details, including contacts, will be posted early in 2018.
|A GRADE GRAND FINAL|
|A RESERVE GRAND FINAL|
|B GRADE GRAND FINAL|
|B RESERVE GRAND FINAL|
|C GRADE GRAND FINAL|
|C RESERVE GRAND FINAL|