GBA appoints coaching staff for Winter Championship

Looking to defend its senior championship from last year, Geelong Baseball Association this week appointed Ryan Darcy as Head Coach, with Troy Snarey and Leigh Holmes named as Assistant Coaches.

The 2016 Senior Winter Championship will be held at Geelong Baseball Centre, from 11-13 June.

“We are very excited about our prospects for the championship and we are urging all of our baseball community to get behind us under Ryan Darcy, who is making his debut as a senior coach,” said Assistant Coach and Deakin head honcho Leigh Holmes.

“It is always a fantastic weekend of baseball,” he said, “and word around the traps is that we are going to be in for some tough opposition – especially from the Melbourne-based winter leagues.”

Aiming to replicate the GBA success of 2015, the coaching staff is asking for any senior player who is interested in representing the league at this prestigious event to contact Ryan Darcy (0427 578 988) or Leigh Holmes (0425 733 899).

“No tryouts will be held and the team will need to be decided rather soon,” Leigh Holmes said. “So please let the coaching staff know. They will also be calling some players, but please don't be backwards in coming forward."

Saints down Bears: Giants snatch top place

Spearheaded by a terrific game from Josh Lee, East Belmont posted its first win of the A Grade season – an 8-4 result over Bellarine - while Werribee held off a fast-finishing Lara Wildcats 7-4 and Deakin christened its magnificent new field (below) in the most fitting manner with a 4-1 win over Guild Lions, who have slipped to third.

Scroll down for images from the Deakin versus Guild game (kindly supplied by Gary Simper)

Kingsley Collins......... 21 May 2016

Seven games into the senior season and some interesting trends are beginning to emerge across the league. Still undefeated in A GRADE, Werribee has assumed top spot ahead of Deakin and Guild – with the Blues looking a definite title chance and the Lions never to be underestimated as they shoot for their sixth successive pennant. Ever-competitive, Mounties appear best of the rest, although Lara has a couple of wins, Bellarine has been a regular finalist in recent times and Saints may begin to gain impetus after finally tasting success.

Testament to its playing depth, Werribee also heads the A RESERVE table, although there is little separating the eight teams, each of which has posted at least three wins and is capable of upsetting any other on its day. To illustrate that point, third-placed Deakin has been flogged by eighth-placed Mounties, yet Deakin has had a big win over Werribee, Colac has beaten Werribee and second-placed Guild has enjoyed a couple of big wins while dropping others to teams lower in current rankings.

While Alfredton and Bacchus Marsh appear the sides to beat in B GRADE, Corio, Werribee and Guild are not far away - a tight situation replicated in B RESERVE, where Alfredton and Colac are setting the pace for at least another four teams vying for playoff action. Regular finalists in C GRADE for the past several years, Lara, Deakin and Bellarine have demonstrated sound form, although plenty can – and will - still happen with ten rounds to play.


The brains trust at Pioneer Park will finally be breathing a collective sigh of relief after Saints registered their first win from seven outings – a losing streak the likes of which old-timers cannot recall over the past couple of decades.

Although Bellarine held a two-run break into the top of seven, Saints offence came alive against a tiring Simon Murry and reliever Matt Sage, who were not helped by some errant Bears defence that gifted two unearned runs in the last for an unassailable lead.

This win owed much to the all-round game of Saints superstar Josh Lee, who whiffed nine over five innings of work – for a solitary earned run – and included a solo home run among his two hits in the heart of the order before handing the pill to Sean Talbot to close out the game with aplomb.

Luke Sherwell (two hits and an RBI) and Lewis Crichton (two hits) were other standouts with the bat for East Belmont, while Cameron Brown (two hits and an RBI), Wayne Visser and Matt Sage were best of a Bears offence that benefited from three unearned runs in the sixth but was unable to supply the run support that the Murry outing warranted.

Undoubtedly buoyed by the win, Saints will face a tough task away to Deakin next Saturday, while Bellarine makes the trek to Lara for a contest that is pivotal to the chances of both to make the playoffs.

SAINTS      0 1 0 1 0 0 3 3   (8)  1 error  
BELLARINE      0 0 1 0 0 3 0 0   (4)  3 errors  
Saints: L.Sherwell 2, J.Lee 2 (inc home run), L.Crichton 2, H.Sekine, T.Huisman
Bellarine: C.Brown 2, W.Visser, K.Kiefel, M.Sage  
Saints: H.Sekine, L.Sherwell, J.Charles, J.Lee, E.Rickard  
Bellarine: C.Brown, C.Barker, J.Crotty, M.Sage  
Saints: J.Lee 5 inn, 4 H, 9 Ks, 2 BB, 2 HPB, 1 ER  
  S.Talbot 3 inn, 1 H, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER  
Bellarine: S.Murry 7 inn, 7 H, 4 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 4 ER  
  M.Sage 1 inn, 1 H, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 1 ER  

WERRIBEE 7 defeated LARA 4

Predominantly a summer club, Werribee has enjoyed an on and off engagement in the upper echelons of Geelong Baseball Association competition since an ultra-competitive several years in the mid to late nineties – an historical observation that rightly means little to the current crop of committed players and supporters.

With so many of its personnel now playing together twelve months of the year – under inspirational Manager Jon Lowe for this winter at the very least – it is no surprise that the Giants have produced decent early season form, although not too much would be read into this game against a Lara outfit that has been on the wane for some time.

Scoring early and playing errorless defence, the Giants held control of this game throughout, despite reliever Trent Pantallaresco landing in strife – for four late runs - after John Curnow had set up another win for his club with six innings of scoreless work.

Scattering six hits between their pitching staff, Werribee scored in five of the eight innings played, with Wade Balzer (two hits and two RBIs), Jon Lowe (two and one), Kelvin Hartigan (two hits) and Jack Fielden (solo home run) doing the offensive damage against the Wildcats, who were again well-served by lion-hearted Chris Lewis on the hill over seven.

Werribee will be at home to Mounties for what should be a ripping game next Saturday – especially if both sides are at full strength – while Lara plays host to Bellarine, with both clubs keen to improve their lowly ladder positions.

WERRIBEE      2 1 0 1 0 2 1 0   (7)  0 errors  
LARA      0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4   (4)  3 errors  
Werribee: W.Balzer 2, J.Lowe 2, K.Hartigan 2, R.Balzer, M.Ernstzen, J.Curnow, J.Fielden (home run)
Lara: D.Anson, S.Baumann, S.Wilson, R.Wilson, S.Forbes, R.Carter  
Werribee: W.Balzer 2, J.Lowe, M.Ernstzen, J.Curnow, J.Fielden  
Lara: S.Baumann, S.Forbes, A.Muleller, R.Carter  
Werribee: J.Curnow 6 inn, 4 H, 2 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER  
  T.Pantallaresco 1.1 inn, 2 H, 3 Ks, 4 BB, 0 HPB, 4 ER  
  R.Balzer 0.2 inn, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER  
Lara: Chris Lewis 7 inn, 7 H, 1 K, 6 BB, 1 HPB, 7 ER
  D.Anson 1 inn, 1 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER

DEAKIN 4 defeated GUILD 1

Having a superb season for his club, Deakin ace Tayler Rowe dominated this contest over a seven-innings outing for a tick over ninety pitches against a Guild counterpart that again looked to Brad Egan to deliver the goods.

While Rowe came away with a well-deserved win before handing the ball to Kelii Zablan to close out the last, he received grand support from a solid defence, some aggressive base-running and solo home runs by Chris Webb and Cameron Gibbons that enabled the Blues to take greater advantage of total of eight hits delivered by each club in what was a evenly-matched contest featuring quality arms of the league.

Webb and Zablan were multiple hitters for Deakin (with two apiece), while Liam Spence and Andy Radevski posted two knocks each.

For the first A Grade baseball game played on the magnificent new multi-sports facility at Deakin University, it was the perfect result for the Blues, who have not beaten Guild at this level for some time and will surely derive even further confidence in a 2016 campaign that already seems well on track to atone for a disappointment last year.

Now in second placing, Deakin will be looking for another strong showing at home against Saints next Saturday, while Guild – now third - will be an interested observer with the bye.

GUILD      0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0   (1)  0 errors  
DEAKIN      0 0 0 1 0 2 0 1   (4)  1 error  
Guild: L.Spence 2, A.Radevski 2, J.Peoples, L.Harty, J.Landtahler, B.Wells
Deakin: C.Webb 2 (inc home run), K.Zablan 2, C.Gibbons (home run), S.Hornstra, N.Holmes, A.Medew  
Guild: J.Landthaler  
Deakin: C.Gibbons, C.Webb, N.Holmes  
Guild: B.Egan 6 inn, 5 H, 6 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 3 ER  
  L.Spence 2 inn, 3 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER  
Deakin: T.Rowe 7 inn, 7 H, 8 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER  
  K.Zablan 1 inn, 0 H, 3 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER

Images from lower grades this afternoon.

Senior draw changes, Saturday T-Ball, Under 18 tryouts

There has been plenty happening around the GBA this week, with clubs now informed of the following news at senior and junior levels.

***   SENIOR DRAW CHANGES. Guild has withdrawn its C Grade team entry, which has been replaced with a second Corio entry. While that situation amounts to a straight swap, there have been time and venue changes in other grades. Clubs have been informed and the changes are noted in light pink in the fixtures pages.

***   UNDER 18 WINTER CHAMPIONSHIP TRYOUTS will start on Sunday 24 April, 9.30 – 11.00 AM at Saints Baseball Club (Pioneer Park). To qualify for the series, a player must have been born after 31 December 1998 (that is, Under 18 at the 31 December 2016).

Although registrations will be taken on the day, it is preferred that be done before Sunday 24 April by emailing Phill Northfield

***   GEELONG BASEBALL ASSOCIATION T-BALL PROGRAMME will be up and running from Saturday 23 April. The programme is open for ALL GBA clubs. It is not team or club-based and open participation is welcomed. The sessions will be geared towards development applying T-Ball/Baseball skills and related fun activities to enhance all-round hand-eye coordination.

Age: 5-8 year old boys and girls

Location: Saints Baseball Club, Pioneer Rd, Grovedale.

Time: 9-10 AM

Duration: 8 Weeks (Not Queens Birthday Weekend), starting Sunday 23 April and finishing Saturday 18 June.

Senior Premiers 2015






Scores at a glance

A GRADE:     28 May
DEAKIN   versus SAINTS            
WERRIBEE   versus MOUNTIES       
GUILD   bye    

A Grade Top Ten

Top Ten after Round Six (14/15 May). NOTE: only eight pitchers are currently qualified under the minimum requirements.

Junior Playing Conditions

GBA Junior Playing Conditions for 2016 (including rules, game times and venues) are posted HERE.

U18 Championship Tryouts

TRYOUTS will start on Sunday 24 April, 9.30 – 11.00 AM at Saints (Pioneer Park). To qualify for the series, a player must have been born after 31 December 1998 (that is, Under 18 at the 31 December 2016).

Although registrations will be taken on the day, it is preferred that be done before Sunday 24 April by emailing Phill Northfield:

GBA Coaching Vacancies

The GBA Board seeks Head Coaches and support staff for our winter carnival teams:

1.   SENIORS (Geelong 11-13 June)

2.   UNDER 18 (Mildura, 25-26 June)

2.   UNDER 16 (Wangaratta 2-3 July)

3.   UNDER 14 (Knox 16-17 July)

4.   UNDER 12 (Bendigo 23-24 July)

Tony McPherson (Executive Officer)    

0407868720     97491369

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