Dandy snaps Ringwood streak: Latrobe in a nail-biter

Dandenong and Latrobe Valley have emerged as series winners after a thrilling third day of action in the Senior Winter Championship that was wrapped up at Geelong Baseball Centre this afternoon.

Destined to meet in the City Division Final after Saturday and Sunday results, Dandy and Ringwood both tuned up for the afternoon clash with tight games in the final round-robin game. Although those results were immaterial in the wider scheme of things, the morning fixtures produced two cracker games, with Ringwood edging out City 5-4 and Dandenong charging home to force a 5-5 draw with Geelong.

Keeping pitching ace Blake Cunningham fresh for the final, Dandenong was on the board early against a Ringwood outfit that had expended much of its pitching depth in qualifying for the decider – notably in its tough Sunday afternoon outing against Geelong. However, with starting southpaw Daniel Page doing a great job to keep his side in touch, the Ringwood boys hit back for a one run lead in the top of six.

Although the momentum appeared to be moving in favour of the reigning titleholder, Dandenong slugger Cain Bumpstead clearly had other ideas in leaving the yard with a towering home run to level the scores before backing up – on his last trip to the plate – with a run-scoring single in the eighth. His timely hitting, and the complete game outing by Cunningham were just two of several outstanding individual performances as both sides turned it on when it mattered most.

Another great game of hard-fought baseball that demonstrated once again that the Winter Championship remains well and truly alive.

Finishing third of the City Group (with two wins, two losses and two drawn), a youthful Geelong squad should be distinctly pleased with an effort that saw it force split results with the eventual finalists, while City left the harbour city without a win but proved to be extremely competitive in four of its six games played.

Similarly in the Country Division, the Monday morning games were dead rubbers with Latrobe Valley and Sunraysia already guaranteed a berth in the final. While the Sunraysia bats exploded for a 10-2 result over Bendigo (1-5 for the tournament), Latrobe copped an 8-9 morning loss at the hands of North-Eastern (2-4 for the weekend).

With pitchers of both teams well in control, the country final was very much in the balance throughout, with Latrobe Valley improving its already impressive championship record of the past fifteen years with a 3-2 result over a Sunraysia outfit that had shown its potential for heavy scoring in the qualifying games.

Both teams won a game apiece in their round-robin meetings and it was no surprise that the deciding contest would go right to the wire.

Congratulations to Dandenong and Latrobe Valley – both very worthy Senior Winter Championship winners for 2014.

Well done to all squads, to all players, their winter associations, to umpires, other officials, host clubs in Guild and Saints, canteen staff, ground staff and supporters for continuing to support this grand old baseball event with such enthusiasm and commitment.

IMAGES FROM DAY THREE

BASEBALL VICTORIA FOR ALL RESULTS AND LADDERS

WINTER CHAMPIONSHIP IMAGES

PREVIEW:  SENIOR WINTER CHAMPIONSHIP

https://sitedesq.sportstg.com/assets/siteDesq/19464/gallery/CarnivalDayThree%20108.JPG

Quality to the fore on Day Two

After what was – for all – a tough opening day at the Winter Championship, the more favoured teams coming into the series staked their claims for finals action with thumping Sunday wins.

While Dandenong (4-1) dropped its City Division game to Ringwood (three wins, a loss and a draw), it hit back by smashing City and nailing a certain finals berth on Monday afternoon. Ringwood followed the first-up win by blanking Geelong (2-2-1) - in what was effectively a semi-final - to put the home side apparently out of contention despite its big result over City (0-5) earlier in the day.

In Monday morning games to complete the double round-robin, Geelong will meet Dandenong and City will play Ringwood. While a Geelong win and a City upset over Ringwood would place the locals at level pegging with the reigning double-titleholder, Ringwood has the edge on head-to-head.

All teams will be keen to get through the morning unscathed and will almost certainly choose to nominate younger, developing players for a greater share of game time. We may see some interesting pitching options used and we can reasonably anticipate some great entertainment.

The situation is far more clear-cut in the Country Division, where Latrobe Valley (4-1) shares top billing with Sunraysia (4-1), which dealt the Valley its only loss and followed up with a narrow win over North-Eastern (1-4). Earlier in the day, North-Eastern posted its first win with a thumping result over Bendigo (1-4), which was taken to the cleaners by Latrobe Valley in an afternoon contest.

Certain to meet in the final, Latrobe and Sunraysia will both be selecting their lineups carefully for morning contests against North-Eastern and Bendigo respectively in the knowledge that they will face opponents who will be keen the finish the series on a high.

Hostilities will resume at Geelong Baseball Centre at 10.00 AM on Monday.

With a pleasant day on the cards, supporters should expect another terrific day of competition, highlighted by a couple of intense afternoon finals. For those who cannot make it to Waurn Ponds, Saints Baseball Club is again expected to be providing its live stream from Pioneer Park.

BASEBALL VICTORIA FOR ALL RESULTS AND LADDERS

WINTER CHAMPIONSHIP IMAGES

PREVIEW;  SENIOR WINTER CHAMPIONSHIP

Follow games live from Pioneer Park (Diamond 4) via SAINTS TV

https://sitedesq.sportstg.com/assets/siteDesq/19464/gallery/WinterChamps2014%20073.JPG

Dandy and Latrobe make early running

There was action aplenty at Geelong Baseball Centre today, with just two sides remaining undefeated after the first round of Winter Championship competition.

Always a strong presence at the championship and on a mission to atone for missing the final last time, Dandenong (3-0) heads the City Group of teams after a mini-upset over Ringwood and hard-fought subsequent wins over City and Geelong.

Geelong and Ringwood fought out a cracking draw that leaves them deadlocked in second placing after both triumphed over the City outfit, which remains winless despite three impressive outings that kept them in every contest.

In the Country Group, a youthful Latrobe Valley (3-0) finished Day One atop the table compliments of a narrow result over Sunraysia and some free-scoring that enabled then to get the better of Bendigo and North-Eastern.

Sunraysia (2-1) recovered from the early loss to down North-Eastern and Bendigo, which posted a first-up win to sit third ahead of a combative North-Eastern unit that will be looking to better tidings on the Sabbath.

With the weather tipped to improve for Sunday and Monday, we can expect some entertaining baseball and some fierce competition for the remainder of what is always an arduous series.

The Sunday assignment is not quite as challenging as Day One, with both sides scheduled to play just two games, with the third of their second round matches to be decided on Monday morning.

After completion of the double Round Robin, the two top sides in each group will meet for title honours on Monday afternoon.

BASEBALL VICTORIA FOR ALL RESULTS AND LADDERS

WINTER CHAMPIONSHIP IMAGES

PREVIEW;  SENIOR WINTER CHAMPIONSHIP

Follow games live from Pioneer Park (Diamond 4) via SAINTS TV

https://sitedesq.sportstg.com/assets/siteDesq/19464/gallery/WinterChamps2014%20031.JPG

Winter Championships 2014

The Queen’s Birthday long weekend will see the Senior Winter Championship return to Geelong Baseball Centre, which is expected to be in its customary first-class condition to host this time-honoured event now conducted under the auspices of Baseball Victoria.......

READ MORE

https://sitedesq.sportstg.com/assets/siteDesq/19464/gallery/day3%20248.jpg

https://sitedesq.sportstg.com/assets/siteDesq/19464/gallery/day3%20246.jpg

Day Three Results

CITY DIVISION COUNTRY DIVISION
Geelong 5  Dandenong 5 North-East 9  Latrobe 8
City 4  Ringwood 5 Bendigo 2  Sunraysia 10
FINAL FINAL
Dandenong 5 Ringwood 4 Latrobe 3  Sunraysia 2

Day Two Results

CITY DIVISION COUNTRY DIVISION
Geelong City 1 North-East 14  Bendigo 3
Dand 2  Ringwood 6 Sunraysia 11  Latrobe 4
Dandenong 16  City 2 Latrobe 13  Bendigo 1
Ringwood 5  Geelong 0 Sunraysia North-East 4

Day One Results

CITY DIVISION COUNTRY DIVISION
Geelong City 0 North-East 1  Bendigo 7
Ringwood 8  Dand 3 Sunraysia 3  Latrobe 7
City 3  Dandenong 7 North-East 4  Sun 7
Geelong 2  Ring 2 Bendigo Latrobe 12
Ringwood 6  City 1 Sunraysia Bendigo 3
Dand Geelong 3 Latrobe 11  North-East 7
 SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP DRAW
CITY GROUP COUNTRY GROUP
SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP SQUADS
CITY BENDIGO
DANDENONG NORTHEAST
GEELONG LATROBE VALLEY
RINGWOOD SUNRAYSIA