DAY TWO: Spirited performances draw plaudits from Under 18 staff
While not posting a win over six Winter Championship games played in Mildura over the weekend, the Geelong Baseball Association squad acquitted itself with class against powerhouse regional leagues – including Ringwood, which went through the series undefeated.
Competitive against Ringwood first-up on Saturday, Geelong scored early in the return stoush but could manage just one hit against some tough pitching by the eastern metropolitan outfit. Liam Whiteside, James Renouf and Jacob Sigismondi shared pitching duties for GBA, which was not helped by a couple of defensive blunders as Ringwood emerged a 9-2 winner.
Geelong was right in the contest against Sunraysia – a veritable slugfest that saw the local team take the honours 9-7 by virtue of a couple of unearned runs in key situations. Lachlan Hockey and Sam Reale were solid on the hill for Geelong, which scored three in the first and was always a serious chance given the offensive contributions of the likes of Hockey (two hits), Lachlan Medew (two hits) and Sigismondi (a timely double).
Facing emerging superstar Mitch Wilcox in the final game, Geelong could manage just three hits, with all four runs coming in the last innings. GBA pitcher Sam Morrison was steady through the early innings, although Dandenong was able to get away in the fourth to set up a 9-4 result.
Despite his side dropping all six games, Head Coach Phill Northfield was distinctly upbeat about the endeavour and the attitude of his squad.
“All six games were played in great spirit by our boys,” Northfield noted after completion of an event that saw Lachlan Medew named as Most Valuable Player for the Geelong squad.
“Looking around at the players and supporters after Game Six you would never have known that we didn’t win one,” he said. “Everyone was really happy with how we had competed.”
“We knew before going away that we would struggle this weekend with a lack of more widely recognised pitching and a limited number of bench players, but I could not be prouder of how the team conducted itself both on and off the field.”
While congratulating Ringwood on a well-earned Winter Championship title, Geelong Baseball Association extends its appreciation to the GBA playing squad, its staff, officials, parents and supporters for representing the league with class and distinction. Well done, all!
DAY ONE: Ever-competitive, but no joy yet for Under 18s
Facing some of the best under-aged talent from across the state, the GBA Under 18 squad dropped all three of its Saturday games, despite being well in the contest - especially for the first two.
Tossing a terrific game against a powerful Ringwood side first-up, Jack Fielden conceded just two earned runs, with another two resulting from a defensive slip-up in the first. Other than that, GBA was ultra-competitive against a side - the tournament favourite - that edged home 4-2 before going on to two massive wins later in the day.
"This was a cracker of a game," said Head Coach Phill Northfield. "There were a couple of key moments - namely a strikeout looking with bases loaded in the top of the first and that error giving up two in the bottom of the innings. Jack Fielden was just outstanding."
Games Two and Three for Geelong were both virtually decided in one innings, when their opponent was able to get away. Lachlan Medew did a great job on the hill against Sunraysia, which took advantage of a couple of defensive lapses to post five runs in the third and run out a 5-1 winner. Lachlan Stott spanked a double and James Renouf drew two walks, although the GBA offence was pretty well held by the local team.
Dandenong scored seven in one innings of Game Three to set the base for its 9-4 win, although the GBA lads showed real commitment by plating all of their runs in the last, with some standout hitting by Lachlan Medew and Jacob Sigismondi – who both collected two hits.
"Lachlan "Colonel" Medew threw a complete game and led from the front against Sunraysia, but again a two-out error cost us," Phill Northfield reported.
""Ethan Woolley had the start in the last game of the day against Dandenong," he said. "Again we were right in it with the score two-zip in the fourth. With two out a call didn't go our way and we went from getting out of the innings to giving up seven. We rallied to score four in the bottom of the fifth but it was never going to be enough."
After Day One, Ringwood (3-0) leads the tournament ahead of Dandenong (2-1), Sunraysia (1-2) and Geelong (0-3). Plenty can happen on the morrow, of course, and the GBA squad will be keen to produce its best form in Round Two.
"Spirits are high. We have been competitive in every game," Northfield said.
Geelong Baseball Association is pleased to announce the following squad that will contest the Under 18 Winter Championship to be held in Mildura over 25 and 26 June.
The tournament has drawn four teams from across the state - Dandenong, Ringwood, Sunraysia and Geelong. The series will be a double round robin, with the highest placed team declared the winner.
Congratulations to all players and staff on their selection. Best wishes for the series, which is bound to be another high-quality tournament.
Scroll down for Series Schedule and all squads.
|Phill NORTHFIELD||Head Coach|
|Sean TALBOT||Assistant Coach|
|Harry LEVY||Assistant Coach|
|William WHITESIDE||Executive Officer|