Springvale 10 defeated North West Titans 7
This year, after another dominant season, Springvale was rewarded with a Grand Final victory, although the score-line was closer than might have been expected after the opening inning Still, the Lions led from there, despite some challenging flares from the Titans, and the pennant went to the season’s best team.
Lucas Anderson opened with an uncharacteristic walk, but was able to negate that with a slick pick-off that had the runner out scrambling for 2nd base. The next ball was hit back hard to him, but he recovered to make the throw and struck out the third batter to usher in an important batting inning for the Lions.
While the lead-off was out on a flyball to centrefield, Anderson singled neatly. A ground ball on the next play gave the Titans two out. But Matt Cameron, Scott Baillie, and Mark Richards all singled to leftfield, and by the time Neal Cavanagh had hit his first double to the rightfield corner, Springvale had scored four, a punishing lead for the first inning, and one they would not give up.
The Titans did halve that lead, though, with three hits of their own in the next inning, before Anderson again struck out the last batter for the inning. Springvale could not find a base-runner in the second, although Adam Thatcher was unlucky to have the centrefielder slide in for a difficult catch. Anderson was tidy in the third and fourth inning, retiring six in order, with Matt Cameron fielding smoothly and competently at 3rd base.
Springvale continued to score, but were a little wasteful. The bottom of the third opened with three singles to Rydge Hogan, Cameron and Baillie. Hogan scored on a passed ball, but the other runners were left on, with a double play ending the inning. By contrast, the run in the fourth came from two down, when Anderson singled, stole 2nd, and was able to reach 3rd when the throw over went through the fielders. This allowed him to score from Hogan’s single.
The game got messier in the fifth. An outfield fly was dropped, and then Anderson swung the ball in to hit the batter. The Titans’ runner stole 3rd, and made it home on a wild pitch. Anderson struck out the number nine batter, but was struggling to control his movement, with another wild pitch. A second strike-out was promising, but this was followed by another HPB, putting another un over the plate, and when a single scored one more, and the score was an uncomfortable six-five.
In the corresponding half, Springvale dribbled another run in from two down. Cavanagh hit a double to left-field, and a wild throw took the 1st baseman’s foot off the base to deny the pitcher his third out, while Cavanagh cunningly took advantage of the confused disappointment to race home on a throw that had not even got past the fielder.
Anderson was really struggling now, opening the sixth with two HPBs and wild pitch. Scott Baillie was ushered to the mound with none down and 2nd and 3rd occupied, but he got the job done with a strike-out and two further plays to Matt Cameron. This continued in the seventh, although Cameron’s infield pop-up take was unorthodox, but still out.
The Titans’ Connor Wilson was tiring. He gave up a walk to Scott Baillie to open the seventh, and Baillie promptly stole not just 2nd , but 3rd. Another walk was punctuated by two strike-outs, and the inning might have been over when Ryan Kirby swung at a bouncing third strike. Instead, everyone was slow to react, so that by the time the catcher had retrieved the ball, Baillie had crossed the plate, but Kirby was not quite yet at 1st . In a desperate and futile attempt, the Titans’ catcher threw
wildly, and Cavanagh again was awake to the possibilities, so that two runs scored on a K wild pitch.
Springvale scored again in the eighth, and were leading ten-five, needing only three outs for the premiership. Baillie gave up the fifth of the day’s HPBs to the opening batter, but when he struck out the next two, we seemed safe. The Titans, though, were not yet done. A single to an awkward space at rightfield scored one, and then the usually reliable outfield dropped a flyball for another run.
Adam Thatcher, though, held his nerve to take the final flyball for the game and the championship. There were contributions through the line-up, both in this game and throughout the season. Scott Baillie’s game was emblematic of his part for the year, with the save, three hits and two RBIs; he hit in all but one game for the season. And his pitching partner, Lucas Anderson, likewise, was instrumental in this, as in many other, wins, as the winning pitcher, with three hits. Neal Cavanagh batted 1000 for the day and his wily attention on the bases was significant. Matt Cameron fielded with confidence, and had two hits. Rydge Hogan let nothing past him at 1st , and also had two hits.
Mark Richards rounded out the hitters’ list for the day. Brandon Mize could not raise his average on the day, but, during the year, he put his hand up for the difficult job of catching when he was needed, important for the team. Adam Thatcher has batted strongly and inspired confidence in the outfield. Coach Rowan Hall has fielded where he’s been needed, and Ben Birchall was unlucky to miss out on the finals. Class clown Myles Barnden is responsible for team morale, and Darryl Rosewall has marshalled the team to victory, but needs to work on his counting. Other contributors included Ryan Kirby, Max Chew (with a memorable home run) and even Ben Bartlett and uber-veteran Michael Wearne.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “There are far more important things in life than…winning a championship or losing a championship.” [BERNHARD LANGER]
Springvale 4 defeated Bonbeach 3
This was Springvale’s tightest game this season, and, for much of the rain-soaked afternoon, it seemed as if Springvale, the dominant team all summer, would miss the chance to play off in the Grand Final With the Lions’ big hitters well held over the early innings of the game, one very simple fielding error looked like it might decide the season, before Bonbeach’s pitcher tired, giving Springvale the chance to work back into the game, and take the win in bottom of the ninth.
Lucas Anderson started well, retiring three consecutively in the first. Adam Thatcher plopped a safe hit into the space behind shortstop, but three strike-outs followed.
The second inning opened with a drama that was banal in its straightforwardness. On the first pitch of the inning, Bonbeach’s Matt Bucci popped up the easiest of flyballs to shortstop, but when the ball rolled out of the glove, he was safe at 1st . Rattled, Anderson hit the next batter with a pitched ball, before recovering and pitching a K for the first out. But a first pitch double to the next batter brought the two runs home.
Anderson staunched the flow of runs, but Springvale’s batters were unable to penetrate, Brandon Mize and Rydge Hogan’s singles the only further hits until the sixth. In the fourth, Bonbeach had loaded the bases; from one down, Scott Baillie made a spectacular diving save at shortstop but could not make an out on the infield hit. Anderson struck out the next batter for two down, but a single and then a walk made for a dangerous situation. With a full count on the next batter, Anderson
coolly put it past his flailing bat to leave the lead at two runs.
But this lead was extended in the fifth, with two singles and stolen bases allowing Bonbeach to score on a groundball.
Bonbeach’s Conway-Jones began to stray a little in the fifth, with a couple of walks and a wild pitch. It was the first chink. In the sixth, this chink opened further. Anderson led off with a long double, and Rydge Hogan’ single put him on 3rd . Scott Baillie’s first hit for the day scored Springvale’s first run, and Mark Richards was able to sacrifice fly for the second run.
Still, Springvale was a run behind, and the rain was becoming heavier. With the umpires deciding to simply play through in the sudden death final, Anderson handled the conditions well, despatching Bonbeach in the seventh, with only a single hit. Springvale were two down in the corresponding half of the frame, with one on, when Bonbeach’s rightfielder bobbled an uncomplicated flyball to stretch out the inning. This was followed by a walk, bases loaded with the tying run at 3rd . But Springvale could not convert, and were still behind.
Baillie took the mound in relief at the top of the 8th . Despite giving up a single to the lead-off, but his talented counterpart, Anderson, saved further pain by sprinting to slide and take an impressive flyball from the next batter. After that, the team was lifted, and no runs scored.
Conway Jones had pitched over a hundred when he came out in the eighth. And despite the two strike-outs for the inning, it showed. Baillie singled, and Neal Cavanagh picked a walk from one down. Rowan Hall’s hit advanced Baillie to 3rd , and loaded the bases, but, with another strike-out, was the tying run going to be tantalisingly denied? Adam Thatcher, too, walked, for the run over the plate, but Springvale was unable to go ahead, leaving bases loaded again.
Baillie had Bonbeach bamboozled, with two batters watching third strikes over, and Hall taking the neat flyball.
Bonbeach had held back its reliever, and the reason for that became clear, when Rydge Hogan controversially beat out a thrown for an infield hit; a balk saw him at 2nd, Matt Cameron singled him to 3rd, and, fittingly, Scott Baillie’s single scored the winning run. Off to the Grand Final!
Rydge Hogan and Scott Baillie had three hits each. Adam Thatcher, Lucas Anderson, Matt Cameron, Rowan Hall, and Brandon Mize completed the hitters’ list.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “…our job as storytellers is to finish all the things we’ve started.” [ALEX HIRSCH]
Springvale 11 defeated Footscray 1
On the mound, Scott Baillie secured the win, but in the batter’s box, he surrendered his season-long hitting streak, as Springvale competently dispatched third-placed Footscray.
With only five hits for the day, Footscray was unlikey to transform Joe Michaud’s two out double in the first into a score.
Springvale, though, were efficient in the bottom of the frame, punching out singles from the lead-off. But only two runs had scored, with two outs, with the Springvale batters struggling to read the pace of Brittany Cedelland’s pitches. Myles Barnden, though, had no such problem, launching a long ball to, but not over, the fence to score a further two runs.
Footscray had only one inning in which there were multiple hits – the third. Baillie opened with a strike-out, but Jake Cole-Sinclair put the ball over centrefield’s head. An outfield fly followed before Alex Da Silva popped the ball in front of centrefield to put Footscray’s only run for the day over the plate.
Springvale had continued to score steadily. Lucas Anderson’s was the only hit in the second, but sloppy infielding had bases loaded when there should have been two down, allowing first Matt Cameron and then Mark Richards to sacrifice fly. And Footscray’s sole run was erased when Springvale scored another two in the bottom of the third. Barnden opened with a walk, and Rowan Hall had the first of his two hits. Adam Thatcher singled to score a run, and another run came home on the throw-over when Thatcher stole 2nd . Anderson doubled, but Thatcher, who had held up on the height of the ball, tried to push for an extra base, and was out at the plate.
Baillie continued to dominate, and Springvale continued to dribble runs over the plate, hitting the ten-run mark in the fifth, when Baillie burnt his last chance at keeping his streak alive with a first pitch pop-up for the third out. He was not to get another chance, as Springvale failed to score in the sixth, and then Matt Cameron mopped up the game in the top of the seventh.
Lucas Anderson went four for four in the game, and Rowan Hall also batted 1000 with two hits. Adam Thatcher and Neal Cavanagh had two hits, also. Matt Cameron and Myles Barnden were hitters as well.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Chocolate is happiness you can eat.” [URSULA KOHAUPT]
Pakenham 2 were defeated by Springvale 12
Normal service was resumed this week, although it took eight innings to get the required ten runs ahead, and that was with some consequential assistance from the Pakenham infield.
The game was out of reach of Pakenham after the top of the first inning, when Springvale scored six. Adam Thatcher opened with a sharp infield hit, and when Scott Baillie walked to first, Matt Cameron’s return to the hitter’s list with a triple scored two. Mark Richards followed up with a
single, and then Pakenham’s shortstop made his first of five errors for the day to see Neal Cavanagh safe at first. Myles Barnden’s tricky double hit space at leftfield to score another run. When the Lions had run through the order, Thatcher had his second hit for the inning, and then the shortstop made his second error for the inning. At the end of it, there were five hits, two errors, and six runs in the first half of the first inning.
Lucas Anderson opened on the mound, going deep into the game as the Lions look ahead to the finals. He gave up a single to his first batter, but quickly established control, striking out two for the inning.
After the tumult of the first inning, Pakenham’s pitcher, Trent Jobs, pulled himself together well, and Springvale found it difficult to get runners on base over the next stage of the game. But Pakenham,
also, were struggling with quality pitching and fielding, Anderson retiring nine batters consecutively through the next three innings, assisted by some fine fielding by Scott Baillie, diving to save a deep hit ball at shortstop and still coming up with the throw for the out.
In the fourth, shortstop gifted Springvale its lead-off runner. Baillie continued his season-long hitting streak, and Neal Cavanagh’s single scored another run. Pakenham could not complete a double play
on Barnden’s groundball, bringing another run over the plate, and Rowan Hall’s hit put Springvale tantalisingly close to the ten runs before Jobs struck out the final batter.
Pakenham might have scored in the fifth, opening with a crisp hit to Shaun Fay, but Anderson was able to strike out the eight and nine hitters to shut down the inning. But in the sixth, Pakenham put together its only rally for the game, three hits yielding two runs, meaning Springvale had to find another three runs to complete the early victory.
Those runs could not be found in the sixth or seventh. But in the eighth, again, the shortstop faltered twice, and hits to Mark Richards and Max Chew manufactured the requisite runs. Reliever Matt Cameron had only to hold the Pakenham batters and the game was over.
The leading hitter for the day was Adam Thatcher, with three. Scott Baillie and Mark Richards had two each. Matt Cameron hit a long triple. Neal Cavanagh, Myles Barnden, Max Chew and Rowan Hall were also hitters.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “You didn’t come this far to only come this far.” [ANON]
Chelsea 6 defeated Springvale 5
Despite scoring no earned runs for the game, the previously winless Chelsea overcame the previously undefeated Lions in a game marred for the ladder leaders by poor fielding and thin batting.
Chelsea took the lead in the first inning. While Springvale had only one base-runner for the inning, Chelsea scored from two down, after sloppy infielding continued the inning. Coach Rhys Tippett followed with a double, and Matt Cameron’s confidence wobbled, two walks putting the first run of the game over the plate.
Cameron failed to recover his zone, and was replaced in the second by Mark Richards. Rydge Hogan’s towering hit was caught on a very fuzzy home-run threshold, so the Lions managed only a single infield hit in the first four innings, a high bouncing ball well run out by Adam Thatcher. Despite this, Springvale clawed the run back in the fourth, with consecutive infield errors and a walk putting Cameron in a position to score from a double play.
Richards had strangled the Chelsea hitters, with seven strike-outs from his nine outs over three innings. Meanwhile, the Lions had raised their game, Brandon Mize leading off the fifth with our first outfield safe hit. Thatcher walked, and Lucas Anderson caught the slow-moving Chelsea infield unprepared to bunt safely. Hogan’s shallow ball to centre scored a run, but could not advance all the runners safely. Cameron’s sacrifice fly put the Lions ahead, and hits to Scott Baillie, protecting his streak, and Neal Cavanagh put a gap in the lead.
In other games this season, at this point the Lions had only to sit back and let the opposition collapse. Chelsea was more steely. Baillie had replaced Richards in the fifth, and was saved from giving up a hit in his opening inning by a spectacular flyball from Adam Thatcher at centre, pelting in and taking the ball at his knees. But the field would not be Baillie’s friend. Chelsea’s Matt Hannan opened the sixth with a hit, and despite three consecutive outs, he stills scored, with a steal, advancing to 3rd on a groundball, and then coming home on an ill-judged throw to that base.
The score was 5-2. Springvale failed to score in the sixth – and in any further inning. Baillie opened and closed the sixth with a strike-out. In between he gave up three hits, but his innings should have been shut down with no runs. A bobbled outfield fly, and the second ball through an infielder’s legs for the day gave Chelsea the opportunity to continue hitting. And the batters did. Four runs scored, giving Chelsea a lead which they held to the end of the game.
While Scott Baillie had two hits to keep his streak going, Matt Cameron faltered. Lucas Anderson also had two hits, and Adam Thatcher, Neal Cavanagh and Brandon Mize rounded out the meagre list of hitters.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Winning is fun, sure…but winning is not the point. Wanting to win is the point.” [PAT SUMMIT]
Springvale Lions 11 defeated North West Titans 1
Despite the scoreline, this was a tight game, before the Titans’ pitcher tired, and his reliever capitulated to the batters. Over six innings, the Lions’ batting performance was thin, with Cameron Wilson forcing batter after batter to jam the ball to the left infielders, with averages being padded in the seventh and eighth innings.
Scott Baillie opened on the mound for Springvale. He gave up a single base hit, but also recorded a strike-out, a ratio that by the end of the game was twelve Ks to only six hits. Springvale failed to score – Lucas Anderson’s long hit over the centre-fielder’s head was spectacularly caught, and, over the course of the game, the Titans’ Jarrod Johns saved his team quite a few runs with several more wonderfully executed running flyballs.
By the fourth, the Titans had had two base-runners, and Springvale only one. In the top of the fourth, catcher Connor Wilson hit a long double to open the inning, and was moved over to the 3rd on a groundball. Dan Holmes then singled, and the first run of the game was recorded, cancelled in the bottom of the frame when Springvale scored the lead-off batter, but left go-ahead runs on the bases. Lucas Anderson opened with yet another squeezed groundball to 3rd base. But, with a close call on a wild throw in his favour, Anderson was able to move to 2nd on Rydge Hogan’s second single for the day. Matt Cameron ensured that both his hitting streak continued, and that Anderson could score. With one down, a bungled attempt at a pick-off had the Lions with runners at 2nd and 3rd . But Wilson kicked in with two strike-outs to leave the scores tied.
The teams continued locked at 1-1. There had been some exceptional fielding – a back-handed stop and deep throw for the out at first from Mark Richards, the exceptional work of Jarrod Johns at centre-field. The dribbled pop-up at 2nd base in the sixth was not part of that! But Baillie laughed it off to strike out the third out, so there was no cost to Springvale’s singularly unexpected fielding blemish.
The strike-outs continued for Baillie with three in the top of the seventh. And, at last, there was a rally from the Springvale batters. The 1st baseman failed to stop a hard-hit ball from Richards. After a pop-up for the first out, Brandon Mize, walked. And then there were three hits in a row to Adam Thatcher, Anderson, and Hogan. Scott Baillie’s sacrifice scored the fourth run for the inning, but it looked like he might have killed his streak, with it seeming unlikely he would come up to bat in the
eighth, and a bottom of the ninth would not happen if Springvale were ahead.
He continued on the mound, though, the oldest pitcher on the team with the longest stint this season. Wilson was relieved in the top of eighth, and the reliever was a relief for the Springvale batters. Richards and Ben Birchall opened with hits, scoring one. Two ground-outs had Springvale
with only one runner on and two outs, before an extraordinary rally of hits, including a triple to Hogan, gave Baillie the chance to keep his streak alive, and his double down the left-field line did just that. When Neal Cavanagh had his first hit for the day, six runs had been scored in the inning and time and game was called.
Rdyge Hogan batted 1000 for the day, with three clean, crisp, carpeted singled, and a towering triple. Adam Thatcher and Matt Cameron had two hits, and Lucas Anderson, Scott Baillie, Neal Cavanagh, Mark Richards, and Ben Birchall all recorded hits.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and
truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage
when things go wrong.” [LAURA INGALLS WILDER]
Bonbeach 5 were defeated by Springvale 11
Bonbeach mounted an early challenge in this somewhat heated game, but could not sustain the momentum needed to score, while Springvale sprinkled runs more evenly over the innings to come out as the winning team.
Springvale opened brightly, with three hits in the first to score two runs. Adam Thatcher began his great day with the bat with a lead-off double, and was advanced by Lucas Anderson’s single. With two outs following, only one run had been scored on Rydge Hogan’s ground ball, before Scott Baillie secured his seven-game hitting streak with his first at bat to put another run across the plate. This comfortable opening was eclipsed when Bonbeach matched Springvale’s three hits. And with three walks and some wild pitches added to that strong batting, Bonbeach did not just match Springvale’s score but established a strong margin, scoring five in the bottom of the first, and batting through the line-up before Matt Cameron curbed the mayhem with a strike-out for the third out. If
not for Anderson’s sliding safe catch to turn a single into a sacrifice fly for the second out, the damage might have been more.
Bonbeach was not to hold the lead for long. Pitcher Dylan Brown walked the opening three batters, and was replaced by Adam Major. When Adam Thatcher put the ball up for a shallow single, somehow two runs came home, and then Ben Birchall scored the levelling run on Anderson’s
sacrifice fly. Having advanced to 3rd on that sacrifice, Thatcher scored on another Hogan groundball to flip the lead back to Springvale.
That would have been enough, since Bonbeach could find no runs over the next eight innings. Cameron started the second with another walk, but this runner was caught stealing on the throw over from Kirby. While the next batter doubled, Scott Baillie patrolled the shortstop line effectively for the two outs.
There was no score from either team over the next three innings. Cameron was replaced by Mark Richards for a rather dramatic inning of relief, which saw a batter hit on the helmet, and Springvale’s catcher sprawled flat at the plate by a runner who did not slide. Richards was sent to left-field next inning, and Lucas Anderson was strong in relief, although his inaccuracy put the lead-off runner on 3rd in the seventh. But his subsequent strike-out and the neat groundballs from Cameron and Hall mopped that up. More seriously, Oliver Hookey-Rizzo opened
with a single in the eighth, and was followed up with a long but high double from Jacob Bold. Having hesitated at the height of the ball, Rizzo attempted to push for two bases and was thrown out at 3rd by a strong throw from Richards.
Meanwhile, Springvale had scored five over two innings, with neat singles to Thatcher, Anderson, and Cameron (securing his hitting streak later in the game) in the sixth, and with three errors from Bonbeach in the seventh.
Baillie mopped up the game for Springvale in the bottom of the ninth and the team remains undefeated.
With only nine hits for the day, Adam Thatcher recorded nearly half the tally with his four. Lucas Anderson and Scott Baillie had two each and Matt Cameron the one single.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “When anger rises, think of the consequences.” [CONFUCIUS]
Springvale 11 defeated Pakenham 2
The score suggests this was a comfortable win for Springvale, and it was. But with only five earned runs to two, things might have been closer. Still, Springvale’s strong extra-base hitting was decisive.
The game started tightly, Rydge Hogan’s long double in the first coming at two down, and so offering little of scoring value. Lucas Anderson started in this game, striking out his first batter. He walked the lead-off in the second, but looked to have the first out with a shallow fly ball to rightfield. The ball was dropped, but with the runner at 1st holding up, the first out was completed at 2nd base.
Inattentive base-running gifted Brandon Mize his first caught stealing for the year, when the runner on first took a long and leisurely stroll up to 2nd on what was only a full count. The batter duly struck out for side away.
There was no score until the third inning. Max Chew patiently fouled off strikes before launching a home run into the top diamond. Mize was equally patient, rewarded with a walk. Two outs followed, and it looked as if Chew’s strike would be the only score for the inning, when Rydge Hogan followed up his almost-over double in the first with another ball over the leftfield fence.
The lead looked fragile when Pakenham responded with two runs of their own. Anderson opened with a walk, and Mitch Lording singled to advance the runner. The field was caught napping when Danny Cannizzaro speared a cleverly placed bunt to load the bases. A strike-out followed, before a single put one run over the plate, and then a ground out scored another. With a runner at 1st and 3rd, Springvale were vulnerable, but Anderson recorded another K to protect the margin.
The runs were answered with interest in the bottom of the frame, despite two early outs in the inning. With two down and runners on, the centrefielder bobbled a ball out of his glove. Scott Baillie continued his hitting streak with a sharp shot to the 3 rd base corner, scoring one more, and Hogan was walked to load the bases. An infield error put another red run over the plate and kept the bases full, allowing Mark Richards to score three with his double base hit. A pitching change was made, but it was too late, and six runs had been scored.
Anderson pitched one more, striking out a further two batters, and securing the win with five innings pitched. He was replaced by Scott Baillie, who gave up some scattered hits, but always pulled up the
Pakenham batters short of allowing any runs in. Springvale, too, could only sprinkle some further hits through the later innings, and Pakenham’s Trent Jobs struck out five. But Springvale scored two
from those sprinkled hits, not quite reaching the mercy rule threshold but enjoying a competent win. Rydge Hogan was the leading batter for the day with a home run and two doubles. Mark Richards’ three hits yielded five RBIs. Scott Baillie and Ben Birchall had two singles each. Matt Cameron kept his hitting streak going, and Max Chew’s long home run was a highlight.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” [BABE RUTH]
Springvale 16 defeated Chelsea 0
Springvale was an exemplar of efficiency in the heat yesterday. In under two hours, over seven innings, the pitchers, combined, threw 68 pitches, with only 12 balls, while the batting line-up scored in every innings, generating a simple and clean win.
Matt Cameron’s accuracy from the first pitch was key. A six pitch inning in the first had the Springvale batters up and swinging before they had settled into the game. Chelsea’s Matt Burton set his standard from the opening play, making the first of several difficult plays. But a missed pop-up gave Lucas Anderson the chance to show his stealing skills, and his pressure resulted in a further error, allowing Rydge Hogan to put up the first of his three sacrifice flies for the day.
Having scored only the one scratchy run in the first, the Springvale batters were keen to put some scoring distance between themselves and the opposition. Chelsea’s Shannon Groenendyke lost control of the line-up, walking Neal Cavanagh in lead-off and patting several batters with pitched balls. More damaging were the crisp and neat singles, Mark Richards advancing Cavanagh, and then Burton unable to field Scott Baillie’s awkwardly chopped ball. Anderson, Hogan, and Cameron also
singled in succession and by the end of the inning, Springvale had scored seven.
Cameron was relieved by Baillie in the fourth. Baillie began tentatively, kissing the first batter with a pitched ball, and then giving up a hit. There were a trio of wonderful running flyballs in this game, with Lucas Anderson, Adam Thatcher and Rowan Hall all diving and sliding to take catches. Thatcher’s effort here ensured the runners stayed put, and despite the infield hit that followed, no runs scored, as Baillie mopped up the lower end of the list with consecutive strike-outs.
Springvale continued to score from the hard-working Groenendyke, although all the runs in the third were unearned, despite the four concise single base hits. Groenendyke was clearly tiring as he took the mound in the bottom of the fourth. Baillie escaped an out when he swung at a wild third strike, and Ryan Kirby was walked. A double play helped out the exhausted pitcher, but a single to Thatcher, and Springvale’s first extra base hit to Lucas Anderson, continued the scoring.
Having pitched 99 in four innings, the Chelsea opener trudged to the mound again in the fifth, giving up two hits and two runs, but assisted by some overly ambitious base-running. He was finally relieved in the sixth, but when the junior relief could not land a strike, Springvale scored twice from walks before a further reliever shut down the innings.
Lucas Anderson’s seven pitch last inning iced a game that was hot only in the meteorological sense. Lucas Anderson and Matthew Cameron led the hitting with three. Adam Thatcher and Mark Richards had two hits each and single hits went to Rydge Hogan, Neal Cavanagh and Scott Baillie.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat.” [WOODROW WILSON]
North Western Titans 5 were defeated by Springvale Lions 8
With the scoreline at 8-0 after seven and a half innings, people might have thought Springvale were cruising through an easy game. But the actual contest had been much harder than that, with no score from either team for five innings, and the first hit for the game coming in that fifth innings.
And there would be still a twist in the game with the Titans piling on five runs in the eighth to add some sting to the final inning.
The Titans’ Connor Wilson took a few batters to loosen, with a HPB and walk to the opening two batters of the game, but he did not allow any more base-runners until Scott Baillie registered the first hit of the game with a hard hit ball to 2nd base to open the fifth inning. Rowan Hall followed with a scorcher straight up the middle, but Wilson held the drive and completed the double play, the inning rounded out with a low precise catch at 3rd base. Rydge Hogan, too, had been well on top of the Titan batters. He had retired the side in order before a walk to the lead-off in the fourth gave up a chink. From one down, he added an HPB to his
downside, but erased that when he fielded the next ball, and set off the inning-ending double play.
With Wilson tiring, and the Lions with relievers in the line-up, the later innings were going to decide the game. Brandon Mize watched four balls over to become the lead-off baserunner in the sixth. Adam Thatcher bunted cleverly, and then Lucas Anderson was awarded a base when the pitched ball thumped into his elbow. With memories of his long hitting last year, the Titans chose to intentionally walk Hogan, allowing Matt Cameron to follow up with a two RBI single. Another HPB had Neal
Cavanagh loading the bases, and Scott Baillie did not disappoint with a long double to rightfield.
Cavanagh was the second out trying to push home from 1st , and the inning ended one batter later with the score at 5-0. Those relievers then showed their value. Matt Cameron came on for two innings of relief, striking out three. In the seventh, the Titans’ 1st baseman opened the inning with the first error of the game, and while Wilson hit back with two strike-outs, his final batter for the game was another hit for an
RBI, before being replaced by his brother, who doffed the catcher’s gear to take to the mound.
Lucas Anderson replaced Cameron in the seventh, striking out three. And, in the eighth, Springvale added insurance runs, Cavanagh’s double setting up a scoring opportunity. When 3rd base could not make the throw from his knees, Cavanagh scored and Rowan Hall recorded an infield single, to be followed by a single from Ben Birchall. Tired, the second Wilson brother threw wildly for Hall to score, and Birchall eventually crossed the plate on a groundball. Those runs proved crucial. Released from his pitching duties, Connor Wilson swung truly to open the bottom of the frame with a single. When the number nine batter ran the ball straight to Anderson on the mound, Lions’ fans looked for the double play, but Anderson threw wildly over second base, and both runners were safe. Heartened by this opportunity, the Titans’ batters took to Anderson with four hits over five batters.
So, the ninth opened with the home team having momentum and within reach. The Lions batters bookended the inning with strike-outs, leaving bases loaded. Would the Titans continue to score heavily? Veteran Scott Baillie took the ball, and within seven strikes, with no balls and two strike- outs, the game was over, and the Lions had the win.
Neal Cavanagh and Scott Baillie were the leading batters, each with a single and a double. Matt Cameron had a single and two RBIs. Lucas Anderson, Rowan Hall and Ben Birchall recorded hits.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” [SAM KEEN]
Springvale 15 defeated Bonbeach 1
At last, men’s baseball returned to K.H.Wearne Field, and, after so many months, the Lions replicated their form from last season with a massive win against Bonbeach, secured with a ten-run sixth inning.
As with last week, Lucas Anderson started on the mound for Springvale, and, with six innings this week, earned himself the win, giving up only one unearned run (although his own errant arm cost him that run). Two of the four hits Anderson gave up came from the first two batters of the game, but his double play from the ball hit up the middle shut down the inning.
Springvale was economical in the bottom of the 1st, scoring a run from just one hit, with Adam Thatcher squeezing maximum value out of his single with intelligent base-running. Springvale remained scoreless over the next two innings, while Bonbeach drew level in the top of the 3rd,
Anderson throwing wild on the first runner, gifting him two bases, and following this with a wild pitch. He struck out the batter, but a ground ball allowed the run to score. Scores were not level for long, though, with Springvale answering with its own unearned run. Ben Birchall opened the innings with a double-base hit, and advanced when 2nd base errored a groundball. With two out, Matt Cameron hit hard to the 3rd baseman who did well to stop the ball, but had no chance to complete the play.
Still the game was tight. Anderson continued to stifle the Bonbeach batters with accuracy – he would thrown no walks over his six innings – and Springvale continued to eke out runs, with one in the fourth, and two in the fifth, coming after the Bonbeach manager with some, perhaps outdated, “local” knowledge elected to walk Myles Barnden to set up an inning-ending double play, only to have Mark Richards belt the ball for a double over left-field. But it was in the sixth that Bonbeach lost control. Adam Thatcher hit a single to lead off, and two walks were punctuated by a strike-put. Bonbeach manager Rob Novotny had seen enough, and
removed his third pitcher from the mound, to replace him with the 1st baseman. He would give up six hits over the next ten batters, and two errors within that flow of hits tacked some bonus red runs onto the total.
So, when Rydge Hogan came on for the final inning of the day, he had a fourteen-run margin, but needed none of it, retiring the final three batters of the game in order.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Home is just another word for you.” [BILLY JOEL]