Seniors Firsts Game Reports

Springvale 2 were defeated by Ormond/Glenhuntly Gold 8
Ormond played its best game for the season and Springvale played its worst in the do-or-die Grand Final. The team that had scored 238 runs for the season could only manage a late two runs, and the team that had given away only 29 runs all year gave up too many runs in the middle innings. Ormond ran harder, batted well, fielded cleanly, and their pitcher was too good.
In the end, though, this season has never been about results. It’s been about maintaining club spirit, setting personal challenges, and serving the game of baseball. It’s been about seeing young players like Adam Thatcher and Matt Cameron continuing to grow. It’s
been about seeing Lili Cavanagh bat just on .300 and be solid in the field as she lined up against the men.
It’s been about seeing the pitching load – and the wins – shared with good humour and good fellowship amongst leading young pitcher Lucas Anderson and veteran Scott Baillie, with Myles Barnden, Tim Hanson and Rydge Hogan also “pitching in” for the team.
It’s been about Chris Davies and Mark Richards coming along for the ride, with regular games for the Lions, Mark Richards taking on the bulk of the catching in the latter part of the season after Rydge Hogan put his lanky frame behind the dish early on, and Tim Hanson donning the gear when the team needed it.
It’s been about Neal Cavanagh taking the field alongside Lili – the league’s most inclusive club now boasting a regular father-daughter combination.
It’s been about coach Tim Hanson challenging us to play proper baseball. It’s been about Cory Hart’s moustache. It’s been about Lucas Price suiting up and hitting .400. It’s been about Myles Barnden being the “class clown” of the dug-out and keeping us all in good humour. It’s been about the club.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody not greatly in fault themselves to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.” [JANE AUSTEN]

Springvale 10 defeated Ormond Glenhuntly Blue 6
In a game filled with incident, Springvale’s win was ugly but relatively secure. Some basic errors and some sheer bad luck tightened the contest a little, but the team was able to lock down a well-deserved place in next week’s grand final.
Lucas Anderson started for Springvale, and in his opening three innings would have had nine straight outs but for one error.
Errors proved costly for Ormond, too. Springvale wasted a good chance to score in the first inning, with a single and an HPB to the first two batters. When the next batter hit straight to first, he elected to throw to 2nd, and a double play went through 3rd when the umpire ruled the leading runner had not got back to the base in time. Even though a further HPB followed, there were no runs. With two out, and two on from walks in the second, Ormond’s Andrew Clarke looked to snag a worm-burning line drive only to see the ball slip from the glove. Flustered, the threw wild to second, allowing Neal
Cavanagh to come home. When Rydge Hogan singled, and then Lucas Price hit a double, there were three red runs in the book. Another infield error allowed Price to score, before a further run was
walked over the plate. Springvale had scored five unearned runs, and luck seemed to be going with them.
Ormond’s opener had been relieved in the bottom of the second, but returned to open the third inning with a walk. Lucas Andersons was safe on another infield error from Ormond, and Lucas Price scored both runs with his single. Chris Davies followed with another single, before the relieving opener was again relieved, and in his return appearance Geoff MacDonald ensured runners were left on base – Springvale would end up leaving thirteen on base for the game.
Anderson gave up his first hit to the lead-off in the third, a double. An error in picking up the ball at right-field allowed this runner to advance to 3rd , and he was duly scored on a regulation sacrifice fly, before Anderson disposed of the final two batters, luring them into infield pop-ups.
Like a butterfly’s wings beating in a Brazilian rainforest, the opening play of the fifth inning set off waves of chaos that would rock the rest of the game. A flyball taken too casually in the infield allowed the opening runner to reach 1st, but when he tried to extend the advantage by racing to 2nd, he was out, but took out and injured the fielder in a late clash. In the resulting altercation, players from both sides exchanged angry shoves, but when order was restored both the runner and 2nd baseman Neal Cavanagh had been ejected. The inning might have ended on the next batter who hit to shortstop. Hogan made the unassisted play at 2nd, but the final leg of the double was not made, giving Ormond a baserunner. The mild-mannered Anderson seemed discomposed by the charged atmosphere, and gave up his first walk and then an HPB to load the bases. The double base hit to Anthony Fisher (with a perhaps ill-timed show of jubilation) scored three, and then he was scored by another hit, before a clean play from the infield groundball ended the inning.
The score-line was now eight-five. In the bottom of the frame, Springvale loaded the bases from one down. With a K for the second out, it was a tense time for Matt Cameron to come up to bat. With his best swat for the day, he smashed a drive down the 3rd baseline, but struck runner Chris Davies, adjudicated by the umpire to be in fair territory. With Cameron awarded a hit and Davies out, Springvale stranded runners on loaded bases for the third time in the game.
Scott Baillie came in to relieve Anderson, and pitched strongly, striking out two in his first inning. Bizarrely, Matt Cameron came up to bat again in the sixth, but with no challenge, was left to bat and be out, before Adam Thatcher recorded his first hit of the day. Thatcher stole second and was scored by Hogan’s double. Springvale was to score again in the seventh when Chris Davies opened with a
double, and advanced to 3rd on a wild pick-off, making it simple for him to come home on a ground ball.
Ormond scored again in the top of the ninth, when Baillie gave up his second hit, and an infield error at 3rd base saw the run home. But that whimper was the last and Springvale did not have to come
out in the bottom of the ninth. A place in the Grand Final is booked!
Five players had two hits each, Lucas Anderson, Rydge Hogan, Lucas Price – with four RBIs, Chris Davies and Scott Baillie. Matt Cameron scored his hit in the oddest of circumstances, and Adam Thatcher also had a hit.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Be calm in arguing; for fierceness makes error a fault, and truth discourtesy.” [GEORGE HERBET]

Chelsea 0 were defeated by Springvale 14
Springvale took a regulation nine innings to get the over-ten-run result in the last game of a season littered with such margins. With batters skying the ball early, or slapping to the infield, too many innings with no runs pushed the game to full time. Springvale started strongly. Up first in the game, Lucas Anderson walked, and stole 2nd, and Rydge Hogan, unusually in the two spot, singled to score the first run of the game. Two further runs came through neat hits to Scott Baillie and Adam Thatcher, and, in the top of the first, Springvale had already taken what would prove to be an unassailable lead.
This was because the Springvale pitching was of a quality too high for the Chelsea hitters. Baillie started the game, and gave up only two hits over his four innings. He was assisted by some sharp fielding. Adam Thatcher took an excellent running flyball in the first inning, and Rydge Hogan was
making some deep throws from shortstop.
But the early innings’ batting wasn’t matching this standard. Having scored three in the first, through the next three innings, Springvale could only pierce the infield with skied flyballs, and relying on errors from the outfield did not pay dividends. In the fourth, though, Anderson opened with
Springvale’s only multiple base hit for the day. Hogan followed with another single, and, while Cavanagh was out on an excellent play from Chelsea’s Adam Burton, Anderson scored. Hogan scored on another groundball, and Lili Cavanagh, who was running for Mark Richards after his walk, came
home on another hit from Thatcher. Two errors allowed Thatcher to score – Matt Cameron was safe on a wild throw from shortstop, and while Thatcher took two bases on that throw, he was nearly out at the plate, when the Chelsea infielders abandoned a run-down play on Cameron and threw home,
only to have the catcher drop the ball.
Baillie had been replaced by Tim Hanson, who allowed a hit to the first batter who faced up to him. But Chelsea could make nothing of this. They had only one runner reach 2nd for the day, when Hanson hit the lead-off in the sixth, and then walked Cam Hubbard. With flyballs immediately following, no score was recorded.
Springvale could score only two runs in the seventh, leaving two on, so the game continued on through the seventh and into the final innings. Anderson came on in the seventh, simply tightening the pressure on the Chelsea hitters. There were only two baserunners in his three innings, one from
a base on balls, and one from an “end of the regular season” error at 1st.
Chelsea’s Gavin Smith was going the distance, no matter what. He should have had the first out on the lead-off batter in the ninth, but an error to shortstop gave Thatcher the base. There followed five hits and an HPB before the first out for the inning. Luckily, the Springvale line-up had only one further hit in it; at fourteen-nil in the ninth of the last home-and-away game, and with five runs scored in the inning, Springvale batters were prepared to swing for most pitches, and the game concluded with two fly-balls.
Rydge Hogan, Scott Baillie and Tim Hanson rounded out their regular season batting averages with three hits each. Neal Cavanagh, Adam Thatcher and Cory Hart added two each to the total of eighteen hits for the day. Lucas Anderson had the only two-base hit for the day. Lili Cavanagh and
Matt Cameron each had a hit.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: It’s the playoffs, man. If you don’t get excited about the playoffs, you don’t even deserve to be playing” [ROBERT HORRY]

Pakenham 1 were defeated by Springvale 26
One-sided games are never pretty, but they look a lot uglier from the losing side. Springvale were not seriously challenged in this game, although Pakenham’s final reliever, Sam Westhorpe, seemed to have the batters bamboozled. Springvale should use the final game of the home and away season to sharpen up in the batter’s box and eliminate any shoddy play.
The game’s outcome was clear from the first inning, in which Springvale scored eight. There were thirteen batters, for four hits, four walks and an HPB, as well as a costly error. Lucas Anderson had
two hits and four stolen bases in the inning, and, but for a great diving flyball by left-field early on, the damage might have been greater.
Myles Barnden got the start for Springvale, with the only runner for Pakenham a scampering infield hit to Mitchell Lording. The second inning was more of the same. While Pakenham had replaced opener Tristian Hill before the end of the first, reliever Martin Kennedy proved too hittable. The first five batters yielded four hits and a walk, a double to Mark Richards, a very long single to the jogging Barnden, a double for Rydge Hogan and a single to Matt Cameron. Again, Springvale went through the line-up and more, and, by the end of the inning, the ten-run barrier had been well and truly breached. Barnden saved a score in the second with his nonchalant acceptance of a ball belted back to him, completing the double from the line drive. Pakenham did manage to score in the third, but it was an unearned run recorded against Barnden, when the wind swirled a pop-up to the infield to the confusion of all. But Barnden finished his appearance with a strike-out, and was able to pass on a luxurious lead to Lucas Anderson.
Anderson gave up four hits over his four innings, and, with no walks, it was difficult for Pakenham to generate any drive to score. While Springvale’s scoring had slowed in the fourth – four runs from only eight batters, in the fifth we took to Shaun Fahy. There were no outs for nine batters, with six hit and three walks, but as the scorers entered another column, three consecutive outs on batters ten through twelve shut down the onslaught.
The game changed with the pitcher, though. Pakenham’s Sam Westhorpe’s awkward action seemed to confuse the Springvale hitters, with only Scott Baillie and Chris Davies hitting, and several batters skying the ball. Shonky base-running at the end of the game was a little disappointing, but best to be inattentive when the score-line is 26-1, rather than in a tighter final. Cory Hart stayed sharp in the field to take a great diving flyball ensuring Pakenham could not add to their lonely run.
Players were able to boost their averages, with Scott Baillie and Chris Davies leading the hitters with four. Lucas Anderson, Neal Cavanagh, Rydge Hogan and Matt Cameron had three hits each. Myles Barnden, Mark Richards and Cory Hart contributed to the total of twenty-three hits.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.” [ARTHUR ASHE]

Ormond/Glenhuntly Gold 2 were defeated by Springvale 3
In the most competitive game of the season, pitchers from both teams were well in control, Springvale cycling through three from their roster, with Ormond clinging on to the unnervingly accurate Kyung Jeon. But Jeon went one pitch too long. It was five hits to four for Springvale, but two of our hits were over the cones on the full, and that made the difference in this hard-fought contest.
Both teams had runners on with errors in the first innings. Jeon closed out the first with an impressive catch of a hard-hit ball to the mound. With a dropped ball in the outfield from two down, Ormond had one of their four hits to follow. But starter Rydge Hogan was equal to the task, getting over for the pitcher’s cover for the third out.
Hogan found it difficult to hit the umpire’s strike zone in the second, walking three to load the bases. With two down, though, he featured in the inning-ending double play through home plate, and he continued that fine fielding into the third, stopping a low hit ball with the tip of his glove, and making two assists for the inning.
Jeon was having less trouble with the strike zone, striking out five in the opening four innings. Springvale had scattered four baserunners over five innings, with three of those from errors, before Lucas Anderson opened the sixth with a double. Three quick outs followed.
Anderson had relieved Hogan in the fourth, giving up a single on a full count to his first batter, but fighting back hard from there. He had three strikeouts in the fifth, and two in the sixth. Jeon opened the seventh with two more outs. With few hits, and no walks, with Ormond fielding freakily well, Springvale could not generate runs from any kind of measured play. Hogan did not bother being measured. He launched the ball over the left-field boundary; the first score of the game came from a home run.
Now there was something to defend. Anderson opened the bottom of the frame with another strike-out. The next batter was walked, and Anderson pitched wild to put him on 2nd . With such nimble
runners, this was to prove costly; when the ball made it just over the infield, the runner flew home to equalise. And with a ragged throw in from the outfield, the batter was also able to take 2nd, setting up another scoring opportunity. The second out was made, but Ormond’s third hit for the game scored the go-ahead run. Anderson then closed out the inning with a great sliding flyball. Both teams
had been unable to score for six innings. Three runs had crossed the plate in the seventh – two of them were to Ormond.
Now it was Springvale chasing. Neither team could score in the eighth, and some controversial calls deepened the feeling in the game.
From one down in the top of the ninth, Chris Davies’ hard-hit ball to 3rd base corner was not playable and he was safe on a hit. Mark Richards came to bat. Jeon was at ninety-nine pitches. Richards had
struck out twice earlier in the game. He had ground out at his last time at bat. He fouled off the first pitch. He launched the next pitch well over the centre-field fence for what proved to be a game-winning home run. Ormond changed pitchers immediately, but it was too late.
Scott Baillie had come on the eighth for three consecutive outs. While Ormond’s number nine batter managed a sneaky bunt, Springvale’s defence did not waver, and, with three runs all scored from homers, the most exciting game of the season was ours.
The hitter’s list was short, but valuable. Rydge Hogan was the only player in the game with multiple hits, with a single and a home run. Mark Richards had the game-winning home run. Lucas Anderson
had a lonely double, and Chris Davies’ single was the spark for Richards’ shot.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Competition is always a good thing. It forces us to do our best. A monopoly renders people complacent and satisfied with mediocrity.” [NANCY PEARCEY]

Springvale 11 defeated North West Titans 0
A slower start for Springvale was redeemed by a rush of runs at the most efficient time, securing another ten-run win. The bats were well-held by the Titans’ opener Cameron Wilson, but let loose in
the sixth to storm the result.
Scott Baillie took the mound for Springvale. Over the first four innings, the Titans could only manage one base-runner, on an error, while Baillie had struck out five. In the fifth, he gave up two hits, from two down, but his seventh strike-out for the game kept the Titans scoreless through his appearance.
The veteran was simply too wily for his less experienced opponents.
Meanwhile, Springvale had scored five. Cameron Wilson looked sharp in the first, striking out last week’s home-run hitter, and inducing mis-hits from the next two batters. This continued in the
second, when the opening batter popped up, and, in fact, the usually reliable top order for Springvale was slow until the sixth.
Baillie, though, was wily in the batter’s box, too. He had a double in the second, and advanced to 3rd on a wild throw following Matt Cameron’s infield single. He was able to score on a wild pitch, while
Cameron came in on a groundball. The pitcher featured in the third, too, with baserunners from an HPB and BB, but two further strikeouts.
Baillie opened the fourth with another double, and, while he struck out the next batter, Wilson’s control began to waver. There was another HPB to Rydge Hogan. Springvale is making an art of the
double steal, and Baillie scored on the throw over as Hogan stole 2nd . Tim Hanson advanced Hogan on a single, and another wild pitch saw him home. With four straight balls to Cory Hart, the rattled Wilson departed, and reliever Matt Howe struck out the next two to stifle the run supply.
He did well in the fifth, too, his third out a pick-off at 2nd . But Howe was overwhelmed by power at the opening of the sixth. Matt Cameron tripled into the corner at right-field, before Rydge Hogan
powered the ball over the left-field fence. Tim Hanson’s clever single seemed meek, by comparison, and looked likely to be wasted, with two outs immediately following. Three singles in a row scored Hanson and loaded the bases, and Chris Davies’ double brought all three runs home for ten runs plus insurance.
Lucas Anderson had come in to relieve in the sixth. He pitched four balls to his opening batter, but only one more over his two innings, and only fleet movement gave the Titans an unlikely base-runner. Anderson bookended his final inning with strike-outs, and an efficient win was in the book.
Scott Baillie was the stand-out hitter when the Springvale batters were being kept quiet, with two doubles. Matt Cameron had a triple and single, and Tim Hanson had two neat singles. Rydge Hogan’s
hit was a two-run home run, and Chris Davies scored three with his double. Single base hits went to Myles Barnden, Lucas Price and Lucas Anderson.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Efficiency is intelligent laziness.” [ANONYMOUS]

Ormond Glenhuntly Blue 3 were defeated by Springvale 15
Springvale could have iced the game in the seventh, but took only one more inning to complete a victory built on strong batting and clean fielding.
Springvale were out-batted in the first inning, two hits to one, with Adam Thatcher featuring on both sides of the book. His long hit was well caught, but he himself ran a long way to take a low down flyball ensuring Ormond’s two hits had no scoring value.
Springvale began their scoring spree slowly. In the second, Rydge Hogan opened with a contentious double, with questions asked as to whether the ball had cleared the cones on the full. In any case, he
scored, when he took 3rd on a passed ball and ran home on a ground ball.
There was no contention in the third, though, when Adam Thatcher opened the inning with a first pitch home run well over the left-field cones. Rattled, Ormond’s Michael Sullivan hit Scott Baillie with the next pitch, and Lucas Anderson collected his second single for the day. A double steal made scoring on the next ground ball simple, and a further hit to Mark Richards scored the third run for the inning.
The four-zero margin was slashed in half with a two out home run to Geoff MacDonald in the bottom of the frame. With the game  tightening, Springvale continued to score, batters working with
discipline to pick walks and bunt. Thatcher hit another single, Baillie was hit again, and Anderson reliably singled.
Stung by the home run, Anderson came back in the bottom of the fourth to strike out three in a row. He was relieved by Rydge Hogan in the fifth. Hogan had four strikeouts over two innings, but he gave up a single and a double to the opening two batters in the sixth, and a sacrifice fly allowed Ormond to get a run back.
In the context of the game, though, this was immaterial. Over the final three innings, Springvale scored nine. The game could have finished in the seventh. Ormond had made another pitching change, and opened the inning with an infield error. Cory Hart walked, Thatcher singled, scoring one, and Baillie hit a double to score two. Springvale needed only one run, with none down, to reach the ten runs required to finish the game early. Lucas Anderson singled – again – and Baillie was at 3rd, with Anderson stealing 2nd . But three consecutive pop-ups saw the runners stranded, although Mark
Richards waited for a foul call that never came to be put out at 1st.
But the weight of runs did not slow in the next inning. Another reliever for Ormond could not staunch the flow, and Caracher’s four BBs and two HPBs for the inning gave Springvale the ten, plus buffer runs that were not required as Baillie closed out the game for the win.
Adam Thatcher was the stand-out batter, his three hits from four yielding three RBIs and five runs scored. Lucas Anderson had four singles. Scott Baillie and Mark Richards contributed two hits each. Lucas Price, Rydge Hogan, Matt Cameron and Tim Hanson were also hitters.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Reading isn’t goo for a ball player. Not good for his eyes. If my eyes went bad even a little bit I couldn’t hit home runs. So I gave up reading.” [BABE RUTH]

Springvale 12 defeated Chelsea 2
For a team that has given up so few runs, it was disappointing to start the post-Christmas run to the finals with two runs to the opposition in the first inning. But that was the extent of Chelsea’s scoring, while Springvale piled on twelve to record yet another ten-run win.
Things did not start brightly though. Chelsea’s Matt Burton blooped the first pitch of the game just beyond the outstretched gloves of three fielders, but then stole two bases to put himself in to a position to take advantage of a groundball to score. Scott Kerr also singled, then stole. There should have been two down when the next batter swung at the third pitch, but with the ball going well behind the catcher, it was a runner in scoring position with only one down. Another single, and Chelsea had three hits in the opening inning. Springvale had a lucky break, though, when, after a fly ball, the late arrival of a Chelsea player left a blank in the line-up and runners stranded.
Luck seemed against Springvale when a diving Matt Burton collected a fine fly at shortstop, the opposite result in this mirror image of Chelsea’s opening. While Lucas Price hit strongly for a single, simple fly balls to the outfield saw Springvale two behind after only one inning.
In the second, Cory Hart took a diving fly ball to show the acrobatics were not all to Chelsea’s advantage, and a double play after a walk to Chelsea’s number nine took care of the inning. Springvale added one to reduce the margin, with Adam Thatcher’s single volumnised by a stolen base, and Myles Barnden’s single scoring him from 2nd.
Chelsea opened the third with a single, but a delay for lightning seemed to energise the Lions. With three straight outs, the bats came into play, Price opened with a ball bounced over the fence, and
Scott Baillie followed with a single. When the ball brushed Neal Cavanagh’s sleeve, bases were loaded and Rydge Hogan obliged with a single to tie the game. A string of errors helped pile the runs
on, and plans worked as they should when Thatcher stole 2nd, and Hogan beat out the relayed throw home in the delayed double steal. Matt Cameron’s single allowed Tim Hanson to come home when the ball inexplicably got past the fielder, and Lucas Anderson’s sacrifice fly added another run. Seven for the inning was an emphatic response to Chelsea’s sprightly launch.
Springvale’s defence mirrored but bettered that delayed steal attempt in the fourth. Brendan Robinson had walked, and Trent Wilford put him on 3rd with a very long single. Reversing the result
from the previous inning’s double steal, Hanson’s precise throw was cut off by Hogan who sped the ball truly to home plate for the out.
Springvale was shut out for the next two innings, but Chelsea looked unlikely to score, Anderson having relieved, and the field, generally, appearing tight and organised. Having scored two in the sixth, Springvale needed another two to finish the game early, and  Chelsea’s reliever was hittable, from one down, two singles and a double secured the required margin.
Lucas Price led the hitting for the day, with two singles and a double. Scott Baillie had a single and a double, as did Neal Cavanagh. Lucas Anderson. Rydge Hogan, Adam Thatcher, Myles Barnden and
Matt Cameron also recorded hits.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.” [RALPH WALDO EMERSON]

Springvale 15 defeated Pakenham 3
After last week’s shock defeat, we expected Springvale to snap back, but sloppy fielding early was costly. As the Lions tightened up their game, though, the Pakenham players became correspondingly
careless and their initial lead was exploded for another mercy run win to Springvale.
Springvale was lucky to escape the first inning with no score, when an infield error was followed by a walk and a hit, loading the bases. Lucas Anderson was able put the ball past Pakenham’s young Nick
Barth for the third out. Then Springvale looked likely to score first, with runners on, but Scott Baillie’s rocket at the mound was taken by the pitcher, and an out at 1st left the runners stranded.
An outfield error allowed Pakenham’s lead-off in the second to reach 1st, and four hits in the inning saw three unearned runs across the plate. Springvale’s answer was three up, three down, and the
opposition was on the scent of another upset win.
But Anderson allowed no further baserunners. And Pakenham was to have only one more base runner for the game, a single base hit from two down off reliever Scott Baillie.
Meanwhile, Springvale had done more than snatch the lead in the third. Pakenham’s Trent Jobs opened with a walk, a sign of what was to come. Adam Thatcher beat out a nice infield hit, and then three consecutive walks had Springvale only one run behind. Matt Cameron’s single scored two to give Springvale the lead, and then a double error to the shortstop gave up a further two runs. There
were three straight outs, but another run on a ground ball, and a three-run deficit had been transformed into a four-run gap in our favour.
Springvale scored in every inning thereafter. With no hits in the fourth, two runs were conjured from walks, errors and wild pitches, although Pakenham’s John Beech at 3rd base continued to field
strongly, a feature of the game.
A new pitcher in the fifth continued to leak runs, opening with a walk. Tim Hanson’s single gathered maximum value when Pakenham’s centrefielder sent his throw from the outfield sailing over the 3rd base fence, scoring Rydge Hogan and sending Hanson to 3rd, from whence he was able to score on a wild pitch.
Needing one run for the magical ten, Springvale opened the sixth hitting at everything. Lucas Anderson singled to open, and Scott Baillie followed with a double, allowing Matt Cameron to sacrifice fly. When Hogan’s sacrifice fly was dropped, Pakenham’s confidence was sapped, and another dropped outfield fly put an extra run over the plate. Pitches went wild, advancing the runner, and Cory Hart’s single scored a further run. Only a screaming play by John Beech at 3rd, leading to a double play, ended the carnage. When Baillie struck out the opening two batters of the seventh innings, it was clear Springvale was back with a big win.
Adam Thatcher led the hitting with his single and triple. Scott Baillie had a double. Lucas Price, Lucas Anderson, Matt Cameron, Tim Hanson and Cory Hart also hit singles.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Through the years, we all will be together, if the fates allow.” [RALPH BLANE]

North West Titans 3 were defeated by Springvale 13
Careless baseball by the ladder leaders kept this game against the bottom team tight until the fifth, when some gifted runs released the pressure and allowed the Lions to run away with another ten-
run win.
Neither team scored in the first, but Springvale scored one in the second. Neal Cavanagh’s hard-hit ball to the 3rd base corner was a lead-off single. Although it was followed by two flyballs, Cavanagh
had stolen and scampered round to 3rd when the throw over went through. He scored easily on Rydge Hogan’s double. It looked like there would be more runs from two down when Cory Hart singled, but he was the third out when he was caught stealing. The Titans could not match that score despite two hits from two down.
Inattentive base-running cost Springvale the chance to score in the third. Adam Thatcher reached 1st on an error and was batted round to 3rd on Lucas Price’s ground rule double. But both of the runners
were out on the next play, with both of them attempting to advance on a simple ground ball hit back to the pitcher. Even with a further infield error, Springvale could not manufacture a score in an
inning that should have yielded more runs.
The price for this lack of attention was a levelling of the score. Tim Hanson opened with a walk. When the lead runner was out on a groundball, a wild throw over on the attempted double meant
the Titans had a runner at 2nd . Scored on a single from two down, another single and a further infield error had the Titans poised to take the lead in the game before Adam Thatcher held his nerve at
leftfield for the third out.
Springvale struck back, opening with two doubles, and yet still an overpowering rally was not forthcoming. Three consecutive outs saw one more run to give Springvale a two-run margin – a margin that was erased in the fifth when Cameron Wilson’s home run scored two.
So, with more than half the game played, the cellar dwellers were even with the dominant team of the season. In the sixth, Springvale had two early outs before the Titans’ opener began to tire. Over
five batters, he walked three, Lucas Price had his second double for the day and an infield error saw the Titans blow the chance to close out the inning. Having changed pitchers, there was another walk.
With a poor attempt at a flyball in the outfield, a further three runs scored before the Springvale batter who had struck out for the first out matched that for the last out.
Seven runs ahead, Lucas Anderson took the mound for Springvale and had little trouble shutting out the Titans, while Springvale took two innings to put on the three runs that killed the game. Cleaner
and more sensible baseball should be on show next week.
Leading the hitting was Lucas Price with two singles and two doubles. Rydge Hogan had two hits. Lucas Anderson, Scott Baillie, Neal Cavanagh, Chris Davies, Matt Cameron, Cory Hart and Tim
Hanson were all on the hitting list.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.” [R.L.STEVENSON]

Springvale 5 defeated Ormond Glenhuntly Blue 0
This was a tight game over the opening innings, with quality fielding from both teams, and some strong pitching. Unlike previous games, Springvale did not pile on a score in the first inning and then sit back, but steadily accumulated runs over the middle innings, before lightning sent players scurrying from the field and then a deluge drowned out the ninth.
Myles Barnden was pitching for Springvale, and with two strike-outs in the first, seemed too wily for the Ormond hitters. Springvale looked more likely to score, Lucas Anderson and Scott Baillie hitting
singles. But Ormond’s Michael Sullivan had some tricks, too, and he also closed out the first inning with a strike-out.
Both pitchers opened the second inning with walks. But Sullivan was cut down stealing by a clever throw from catcher Rydge Hogan. In the reverse, Hogan looked to advance Mark Richards, and it looked as if his hard-hit ball would pierce the infield for a hit. Unluckily, the diving 2nd baseman just tipped the ball with his glove,  unintentionally sending the ball into the glove of the shortstop who
completed the fortuitous double play.
Springvale had looked more likely to score with three hits to none in three innings. But from one down in the fourth, Ormond had two singles. With their Canadian stealing, and then taking 3rd base
on a wild pitch, and 2nd and 3rd occupied with only one down, the game seemed to be taking an unexpected turn. But Barnden induced pop-ups from the next two batters. And it was Springvale who scored in the bottom of the frame. From two down, Richards singled, and then Hogan’s crunching double sent him pelting for home from 1st .
Ormond could not follow up in the fifth. And one of the few errors from either team cost Ormond dearly in the same inning. In some of their big totals, Springvale have been gifted runs, but the batters were finding it more difficult to get runs across the plate without the steady commission of errors. So, the two unearned runs in the fifth were useful. In the greasy conditions, Anderson was able to reach 1st on an infield error, and was advanced by substitute Brandon Mize’s clever bunt.
Neal Cavanagh’ short single advanced Anderson to 3rd , and he was presented 2nd when the catcher declined to throw over. Matt Cameron’s tricky single, then, scored two runs, and released the
pressure on that tight single run margin.
Springvale was to score another two in the sixth off Ormond reliever Colin Trigellis-Smith. Two walks to early batters meant Adam Thatcher could bat in two runs with his single, and take second base on the centre-field’s throw home. He was unable to advance on Anderson’s short single, but tried to go the two bases on Mize’s equally shallow hit, only to be thrown out at the plate.
Going seven, Barnden tired a little giving up a further two hits. He was relieved in the eighth by Matt Cameron, making his first appearance on the mound for Springvale this season. He opened shakily, getting behind the count and giving up a single. But then he let the field do the work. With Thatcher solidly taking his fourth and fifth flyball for the game, and Richards making a scintillating throw to 1st from 3rd , the game headed into the final inning, only to be flooded out with the final score a comfortable but not imposing five-nil.
Lucas Anderson was the leading hitter, with two. Rydge Hogan had the only multiple base hit for the day with his run-scoring double. Adam Thatcher also had two RBIs from his single. Scott Baillie,
Brandon Mize, Neal Cavanagh, Matt Cameron and Myles Barnden also had hits.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “In the ant’s house, the dew is a flood.” [PROVERB]

Chelsea 2 were defeated by Springvale 9
Springvale’s succession of ten-run wins came to an end yesterday, but with twelve runners left on, and ten of those in the earlier innings, the chance to extend that streak was wasted. The game
followed a familiar pattern, with Springvale dominating early, then going quiet, the batters  abandoning the patience and restraint that had earned them initial hits.
There were six of those hits in the top of the first, with five in a row to welcome Chelsea’s Trent Wilford to the mound. Strong base-running was also on display, with single base hits routinely added
value with stolen bases. Tim Hanson’s bunting skills were again put to good use, and four runs was an emphatic opening for the ladder leaders, underlined with neat work in the field in the bottom of the frame, a double-play limiting Chelsea to three batters.
But from there the game tightened up. Springvale could manage only one hit over the next three innings. Pitcher Lucas Anderson, though, was well on top, and the few hits that Chelsea scattered
over the early innings had little value.
Wilford’s pitch count was inflated by the long first inning, so he tired early, and the hits began to flow again in the fifth. Matt Cameron opened with a single, but was out on the next ground ball. Lili Cavanagh’s second single for the day moved Rydge Hogan round, and then singles to Hanson and Myles Barnden scored Springvale’s first run since the opening blitz. Lucas Anderson doubled to score
another two, and with two runs added in the sixth, the margin looked likely to blow out as in previous games.
Anderson gave up his first run in the sixth, with three simple flat hits getting the job done. Both pitchers were relieved in the seventh, and Springvale struggled with someone throwing much harder than the opener. Rydge Hogan settled nicely in his first outing this year, and, although he gave up a run on a triple and single in the eighth, had eight strike-outs in his three innings – a performance full of promise for the rest of the season.
Lucas Anderson had three hits, with two doubles, to go with his win, and Matt Cameron had three singles. Scott Baillie, Lili Cavanagh and Tim Hanson had two hits, and rounding out the hitters’ list were Adam Thatcher, Neal Cavanagh, Myles Barnden and Brandon Mize.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.” [RALPH

Pakenham 1 were defeated by Springvale 15
This game took a very similar course to last week’s win, with Pakenham quickly losing control of the game, but managing to score a late run to push the game further than the seventh, and Springvale
pouring on late runs to pad out the margin past the ten runs required. But by the seventh inning, there was only one earned run in the game, despite the ten to one score-line, and Pakenham’s
Shaun Fahy had done a strong relieving job, keeping the Springvale batters quiet for three innings before being overwhelmed in the eighth.
Neither team scored in the first inning. In the second, Springvale’s early batters kept the ball on the ground for infield hits, and showed baseball smarts, with sacrifice bunts to Rydge Hogan and Tim Hanson. Lucas Price’s double added two runs to the two which had come round on errors earlier in the inning, and the score-board watch was on.
Myles Barnden was proving too wily for the Pakenham hitters, but strong flyballs from Lucas Anderson at right-field and Matt Cameron at 3rd base kept Pakenham tightly leashed. In contrast,
sloppy errors from Pakenham saw further unearned runs over the plate in the third and fourth innings for Springvale, giving the hitters an opportunity to make the most of their single base hits.
In the bottom of the fourth, Barnden gave up two hits from two down, closing the inning out with a strike-out. The fifth saw changes in pitcher from both teams, and Pakenham’s fielders seemed to
gain confidence from the shift. With fewer hits, and less pressure, the fielding was cleaner and Springvale was denied the opportunity to score. Lucas Anderson was putting the ball past the bat regularly, but gave up a hit to the lead-off in the sixth. A passed ball saw the runner at 2nd , and a ground-ball advanced him to 3rd . This was Pakenham’s best moment, and Fahy made sure to take advantage of the chance, his single driving in the run that broke the ten-run barrier.
Springvale had the chance to boost the margin back out in the seventh, with bases loaded and only one out, but Pakenham’s improved energy in the field saw shortstop and 1st base complete the game-continuing double play.
Anderson, though, had been sparked into action, striking out three in the bottom of the frame. And Springvale did not have to rely on errors to score runs in the eighth. Scott Baillie opened with a double, while Lucas Anderson and Rydge Hogan hit truly on the ground before Matt Cameron also hit for the extra base. Hanson’s single put the fourteenth run over the plate, and, for one more, a wild pitch scored Mark Richards who had got on base with his second HPB for the day.
Matt Cameron led the hitting with two singles and a double, with Tim Hanson and winning pitcher Lucas Anderson also recording three hits. Scott Baillie hit a double, and single base hits went to
Adam Thatcher, Chris Davies, and Rydge Hogan.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: ““If you want to find the real competition, just look in the mirror.” [CRISS JAMI]

Ormond/Glenhuntly Gold 2 were defeated by Springvale 15

When Springvale scored eight in the first, it seemed that a crushing win would be a simple matter. But the buffer became important as the game tightened up over the next few innings, and when the ten-run margin slipped out of reach in the bottom of the seventh,  rustrations bubbled, at least for the scorer. Only one extra inning was required, though, for Springvale to maintain its mercy-rule
record for the season.
Neat and patient batting was enough for Springvale to score heavily in the first. There were no outs until the seventh batter, and that was a sacrifice fly. Lucas Price, Scott Baillie. Neal Cavanagh and Rydge Hogan had all batted smart singles, and several walks had kept the bases occupied. Matt Cameron’s sacrifice fly put the fifth run over the plate, and two walks following loaded the bases for another sacrifice fly from Adam Thatcher. Price’s second single for the day scored two, and the game was already out of Ormond’s reach.
But Ormond was not to be cowed. One might blame complacency and a lack of patience from the Springvale batters, but that might be unfair to Ormond’s reliever, who retired eight batters consecutively before a muffed fly in the fourth saw another Springvale runner on base. From two down, Cavanagh singled, but Springvale could not score, and the ordered procession of outs resumed in the fifth.
Meanwhile, Lucas Anderson was more than matching his Ormond counterpart, on track for a perfect game, until he was changed out in the seventh. Against Anderson, Ormond could not produce a single base-runner, and, in fact, hit the ball to the outfield only twice in eighteen batters for two flyballs. Anderson struck out seven, and his field backed him up, with some fine plays by Baillie at short-stop, and clean fielding all round.
In the sixth, Springvale finally broke through for the runs that took the margin out to ten. Tiring somewhat, the Ormond pitcher strayed a little, and the result was an HPB to Cory Hart on lead-off. Advanced by a groundball, Hart took third on a wild pitch, and was then scored by Price’s double. Price himself came round on Cavanagh’s third single for the day.
In bleak and wintry conditions, most were looking for the earliest end to the game. But Ormond Gold persisted. One Lucas gave way to another on the mound, Price for Anderson, and the inning looked
like replicating what had gone before, with two up and two down, and one out needed for the game. Ji wan Seo was not interested in the early finish, though. He doubled to centre-field, for Ormond’s
first hit and first base-runner. Rattled, Price walked the next batter. And when the double steal was attempted, over-exuberance or under-preparedness saw the ball in the outfield, and the crucial run
over the plate. Ormond scored again, on another hit. So now Springvale were two down on the required ten runs. Two outs to open the eighth inning dampened hopes, before Ormond’s infield, which had worked surprisingly cleanly, fell apart. A muffed fly at 3rd put on a runner, Baillie advanced him with a hit, and then Cavanagh came up to bat.
Having hit three singles on this cold day, it was with some delight that spectators saw him put the ball over the fence to push out that gap in the score. To add some insurance, Lucas Anderson doubled, and then two further infield errors added two more runs.
Price was keen not to allow further scoring from Ormond, and struck out the final two batters of the game to seal the deal and continue the Lions’ hot streak.

Neal Cavanagh was the batting star of the day with his three singles and home run netting five RBIs.
Lucas Price had three hits and Scott Baillie two. Lucas Anderson,  Rydge Hogan and Tim Hanson rounded out the list.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give
it sweetness.” [JOHN STEINBECK]

Springvale 11 defeated Ormond/Glenhuntly Gold 1
A steady accumulation of runs, with a tight defence, saw Springvale record a consecutive early ten-run rule win. An even spread of hitters ensured scoreboard momentum for the Lions, while the
Golds could only manage two hits over their seven innings.
One of those hits came in the first inning and scored the away team’s only run for the afternoon. Tim Hanson had struck out the opening batter and taken the easy pop-up for the second out. It seemed the third out would come from a groundball on the next batter, but he was awarded 1st base on a catcher’s interference. Hanson walked the next batter, and a single base hit put the unearned run
over the plate, while the runner Kyung Soo Jeon sped to 3rd . But Jeon was out at the plate when he tried to advance home unnoticed during a run-down play on the 2nd baseline. Neal Cavanagh held on
long enough to induce Jeon to make the attempt, then threw truly to Rydge Hogan who made the tag.
Further scoring opportunities were limited for the Golds. Hanson walked two in the third, but these were spliced with outs. And Jeon hit a double in the fifth, but the team lacked the batting depth to
push him around. With only eight baserunners in the game, three in the first innings, and with neat fielding from Springvale, it was unlikely that the Ormond team would score many runs. Better than
neat was Lucas Price’s athletic twisting flyball at the top of the 2nd, denying the Ormond team what seemed a certain lead-off hit.
Springvale made up the run in the first with interest, when four runs crossed the plate.  At this stage there were no earned runs in the game, with a lead-off error giving Springvale the edge, even when
Lucas Price was out on a groundball in the next play. There were four walks and a sacrifice fly before Lili Cavanagh recorded Springvale’s first hit for the day.
But there were three hits in the next inning, Adam Thatcher opening with a single, followed by Lucas Price’s double. Baserunners gave Chris Davies the opportunity to sacrifice fly, and by the end of the
inning Springvale had scored another three runs.
After picking off runs in each of the next two innings, there were another three hits for a multiple run inning in the fifth, pushing the margin out to the required ten, so that even when Springvale failed to register a score in the sixth, Scott Baillie’s two innings of scoreless relief was enough to finish the game early.
Lucas Price was the leading hitter with two doubles, and two RBIs. Tim Hanson contributed a single and a double, and Scott Baillie two singles, the pitchers standing out in both offence and defence.
Adam Thatcher, Chris Davies, Matt Camron, Rydge Hogan and Lili Cavanagh rounded out the spread of hitters.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “You’re going to go through ups; you’re going to go through downs. But staying steady is most important, and being able to bounce back is also very important.”

North Western Titans 1 were defeated by Springvale 12

At the windswept open spaces of the Titans’ home ground, Springvale played steady baseball to draw away for the comfortable win.
The game did not open auspiciously for the Lions with two batters and two outs. But in what was to prove something of a pattern for the game, the Titans were unable to put away that third out before
Springvale could register a score. Neal Cavanagh’s infield hit was followed by a poor attempt at an outfield fly. And a wild pitch scored Cavanagh, before a groundball achieved the belated third out.
The Titans began more brightly than the Lions with a single to right-field to the opening batter. But over the next three innings, they could not hit Tim Hanson out of the infield, and with few baserunners, it was difficult to see how the Titans would score.
Meanwhile, Springvale had piled on four in the second innings. Rydge Hogan opened with a lead-off home run, a towering hit over the left-field fence. Again, muffed flies, in both the infield and the
outfield, were costly for the Titans, with Adam Thatcher and Matt Cameron splicing valuable hits in between those errors.
Hanson gave up a double in the fourth, and the Titans had their best chance to score with runners at 2nd and 3rd, but the final out was a tame tap back to the pitcher. Springvale, too, were kept quiet for
several innings, the game tightening up. It was the fifth before Springvale could score again, Cameron continuing his fine batting for the day with a double, and Lili Cavanagh, making her debut in the Men’s Firsts, recording her first hit and first RBI.
Scott Baillie had relieved Hanson in the fifth, striking out two to continue the Titans’ scoreless run. But in the sixth, he opened with a walk, and the runner stole 2nd , and then was scored on a single
from Kyle Newman. Pushing for an advantage on the next play, Newman tried to hold Baillie’s attention on the groundball, then set off for 3rd, resulting in a double play, with Baillie putting the ball past the next batter for his third strike-out.
He would have four more strikeouts over the final two innings of the game, while Springvale scored another four runs in the eighth. Lucas Price opened with a double, and was batted in by Michael Wearne. Another two errors, this time from the 3rd baseman, set the stage for Brandon Mize and Lili Cavanagh to put the game into the mercy rule zone.
The Titans attempted to squeeze the game into the ninth, opening with two hits. But looking for those two runs to reduce the lead meant taking risks, and Hogan cut down the runner stealing 2nd ,
Baillie mopped up a groundball, and then struck out the final batter for the day.
The Cavanaghs had a great day, with two hits each, while Lili Cavanagh also had two RBIs. Matt Cameron batted strongly, with two hits from three at bats and two RBIs. Rydge Hogan started the
season as he means to go on, with his solo home run. Michael Wearne subbed in for two hits, and Brandon Mize for one. Adam Thatcher, Lucas Price and Scott Baillie also contributed to an even team batting effort.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “A bend in the road is not the end of the road…Unless you fail to make
the turn.” [HELEN KELLER]