Seniors Firsts Game Reports

Grand Final Springvale 6 defeated Bonbeach 2
Springvale completed the perfect season with a hard-fought Grand Final win, with runs in the eighth inning breaking the deadlock and Rydge Hogan providing a storming relief performance in the top of the ninth.
Things began badly for Springvale. After the first out, Bonbeach’s Matt Burton ran out an infield hit. Daniel Conway-Jones then homered to score two (although this writer knows a credible eye witness who says the ball squeezed under not over the fence). Nevertheless, the two runs stood, and would have scored anyway, when another multiple-base hit was banged out to left-field.
Springvale could not counter that firepower, with only Lucas Anderson putting the ball safely to the outfield. After giving up the three hits in the opening innings, Anderson was back to his best in the second inning, putting the ball past the bat for a first-up strike-out and allowing no further runs.
Springvale, too, had difficulty putting bat on ball in the bottom of the second, but opened the third with a walk to Adam Thatcher. Anderson had his second for the day, a hard-running infield hit.
Rydge Hogan was hitting long, but to fielders, and he was the first out on a long infield fly that allowed Thatcher to take 3rd. Matt Cameron’s single scored Springvale’s first run for the day, and Steve Hughes followed up with a double to level the scores.
And it was two-all for the next four innings. Springvale failed to take advantage of a hit in the fourth; while Joel Stubbs bunted perfectly to advance Scott Baillie, and was safe on an error, Springvale pushed too hard to advance on a fly ball, giving up the inning-ending double play. But Anderson gave up only one further hit, assisted by Cameron’s spectacular stop at 3rd to make the third out inn the fourth. Springvale had base-runners in the fifth – with a lead-off walk, a double to Cameron, and another two-out walk, but left the runners on base to continue the tense stand-off.
Scott Baillie relieved Lucas Anderson in the seventh, and two infield errors had Bonbeach with 1st and 2nd occupied. Following a strike-out, a walk loaded the bases, and then a pop-up to the infield, with no call of infield fly, was grounded. The out was made at 2nd, but there was no opportunity for the out at 1st . Still, the runner at 3rd had hesitated going home, and the play was made at the plate.
From bases loaded, with one out, Springvale had choked off the go-ahead run with a complex double play.
Again, in the eighth, Bonbeach had early runners, with a pitched ball feathering the sleeve of the opening batter, followed up by a single. Matt Prior executed his bunt to advance the runners, and give Bonbeach another chance to put themselves in front. Coolly, Baillie had the next two batters swinging at third strikes.
And it was in the eighth that Springvale seized its moment. Neal Cavanagh opened with a sweetly hit ball to centre-field. Baillie, too, was able to execute the bunt, and then, not one of those fleet-footed
younger players, but Cavanagh stole 3rd to get that go-ahead run closer to the plate. Joel Stubbs was safe on a catcher’s interference, before the second out came up on a strike-out. Was Springvale, too, going to waste its chance? Anderson walked to load the bases – batting 1000 for the day – before Rydge Hogan, who had flied out long each time at bat finally had his hit, scoring two. Matt Cameron hit again, for another run, and a wild throw to 1st for what should have been the third out added some padding to the lead.

Considering the drama of last week, it was brave all round for Rydge Hogan to take the mound in the top of the ninth. But no one was going to steal this one from Hogan – three batters, three Ks, and Springvale had gone back-to-back.
This successful team is younger-looking, but is still backed by significant contributions from the veteran players. Scott Baillie continues to rack up the wins as a pitcher, with a .79 ERA. Neal Cavanagh fills any hole in the field when asked and is a thoughtful batter. Adam Thatcher remains a
reliable pair of hands in the outfield. Lucas Anderson had an outstanding year – one of the three regular batters in the team to have a 400+ batting average, he also had an ERA of .97 from the mound, and he batted an amazing 889 in the finals, hitting when it counted. Matt Cameron’s batting average was also in the 400s, and he held on to his hitting streak for almost the entire season. Rydge Hogan hit in 16 games of the 16 games to lead the batting averages of the regular team on 493, and his pitching firepower was harnessed much more consistently. But much of the joy for the season came from the return of players who had been lost to the team. Ryan Kirby was the lynch-pin of the defence behind the plate. Steve Hughes’ reach was an important factor for the year, and he batted powerfully. Joel Stubbs’ speed meant he chased down flies in the outfield, bunted provocatively, stole bases almost automatically, and he, too, hit in nearly every game. With determined
appearances from coach Rowan Hall, Brandon Mize, and Max Chew, the perfect season was built on contributions from a happily unified team.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Old friends are always best, unless you can catch a new one that’s fit to make an old one out of.” [SARAH ORNE JEWETT]

Semi Final Springvale 8 defeated North West Titans 7
In this semi-final decided under tie-breaker rules, Springvale had to win twice over the twelve innings to secure its place in the Grand Final, relying on match-winner Lucas Anderson to both close out the game under rules that significantly disadvantage the pitcher, and to bat in the winning run under those same rules. In the end, it was probably Springvale’s leg-speed which won us the game – a thing that would not have been said about the team for many a year!
The game was tight from the very first inning. The Titans scored the first run of the game, when lead-off batter and heroic pitcher Daniel Hamilton singled, and was batted in by one of the Wilson brothers. Springvale countered with a run from a double to Lucas Anderson, scored by Rydge Hogan, extending his season-long hitting streak into the post-season.
Over the next three innings, it was the Titans who looked most likely to score, sprinkling hits but unable to convert, while Springvale’s only base-runners came through errors, on which its batters were unable to capitalise. Hamilton was racking up the strike-outs, while Baillie was relying on strong fielding to choke off any scoring.
In was in the fifth that Hamilton wobbled. He opened the inning with the first walk for the game, to Scott Baillie. Joel Stubbs’ bunting expertise got Baillie over, and Hamilton was rattled by the runners on. He gave up another walk, and then Anderson hit neatly to put the go-ahead run over the plate.
The Titans’ pitcher was clearly unnerved, pitching wildly to give Springvale another run, before Hogan hit again to score one more. A dropped fly in the outfield added another run to the total, with Springvale looking much more comfortable at with a four-run lead. With runners on, and young legs, each of the runs that scored included a stolen base; and it wasn’t just the youngsters, with Baillie stealing 3rd , one of the five stolen bases for the inning.
Baillie continued his strong performance on the mound, but could not snag a hit in the sixth with his line drive gloved by the Titans’ Brendan Robinson at 1st . Hamilton had clearly gathered himself, striking out the next two.
Baillie was relieved by Rydge Hogan in the eighth. After a simple infield out, the Wilson brothers struck the ball cleanly up the middle for two singles, before Hogan came back with a K. Proving more hittable than usual, there was another short single to left-field, and bases were loaded. Hogan was working the count well, with two strikes and no balls, and looking to strand the runners, when he was controversially balked, gifting the Titans its second run. Significantly unsettled, Hogan gave up a
hit to the struggling batter, for another run, before a double infield error allowed two unearned runs to cross the plate, tying the score. He continued, but after another single base hit, was replaced with Joel Stubbs who showed steel to come back from down in the count to strike out the final batter.
Springvale could not retrieve the lead, although Stubbs ensured the opposition did not go ahead in the top of the ninth, after Lucas Anderson took a wonderful running fly-ball at right-field off the opening batter. Stubbs hit the ball hard as lead-off in the ninth, but was lined out by a pitcher who was still doing everything despite being well over the hundred pitch mark.
And so, we entered extra innings under the new tie-break rules, when each team starts the inning with runners on 1st and 2nd (will no one think of the scorers!). The Titans catcher bunted well, and Stubbs chose to go for the lead runner. But, safe at 3rd, the Titans now had bases loaded and none down. Stubbs struck out the next batter, but in the course of that count, pitched wildly for a run to come over the plate, giving the Titans the lead. The next batter was intentionally walked, setting up a double play – but that play could not be executed, with an out at 2nd on the next ground ball, but the run scoring. With enormous tension in the game, there was a dropped third strike to load the bases again, before the cool and composed Lucas Anderson managed to sight a fly ball into the sun and safely make the third out.
The ladder leaders were now two runs down, but started the inning with two runners on base. Anderson and Hogan executed the double steal on the first pitch, and then Matt Cameron had his first hit of the day (and the first hit to another batter other than Anderson and Hogan). With Hogan’s long legs, he ate up the two bases and scored to tie the game. But Springvale could not score the go-ahead run, and the game continued into the eleventh inning.
Anderson needed all that cool composure when he relieved Joel Stubbs in the eleventh. The Titans bunted their automatic runners over, and it was 2nd and 3rd occupied with only one down. The batters could not pierce the infield, with Cameron taking a pop-up, and Anderson fielding from his own pitching.
Springvale, too, bunted its runners over, bringing up bunting specialist Stubbs. In a perfectly executed suicide squeeze, Ryan Kirby was nearly at the plate when Stubbs laid down his bunt, and the Springvale players and spectators celebrated a win. Dramatically, the umpire called Stubbs for batting out of the box, and, thus, failing to score, the game continued.
In the twelfth, Anderson held his nerve, and the field backed him. Springvale began its inning with the very quick Stubbs at 2nd , and the speedy Adam Thatcher at 1st , and, again, played the double steal
immediately, leaving Anderson to pick up his fifth hit of the game and put the Lions into the Grand Final.
Lucas Anderson was Springvale’s star. Not only did he steal four bases, and take several clutch flyballs, he was the winning pitcher and batted in the winning run on his fifth hit for the day. Rydge Hogan had two hits and Matt Cameron one.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens ourskills. Our antagonist is our helper.” [EDMUND BURKE]

Springvale 11 defeated Footscray 1
The final game of the home and away season was played in a lacklustre spirit, with both teams channelling the long weekend feeling and Springvale cruising its way into next week’s final.
Joel Stubbs threw the opening two innings for Springvale, and while Footscray managed base-runners, they could not convert, Stubbs’ four Ks damping things down, and Neal Cavanagh’s spectacular infield fly ball closing out the second inning. With his back to the ball, Cavanagh
managed to snare it into his glove, only to see it dribble out again, seemingly to add to the infield’s list of muffed flies, before stunning the “crowd” as he caught it again on the way down.
Springvale had managed one earned run off Australian pitcher Abbey McLellan in the first, with Rydge Hogan securing his regular season-long hitting streak with a double, and scoring on Matt Cameron’s single. There were a further four runs in the second, but all of them were unearned despite the four hits, two of which were infield balls. And the number of fielder’s choice plays for the game demonstrated that Springvale batters found it difficult all day to pierce the infield, with some great plays by both shortstop and 3rd base during the game.
Stubbs was replaced by Hogan in the 3rd , and despite some inaccuracy, he, too was able to ensure that Footscray’s runners did not cross the plate, neat infield play complemented by a sharp pick-up by 1st baseman Steve Hughes in the third.
McLellan held her nerve and held the Springvale batters over the next two innings. Despite Max Chew leading off with a single in the fourth, and there being two follow-up hits, no runs scored, inattention on the base paths and good fielding off her own pitching seeing McLellan record two assists for the inning.
Baillie came on to see out the game, racking up consecutive outs in the fifth, while Springvale inched closer to the ten runs required for an early finish, Matt Cameron smoking the ball past 3rd to open the inning, followed up with some shallow hitting and an error for two runs.
Footscray’s George Baxas registered the team’s first multiple base hit in the sixth, but was not scored, and Springvale, too, failed to score.
So, entering the triggering seventh inning, Springvale were only seven runs up, and in the middle of the inning, they were only six runs up, when a rampantly wild throw on the third out allowed a runner on, and Thomas Medland, who had fielded well all day, whacked a ball over rightfield to score Footscray’s one and only run for the day.
For an early finish, Springvale had to score four off reliever Shane Kinlough, and this was duly achieved, with assistance from some errors, and some good hitting from Rowan Hall and Max Chew.
Brandon Mize was, perhaps surprisingly, the leading hitter for the day, batting 1000 with four from four and two RBIs. Max Chew, also up from the Seconds, followed him with three hits, including a double. Joel Stubbs had three singles. Rydge Hogan secured his season-long hitting streak with a double and a triple, and Matt Cameron also had two hits. Steve Hughes, Rowan Hall, and Scott Baillie contributed to the seventeen hits on the day.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Do you know what my favourite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” [MIKE SINGLETARY]

Springvale 21 defeated North Coburg 0
Springvale went into the game with three players on season-long hitting streaks, but only Rydge Hogan came out with his streak intact. Some spectators might have suggested that this was the only interest in the game – but consider if the scoreline had been reversed before you decide whether this was a boring win.
Rydge Hogan has been used more in relief this season, but started on the mound, and was well backed up by the field, scrambled from their usual positions, but making the three ground outs.
Adam Thatcher hit neatly to centre-field to open Springvale’s offensive attack, but was only scored because of an error, Springvale not impressing with power early.
Hogan opened the second inning with a walk, before he found his rhythm, three batters watching over three third strikes. In the bottom of this frame, Springvale batters showed both power and patience. Coburg’s Jack Pinches struggled to put the ball in the strike-zone, with seven walks and a HPB for the inning. Most enjoyable for Springvale was Hogan’s home run, scoring three and holding his streak safe.
Pinches was not relieved, and, while he threw bravely, he stood little chance of holding back the spate of Springvale scoring. Hogan opened the third inning with a double, with Matt Cameron accepting his second HPB of the game. Steve Hughes looked to have driven a home run over left-field fence, but umpire Pete Gelsi judged the ball foul, and Hughes had to be content with hard-run single to 3rd base. Coburg fluffed a chance for a double, erroring for no outs, and Scott Baillie hit in a
run for his single. Pinches had thrown a lot of pitches, and began struggling, again, to throw strikes, loading up the bases before securing the second out of the inning on an outfield fly. But a further three walks, and a single base hit awarded to Hogan, when the Coburg fielders failed to cover 1st, saw the opener relieved. While Craig Learmonth gave up two hits to his first two batters, he was able to keep control, and he allowed only a further two runs for the game.
Lucas Anderson, though, was even more impressive in relief; he matched Hogan’s five strike-outs, gave up no walks, and conceded no runs.
Rydge Hogan was, again, the stand-out, with his three hits, including a home run, batting in four runs. Ryan Kirby also netted the team four runs from his three hits. Scott Baillie had two hits before being rested. Adam Thatcher, Lucas Anderson, Steve Hughes, and Max Chew were also hitters for the day.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “May you live in interesting times.” [CHINESE CURSE]

Springvale 16 defeated North West Titans 1
Springvale only scored in two innings, but that was enough to secure a huge win over the fourth- placed Titans.
Springvale set up the win in the bottom of the first inning. While Scott Baillie had accounted for the Titans’ batters consecutively, Springvale opened with three hits, singles to Adam Thatcher and Lucas Anderson, and a double to Rydge Hogan. While Thatcher scored on that double, Anderson could not quite leg out the three bases, cut down at home on a strong throw from centrefield. Hogan went to 3rd on that play. But when Matt Cameron walked, and then set out to steal 2nd , Hogan was indecisive on the feinted throw-over, and was put out at the plate.
It was lucky for the Titans that the Springvale runners were handing themselves over since Conor Wilson was making little headway on the mound with the outs. There were three hits, three walks, and two HPBs before a diving knee high fly ball from rightfielder Alan McGaughey saved the inning.
Baillie continued, but injured his leg in the fourth, having recorded five Ks, no walks and one shallow hit that plopped between rightfield and the infield. Joel Stubbs took over, and the same batter hit the same spot in the same fashion. But with two down, Hogan’s spectacularly dived his full and considerable length to take an exceedingly difficult fly ball.
Springvale had been held scoreless since the first, but unleashed again in the fourth. Strong batting from the strong hitters saw the first infield out followed by four hits, doubles to Hogan and Ryan Kirby and singles to Matt Cameron and Steve Hughes. Max Chew had replaced Baillie in the line-up, and he chimed in with a useful sacrifice fly. Then the cavalcade resumed, and, after eight hits and six runs, Conor Wilson was replaced by his brother, Cameron. There was no relief for the reliever though, with Hogan belting his third double for the day, and Cameron delivering another single base hit. After a walk, bases were loaded, when a simple flyball went up to the rightfielder. Unable to repeat his spectacular performance from the first inning, this out went begging, and three more runs scored before the second Wilson struck out the last batter in a fifteen-batter inning.
Springvale didn’t need to score again, and they didn’t. The Titans managed a consolation run, when a regulation play at 1st saw the pitcher throw wild. Hogan came on for short relief in the 7th , and with three Ks swept the inning and game clean.
Rydge Hogan led the hitting for the day, with three doubles and three RBIs. Matt Cameron followed him up with three singles, and Adam Thatcher and Lucas Anderson had two hits each. Ryan Kirby recorded a double. Scott Baillie, Neal Cavanagh, and Joel Stubbs were also hitters, and so, with two weeks of regular season play to go, three players in the team continue their season-long hitting streak.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Hitting a baseball has absolutely nothing to do with being big or small, short or tall.” [JOSE ALTUVE]

Springvale 11 defeated Geelong 0
It was business as usual as the team at the top of the table neatly dispatched the more lowly ranked Geelong. While Springvale only overpowered the pitcher in one of the seven innings, Geelong were
never going to score, with only five base-runners sprinkled over the game.
One of those base-runners was lead-off batter for the game Tyson Sherry (he was on base three out of three to dominate Geelong’s list) with a double over centre-field’s head. But Lucas Anderson recovered from his loosener, with a pop-up and two strike-outs to leave Sherry stranded.
Springvale did not make that mistake when Adam Thatcher opened our account with a double. From one down, Rydge Hogan tripled, and then Matthew Cameron hit another double, and Springvale had scored two – two more than Geelong would manage for the game.
With Anderson in control in the second, Springvale could not push its advantage further. While Geelong’s Connor Hughes was lacking in control, batters early in the inning were too eager to hit, so the two walks from two down did not lead to further scoring.
Hogan was the lucky recipient of an infield error when the 1st base fielder did not manage to trap a panicked throw. He then stole 2nd and 3rd (stolen bases have been a feature of this year’s team – this
scorer has not used her yellow pencil so often for many a season), so scoring on Joel Stubbs’ single was easy. Stubbs himself stole 2nd , and was then able to score from Steve Hughes’ two down single.
Anderson continued his tight performance on the mound. Having given up his only walk of the game in the third, he gave up his only other hit in the fourth, but from two down, and with no support, Cade White could not advance from 1st . Springvale’s big hitters were too keen to knock Geelong’s junior reliever off the mound, failing to push out each pitch count, and swinging at pitches that were clearly not strikes.
But in the fifth, those lower down the order showed more patience, three consecutive walks and a wild pitch forcing another change. Steve Hughes greeted the new pitcher with a double, and Rowan Hall
followed that up with a single. There were two HPBs among all of this, and by the time Matt Sage had struck out the last batter for the inning, Springvale had scored six.
Springvale scored one more in the sixth. Rydge Hogan came on to tidy out the game, striking out the first batter, and fielding the final ball of the game.
Rydge Hogan, Matt Cameron, and Joel Stubbs all kept their season-long hitting streaks alive, and it will be interesting to see if one of them stumbles over the next few weeks. Hogan had two hits with two RBIs, Cameron and Stubbs one each with two RBIs also. Steve Hughes’ two hits netted three RBIs. Adam Thatcher, Lucas Anderson, Scott Baillie, and Rowan Hall recorded one hit each.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “Taste the relish to be found in competition — in having put forth the best within you.” [Henry Kaiser]

Springvale 3 defeated Pakenham 1
With no earned runs in this game, and only eight hits to four, it’s clear the pitchers were on top of the batters. Scott Baillie threw the complete nine innings for 86 pitches, with only 15 balls, and no free passes to 1st base, ensuring that the hitters’ failure to convert scoring chances did not cost the team the game.
The infield opened the game neatly – with no balls in the air, a ground ball double play backed up Baillie’s first-up strike-out. With no contact made, Springvale had had two runners on, but a caught stealing dampened enthusiasm, and Pakenham’s Tim Bellerby seized on this, striking out two to end the inning.
Ryan Kirby matched that caught stealing on Pakenham’s next batter who had singled to centre. For the second and third innings, there were no further base-runners for either team. Baillie was well in control, but so was Bellerby. It was not until there were two out in the fourth that Springvale showed some spark in the batter’s box, Cameron’s long double to leftfield followed by a walk.
But the team could not score, and this was repeated more pointedly in the fifth and sixth; Springvale opened both innings with two hits, but wasted the chance to push for a lead in a very tight contest, double plays leaving runners stranded.
Springvale had been generating all the scoring chances, but, disappointingly, it was Pakenham that was the first to score, having had only two base-runners in six innings. From one down, a ball swirled
behind first base and between three fielders. In the confusion, the hitter raced to 2nd base for a very short double-base hit. It should have been two down on the next batter, but a fielding error at 3rd allowed both the lead runner to advance, and the batter to reach safely. From there, the unearned run could score on a ground ball, and a further error at 3rd gave greater heart to Pakenham.
Fortunately, Springvale’s determined manager, who had been making great pick-ups at 1st all day, snared the final out. But Springvale was in an unfamiliar position – down and heading into the later stages of the game.
Infield errors had proved costly for Springvale, but would hurt Pakenham even more. In the bottom of the seventh, Jesse Hunter scooped up the groundball from the first pitch of the inning, and made the out. But two pitches later, and with the same play to make, he threw wild. And three pitches later he fumbled. Steve Hughes hit his own swirler and bases were loaded, opening up the opportunity for Rydge Hogan to hit strongly and score two. Bellerby was relieved by Jesse Hunter, and, unsettled by his errors, he pitched wild to put Hughes over the plate.
Baillie had two down in the eighth, when, yet again, the Springvale infield was perplexed by a simple pop-up; luckily, the advancing runner tried too hard to capitalise on this perplexity and pushed for two bases, Hogan’s awareness and long legs making the out at 3rd on a desperate lunge.
With no pop-ups in the ninth, Springvale managed to get out of the game as neatly as it had started. Joel Stubbs, Matt Cameron, and Rydge Hogan maintained their season-long hitting streak, with two hits each, Stubbs using his speed on a clever bunt, Cameron having the only multiple-base hit for Springvale, and Hogan recording the only RBIs. Steve Hughes and Neal Cavanagh rounded out the hitters’ list.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “That love is all there is/ Is all we know of love”. [EMILY DICKINSON]

Chelsea 3 was defeated by Springvale 14
This was a tidy win for Springvale, without being overwhelming, built on the back of strong pitching and pretty clean fielding, contrasting with Chelsea’s six errors.
Springvale scored in the first; with the wind blowing in, Lucas Anderson batted for the conditions, looking to hit the ball safely, rather than lofting for distance. He stole, and was then advanced on a wild pitch, giving him the opportunity to cross the plate on Rydge Hogan’s groundball.
Joel Stubbs struck out two in his opening inning, and recorded Ks in each of the next three innings to keep Chelsea scoreless. Springvale, meanwhile, scored heavily in the third. With no outs over four batters, and runners scoring on hits to Anderson and Matt Cameron, Hogan’s long sacrifice fly for the first out put another run over the plate. Chelsea’s 3rd base made his second error for the day, Stubbs hit neatly, and another run scored on a groundball. With hits early in the fourth, again, Springvale could score from infield groundballs, and had pulled
ahead by eight runs to nil.
In the fifth, Stubbs opened with two HPBs, and this was to prove costly when both these were converted to runs. Springvale’s infield failed to turn a double play, and then yet another infielder dropped a fly ball (a long way from the infield, it must be said), putting a runner on 3rd , and setting up for a sacrifice fly.
It looked as if the chance of an early ending to the game had been blown. Springvale responded with two runs in the top of the sixth, but some messy base-running was costly, with an out on a throw-over to 2nd with the runner on 3rd failing to advance on the catcher’s decision to go for the caught stealing. Anderson then tried to push for a run on a two-base dropped fly ball in the outfield, but could not make the three bases safely, tagged out at the plate.
Anderson had relieved Stubbs in the bottom of the sixth, beginning authoritatively with a strike-out. Stubbs and he had swapped places, and Stubbs pushed hard for a long-running foul fly ball to help out his replacement. Then Rowan Hall seized a throw in the dirt for the 3rd out.
Springvale failed to score, and had not put the required ten run distance between themselves and Chelsea when the seventh inning opened.
At ten-three, Springvale needed to score at least three and keep Chelsea scoreless to head home early. The batters scored four from two down, with stronger base-running proving key to converting scoring chances. Anderson struck out two, then wobbled with two HPBs and a walk, before another K for an entirely blue inning.
Lucas Anderson was strong in the batter’s box, with four hits. Adam Thatcher and Rydge Hogan also hit twice, and there were hits recorded by Matt Cameron, Ryan Kirby, Joel Stubbs, Max Chew, and Rowan Hall.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “All nature laughed in the sunshine.” [ANNE BRONTE]

Footscray 1 were defeated by Springvale 19
The scores were tied after the first dig, but Footscray could not manage more than one base-runner an inning from then on, while Springvale amassed twenty-three hits to four to notch up a large-scale win.
There were hits to Lucas Anderson and Matt Cameron in the first, but it was a walk to lead-off Adam Thatcher, and, eventually, a wild pitch that saw the first run of the game over the plate. Footscray’s line-up opened the day with a hard hit to 3rd, and a neat bunt got the runner over. He was scored from two down on a centre-field single, before Baillie closed the inning out with a strike-out.
Joel Stubbs showed that Springvale was not without bunting smarts in the second, when he recorded a safe hit on a bunt down the 3rd baseline to load the bases, but Springvale could not convert, and Footscray looked to go ahead when it replicated its first inning, with a lead-off single and a clever bunt. Baillie rallied for two strike-outs, and realistically, that was Footscray’s final chance to score for the game.
Springvale took the lead in the third, with two red runs. Cameron started the inning well with what looked like it would be a double, only to be thrown out at 2nd . Steve Hughes walked, and Neal Cavanagh scampered to 1st on an error. It looked as if Springvale might again burn their chances with Jake Cole-Sinclair striking out the next batter, before Scott Baillie worked to secure his win with a single scoring two.
Despite some howlers in the field – with several infield pop-ups dribbling away – Springvale were never seriously challenged. Three consecutive hits, with doubles to Adam Thatcher and Rydge Hogan, saw Springvale pull further away in the fourth. A further three runs were scored in the sixth, Hogan leading off with a single, advancing on a past ball, and stealing 3rd . From two down, Cavanagh singled to score Hogan, Ryan Kirby hit a double, and Scott Baillie continued his strong day with the
bat with a two RBI single.
Springvale ran over the top of the opposition in the eighth and final inning of the game, with seven hits from thirteen batters, and two errors contributing to a nine-run inning. With strong hitting all round, Adam Thatcher led the way with a single and three doubles. Scott Baillie’s four singles contributed four RBIs, and Rydge Hogan also had four RBIs from two singles, a double and a sacrifice fly. The pitchers put in with the bat, Lucas Anderson also recording four singles. Ryan Kirby had three hits, Matt Cameron two, and we batted through the list, with Steve
Hughes, Neal Cavanagh and Joel Stubbs contributing single hits.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “It’s possible to be special, proud, and humble all at once. It ought to be our national motto.” [GREG BAUM ON ASH BARTY]

Springvale 12 defeated Bonbeach 7

This was a tight game over the opening innings.
While Springvale had three hits in the first inning, it was an error on the lead-off batter, and a wild pitch, which put its first run over the plate. Bonbeach did not have a hit until the fourth – and then it was a running bunt that bogged the infielders in confusion. While this lead runner was out on the next play, Springvale could not complete the double, and two wild pitches from the usually reliable Lucas Anderson put the runner on 3rd, allowing him to score from Bonbeach’s second hit of the day.
In the next inning, Bonbeach hit the lead, when an errant throw from the catcher on a runner stealing 3rd guaranteed Bonbeach its only time in the lead for the game.
This lead was snatched back in the bottom of the frame, when Springvale’s big hitters took to Daniel Conway-Jones. After a ground out on Joel Stubbs, Adam Thatcher and Lucas Anderson singled. When Rydge Hogan doubled to left-field, two runs scored, and another two hits in the inning, from Steve Hughes and Neal Cavanagh, gave Springvale a two run buffer.
Bonbeach paid for underestimating the Springvale outfield, when left-fielder Chris Davies set off for a long fly ball. Taking it cleanly, he turned to find that the runner had sped off from 2nd and was rounding 3rd, with no way back before the ball was returned.
And the Springvale bats continued to fire. After a lead-off walk to Ryan Kirby, Joel Stubbs singled, Max Chew took an HPB, and Lucas Anderson’s walk put a run over the plate. Rydge Hogan was able to sacrifice fly, and then Matt Cameron’s long double to centre-field scored two. Conway-Jones was struggling and two wild pitches to the next batter saw Cameron cross the plate, putting Steve Hughes ahead of the count before he, too, was walked. A double to Cavanagh scored yet another run, and forced a change in the pitcher, with Ben Donald seeing off the inning.
Joel Stubbs finished his two innings in relief with only one unearned run against his name – again the infield failed to work in sync, undecided whether to attempt an out on the double steal, or cut off the ball.
Rydge Hogan came to the mound for the last two innings of the game, and seemed out of sorts, giving up a double to his first batter faced. After a pop-up to Steve Hughes at 1st , Hogan gave up two walks. And then, again, the infield was perplexed by the bunt, and so a single base hit to the pitcher also recorded an RBI. Hogan came back with the two strike-outs to close the inning, and the run was countered when Springvale scored two.
Hogan’s mishaps continued in the ninth. After a simple ground ball for the first out, Hogan struck out the next batter, only for the ball to plonk through the catcher, allowing the K-ed batter to reach 1st.
Bonbeach managed to score three for the inning, but they were consolation runs, with Springvale taking out the game.
Matt Cameron was the leading hitter for the day, with two singles and a double. Neal Cavangh and Rydge Hogan each had a double and a single. Lucas Anderson and Steve Hughes had two singles, and Adam Thatcher and Joel Stubbs also recorded hits.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?” [STEVE WRIGHT]