Our Winter team traveled to Mornington on this past Saturday to face winter conditions for the first time this season.
With a limited roster due to other commitments our ten included Josh Smith back for the first time in two seasons. It was great to have the lanky baseball tyro back with us.
Ban Kaplin again started the game as per our goal to give him lots of pitching experience this season. After we escaped the bottom of the first with a double play and a strike-out it seemed certain we would score in the second when our first three hitters singled but we lost a runner at the plate from an air mailed throw from centrefield and ended up leaving two on base…not ideal in a game that could have been decided by rain at any stage of the day.
The Pirates applied the pressure in their second dig with a walk, a single and a double along with an infield throwing error giving them a three run lead. Two Ks ended the innings to give us a pep into our run chase. With a young left hander on the mound they looked dangerous and the Royals would need to apply themselves to the task to get back in the game.
When Pete Forwood reached on an error and two outs the top end responded with a walk to Matty K and then came two great line drive doubles from our regular contributors Rob A and Dave M. Robs thunderbolt seemed destined for the carpark but the prevailing wind off the bay saw it fall short….just. So at three all it was game on.
Bens radar was slightly askew this dig as he walked a couple which eventually saw us drop another run. A great throw behind the runner by Dave M gave us the third out at second.
Sandy had their chances in the fourth with two on and two out but a towering fly was well caught by first base to end the dig leaving Pete and Steve stranded.
Rob Anthony was in relief again this week and handled the bottom of the fourth easily with a K, a tricky fly by Dave McKinnon in right and a nice bare handed pick-up and throw on the run by Josh Smith now at Shortstop.
Our opportunity to cut the lead and possibly win came in the 5th with one out. Matt K and Rob Anthony both drove singles and after a wild pitch advanced them to scoring position Dave McKinnon took a fast ball to the longest part of the ground and legged out a triple.
We were in front 5-4 and with some excellent defensive plays and tight pitching we held out the Pirates over the last two digs. Our catcher Dave Morehouse was on fire as he cut down a stealing runner heading to third and also caught a runner napping at first who was tagged at second. Two good running catches in the last to Dave McK and Matty K ended the game in very poor light and light drizzle.
Hits: Matt Kaplin – 1b
Rob Anthony – 1b , 2b
Dave Morehouse – 1b , 2b
Dave McKinnon – 1b , 3b
Josh Smith – 1b
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