A Grade starting to hot up
By SALLY HEPPLESTON
AN outstanding team effort got North Balwyn the points against Greensborough in round 5 of the Melbourne Winter Baseball League season at Elder Street Reserve on Saturday.
North Balwyn won 3-0 and assistant coach Neil Burke said every player deserved a mention in what was a strong team effort.
“We executed all the plays we had to make to get the win,” he said.
“Our pitchers Jon Kennedy and Campbell Wiggins were outstanding. Mitch Kennedy in his first game catching was solid behind the plate.”
The Kennedy brothers have come across from reigning premiers Heathmont to strengthen the North Balwyn line up for 2014 and beyond.
He also praised former Australian player Adam Burton who hit a home run.
Now sitting at three wins, two losses and one draw, Burke said his team was in good shape.
“We’re certainly in striking distance of the top four and on our day, we can compete with any of the top teams,” he said.
Greensborough has had a slow start to the 2014 season and president Tim Sullivan said it was a disappointing day for the club, with no real standouts.
“It was very disappointing today and probably a game we should have won,” he said.
“We’ve given a couple of games away this season we think we should have won and if we want to be there at the pointy end of the season we’ve got to do better than that.”
Greensborough play at home again next week against Essendon and North Balwyn take on Knox on their home turf at Myrtle Park.
In other games,
GREENHILLS Montmorency Baseball Club has edged out Essendon in the final inning, with a 3-5 win at Boing Reserve on Saturday in round five of the Melbourne Winter Baseball League season.
GMBC scored two runs in the first inning before Essendon were able to get ahead 3-2, with only 40 minutes of play remaining.
But GMBC scored the last two runs of the game to run away with the match.
GMBC coach Chris Hodkinson said it was fantastic game of baseball by both teams.
“We were able to grind out a win. Some outstanding batting got us over the line,” he said.
Hodkinson praised Sam Boone and Andy Tierney with the bat and his young pitcher Matt McQuiggan.
“We’ve had a great start to the season, so we’re very happy,” Hodkinson said.
Essendon coach Dean Marnell said despite the loss, he was happy with his teams’ effort.
“It was a good game, a tight game, and they had a good part of their line up in,” he said.
“We had Russell Spear close the game out for us (pitching) and he did well but they had some good at bats in the last inning and really put the pressure on us.”
Essendon have come up from B Grade after winning the premiership in that division last year.
Marnell said he was happy with how his players were holding their own in A Grade this year.
“We’ve got five 16 year olds in the team and a couple of older statesmen as teachers. The kids have a lot of talent and it’s about learning and working with them to build success for the club,” he said.
Essendon have had two wins, two losses and a draw this season, with both losses coming against the top two sides.
“Both of those losses were in the last inning, and that’s encouraging,” Marnell said.
Essendon tackle Greensborough next week at Elder Street Reserve in Greensborough and GMBC are away again, playing Ringwood at Proclamation Park.