By SALLY HEPPLESTON
RESEARCH have continued on their winning ways, beating top side and dual reigning premiers Heathmont 3-2 in blustery conditions at Glenauburn Park in Lower Plenty on Saturday in round 10 of the A Grade division of the Melbourne Winter Baseball League.
Research were led by star pitcher Leigh McKay who is having another fantastic season.
Research coach Tom Dicker said it was a great game of baseball, even though the wind was “blowing a gale”.
“We’ve got the two best hitting line ups in the league and the pitching was very good too,” he said.
“We haven’t given up more than 5 or 6 runs and we’re really backing ourselves.”
After losing in round one to Heathmont, Research then lost again in round two to North Balwyn, but have since won eight games in a row, and Dicker said he was very happy with where his team was at.
“It’s good to get another win and reflection of where we’re at. Heathmont are dual reigning premiers so it’s always good to beat them. We really think we represented ourselves well today. North Balwyn is the only team we haven’t beaten yet, and if we can beat them next week, we’ll be in a terrific mental state,” he said.
Heathmont coach Matt Gourlay also praised the efforts of Leigh McKay.
“It was a very high standard game and he (McKay) pitched all but one inning and really kept us off balance all day,” he said. “Its a tough park to come and play at, especially on days like we had today. They are a quality team and we took it up to them”.
He also said his own pitcher Josh Silvie, who threw six innings, performed strongly but the three run home run he gave up to Josh Davies sealed the game for Research. “That’s baseball though, I though we were strong all day but one swing of the bat can be all it takes”.
“It’s only our second loss for the year and we know we’ll come up against them again in the finals. We had some good at bats today and scoring opportunities but we just couldn’t get the runs across the plate,” Gourlay said.
Heathmont host Essendon next week while Research travel to North Balwyn.
In other A Grade results, Essendon beat Watsonia 3-0, GMBC had a close win over Greensborough 11-10, Ringwood and North Balwyn drew 9-9 and Knox comfortably defeated Westgarth 10-3.