By SALLY HEPPLESTON
LA TROBE University outclassed Croydon on Saturday with a 10-3 win at Barngeong Reserve in round 14 of the Melbourne Winter Baseball League B grade competition.
La Trobe were just hanging on the fourth place before the win and coach Alex Turlea said the result would put them in a good position to play finals.
Turlea said Saturday’s result was pleasing as everyone got a hit.
“Stand out hitters today were Brad Sharples who hit two home runs and myself, I also hit two home runs,” he said.
“It was a big hitting day.”
“Everyone contributed and we were able to manufacture a lot of runs and played a lot of station to station baseball.
“Ben Simpson also pitched really well and only gave up one earned run,” Turlea said.
La Trobe get a rest next week with a bye before taking on top side Waverley at Waverley.
Turlea said it would be a tough road to the finals as in the final weeks they are playing the top two teams.
“It will be a tough ride home and we’ve got our work cut out for us but it will be good preparation for finals,” he said.
Croydon coach Sam Mather said while the score didn’t look good for his team, he was pleased with how his players hung in there.
“We started out ok and hung with them but they really broke it open with a few home runs. What the score says doesn’t look ideal, but we had some great defensive play today.
“Jason Garland caught well and Dennis Ward who came on to pitch closed them down in the end, as well as getting a good base hit in the last inning.
“Unfortunately we were down a few players today, and we were scrambling a bit,” Mathers said.
Croydon take on Diamond Creek next week and Mathers said the season continued to be about providing opportunity for juniors.
“They’ve got to understand the cut and thrust of it. We’ve got to get them exposed to make the right plays at the right time,” he said.