By SALLY HEPPLESTON
RESEARCH will get another crack at Greenhills Montmorency Baseball Club next week when the two Diamond Valley based teams play off in the A Grade Melbourne Winter Baseball League grand final at La Trobe University.
Research were able to get over the top of North Balwyn 5-4 in a close and thrilling game on Saturday, as well as getting a valuable run around on the prestigious La Trobe University field.
Research coach Tom Dicker said it was a great game of baseball, where both starting pitchers shined.
“Both Jon Kennedy for them and Leigh McKay for us were in very good form today,” Dicker said.
“We both scored two runs off each starting pitcher. Leigh was just making good pitches at good times and then we scored a few more when they’re relief pitcher (Jeremy Young) came on and that really was the difference,” he said.
Dicker said his team was looking forward to getting another shot at GMBC, after drawing with them in the last round of the season and losing to them by one run in week one of the finals.
“We got an extra run out there today (at La Trobe). The field plays differently to any other field in the league and to get an extra week out there today will help,” Dicker said.
“We’re confident we match up well against them and that we can rid ourselves of the mistakes that cost us the win last week.”
North Balwyn coach Neil Burke said it was a disappointing end to a great season, but that his team had much to be positive about, looking to the future
“We probably weren’t at our best today and made fundamental errors and that really made the difference when coming up against a quality team like Research,” Burke said.
“It made for a very close game today. We’ve had a great year, but it was a disappointing way to end as we just didn’t execute at the right time.
“But the kids have been great for us this year, it is a very young side and our seconds made the finals too and that puts us in a very good situation going forward,” Burke said.
In other Melbourne Winter Baseball League finals matches, Westgarth won their way into the B Grade Grand Final against Waverley with a convincing 9-1 win against Melbourne University.
Both Grand Finals will be played this weekend at Latrobe University, Bundoora Campus. B Grade Grand Final starts at 12.15pm, the A Grade Grand Final will start at approx. 2.45pm, depending on the finish time of the B Grade match.