By SALLY HEPPLESTON
REIGNING premiers Research are on track for another crack at the title this year after a solid 11 to 6 win over Ringwood on Saturday in the A grade competition of the Melbourne Winter Baseball League.
Research coach Tom Dicker said the win on Ringwood’s home ground at Proclamation Park was a “full team effort” but that Blake Hodgson was impressive on the mound, as were David Dicker and Zach Rhodes with two home runs each.
“This will really launch us well towards our title defence. It is fantastic how close this year has been though, there is nothing better for the league,” Dicker said.
Dicker said while it looked like finals would be on the cards, he would never assume they were safe until the last round, with all of the teams looking evenly placed down the ladder.
“We’re confident in what we’re doing though and looking forward to next week.
“These games serve us well as we get to play in a finals like atmosphere,” Dicker said.
Ringwood coach Adam Bright said it was a crucial game for his side to lose, and it damaged their chances of making a finals appearance.
“We really needed to win today, to keep our hopes going,” he said.
“Our pitching has been fantastic but it was not on today. They hit four home runs and had runners on base and you can’t defend against that. We got close in the middle of the game but they were too good today,” Bright said.
Bright said his side had been travelling well but a few other narrow losses had hurt their chances.
Bright said they could have been “sitting pretty” but it wasn’t to be and with North Balwyn and Watsonia to come in the last two rounds, it would be a big ask.
Research are home to Watsonia next week.
In other A grade results, Essendon knocked off top team Heathmont 6 to 4, North Balwyn beat Forest Hill 3 to 0, GMBC thumped Knox 15 to 0 and Greensborough and Watsonia drew 4 all.