Penguins start title defence with close win


Ringwood Saints push Heathmont all the way in Round 1


By Sally Heppleston

REIGNING champions Heathmont have got their 2017 season off to a good start, by defeating Ringwood 3 to 2 in round one of the Melbourne Winter Baseball League A grade competition.

Heathmont coach Matt Gourlay said both teams put on a great display of pitching, but that his team were able to get some early points with the narrow win.

Gourlay said it was a great win and that club newcomer Sam Gibbons was impressive as well as Matt Wilson. Josh Hendricks helped secure the win with a home run and Chris Nicholas chipped in with two hits also.
Ringwood coach Adam Bright also praised the pitchers, and said his two, Blake Hodgson and Andy Jones did a great job keeping their team in the match.
“Luke Cartwright also worked them very well behind the plate, throwing a couple of runners out.
“With the bat we were kept pretty quiet against Heathmont’s quality pitching. We threatened in the last inning getting the first two hitters on base but Heathmont got out of trouble, closing the game out,” Bright said.
The season takes a break for Easter next week. When the competition resumes, Ringwood are home to Watsonia and Heathmont travel to Greensborough.
In other A grade results, Greenhills Montmorency beat cross town rivals Greensborough 4-2 in the traditional round one heritage match, Research were too strong for Doncaster 11 to 8, Watsonia beat Essendon 4 to 3 in the inaugural Chris Lane memorial match and Forest Hill and North Balwyn drew four all.