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Round 4 Match Reports

Round 4 Match Reports…In a nutshell

By SALLY  HEPPLESTON

HEATHMONT have continued their impressive start to the 2017 Melbourne Winter Baseball League season with a solid 15-6 win over A grade newcomers Doncaster at Deep Creek Reserve on Saturday.

Heathmont coach Matt Gourlay said his side hit well all through the line up, in particular Chris Nicholas.

“It really was a good team effort today,” Gourlay said.

He said the conditions were wet and cold and that rain delayed the start of play.

Gourlay said he was thrilled with their start to the season, but knew they had a tough game against second-placed Research next week.

Gourlay also praised Doncaster, but said their pitching let them down slightly.

“It just wasn’t their day, but our offence was very strong.”

Doncaster coach Brendan McDonald said Heathmont were able to jump out to an early lead which his team were never able to recover from.

“The game just got away from us. It was a tough day for our pitchers and we just didn’t throw enough strikes. Credit to them (Heathmont) though, they are the best offensive side the league and they made us pay for our mistakes. I’m proud of our guys though.”

Doncaster travel to Watsonia next week, who are sitting fourth on the ladder.

In other A grade results, Forest Hill were too good for Essendon 9-3, Ringwood kept Greensborough scoreless 8-0, Watsonia defeated North Balwyn 7-0 and Research and GMBC drew 6-6.

RINGWOOD made it three wins from their last three matches on Saturday after comfortably beating Greensborough 8-0 at Elder Street Reserve.

Ringwood coach Adam Bright said the conditions were not ideal but that it was a great win for the club, who have only had one narrow loss to Heathmont in the first round of the season.

“They were very wintery conditions, especially early on, but the rain managed to hold off,” Bright said.

He said for his side, Andrew Jones was outstanding as starting pitcher and that Jordy Barnett was also great with four hits.

“We are sitting three (wins) and one (loss) and we were pretty close round one against Heathmont. We were unlucky not to have tied that. We are pretty happy with where we are at,” he said.

Greensborough coach Tim Sullivan said it was a very disappointing day for the club. They currently sit bottom of the ladder with no wins.

“We were soundly beaten and we need to improve if we are going to compete at this level,” he said.

Ringwood are home against North Balwyn next week and Greensborough travel to Essendon.

In other A grade results, Heathmont were too strong for Doncaster 15-6, Forest Hill beat Essendon 9-3, Watsonia kept North Balwyn scoreless 7-0 and Research and GMBC drew 6-6.

B Grade

WAVERLEY continue to impress in the 2017 Melbourne Winter Baseball League B grade competition after an impressive 16-4 win over Diamond Creek.

Runners up for the past five years, coach Donovan Hendricks said that was always at the back of everyone’s minds.

“It’s definitely there and you can’t really get past it but my job is to make sure the players focus week to week. We obviously have a goal to get back to the grand final, but you can’t get there unless you do what needs to be done first,” he said.

Hendricks said Evan Phillips hit two “very big” home runs and that former La Trobe coach and Waverley newcomer Alex Turlea also had a big day at the plate with six RBIs (runs batted in).

Waverley are on top of the ladder with four wins and are home against La Trobe University next week. Diamond Creek travel to Croydon.

Diamond Creek coach Dale Campbell said Waverley were a class above, and had been for a few seasons.

“We stuck it out today with a lot of young players. We are in a growing phase and have lost a lot of players, senior players, to other clubs which is tough. Our playing group is probably aged about 17-25 which is pretty young,” Campbell said.

At one win and three losses for the season so far, Campbell said he was happy with how his side had started the year.

“We’ve been competitive, and shown promising signs. We’ve played a lot of the harder teams so far, too,” he said.

In other B grade results, Werribee beat La Trobe University 2-0, Melbourne University defeated North Coburg 8-0 and Footscray were too good for Plenty Valley 7-0.