Stingers keep their finals hope alive

North Balwyn inflict a tough loss on Watsonia

By Sally Heppleston

WATSONIA have suffered their second loss in a row, going down on Saturday to North Balwyn 6-2 in round 13 of the Melbourne Winter Baseball League A grade competition.

Despite a home game, Watsonia coach Adam Burton said they were outhit by an impressive and young North Balwyn line up.

“They really killed us hitting today,” Burton said.

“Wei Ling our catcher hit a home run and a double, but apart from that it was pretty sparse.”

Watsonia were without star pitcher Gareth Formisano.

“That hurt us a little,” Burton said.

Luke Abels took his place and got his first start in A grade for the year.

“He did ok for us,” Burton said.

Watsonia travel to Doncaster next week but Burton is hopeful his team will be able to bounce back.

North Balwyn coach Neil Burke said they were able to secure the win by getting on top of Watsonia early.

“We played really well today. We pitched well with Tyler Dale and Jeremy Young. Jamie Young and Justin Burke also had big hits, with Jamie’s in the first inning really setting up the victory,” Burke said.

Burke said it was great to be back on the winners list after a loss to top side Heathmont last week.

North Balwyn were sitting just outside the top four before the win, but said they had a tough road to finals with most of the top sides still to play. He also said they would have a few big names missing from their line up in coming weeks with national baseball commitments.

“It gives others the opportunity to step up and get the job done,” Burke said.

North Balwyn host Ringwood next week in what Burke predicted would be a tough match.

In other A grade results, Greensborough beat Ringwood 3-0, Forest Hill were too good for Essendon 10-3, Greenhills Montmorency outclassed Research 7-3 and Heathmont got the better of Doncaster 5-3.