Heathmont to challenge again after convincing win over Forest Hill
By SALLY HEPPLESTON
HEATHMONT have smashed their way in to the Melbourne Winter Baseball League A grade Grand Final, beating second placed Forest Hill 18-7 at Heathmont Reserve on Saturday in week one of the finals.
In one of their biggest scoring games of the year, Heathmont were too strong for the impressive Forest Hill team, who were the only team to beat Heathmont twice this season.
Heathmont coach Matt Gourlay said everyone involved with the club was ecstatic with the convincing win which will give them a well earned rest next week.
“Everyone was great today. When you score 18 runs, you know it has been a big team effort,” he said.
On the home run front, there were quite a few, Gourlay said. Mitch Ayers scored two, Ben Leslie got one, Daniel Mack hit a grand slam home run and Cooper Goodman also got one.
Gourlay also said Sam Gibbons and Matt Wilson were exceptional on the mound.
He also said it was great to play in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd.
“Our goal this year was to make top two for that second chance, in case you have that bad first week of finals. We are 100 per cent happy today,” he said.
Gourlay also praised Forest Hill, who he said might have found themselves winners on any other day scoring seven runs.
“Seven runs on a normal day wins a game. We have lost to them twice though this year so we were very focussed today, there was a bit of motivation for payback there,” Gourlay said.
Forest Hill will line up against North Balwyn next week, who got the better of Research 5-4 in the other final.
Forest Hill coach Adam Blackley said it was a big hitting game of baseball, with three home runs also being scored by Forest Hill hitters.
Blackley praised the Heathmont pitching line up.
“It was the first time we’d had a look at Gibbons, and he was pretty sharp,” Blackley said.
He also said giving up 10 runs in the first two innings meant they never really stood a chance.
Blackley said they were not too disappointed with the loss, knowing they had another chance next week.
“We have been playing pretty good baseball. We pitched badly today but that was the best day for us to have a bad day. We are excited about next week,” he said.
Forest Hill have drawn twice with North Balwyn this year.