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National Championships Wrap—Day 2: 11 January 2016

Baseball Victoria
12 January 2016

Led by a dominating effort by the Victorian women, all the state teams shrugged off a lacklustre 2-6-1 opening act with a much-improved 4-5 second day, with one of those losses unavoidable with the Under 16 White and Blue teams playing each other. But ladies first. 

Determined to get off to a fast start after being shutout in their first game, the host women tallied two in the first, five in the second (to break the tie), before busting out for a ridiculous 14 runs in the bottom of the third. Though they allowed eight to cross the plate in the top half of the fourth, they put the game away with two insurance runs in the bottom of the frame to provide the final margin in the five inning game. 

Two hits each from Victoria’s first five hitters—Belinda Cannington, Shae Lillywhite, Amy Collins, Bronwyn Gell and Hannah Jackson—set the table for the dominating performance. Risa Tanaka went 1-1 with an RBI and four runs scored.

In relief, Georgia Page got the win, throwing 1.2 effective innings. 

Looking to build on their big victory, the women play a double header today, hosting ACT at 12.30 p.m. and then welcoming Western Australia three hours later. 

Speaking of WA . . . their youth women were too much for Victoria’s, shutting them out 14-0 in a game in which pitcher Emily Devine was the only Aces player to record a hit. In their next game against New South Wales Country, they did manage to plate two runs but it was not enough in a 16-2 defeat. Devine, now in left field, had two of her team’s six hits and also had one of the runs batted in. The other RBI came courtesy of third baseman Emma Chandler who also scored one of the two runs (catcher Jamieson Bastian was the other). 

The youth women get back out there again this afternoon when they host New South Wales at 1.30 p.m. 

It was a mixed bag for the Under 18 sides as both the White and Blue squads each split their two games. Down 3-0 after one and 4-2 after two, the White team fought back to score once each in the third and fourth and three in the fifth to take a commanding 7-4 lead. Though they ceded single runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, hurler Mitchell Whiting closed the door, allowing just two runs in five innings while striking out a pair to get the win. At bat, Hamish Foreman and Andy DiGiovambattista each had two hits for the Aces with Foreman, DiGiovambattista, shortstop Tyson Cox and first baseman Tim Lane contributing the RBI, with three runs of the unearned variety.

In their second game of the day the Aces were no match for Western Australia who blanked them, 6-0. Victoria only managed two hits (Foreman and first baseman Jack Daniels) and struggled in the field, committing four errors. Their next game is tonight at 6.45 against New South Wales Country. 

The Blue team played two terrific games, losing one 6-4 to Queensland before coming back to stymie South Australia, 5-3. In the first contest they led 3-2 after two and a half innings but then surrendered a couple runs in the bottom of the third. They tied it at four in the fourth but single runs in the fifth and sixth doomed them to defeat. Catcher/first baseman Justin Bourke again starred for the Aces, going 2-2 with a walk, run and RBI. Designated hitter Matthew Beattie knocked in two and Jordan Busch, playing left, had the other run batted in. 

Some highlights, courtesy of Trevor Bird:

Great defensive play by Liam Spence.

 Matthew Beattie steals second base.

Safe at home.

In the nightcap, they started fast, tallying all their runs in the first five innings. Though they surrendered three in the bottom of the sixth, Oliver Dunn closed out the win with a dominant one and a third innings when he struck out three of the four batters he faced in the 5-3 victory.

Matthew Beattie pitched five innings, allowing no runs while striking out four.

Today the Blue team plays against Western Australia. First pitch is set for noon. 

The most highly anticipated game of the day was replete with Victorian blue and white as the two Under 16 battled it out in a high-scoring grudge match. 

Blue got the lead early, scoring once in the top of the first and then three times in both the second and third frames. Undeterred, the White squad tallied twice in the bottom half and then seven times in the fourth to lead 9-8. But on this day Blue was just too much, adding five runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to build a comfortable lead. Though the White squad scored another two runs in the bottom of the seventh, the win went to Blue, 16-11. 

Kaioh Sato started for the Blue team, pitching two scoreless innings. But the real stars—as they usually are when 27 runs cross the plate—were the hitters. Conor Myles (four), Jean-Paul Callil (three), Harvey Chinn (three), David Hurley (two) and Jarrod Belbin (two) all dominated for the winning side. 

Leadoff hitter Ben Fierenzi had four knocks for the White team and his keystone combo Ryan Pathos and fellow infielder River Stevens-Dobby each had two hits for the vanquished side. 

No rest for the weary as both teams play two more games today.

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