The State Winter Championships for the Under 12’s was held in Mildura at the Aerodrome Ovals over the weekend of the 28th – 29th of July.
Seven teams took to the pristine fields to compete for the title of State Winter Champions, including the home team, Sunraysia, City West, Latrobe Valley, Bendigo, Dandenong, Geelong and a combination team made up of players from Ringwood and Diamond Valley. Nicknamed Ring/DV, they wore Diamond Valley jerseys and Ringwood Association caps as a recognition of both regions.
Sunraysia came out firing in the first game on Diamond 1 and although Geelong rallied late in the game, the Sunraysia hitters scored 5 runs in each of their 4 innings to earn themselves a 20 – 6 win.
On Diamond 2, Ring/DV took on a strong Dandenong team. Hunter Richardson started for Dandenong and threw well against a potent Ring/DV offense but it ultimately wasn’t enough and Ring/DV pulled out to a 7 – 4 win.
Bendigo and City West went head to head on Diamond 3 with City West striking the first blows. They scored 5 runs and then 2 in the first two innings before a tough Bendigo team answered back in the third, scoring 3. It was a tough contest but City West came out on top, winning 10 – 8.
In round 2, Dandenong and Geelong played on Diamond 1 in a slightly one-sided affair. Dandenong did most of the scoring, plating 5, 4 and then 5 more to earn themselves a win. Geelong, to their credit, had a big last dig which saw them score 5 runs off some excellent hitting but they eventually fell short, losing to Dandenong 14 – 5.
Bendigo and Latrobe Valley had a close game over on diamond 2. Jarrod Thomas started for LV and pitched the majority of the game whilst Bendigo shared the pitching load around, giving Nicholas Walker, Lachlan Ahearn, Christopher Johns-Hayden and Jordan Doherty all time on the hill. Both teams hit the ball well but it was Latrobe Valley who came out on top, winning 12 – 10.
Sunraysia got out to an early lead against Ring/DV on diamond 3 and never gave it up. Austin Caulfield threw a great game for Ring/DV but conceded too many runs, earning the loss of 11 – 1.
For round 3, things were heating up in the ladder rankings with the home team, Sunraysia, leading pool A and City West were topping pool B.
Latrobe took on City West on diamond 1 and again used a variety of pitchers; Riley Duncan, Daniel Toms, Harry Kus, Jack Thomas and Montana Donoghue. Unfortunately, their combined efforts were not enough against a motivated City West team who scored 12 to Latrobe’s 4 and took the win.
On diamond 2 Ring/DV were clearly gelling as a team; Reid Sexton pitched very well for Geelong but Ring/DV had the run-support. After scoring 5 runs in their last 3 innings, Ring/DV took the game, 16 – 2.
Finally, the home town team capped off a successful day with a win over Dandenong. Sunraysia plated 5, 5 and then 2 against some great pitching from Dandenong’s Liam Hough and Josh Woods but unfortunately the duo couldn’t keep the green and yellow bats quiet and Dandenong went down, 12 – 1.
Play continues on day 2 today, currently the standings are;
Day 1 Ladder
Day 2 Fixture
Bendigo vs Latrobe
Ring/DV vs Sunraysia
Geelong vs Dandenong
Ring/DV vs Geelong
Latrobe Valley vs City West
Sunraysia vs Dandenong
Dandenong vs Ring/DV
Sunraysia vs Geelong
Bendigo vs City West