2019 Illawarra Minor League Grand Finals
On Sunday Shoalhaven Mariners Baseball Association hosted the Illawarra Minor League Grand Finals for three grades.
This was a huge event for Shoalhaven baseball which will go down in history as it was the first time Shoalhaven Mariners Baseball Association had hosted any grand final games since the opening of the field in 2014.
The park was full of excitement and great baseball with a beautiful day which bought the crowds out to enjoy their day. Many thanks to all the volunteers who made this day a major success.
Minor 3rd Grade
Minor 3rd grade was played between Shellharbour Warriors and Wollongong Cardinals which started the day off at Ison park at 9am on a beautiful sunny day.
Warriors put up a great performance with Tim Crowther on the mound for a full game throwing 65 pitches to Cardinals batters.
Warriors scored 2 in the first innings and in response Cardinals bought in 4 . Second innings saw Cardinals hold Warriors score line while bringing in 3 runs across the plate themselves.
Third innings Warriors Grant Regan hit an infield home run, bringing his run in and in return Cardinals batted in 2 runs.
The fourth and final innings of the game saw Warriors hold Cardinals scoreless while bringing 2 across.
Wollongong Cardinals Rob Corlett pitched a full game with 98 pitches.
This was a tight and exciting game of baseball with Wollongong Cardinals 4C winning 9-6 over Warriors.
Shoalhaven Mariners Minor 2nd Grade
On a beautiful spring day Shoalhaven Mariners took on the Wollongong Cardinals 3B side in a rematch from last year’s grand final.
Top of the first innings Cardinals showed they were here to play.
Andrew Pearson started on the mound for Mariners. With a brilliant performance last time Mariners faced Cardinals in the preliminary final unfortunately Cardinals had Andrews number this time putting four runs on the board straight away.
In reply Mariners could only accomplish one run with slick running from new comer David Crowley and a nice double from Matthew Moore.
Second inning Cardinals continued with their good performance putting another two runs across the plate.
Mariners didn’t trouble the scorers this inning due to a nice double play from Cardinals between Daniel Chudleigh to Jackson Davis to Nathan Kirkwood with cardinals taking the lead 6 – 1 .
Third innings Andrew slowed the flow of runs keeping Cardinals to a minimum of only one run.
Bottom of the third Mariners started their fight back with a cheeky stolen base from Matthew Moore and a nice hit from Stuart Raymond bring in two runs Mariner manage to accrue three runs, Cardinals now 7 – 4 .
Top of the four innings Mariners brought on part time pitcher Leith Grant who did a great job getting three batters out in a row with the assistance of some brilliant fielding from third baseman Brian Cremin.
With Mariners continuing with the bats they put another two runs on the board bringing Cardinals lead to only one with the standout hit from Stephen Pearson. Score line now 7 – 6.
Mariners continued with the pressure getting the first two Cardinals batters out from outstanding catchers from centre fielder Matthew Moore.
Unfortunately from there Mariners shot themselves in the foot with some costly unforced errors letting Cardinals put another two runs across the plate.
The bottom of the last innings Mariners started strong with nice hits from Brodie O’Reilly and Ben Campbell putting themselves on base with the potential to score. From there Mariners fight back ended with veteran Cardinals pitcher Steve Bergero striking out the next two batters and a nice play from Cardinals short stop Stuart Bridges ending the game. Cardinals getting the win 9-6 well done Cardinals.
Cardinals single hits went to Steve Bergero, Daniel Chudleigh and Mitch Kontopolous. Mitch Kontopolous also had the only double and triple hit of the game for Cardinals.
Mariners only Triple for the game went to Stephen Pearson, a Double to Matthew Moore and Singles to Stuart Raymond (2), David Crowley, Brian Cremin, Matthew Moore, Leith Grant and Brodie O’Reilly.
Mariners Pitching duties were shared between Andrew Pearson 65 pitches 36 strikes with 3 strikeouts and Leith Grant 27 pitches 17 strikes with 1 strikeout.
Cardinals Pitcher Steve Bergero 102 pitches 66 strikes with 4 strikeouts.
Minor 1st Grade
Minor 1st Grade was played between Wollongong Cardinals and Dapto Chiefs which was the closing game of the day.
Chiefs started strong on the mound with Mitch Thompson doing a great job, pitching the complete 6 innings shut out.
Chiefs came out strong with the bats having 14 hits to Cardinals 4. Stand out with the bat Mitch Thompson hit a 3 run home run.
Cardinals rallied in the 3rd innings to make a comeback with 2 strong lead off hits from Behr and Simson’s but were unable to convert to runs.
Young Drew Behr for Cardinals pitched well against a strong opposition.
Dapto Chiefs having a convincing win of 14-0 over Cardinals.
Mariners would like to Thank Illawarra Baseball League for allowing Shoalhaven Mariners Baseball Association the opportunity to host this wonderful end of season event.
We would like to Thank all the Umpires and Officials for a job well done.
Thank you to our local community, sponsors, supporters and Council for all your help throughout the year for the ability to grow baseball in the Shoalhaven area.