2020 Grand Final – 3rd Grade Mariners
Shoalhaven Mariners Baseball were pleased to have a team in the Baseball Grand Finals in this shortened season. This year that team was 3rd Grade. Travelling to Berkley for an 8.30am start to face Dapto Chiefs the players were as ready as they could be.
Being Minor Premiers Mariners took the field. Chiefs up to bat. Chiefs opened the ledger with a solid hit to right field. Some nervous plays and a huge hit over centre field by Chiefs Jye Pit brought in runs before some sharp fielding and a strikeout closed down the innings. Damage done was 4 runs. Mariners up to bat saw 2 runs clawed back despite a two base hit to Antony Lee.
The second innings was a tight one for Mariners in the field with three Chiefs batters up and three out. Mariners had a chance. To catch up. A base hit to right field put Simon Levy on the diamond but consecutive strikeouts meant he was left on base. Chiefs 4, Mariners 2.
In the third Chiefs loaded up the bases. James Burgess then hit to the boundary fence bringing in 3 runs before the final out was made. Pressure on the Mariners with Chiefs now leading 7-2. A base hit by Andrew Provest brought in a runner but that would be the only one for the innings.
A change of pitcher saw Chiefs make 4 more base hits just clearing the infield. This brought in 3 more runners. A tall task for Mariners faced them as the came up to the plate. The pressure of final saw three batter struck out. Chiefs now with a commanding lead 10-3.
Mariners knew they had one more chance. They fielded well and restricted Chiefs to one more run. A double play with Antony Lee making the out at third before throwing to Cheyanne Wenham for the out at second being a highlight. The crowd became more vocal. Mariners responded with the first four batters progressing around the bases to cross the plate. Unfortunately, Mariners would score no more with three strikeouts stranding players on bases. Potential runs not realised.
Dapto Chiefs finished the game 11-7 winners of the Grand Final. 3rd Grade were worthy competitors. All in all, a good season for 3rd Grade. With two players having their first season of baseball and two other teenagers their first season with the club the future looks good for Shoalhaven Mariners at this level.
Pitchers were Andrew Provest with 4 strikeouts, 42 strikes from 75 pitches in 3 innings and Ben Elliott 1 strikeout, 26 strikes from 42 pitches in 2 innings.
Shoalhaven Mariners now swing their focus onto the Juniors. Junior Baseball will start next school term. Girls and boys 3 to 14 years are welcome to come along. T-Ball will be played on Friday afternoons at Ison Park, Nowra along with training for the older players. On Sundays the under 14s team will travel for the Illawarra Junior competition. There are many helping roles for interested parents but there is no obligation to take on one of those roles. It will be great to see the sea of interested players. More information is available from Samantha Harbinson (Vice President – Juniors) with details on the Shoalhaven Mariners website and Facebook pages.