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GRAND FINALS: Redsox Reign Supreme

The Grand Finals of the Edison Mission Energy Latrobe Valley Baseball Association were played on Sunday at Stephensonís Park in Sale.

By Latrobe Valley Baseball Association - 21st September 2001 - Back to News

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The Grand Finals of the Edison Mission Energy Latrobe Valley Baseball Association were played on Sunday at Stephensonís Park in Sale. The Sun shined all day with the players only concerns the blustery wind and the opposition.

The A grade game was a hard fought contest between the Traralgon Redsox and the Moe/Newborough Dodgers who were battling out their fourth successive Grand Final. Traralgon were attempting to "three peat" after winning the previous two titles.

Traralgon came out on fire, scoring five runs including home runs by Ross Brooker and Owen Godenzi who continued their fine form. The Dodgers answered the early pressure by scoring four runs of their own in their first bat. The momentum was slowly building with the Redsox as all players were getting bat to ball. Traralgonís team batting was a highlight with two bunt plays and two sacrificed flys a feature of the game, advancing and scoring runners.

Although the Dodgers tried valiantly it was to be the Redsox day. After gaining an early lead they did not allow the Dodgers to get in front and the momentum to swing. Traralgonís Brad Pratt pitched a complete game, bringing his Grand Final winning games tally to three for a total of twenty-seven innings. With support from the field he kept Moe/Newborough scoreless in six innings and faced forty-three batters for four earned runs and five strikeouts.

The wind caused errors in the field from both teams but did not prevent the Dodgers Heath Warren taking a spectacular fly ball in the outfield. Duanne Baker pitched a complete game and finished with four strikeouts, but it was the consistent batting by the Redsox with all players having a hit that was to be the difference. Ross Brooker, Brett Sharp and Leon Robinson batted 1000 for the game. Traralgon ran out victors 15-8, which was even more satisfying for Godenzi who was named A grade Best and Fairest at the LVBA Presentation last Friday night. The All-Star team was also announced with Godenzi (pitcher), Robinson (second base), Sharp (left field), John Kus (catcher and coach), Davis Long (right field) and Mark Seeber (centre field) making the team.

In the B grade contest the home team was on display against a confident Redsox outfit. The Redsox scored in their first bat and led 1-0 before the Rangers opening dig. Sale then went into overdrive scoring an amazing nine runs due to excellent batting. Greg Johnston hit a home run that brought three runs home and he also had a great game on the mound with six strikeouts. Saleís opening dig virtually put the game beyond doubt as the Redsox had to play catch-up from then on. Jude Power came to the mound and put the brakes on Sale, but Traralgon could not put enough runs on the board.

The Redsox added four runs in the second and another one in the third while Power allowed Sale to add only two more runs for the game. The Redsox tried valiantly but the lead was to great to overcome going down 11-6. Best players for Sale were Johnston, Peter Woolford and Scott Monaghan.

Sale and Traralgon also fought out the C grade game. Wells Humphrey was eager to lead Traralgon to victory after being named C grade League Best and Fairest. It was hard to separate the teams all day as the contest hanged in the balance. Scores were locked at five at the end of the sixth innings and the game had to go into extra time.

Traralgon then added two more runs while Matt Toms stopped Sale from scoring from the mound. Graeme Estcourt hit a huge home run into the wind, which was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the game. Wells Humphrey had four hits and Toms two as the Redsox won 7-5 in a memorable game. Mildenhall and Hector were the best for the Rangers.

Some of the top juniors were on display as Sale and Traralgon did battle in the under 18-age group. The Sale batters dominated with eighteen safe hits to five. Chris Garner and David Lambourne had two hits respectively while a host of other Rangers players got in on the action. The Rangers simply had too much firepower for a valiant Traralgon.

Steven Cox was on fire in the field for the Redsox taking three out field flys. The Traralgon batters could not match Sale as Garner finished with eight strikeouts. Traralgonís Luke Hornstra also named the Leagueís Best and Fairest cleverly stole home while the ball was being pitched to the batter. Hornstra also finished with 3 safe hits and pitched four strikeouts in a great solo performance. Dylan Adams came on late for Sale and took two tremendous catches at right field. The score was 17-4 in Saleís favour with Garner, Lambourne, Scott Monaghan and Alex Greenwood best for Sale and Hornstra, Carey Humphrey and Terry and Steven Cox best for the Redsox.

The under 16 game was a real nail biter with the scores level at eleven going into the last dig. Both teams put in 110%, but there could only be one winner. Traralgon needed to score one run then try to shut Sale out. Unfortunately, for them, a determined Sale scored one run and effectively ended the contest.

Traralgonís Steve Cox had three hits and almost capped off a perfect season after being named League Best and Fairest. Cox along with Chris Griffiths and Carey Humphrey were the top contributors. In an even team performance for Sale, Harrison Wright (three hits), Jason Harrison (two) and Justin Johnston (two) helped lead them to victory.

Sale had thirteen safe hits to Traralgonís three in the under 14 game. Ashley Estcourt, Dean Graham and Shannon Grass each had a hit for Traralgon, and were the teamís best players. Both teams started nervously with Sale being the first to settle. The teams were eager and the excitement out on the field radiated through the crowd.

Sale is a very capable young team and should lead the club strongly into the future. Justin Johnston continued his good form with another three safe hits, while Dale Robbins, Scott Bailey and Jason Morrison had two safe hits each. Morrison also tied for League Best and Fairest with Churchillís young rising star John Keighran at Presentation night the previous week. The final score was 12-4 with victory going to the Rangers.

In the last of the Grand Finals for 2001, the Churchill Braves came up against Sale and League Best and Fairest Matt Raidel. In a free scoring contest, Churchillís young pitching combination of James Moss and Steven Linn attempted to derail Saleís plans of another Grand Final victory. Raidel was pitching well for the Rangers as the game started evenly. Two bag hits by Dylan Cartwright and Robert McKerlie broke the game open for Sale.

A two bag hit by Churchillís Steven Madox and two safe hits to Michael Radovich gave the Braves some hope. In the end it was the consistency of Saleís fielding and batting that was the difference. Both teams played the final in good spirits and showed excellent sportsmanship. Sale were the victors in a close game.

It has been an exciting season in the Edison Mission Energy Latrobe Valley Baseball Association and the LVBA wishes to thank its sponsors and hopes to see all players return again in the year 2002.


Source: www.gippsland.com

Published by: lvba@gippslander.com



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