Shoalhaven finishes third in country baseball titles

Shoalhaven rep side: Mariners were a combination of players from their 2nd grade major and minor league sides plus two visitors.
Shoalhaven rep side: Mariners were a combination of players from their 2nd grade major and minor league sides plus two visitors.

There was no normal club games last weekend due to the NSW Country Championship held at Blacktown International Sports Park where Shoalhaven Mariners represented the Shoalhaven Association in the B division.

Shoalhaven Mariners competed in 6 games against 6 associations over the weekend and were competitive in all games.

This was an outstanding effort as other teams were a combination of players selected from different clubs for their associations in their division to play. Mariners were basically a combination of players from their 2nd grade major and minor league sides plus two visitors, Blake Mitchell and Kieran Harris.

Shoalhaven Mariners started their tournament on Friday night against Coffs Harbour. This game was dominated by Coffs Harbour star pitcher Andrew Mainey who only gave up 4 hits and struck out 11 batters.

Mariners pitchers were Kai Meuronen throwing 87 pitches, 53 strikes with 7 strikeouts, Jack Middleton throwing 8 pitches 5 strikes with 1 strikeout. Coffs Harbour won 4-0.

On Saturday Shoalhaven Mariners had three games ahead of them, the first being the grudge match against Illawarra where Mariners compete against these players in their weekend games.

Mariners hit the ground running batting first with big hitting Jack Middleton putting a ball over the right field fence bringing in 2 runs. Bottom of the first Mariners pitcher Brenton McMahon performed getting Illawarra’s first three batters out.

Third innings Mariners destroyed any hope for Illawarra bringing in a mighty 10 runs with the hit of Mariners tournament from Jack Middleton hitting a grand slam over the left field fence.

Mariners pitcher Brenton McMahon pitched the whole game throwing 76 pitches, 51 strikes and 2 strikeouts. Mariners won 13-5.

Second game Mariners competed against tournament newcomers Hastings. Mariners brought their form from the previous game to this one smashing nine runs across the plate in the first innings.

Mariners pitcher Michael Vine dominated not allowing any runs for the whole game. Every Mariners player had at least one hit.

Mariners pitcher Michael Vine threw 38 pitches with an outstanding 32 strikes and 2 strikeouts. Mariners won 19-0.

In the third and final game for the day, Mariners played against Central Coast. This game was a lot closer affair where the game could have gone either way. Mariners making a few errors allowing Central Coast players to get on base with the potential to score. Mariners never dropped their heads and Andrew Provest did a good job on the mound battling hard to get the outs.

Highlight of the game was Mariners player Kieran Harris bouncing a ball off the right field fence for a triple base hit. Mariners pitcher Andrew Provest threw 85 pitches, 53 strikes and 8 strikeouts. Mariners won 7-0.

That Saturday was the best performance in a tournament from a Shoalhaven Mariners side in Mariners history.

On Sunday Mariners had two games to play. The first started at 8am against other tournament newcomers Wagga.

With a few sore heads from the night before Mariners started well bringing in three runs in the first innings. In the third inning Mariners let Wagga back into the game by making unforced errors and giving Wagga the lead.

Coming into the last inning Mariners were down by 2 runs but showing what Mariners are made of, they brought the game to 6 all with Blake Mitchell coming up to bat. Blake hit a ball out to right field bringing in the winning run.

Mariners pitcher Kyle French threw 63 pitches, 44 strikes and 3 strikeouts. Shoalhaven Mariners won 7-6.

The last game was against tournament powerhouse Newcastle. This game was to decide who was going to play Coffs Harbour in the final. It was a close fought match with Mariners taking an early lead.

Second innings Mariners gave up the lead with some good hitting from Newcastle and some errors from Mariners aloud 6 run to Newcastle. From then on Mariners were on the back foot. Mariners were clawing the score back but unfortunately ran out of time.

Mariners pitcher Brenton McMahon threw 52 pitches, 31 strikes. Jack Middleton threw 52 pitches 34 strikes and 1 strikeout. Newcastle won 8-6.

Shoalhaven Mariners finished in third position for the weekend which was a huge achievement. The tournament was played in good spirits and fun was had by all.

Shoalhaven Mariners would like to thank all supporters who made the trek up to Blacktown to support the team. A special thanks to the coaching staff and EO Michael Taylor, Stuart Raymond and Kerrie Raymond for organising this team for this event.

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