Shoalhaven Mariners Major 2nd Grade
In extremely windy conditions on Saturday at the IBL field in Berkeley, the Shoalhaven Mariners Major 2nd grade side took on minor premiers the Wollongong Cardinals in the major semi-final. The game promised to be a beauty with both teams winning two of their four meetings during the regular season.
Mariners were up to bat first in this one and delivered three early runs. With a walk to Dan Kelly, hits from Andrew Provest and Michael Vine, Brenton McMahon delivered a clutch, bases clearing double to centre field with two out.
In reply, the Cardinals were able to bring in one run, when leadoff hitter Noah English was brought home by clean-up hitter Rob Cauduro.
In second inning action, the Mariners were dissolved quickly by some good Cardinal's pitching and fielding. The Cardinals however did not go quietly and turned a walk into a run as Noah English triple to centre field before they were retired.
Top of the third inning now and Mariners were back at it again when Nick Fisher walked and was advanced by Brenton McMahon. Marcus Atkinson had a great hit to left field adding one more to the Mariners tally.
Now with a two run lead, the Mariners took to the field at the bottom of the third inning. Mariners pitcher Brenton McMahon struggled to contain the Cardinals hitters, who bagged a single, three doubles and a triple, scoring four runs and taking the lead by two.
With neither team able to trouble the scorers in the fourth inning, Mariners now with a sense of urgency were up to bat again. Although one run did come across the plate, some lacklustre base running led to 2 pick off outs and Mariners were left wondering what could have been a great inning.
Some great pitching and fielding from Mariners at the bottom of fifth inning saw the Cardinals down in order and Mariners up to bat again very quickly at the top of the sixth.
With time running out for the Mariners, they knew they needed to score two runs and keep the Cardinals scoreless, as a draw would only send the Cardinals through to the grand final. Although they managed one run to tie the game at the top of the sixth, they left the winning run stranded on base, as the game ended in a 6-6 draw. This result now means Mariners will need to beat the Northern Pirates, who advanced on a forfeit by the Dapto Panthers, to secure their spot in the grand final.
Shoalhaven Mariners Minor 2nd Grade
Mariners travelled to take on the Wollongong Cardinals 3B team at Hector Harvey field, Dapto, in the major semi final to have the right to go straight into the grand final.
This Cardinals team beat the Mariners only last week, 20/4. What a week can do with a few player and positional changes and a positive attitude in the Mariners camp.
Mariners started in the field with Andrew Pearson on the mound. Cardinals first three batters were retired in quick succession with one of those being a great catch by Mariners first baseman Greg Symmans.
Mariners did a carbon copy of Cardinals, getting their first three batters retired.
Second innings for Cardinals was the same as the first with Andrew pitching well supported by his fielders, getting Cardinals next three batters out.
Bottom of the second inning Mariners started promising with two out of their first three batters getting on base, but couldn't convert that into runs.
Third innings, Andrew Pearson really started to show his dominance on the mound, striking out the next three batters.
Bottom of the third innings Mariners produced their best innings of the game with some nice hits and strong base running, causing errors in Cardinals field to bring four important runs across the plate.
The next two innings were a reflection of the first four, with Mariners shutting down Cardinals, with Cardinals only allowed to trouble the scorers for one run.
Mariner had a couple of nice hits but once again couldn't convert them into runs.
The definite highlight of the game was the young and the old duo of Andrew Pearson pitching and Stuart Raymond catching, to watch Andrew Pearson pitch his first no hitter for the season.
Mariners gained the win in a close encounter 4/1.This win now takes Mariners straight into the grand final on Sunday, September 22.
Andrew Pearson pitched the whole game: 79 pitches, 52 strikes, 11 strike outs
Hits went to: 2 base hit Ben Campbell, single hits Brodie O'Reilly 2, Matt Moore 2, Stuart Raymond 1, Ben Campbell 1.