By David Searle*
FOR the second year in a row, Tasmania sent two teams to the Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival in Ballarat.
The over-50s hit off Tassie’s campaign and behind the superb pitching of Peter Hubble and Peter McManus, defeated Fitzroy 6-0. Hubble also starred with the bat, collecting two hits from his three at bats (2 from 3) and scoring two runs.
Their second game followed immediately against the Newport Rams and after an early deficit, the Tassie bats came alive to pound out an 18-2 victory. For Tassie, Hubble again starred going 3 from 5 and was ably supported by carnival debutant, John Langenberg who went 3 from 4; and Rob Permykoff and David Searle, who both went 2 from 4.
Later that day, the over-35s played their first game of the carnival against the Big Cat Tomatoes (BCT). BCT scored their runs in the second and third innings and would hang on for a 7-5 victory. Brendan Adams went 2 from 3 and scored two runs for Tassie.
Day two and the over-50s took on title favourites Coburg. Tassie had chances in the first and third innings to score heavily but would only score two and three runs respectively. These missed opportunities proved decisive as Coburg, after being held scoreless in the first two innings, pounded out a total of 13 runs in the third and fourth innings to run out comfortable winners, 14-5. For the Tigers, Steve Harris, McManus, Langenberg, Steve Millington and Michael Hegarty each had two hits.
The over-35s’ second game was against Doncaster, which led 4-1 after the completion of three innings. In the top of the fourth, Tassie went berserk, scoring the maximum allowed per innings of seven runs to lead 8-4. Dean Chamberlain provided the big hit with a two run triple, the other highlight being the first hit in Tassie colours by Aaron Jarvis who, with it, drove in a run.
Doncaster were not done and in the bottom of the fourth scored three runs, and with one out had runners at second and third, the winning run a safe hit away. Doncaster’s number six hitter hit a roller along the third base line to Nigel Petri who gunned his throw to catcher Andrew Fielden for the second out, then Fielden gunned a throw to the first baseman Adams for the third out. Tassie over-35s had won their first ever game in the carnival – and weren’t they happy about it! For the Tigers, Richie Law and Andrew Sullivan both went 2 from 3, Chamberlain going 2 from 2.
The over-50s were never in the hunt in their fourth game of the carnival as the Big Cat Tomatoes pounded them 17-4, Millington going 2 from 3 for Tassie.
Later on day two, the over-35s took on the local Ballarat team and what a thriller it turned out to be. After four completed innings, Tassie led 6-2, but Ballarat rallied to level the score at the conclusion of regular time. In extra innings, Tassie would eventually lose a heart breaker 11-10. Law and Petri both went 2 for 3 for the Tigers.
The over-35s final game of the carnival was on Sunday morning against the Cods. Tassie lead 5-0 going into the Cods’ half of the third innings but the Cods rallied to even the score then scored four more runs to run out convincing winners, 9-5. For Tassie, Law and Chris Chalker both went 2 from 2.
Despite their losses on day two, the over-50s still made the finals and first up was the semi-final against Fitzroy. Tassie jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and were never really in any danger thereafter, adding 10 more runs to book a place in the grand final with a convincing 15-1 victory. Steve Lovegrove and Millington went 3 from 3 and Langenberg went 2 from 3.
So it was Tassie over-50s taking on Coburg in the grand final. The game was very tight early on and going into the home half of the fourth the scores were tied at 2-2. As with their earlier encounter, the Tigers had the opportunity to add more runs to put pressure on Coburg but were unable to do so and ultimately, Coburg got on top to win 11-4. For the Tigers, both Hubble and Millington went 2 from 3.
Sincere thanks to Norman Johns for scoring all the games; to Naomi Searle for taking photos, to Jamie and Paul McIntyre for coaching and to Karen Wilkie, Naomi and Felicity Searle for their vocal support.
Thanks to those interstate players who played for our teams; Andrew Fielden (VIC); Nigel Petri (VIC); Tom Eaton (NSW); Nathan Jarvis (NSW) and Rob Permyakoff (QLD).
Over 35s: Chris Chalker (c); Brendan Adams; Aaron Jarvis; Richie Law; Andrew Sullivan; Jesse Warburg; Dean Chamberlain; Andrew Fielden; Nigel Petri; Tom Eaton; Nathan Jarvis.
Over 50s: Peter Hubble (c); Jamie McIntyre (mgr); Paul McIntyre (coach) Michael Hegarty; Steve Millington; Steve Harris; Grant Stump; John Langenberg; Peter McManus; Steve Lovegrove; David Humphries; David Searle; Rob Permyakoff.
Our teams wouldn’t get to Ballarat without the support of our sponsors, so we wish to thank Haymes Paints Ballarat; Park Hotel Bistro Ballarat; Kennedy Bros Painting and Bennetto Finance.
*David Searle is the president of Baseball Tasmania
Caption: The Tassie Tigers over-35s, which won its first-ever game at the carnival. Pictured, back row, from left, are Nathan Jarvis, Aaron Jarvis, Chris Chalker, Jesse Warburg, Dean Chamberlain. Front row, from left, Nigel Petri, Andrew Fielden, Brendan Adams, Riley Haymes (batboy), Andrew Sullivan, Tom Evans, Richie Law. Photo credit: David Searle.