BALLARAT City Brewers withstood early pressure to storm away with the Baseball Victoria Summer League division three title.
With defences on top, Brewers broke the deadlock with Footscray with a six-run sixth innings to set up the grand final victory at Prince of Wales Park on Sunday.
Ballarat then sealed the deal with another four runs in the eighth innings to force the mercy rule.
Footscray made the Brewers work hard in the opening innings, getting several runners on base against Ballarat’s starting pitcher Tom Harrington.
Starved of scoring opportunities, the Brewers were gifted free passes in the sixth and made Footscray pay.
Alan Collins scored the first run on a sacrifice fly ball to left-field.
Then, as if on cue, the Brewers’ offence exploded into action with Jason Tonkin, Hamish Burrows and Scott Kerr all delivering run-scoring singles.
Rory Meddick relieved Harrington, who conceded just one hit in five innings, and saw out the game.
Ballarat’s success puts it in contention for promotion to division two in just its second season in the competition.
The game was the first summer final in Ballarat in more than 40 years.
The Brewers now prepare for the Geelong Baseball League season, which starts on April 12.
HITS - Ballarat: H. Burrows 2, S. Kerr 2, J. Tonkin, R. Meddick, S. Kugele, L. Karslake
RBI - Ballarat: S. Kerr 2, J. Tonkin 2, S. Kugele 2, A. Collins, H. Burrows, L. Karslake
PITCHING - Ballarat: T. Harrington 5 innings, 1 hit, 5 strikes, 3 walks, 1 HPB, 0 errors; R. Meddick 3 inn, 3 H, 5 K, 0 BB, 0 ER