Ballarat City Brewers' attention turns to summer baseball title defence

CLOSE CALL: Ballarat City Brewers catcher Leigh Ashmore desperately tries to tage out Bellarine's evergreen Lyndon Hockey.

CLOSE CALL: Ballarat City Brewers catcher Leigh Ashmore desperately tries to tage out Bellarine's evergreen Lyndon Hockey.

BALLARAT City Brewers will turn their attention to a summer title defence after being tipped out of the Geelong Baseball Association A grade finals series.

Bellarine stunned Ballarat 5-1 in a semi-final, ending the Brewers' premiership aspirations.

Ballarat took out the Baseball Victoria Summer League division three title earlier this year.

The Brewers are increasing their presence in the competition from two to three senior teams, plus an under-16 outfit, in the upcoming season.

Ballarat started as favourite against Bellarine, but quickly learned it had a fight on its hands when it gave up a run in the first inning.

Brewers starter Rory Meddick was a beacon in offence with three hits to complement 13 strike-outs over six innings, but the Brewers were unable to make the most of their chances.

They stranded runners on bases and were also on the wrong side of some telling plays at the plate as the Bellarine field stayed strong under pressure.

While the Ballarat offence had great contributors in Meddick, Adam Irons (two hits) and Leigh Ashmore (two), it was a sporadic team effort overshadowed by a relentless Bellarine line-up that applied the blow torch to reliever Ross Hipke later in the contest.

Bellarine has earned a shot at Guild Lions, which defeated Lara 4-3 in the grand final.

MOUNTIES will play in the A reserve grand final.

Mounties had the early staggers in defence, but recovered to defeat the youthful Guild Cubs 18-9 and will meet Guild Lions in the premiership play-off.

A GRADE

BELLARINE 5

BALLARAT 1

HITS - Ballarat: R. Meddick 3, A .Irons 2, L. Ashmore 2, S. Kerr, R. Evans

RBI - Ballarat: R. Meddick

PITCHING - Ballarat: R. Meddick 6 innings, 4 hits, 13 strike, 0 walks, 0 HPB, 1 eared run; R. Hipke 3 inn, 8 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 1 HPB, 4 ER

A RESERVE

MOUNTIES 18

GUILD CLUBS 9

HITS - Mounties: J. Greenwood 3, S.Jones 3, J. Bramwell 2, J. Sculley 2, S. Jeffery, T. Malthouse, M. Ainley, B. Jones, G. Masterson

RBI - Mounties: J. Greenwood 3, S. Jones 3, G. Davidson 2, J. Bramwell 2, G. Masterson, B. Jones, S. Jeffery, M. Ainley, T. Malthouse

PITCHING - Mounties: S. Jones 4 inn, 7 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER; S. Jeffery 2 inn, 3 H, 3 Ks, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER

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