Match Reports Round 14 2012/2013
Div 2: St Kilda 5, Williamstown 7
Saturday saw the 1’s compete in a hard fought game against Williamstown, one of the better performing Division 2 sides.
Williamstown struck early plating a run in the first. This was answered by the Saints in the bottom of the inning to keep the game level after one.
Both sides were kept scoreless for the next couple of innings before Williamstown struck again with another run in the 4th.
The score stayed 2-1 until late in the game despite some good chances for both teams. Williamstown added another run in the 8th to take a 3-1 lead. The Saints came up empty in the bottom half of the 8th to head into the 9th down a couple.
After shutting down the Williamstown hitters in the top of the 9th the St Kilda bats came alive scoring 2 runs to draw level and force the game to extra innings.
Some good hitting by Williamstown combined with a few errors by the Saints saw the visitors score 5 runs in the top of the 10th to seemingly run away with the game.
However, the Saints bats weren’t done quite yet. A couple of walks and some good strong hitting saw the Saints score a couple of runs to put the game within reach. With two outs in the 10th and the tying run at the plate Williamstown made a pitching change to try and stem the flow of St Kilda runs. A good long at bat off the new reliever ultimately ended in a strike out and saw the Saints fall tantalisingly short in an entertaining clash.
It was a good strong performance and with 7 games to go our number one side is sitting just outside the finals picture but well within striking distance.
Div 2 Reserves: St Kilda 5 Williamstown 8
A good game where we looked like a 1962 Porsche parked on the beach for 3 years - some resemblance of something half decent - obscured by obvious rust, and some serious exhaust problems if you spent much time near Kyle Duncan.
Too many of us clearly picked up a baseball on Saturday for the first time in 4 weeks - and Williamstown hit better than us in key situations, and deserved their win. We had plenty of base-runners, but unlike Willy, we didn't covert. Millsy threw well, but battled to find the strike zone, with walks in particular to their lower order coming back to hurt us. Oscar relieved and did well - and we mounted a big threat in the last loading the bases with none out down 8-3, but it wasn't to be.
Millsy had a good game with the bat - picking up a couple of hits including a HR. Bill Millar also picking up a couple of hits. Welcome back Ryan Bates too - playing his first 2s game of the year after a brief cameo in the 1s earlier this season.
A few big weeks ahead with plenty of players to come back into the side. We need to play much sharper, energised baseball - whoever suits up for us.
Div 3 Reserves: St. Kilda 28, Doncaster 7
A good opportunity for our team to start the year off to shake off the rust with a game we were expected to win. Dave Batten showed that his mental game is improving each time he is on the mound escaping from a few loaded base occasions. Justin had a very strong day behind the mound rallying St Kilda to our 8th win putting us clear 3rd on the ladder. Highlights from Grant hitting 3 doubles, great base running from Anthony and Davy a positive return to the year.
Div 4 South: St. Kilda 19, Cheltenham FB 5
The Saints 7s rocked into Cheltenham to face the division's #1 side in relaxed spirits, hoping to put up a good showing and work off the rust accumulated over the holidays. After falling into an early 4-0 hole, this showed the marks of a long day ahead in the park.
Then, St. Kilda transformed themselves. They played stellar defence behind starter Sea Ansley, and the bats finally erupted in the 3rd. Shaky control from the Cheltenham starter allowed a plethora of baserunners, with the first two runs coming in on John Woods-Casey's 2 run double to deep right center. Numerous walks, a Jared Fitzgerald 2 RBI single and a hit to right by Matt White bolstered a huge inning for a 10-4 St. Kilda lead.
The story of the day was Cheltenham's lack of control on the hill, who issued 19 walks over the game. Coupled with St. Kilda's excellent defence, patient hitting approach, and a solid outing from Ansley (4 ER, 6 K, 0 BB), St. Kilda looked sharp. They were led in attack by Fitzgerald and Al Meyer with 2 hits apiece, and 4 batters earned 3 walks - Sally Young, Ansley, Rob Dagg and Stephen Donnelly, who was also hit by a pitch to bring in another run.
Thanks to 3 forfeits before the break due to lack of numbers on other teams, St. Kilda's chances for finals remain slim, but with games ahead against the teams directly in front of them, starting with Sandringham this Sunday, that outside chance of glory is all the more appealing.
Excellent effort to an oft-overlooked team that has really played quite well this season.
Div 4 South: Ormond GH 18, St. Kilda 9
The Saints, doomed by shaky defense and a lack of hitting, fell closer to elimination with an 18-9 loss at rivals Ormond Glenhuntly, who look like a legit contender for the Div 4 South crown.
St. Kilda started brightly, with a leadoff walk to Pete Chiou followed by a 2-out double by Sea Ansley, who stole 3rd and scored on Jared Fitzgerald's grounder to 2nd for an early 2-0 lead.
They could not hold the advantage for long, as the first five Ormond batters reached off starter Chiou, between hits, a walk and an error. A two run single by Fred Tavo increased Ormond's lead to 5-2 after the first.
The Saints went down meekly in the 2nd, but Ormond continued to battle, after two walks and three hits allowed the first five runners aboard once more. Tavo knocked in Ormond's 11th run with a ground out to the pitcher. 11-2 Ormond.
St. Kilda enjoyed their biggest inning of the game, scoring 5 runs in the top of the 3rd. Chiou and Sally Young reached base on consecutive walks, and Ansley dropped a surprise bunt to load the bases. Fitzgerald singled in 2 runs, and Ansley scored on a drop third strike to Ross Kennedy. Fitzgerald later scored on a passed ball, and Al Meyer scored on a fielder's choice. Saints back in it, down 11-7.
Relief pitcher Ansley nearly kept them in it. He struck out the first two Ormond batters before Tom Stait singled past first base to right field. Ansley coaxed a 1-2 fly ball to deep left field, but it was dropped a few metres before the cones for a ground rule double, keeping the inning alive. Ansley then struck out coach/captain Luke Crameri to limit the damage and the score at 12-7.
Three St. Kilda batters came up and three were quickly retired. Ormond began an extended sequence that saw St. Kilda defense throw the game away. More balls found gaps and holes, and a couple of big hits put the game out of reach.
One last opportunity for a big inning started brightly when Ansley lined a single into center field. He stole 2nd and then 3rd, while Fitzgerald was hit by a slow pitch. Ansley and Fitzgerald scored on productive outs by Saints batters, but the bottom of the order could not mount an attack. Ormond defeated St. Kilda for the 3rd time this season, 18-9.
Fitzgerald finished the game 1/2 with 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Young and Chiou each earned 2 walks and scored 3 runs between them at the top of the order. Ansley was 3/3 with an RBI double, 3 runs scored and 3 steals. He struck out 5 of the 6 batters he faced.
Div 4 South are off this weekend due to more player shortages, and likely next weekend as well due to the proximity to Christmas holidays. Their season and chance of finals are over, and can now focus on player development.
Div 2 Firsts: St. Kilda 5, Werribee 4
We got out to an early 1-0 lead. Solid defense all around and great pitching from Anthony in some tough spots kept them scoreless through 6. They got a bit of a rally going in the 7th after Franks missed a tumbling play on a pop up bunt, and another bunt play went awry. They ended up scoring 4, but we answered back with 4 of our own. Tim then came in and shut down Werribee for two innings with 4 Ks. Overall another great team win. We could have scored more runs but hit the ball hard directly at guys all game. We are looking to finish the first half strong with a home game against Fitzroy this weekend, followed by Chelsea, and a rematch with a Berwick team we felt we could have beat to end it.
Div 2 Reserves - St. Kilda 12, Werribee 2
Big game for us with a spot in the top 4 on the line. We got off to
an ideal start in the first inning, with 5 consecutive hits scoring 4
runs - with the big early extra base hit to new father Brett Fairley
(congrats again) and another big play to Gary Mills, whose unlikely
mad dash to 2nd resulted in his first stolen base since the Keating
administration, and a run with Mitch McKenzie trotting home from 3rd.
While we threatened in the next two digs, putting runners in scoring
position, we couldn't convert, leaving 3 on base. Meanwhile - Oscar
Monagas kept getting ground balls and we kept making the plays - with
a big bases loaded strike-out from the Big O ending the 3rd and
keeping Werribee scoreless. In the fourth, we scored another to
stretch the lead to 5-0, before W'bee hit back with 2 runs in the
bottom of the inning, making it close with 20 minutes to go. From
there it was all yellow - with 7 earned runs coming off 2 walks, 2 hit
batters, and 5 hits - putting the game out of reach. Millsy, who had
entered to record the last two outs of the 4th, gave up a lead-off
single in the last, before striking out 3 in a row to finish it after
Kristian van Kampen raising eyebrows at the club getting hit by a
pitch for the 3rd time in two games - 364 more days 'til hockey
tryouts, gotta get tougher.
Big win for us - set up by Oscar, and solid fielding. Helped that our
2-6 hitters got on base a combined 17 out of 20 times up.
Mills 4, Keiper 3 (2B), Fairley 2 (2B), McKenzie 2, van Kampen
POW nominee - Gary Mills, 4/4 2RBI, R, SB (!), 1.2 IP, 0ER, 1H, 3K - and a Save.
Div 4 South: St. Kilda 11, Sandringham 11
Division 4 South played one of their finest games of the season on Sunday, yet fell short in an exciting 11-11 tie at Sandringham.
The Saints jumped out to an early 2-0 lead when Sea Ansley smashed a ball to deep left field for his first homer of the year. St. Kilda held on to lead 2-1 after 1, and chipped in a few more runs in the 2nd, though Ansley left the bases loaded with a first pitch fly ball to left field.
Sandringham capitalised on a stretch of poor defence from the Saints, capped off with a 3-run homer that pulled Sandringham out to an 8-5 lead. The 7s made 8 errors on the day, yet hung tough.
St. Kilda continued to battle away, with contributions from Sally Young, Jared Fitzgerald, a 2-run double by John Woods-Casey, quality at bats from Al Meyer and Pete Chiou, and a run-scoring double by Ansley. The Saints built an 11-9 lead heading into the final inning.
After a leadoff 4-pitch walk, Ansley (1-2-1) dealt on the hill, in the bottom of the last inning after a leadoff walk and two quick outs.
Running up a 1-2 count over a befuddled batter and one pitch away from victory, Ansley hung a 1-2 slider over the heart of the plate, the ball swatted deep to centre field… and over the fence for the game-tying homer.
St. Kilda recovered and made the final out but the damage was done, the game ending in an 11-11 tie. The Saints are 1 1/2 games behind the final playoff spot with 9 to play, and head to Ormond Glenhuntly needing a victory behind Pete Chiou (0-3) to stay in the race.
This was a good and well balanced performance, despite coming up short. Division 4 South is gelling into a competitive team, putting itself in a position to win each week.
Div 2 Firsts: Newport 5, St. Kilda 1
Tough loss for us this week. Could not get the bats going against a pitcher who should have been hittable for us. Giving Newport full credit however, they capitalized when they had chances late. Anthony pitched a great game going 6 with no earned runs, until letting a few cross in the 7th. Tim also continued his streak of solid performances on the hill. Anthony was also our only real presence with the stick, hitting the ball hard and getting on base. The good news is we feel as though we could have beat every team we have faced so far and we are not far off on the ladder. However, we need to start winning games. Going back to what we do best this week, hit with authority.
Div 2 Reserves: St. Kilda 9, Newport 5
Not our best game, but we got the job done and put consistent pressure on the Newport defence through putting bat on ball throughout the game - not a lot of rockets off our bats, but solid contact, aggressive baserunning, and good pitching from G Mills got us over the line.
Great early ABs from Mitch, BH and Millsy saw us score 1 in the 2nd - should have been 2 but BH got sniped storming the beach at Normandy. We followed it up in the 3rd by scoring another 2 through Devo and JJ both scoring - with Devo's heads up dash home (but no slide. . . .) a team-lifter and BH's second hard hit of the game scoring another. In the last we blew the game open with 5 runs, mainly through capitalizing on Newport mistakes, but jeez they had a tough scorer!
A few late fumbles with 2 outs in the last threatened to make it interesting - but Millsy held tough and closed out a comfortable win in the last.
Hits Hanton 2, JJ 2, Stephens (2B), Fairley, McKenzie, Mills, Duncan.
Player of the week nominee - Brendan Hanton - 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs, and a purple heart for being sniped in action.
Div 2 Fourths: Newport 13, St. Kilda 3
Hard loss for the fourths in a game we definitely could have won.
Scoop once again starting on the mound against a side with experience and some good hitters. They opened up with 3 runs in the first on solid hitting. The tone of the day was set for us when our lead off Anthony smashes a line drive that is straight at their left field who duly takes the catch. Lordy then takes one deep to the left field fence but is also handled by their left fielder. We do however get a great shot from Ron Mroz to plate two runs before the inning is over.
Unfortunately the rest of the day we did not execute as we should have and left large numbers of runners on base while they didn't. A couple of base running errors were critical and matched with some miscues in the field we really did not bring our best game today and went down 13-3. Scoop then Davey laboured hard on the mound without much luck and Tony T came on late to shut them out well but by then the damage was done.
Game day techniques and knowledge of plays is something we can work on though as our base skills are there and I look forward to ironing out these in the coming weeks as we come up against some of the top sides in our competition.
Div 4 South: St. Kilda 13, Cheltenham FB 6
St. Kilda headed into their early game against the divison's #2 team on the heels of a 5 game losing streak and needing a victory to stay in the race for the top 4. They responded in style, furnishing their finest performance of the season to date.
Solid hitting throughout the lineup, pleasantly aggressive baserunning and stellar pitching and defense chipped in to nulify the Cheltenham attack.
Cheltenham opened the scoring when leadoff hitter Yoon Hjojin bunted safely, reaching 2nd on an error. He was promptly picked off 2nd base. Kim Yeoleum was hit with a pitch by starter Sea Ansley, before Ha Jungal struck out. Lee Seungtaek doubled home Yeloeum, but Lim Jihoon struck out to end the inning. 1-0 Cheltenham.
The Saints responded immediately, after second batter Sally Young walked and reached 3rd, singled home by cleanup hitter Jared Fitzgerald. Al Meyer singled, then both were driven home by Robert Dagg. 3-1 St. Kilda.
Cheltenham tied up the game after a leadoff hit batsman, a two out error under the legs of shortstop Fitzgerald and a 2-run single by Hyojin. 3-3.
St. Kilda roared back. Stephen Donnelly reached on an error and scored on Young's single. Ansley knocked in leadoff hitter Pete Chiou with a hard ground ball to center, and scored on a bases loaded walk to Dagg. Matt Billman knocked in Dagg to cap a 5 run inning. St. Kilda up 8-3.
The rest of the game came down to pitching and defense. Ansley (1-2) settled into a groove on the hill, mowing down the Cheltenham offense. One highlight included a two out line drive smash right back at the mound, which Ansley caught to end the inning and the threat. First baseman Josh Kinal snared a run-saving liner for the 2nd out of the 4th.
St. Kilda added 3 runs in the 3rd on a 3 run double by Fitzgerald, and another run on a line drive single by Ansley to left. Saints won comfortably, 13-6.
Standout performers included Dagg, who finished 1/1 with 3 walks, 3 RBIs, 2 runs scored and a season high 4 stolen bases. Young was 1/2 with 2 walks, 3 runs scored and a steal. Fitzgerald was 2/3 with 3 RBI. Ansley struck out 7 in 5 innings, walking 2, limiting Cheltenham to 8 hits, while finishing 3/4 with 2 RBI, 2 runs and 2 steals. Every Saints hitter contributed at least one hit.
This Sunday the Saints return short handed to Cheltenham to face the #1 EM side, who were trounced by bottom feeders Carrum Downs.
Player of the Week nominee: Rob Dagg
Div 2 Firsts: St. Kilda 7, Port Melbourne 5
Solid game for us, with some big contributions from unexpected sources. We had 11 hits and 10 walks, out of 45 plate appearances that is great. We scored one in the first on some great baserunning by Carlos. Then came back in the 3rd and got two more on an error. From there we continued to chip away adding a run each in the last 4 innings. Anthony had a great start, and Tim pitched an excellent two innings in relief while our defense crumbled around him. Carlos then came in to close it out on 5 pitches. With a depleted 1s/2s roster this week it was good to see guys step up. Marcel chipped in 3 hits, Shaun had 3 walks, Anthony got his second hit of the year and was robbed on another line drive, and Tim pulled off a 3-2 bases loaded pickoff move to bail out the team. The game was closer than we would have liked, and we have some work ahead closing out games on defense, but we are not making mental errors and things are moving well towards this weekends showdown with Newport.
Player of the week nomination: Marcel McFall
Editor's note - What delicious tacos!
Div 2 Reserves: St. Kilda 11, Port Melbourne 0
Tough to say who we've missed more over the past 3 weeks - Gary Mills or Brett Fairley - but the argument wasn't settled on Saturday when both returned with a bang against local rivals Port Melbourne.
With six regular starting players out from the 1s/2s - pushing/keeping a few regular 2s players up in the 1s, Saturday presented us with a great opportunity to give players a crack at Div 2 reserves level - and all contributed to a big win, showcasing the ever-improving depth at our club. Thanks to Ant (got robbed twice for hits, smashed it), Shaun O'Reilly up for his second game, probably had a lot more fun this week than vs Willy, and 4s coach Greg Lord - for all moving around your weekend to play a Saturday game at late notice. Much appreciated fellas.
Millsy started strongly striking out the side on the 1st inning - and we plated two runs through a bloop hit, a Brett Fairley double, and a Port error on a toughish fly ball to RF. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the game, with Millsy striking out 14 over 7 innings, and a mix of good hitting and capitalizing on Port half-mistakes saw us score plenty of runs. Our defence was fantastic - with no errors throughout the game, but limited opportunities as a lot of Port hitters went down swinging. That said - we didn't drop the ball once throwing it around the infield after a strikeout - so we're getting there.
Hits Fairley 4 (2B), MacKenzie 2, Oscar 2, Millen, Keiper, Lord, Mills, Duncan, O'Reilly - yep, everyone got at least one hit.
Joint player of the week nominees - Gary Mills (threw a 14k shutout over 7 digs, went 1-4 with 2 RBIs) and Brett Fairley 4-4 with a double, 4 runs and 2 stolen bases - who knew?
Division 3 Firsts: Monash 18, St. Kilda 3
Gonzalo is a star, Rammy a foot short of a bomb, Rosco turned back the clock and smashed a couple, Scotty was great on return and Alex the new fella looked comfortable and did well. Dave and Matty both threw well against a tough opposition. We got blitzed 18 - 3. (So I guess I'll lose half of those guys to Carter and Mayo in some dodgy under the table deal) But life's good in the 5's.
Division 4 South: Carrum Downs 8, St. Kilda 5
The 7s played their finest game of recent weeks, commanding the first half of the game, but surrendering the lead and falling short in the end in an 8-5 loss at Carrum Downs.
With delays slowing down the team bus, most players didn't arrive until 15 minutes before the first pitch. This minimal warmup didn't seem to hurt, as St. Kilda jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after Sea Ansley beat out a grounder to short, then stole around to third, scoring on a wild throw. Al Meyer singled to right, moved around by a single to short by Rob Dagg, and Meyer scored on Josh Kinal's single to center.
Carrum Downs responded after a leadoff error by Meyer at 3rd, singled home by a sac fly to left by cleanup hitter Scotty Roolala. They added a run in the 2nd to tie the game up 2-2.
St. Kilda added a 3rd run when leadoff hitter Matt White scored on a wild throw by the catcher, after he and Pete Chiou singled to lead off the 3rd. 3-2 Saints after 3.
Relief pitcher Meyer took the hill, but struggled with command. Carrum Downs tied the game up, then added another two runs off a booming single to deep center off closer Ansley. 6-3.
The Saints added 2 in the top of the 4th off hit batsmen and errors, narrowing the game to 6-5. But Ansley and his defense could not hold the gap tight, as consecutive singles into holes in the outfield, and a big double to center pulled the game away for Carrum Downs.
The bottom of the Saints order went down to finish the game, and fell to 1-6 on the year with a 8-5 loss. Positive signs include improved infield defense and quality at bats, though the outfield's defense leaves a lot of room for improvement.
Player of the week nominee: Danny Picar, who made a brilliant run-saving catch in the first, and chipped in with a line drive single at the plate. Chiou also enjoyed his best pitching performance of the season.
Division 2 Reserves: Moorabbin 7 St Kilda 5
In a game of two halves - we won the first, but failed to score after the second inning and ultimately allowed a determined Moorabbin to get back into the game and grab the points.
We lead early through a RBI double scoring Gibbo in the 1st, and put up 4 runs in the second dig through a Kyle Duncan walk, Arnie's ground ball in the hole being fumbled by their 3rd baseman, back to back walks from Devo and Gibbo - then consecutive infield singles to Keips (sand wedge) and Belly (hard shot in the hole to SS). While we had some good at bats over the next 4 innings - we couldn't string them together, leaving 5 runners on base over the last 4 digs.
In the bottom of the 3rd we gave up 6 runs, through 3 walks, a HBP, and 4 hits - with the free passes hurting us, but some hard hit balls down the LF and RF line ultimately driving in the runs. Defence throughout the game was solid - but we missed a few outs on the bases through missed cut-off men and a dropped pick-off.
Overall a pretty flat game for the most part - we didn't play poorly, but also didn't appear to have energy and enthusiasm for the contest consistently throughout the day.
Crucial stat for the day - we struck out 9 times in 6 innings - half of our outs were in the batters box, against a pitcher who was by no means overpowering. That's not how you make porridge.
Hits Keiper 3 (2B), Stephens, Gibson, Bell, Millar
Div 2 Reserves: St. Kilda 6, Mulgrave 6
The one that got away.
After last week's debacle - things started shakily with Kyle Duncan sending a message through that he would be about an hour late as he was stuck in a Daylesford suana with his 'partner' having a mud bath. Thankfully JJ was at the ground for Oktoberfest, and slotted straight into RF, with Gibbo playing his first game of the season and catching for the first time in summer ball and second time of his life.
Oscar Monagas made his debut in the 2s, and did not disappoint - allowing just 1 run through the first 5 innings.
Offensively we had good at-bats right throughout the game - scoring runs in 4 of the 6 innings, but failed to land a big blow and missing too many chances to blow the game open. Some key hits - Jon Bell, Mitch McKenzie and Oscar stringing together hits in the 2nd inning - with Oscar driving in 2, and then being driven in himself by Devo who hit a ball to RF that was dropped, putting us up 3-1. Ryan Fisher later drove in Keips with a sac fly to put us up 5-1 late - but then things got wacky. Oscar walked the first two, before striking out their clean-up hitter, an infield error (our first of the game - a huge improvement on last week) was followed by a fly ball to CF for the 2nd out. After that - the Mulgrave bottom 3 hitters who collectively hadn't gotten on base all game, went single, walk, and another infield error. Next two batters got on base through a HPB and walk - putting us down a run before a pitching change brought on Ryan Fisher - whose last time on a mound in Australia was winning the Div 1 GF for Waverley as a 17 year old. Fish got out of the bases loaded jam in getting a soft fly ball to CF - giving us 1 run to tie, and 2 to win.
Kyle Duncan (skin looking remarkably soft and supple) got us going with a base hit to RF to lead off - Devo then swapped places with him at first base through a ground out fielder's choice - Devo's worst jump ever steal was effective - and Gibbo stepped up big with a double off the fence in LF to tie the game, bringing up our 3 and 4 hitters with one out - unfortunately Keiper and BH both grounded out - ending the game in a draw.
All in all - a much better game - especially with 3 players (4 counting JJ) playing their first game in the 2s or for the club - and missing big contributors in Millsy, Raffa, Brett Fairley and Marcel. Good signs with Oscar, Mitch, Gibbo and Fish all slotting in really well - will be a selection headache if we ever have most of the 1s and 2s available. Maybe if we make a pitching change slightly earlier next time. . . .
Oscar 2 (2B), Keiper 2 (2B), Gibbo 2 (2B), Mackenzie, Duncan
Player of the week nominee - Oscar Monagas - 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 3Ks - and 2 for 3 with 2 RBI with the bat.
Div 3 Firsts: St. Kilda 12, Cheltenham KK 9
Tom O’Hallaran Field, Albert Park – Looking for consecutive wins Crockenberg’s Commandoes were squaring up with the team most likely to rival it for a finals spot: Team Korea Cheltenham. An aggressive 3rd dig and overpowering pitching from Billy Millar put the result beyond doubt early. Nursing a sore knee and ankle after amassing 70 runs on a dicey wicket the day before, Millar found his groove on the mound and a slider which reacted nicely into the hefty southerly. Patient batting for the most part soon translated into too many base runners for Cheltenham to handle. It was not long before they caved. Patience was also the order of the day in the field given that there was very little to defend as the pattern for the main part alternated between strikeout and base on balls until the walks ultimately outweighed the strike outs. Millar pitched 5.2 innings for 7Ks and 5BB. Millar also helped himself to a 2B. Derrick Wong had an extra base hit and there were strong contributions from P-Lo, Dave Batten, Pete McCourt and Gonzalo ‘El’ Toro, who tore up the base paths.
“I love to run. Around the bases. To the shops. Away from cops. You name it,” Toro said following the 12-9 victory.
Also a thank you to the friends, family and members of the Mayo-Carter Experience who stayed on to lend support and enjoy the sunshine bathed hill. A great atmosphere.
Div 4 South: Sandringham 13, St. Kilda 2
The Saints took a step back with a lifeless performance against Sandringham early on Saturday morning. Defense was shaky from the very first play of the game, and St. Kilda fell into an early hole. Meanwhile, the bats weren't clicking, despite pounding out runs at an impressive rate in all the earlier games. Focus was not the best, and frustrations grew noticeable when fielders cursed after more missed plays.
Every team has its ebbs and flows over the course of a season, and St. Kilda will have to work hard to emerge from this recent slump if they are to seriously contend for the playoffs. Catching the ball, and making contact at the plate, is the first required step.
Div 2 Reserves: St Kilda 4 Williamstown 15
We started well, putting up three runs in the first through stringing together good at bats, and jumping out to an early lead. Then. . . well, jeez you've almost got to laugh, we played terrible, terrible baseball. Actually, it might not have even been baseball it was that ugly. Only Steven King should write about the last hour and 45 minutes of that game.
Highlights - a few good plays in the OF - Marcel's catch in particular. Some patient ABs late in the game when Willy's reliever threw 18 of his 22 pitches for balls.
Up next - Mulgrave at home on Saturday. Much improved execution, enthusiasm and energy required.
Div 2 Thirds: St. Kilda 22, Williamstown 6
R H E
Williamstown 1 4 0 1 6 8 5
St.Kilda 3 5 11 3 22 14 2
3 Hits : MacKenzie (3x2B), Vijayakumar, Monagas.
2 Hits : Marek, Caramia, Waddell.
1 Hit : Millen, Leonard.
BB : MacKenzie 2, Millen 2, Marek, Leonard, Greasley, Caramia.
RBI: Vijayakumar 4, MacKenzie 3, Waddell 2, Monagas 2, Millen 2, Caramia, Marek, Leonard.
Runs : MacKenzie 4, Caramia 4, Millen 3, Vijayakumar 3, Marek 2, Waddell 2, Monagas 2, Leonard 2.
Leonard 3 Inn 1ER 3K 3BB 7Hits
Monagas 1 Inn 0ER 0K 0BB 2Hits
The 3's (2-2) got their season back on track with a solid win against a decent opponent today.
Excellent situational hitting by Arnie (4 RBI) and Mitch (3 doubles, 3RBI) in particular, allowed us to take full advantage of some uncharacteristic misplays from the Willytown defence. The entire team contributed on the basepaths. Great work fellas!
Things looked shakey early on when our aging, and clearly rusty, knuckleballer took the first inning to remember where the strike zone was (3 walks in the 1st after walking only 10 in 80 innings last year) and then the 2nd inning to remember to avoid the hitting zone (2HRs and a "just missed" double in the 2nd). Franco did an excellent job blocking all of the crap in the dirt along the way.Oscar pitched a very tidy last innning to ensure the Wolves never got back in to the game.
Div 3 Firsts: St. Kilda 7, Doncaster 3
Research, Lower Plenty – It began all wrong. The scheduled starting pitcher it was alleged had awoken in a bus shelter with no memory of how he got there. Derrick Wong, who had been mistakenly sent to another location by the helpful folk at Doncaster, arrived after an impromptu tour of the Leaf Belt in Melbourne’s Far East. He stepped up as the starting pitcher and in a disciplined display – on negligible notice – threw five solid innings giving up only two runs and five hits with 2Ks to earn the Win. “My curve was working today,” he said. “It’s good to get the win. At 1-3 we’re back in the hunt.”
The St Kilda number #12 was ably supported by a terrific infield that didn’t miss a thing in the dustbowl at Research where the wind was howling up from the nearby gully. The bats came alive early. Patrick Lo got on base twice. Bill Craske and Grant Hayworth had doubles. Wong, Dave Batten, Gonzalo “el” Toro and Justin Ramirez also contributed. Batten came into close in the sixth and despite getting two early outs managed to load up the bases on a shrinking strike zone. St Kilda held on for the win 7-3.
“Look we did enough in the end,” said manager Phil Crockenberg. “I’m happy we played out the full two hours and made the big plays when they counted. But we can’t afford to get carried away. It’s crucial we carry this momentum into the following Sunday.”
Div 4 South: Cheltenham EM 17, St. Kilda 11
St. Kilda jumped out to an early 5-0 advantage in the first inning of their opening encounter against the division's #1 team. Sea Ansley led off the game with a sharp line drive to center, and scored after a procession of Saints hitters clogging the bases and hitting the ball hard, with the side batting around.
Feeling confident with Ansley making his first start of the year, St. Kilda bounced out to defend their lead, and they immediately woke into a seemingly neverending nightmare. The first two batters opened the game with booming line drive doubles into the gaps. The first twelve batters reached without registering an hour, from a combination of dribblers finding gaps, bloop shots in the outfield, a couple of well hit balls over outfielders heads, a pair line drives up the middle nearly caught, several miscues, and a couple of walks. Finally, the first outs were recorded to the relief of every defender, but the damage was done - Cheltenham 13, St. Kilda 5.
St. Kilda chipped away at the deficit, led by the mighty bat of Robert Dagg, who chipped in 3 hits on the day. Ansley settled down and pitched effectively, at one point striking out 4 consecutive hitters, before the rails came off in the 4th with a few errors in the field. Pete "Strike Man" Chiou relieved with the bases loaded, and pitched effectively to gain two quick outs. The Saints made one last charge, scoring 5 runs in the top of the 5th and final inning featuring the first career hit from Stephen Donnelly - a booming two run double to deep right center - but succumbed 17-11 to the top side.
Next up: Saturday 10:30am at home to Sandringham, with Chiou earning the start.
Player of the Week round 4: Mitch Mackenzie (3s)
Div 2 Reserves: St. Kilda 7, @Bonbeach 6
With Keips and Raffa unavailable we were down two big bats and looking to play some small ball against Bonbeach. We fell behind by a run in the first, but were then able to take the lead and hold onto it for most of the day. After coughing up the lead in the top of the last dig, we rallied together and pushed three runs across for the walk-off win.
Millsy was his usual consistent self on the hill. He kept the Bonbeach hitters off balance all day and if not for a bit of sloppy defense the final score would not have been as close as it was. He helped his own cause with two knocks, three RBI and a couple runs scored.
Other offensive highlights were Kev and JB hitting balls hard into the gap for doubles; and disciplined at bats in the bottom of the last inning that gave us the W.
Despite some defensive miscues, there were some real positives to take out of this game. We were able to bounce back from giving up the lead late, put together some excellent situational at-bats, and we were able to manufacture the three runs we needed for the walk-off win. It was selfless baseball and a real team effort.
Play of the day goes to BH. He chased down a foul pop-up and made a great catch diving/sliding into the fence of the batting cage.
Hits - Mills 2 (2B), Sepanchy 2, Stephens 2, Bell (2B), Fairley
Player of the week nomination - Gary Mills - W, 6IP, 5K, 3BB, HBP; 2/2, 1B, 2B, BB, 3RBI, 2R
Div 2 Thirds: St. Kilda 7, Bonbeach 6
With our backs well and truly up against the wall, the thirds boys travelled to bonbeach on a glorious spring afternoon, looking for our first victory of the season. Things didn't start especially well with a couple of 'questionable' calls ringing up both Ant and Arnie. Bonbeach immediately applied the heat scoring four times in their half of the first. The game then turned into a dire struggle as both sides desperately tried to gain some kind of momentum. Franco, after his first inning troubles, settled into a nice groove and dominated the next four digs only allowing 1 run on two hits whilst striking out 5. But our offence wasn't fairing any better than the Bluejays as their pitcher was equally dominant early on. But in the 3rd inning we caught a break as Bonbeach made a couple of fielding blunders and opened the door ever so slightly. Arnie knocked in a run with a solid basehit to right and Ant scored our second when the Bluejays pitcher uncorked a wild pitch. The fourth inning was all us with back to back one out singles to Shaun O'Rielly and Oscar and a BB to coach SeanO. Ant delivered the blow with a two out, 2 run single up the middle to tie the game. Bonbeach scored a run in the bottom of the fifth, albeit an unearned one, to pry the lead back. In the bottom of the sixth, coach SeanO swung the moves, bringing Joebu in to relieve Franco, who assumed the duties behind the plate. The Bluejays scored one on the back of a two out double and took the score out to 6 to 4. A response was needed and it was Grease who answered the call with a base hit to right, scoring 3 batters later on Greg's hit, but Oscar got hung up between second and third and was putout leaving us agonisingly only one run behind. Keips shutdown the bluejays with bearly enough time before the dreaded 5 minute rule, to give us just one more shot. With one out Ant induced an errant throw from third and Arnie followed with a clean basehit to left to put the tying and go ahead runs on base. With Keips at the plate, a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position which had the Saints dugout up and firing and the Bluejays on the back foot. Perhaps fearing another errant ball in the dirt, the Bonbeach pitcher fired one right down the middle only to see it come hurtling right back at him and into centrefield, scoring both runners as the Saints took a 7 to 6 lead. All that was needed now was a shutout inning to complete this gutsy win. Keips got the first two outs with ease, but a 35ft infield hit to third put the tying run on base. A soft popup to Grease at third was the final out we were looking for as the Saints held on for the victory. A great game played by all with no quarter asked or given by both teams. A overall solid team performance today with contributions from 1 thru 9 in the lineup with bat, ball and glove. Signs are good for the remainder of the season. Go Saints!!
Div 3 1s: St Kilda 1 V's Footscray 12
This week saw the introduction of a couple of new faces to the line-up.
Same outcome with the bat though. But our one run was driven in by Sam (one of Bill Craske mates) in his first ever game. Begs the question what the rest of us were doing, but another story.
Pete McCourt toiled away manfully but a combination of errors and lack of score board pressure tolled in the end.
Good spirit and plenty of endeavour, always next week.
Div 4 South: Cheltenham FB 14, St. Kilda 6
On the heels of their first victory, St. Kilda's hopes for a rapid reenactment took an immediate hit when several of the scheduled starters did not make the game. Shorthanded, they enlisted the partners of two players to fill in, both hitting the ball well.
With several players out of position, the defense took a hit and several errors led Cheltenham FB to build a big early lead against Saints starter Pete Chiou. Chiou (0-1) ran into control issues, eventually loading the bases for player-manager Sea Ansley to make his 2012/2013 pitching debut. He fired a fastball for first pitch strike, which the batter was waiting for, and a two run double was smashed into deep left field. Ansley escaped the inning, before St. Kilda chipped in a few runs of their own. Ansley's slider had the Cheltenham side swinging and missing, and St. Kilda tacked on a few more runs, but still fell 14-6.
They seek to return to .500, playing at the division's #1 side, Cheltenham EM, this Sunday. Ansley makes his first start of the year.
Player of the Week round 3: Mark Davies (1s)
Div 2 1s: Berwick 14, St. Kilda 4
We jumped out to a lead batting through the order in the first. Scored 3. Then the errors started. The field was wet, which gave way to glare from the sun on wet grass, all combined with guys playing out of position. Generally our problem was a lack of repetition, which is not very concerning. We saw what we were capable of in the first inning and we will continue to build on that. Tip of the cap to Berwick who kept battling and took advantage of our mistakes. Thanks to Millsy and Duncan who stuck around and got in the game late on a cold, and long day.
Div 2 2s: St. Kilda @ Berwick washed out
It rained. We played 8 minutes of baseball.
Serpanchy walked after a long lead-off at bat, stole 2nd and 3rd, but the heart of the order failed to drive him in, with impatient ABs.
Millsy got their lead-off batter to ground to shortstop, but Keiper couldn't handle it - scored a hit, but generous.
It then rained for the next hour+ and we were called off.
Only positive out of this was Serpanchy's really good at bat, and the 2-4 hitters hopefully learning to get a good pitch to hit - oh, and Berwick put on a BBQ with free snags.
Div 2 4s: Berwick 11, St. Kilda 9
Nice to have a full roster of 9 players with Davy Wang, Kyle Prass and Patrick Lo coming into the side late in the week. All three contributed well for us, thanks Gents!
StKilda came up against one of the best hitting teams we will face all year. Rumour has it some were from higher grades due to their games being washed out the day before. Despite this Scoop pitched well enough to keep us right in it. However a line drive double to plate one and then a grand slam home run got them 5 runs in the first. A lesser man would have dropped his bundle but Scoop came back to shut them down as we pulled all the way back to go up 7-5 over the next few innings. Despite their great hitting Berwick did not bring their pitching and StKilda's disciplined approach at the plate brought many walks and our toughness survived 4 Hit by pitches!
Our defence was solid but eventually the strength of their hitting got to Scoop and they hammered another home run and some well hit shots to go up 7-9.
Davy Wang came on in his first game with us and was also looking good. One pitch was all it took though to launch a 2 run home run to put us down 7-11 and spoil two solid innings of relief.
In our last batting inning, I managed to grab two back with a Home Run to left field but unfortunately that was all we could get and we went down 9-11.
Div 3 Reserves: St. Kilda 8, Monash Uni 3
The question on everyone’s lips when we arrived at Monash on Sunday “who will be THAT GUY?”
Then the call came, co-manager Carter had forgotten daylight savings!
The first 2 innings of the game saw Monash get 3 runs and St Kilda struggle to get runners on base against the Monarch junk-baller, but a 2 out rally in the third saw guys getting on for the Saints and running rampant, taking the lead permanently.
The defence then tightened up, and Paul “Horse” Dylejko really stepped up on the mound and kept Monash scoreless for the rest of the game. The only inning when Monash threatened a great play by the third baseman saved any runs being scored on a hot grounder.
At the plate the top of the order came alive and pushed the score out to 8-3, and that was how the game would finish.
St Kilda never quite hit their straps at the plate but played with heart, Paul and Boogie having some big hits and almost everyone getting on base. The game was won in the field with everyone contributing, highlighted by Carl’s big double play from left field.
Div 3 South: St. Kilda 11, Carrum Downs 4
St. Kilda's bats came alive in an unrelenting 4th inning, as the 7s won their first game of the season in triumphant fashion over the Carrum Downs Firsts. Starter Matt Kennedy won the first decision of his career, settling down after allowing the first two batters to score in the opening inning. Kennedy (1-1) finished with 4 strikeouts, walking 3 and hitting a pair of batters. Reliever Pete Chiou pitched the final two innings, running into trouble in the 4th but under little duress when staked to a 11-2 lead.
Every Saints batter reached base at least once, benefiting from 7 walks and 6 errors, while hitting the ball with authority and enjoying patient, quality at bats throughout the lineup. St. Kilda won because their defense was much better than Carrum Downs, highlighted by some spectacular plays.
Player of the Week round 2: Paul Dylejko (6s)
Div 2 1s: St. Kilda 4, Chelsea 2
We won our first game at home 4-2 against a much stronger Chelsea side this year. It was a great team win against their import who threw all 9. Anthony Cerafice threw 6, relieved by Tim for 1, and then Carlos for the final 2 innings. Anthony was dominant, including striking out the side in the first inning, had a total of 10 Ks through 6. We had 7 hits, only Gregsy had 2, and 3 sacs, so it was a lesson in small ball. Put pressure on the defense and it worked.
Player of the week is Carlos D'costa who went 1 for 2 with a double and 2 walks. Scored 2 runs, threw out a runner late in the game in a big spot, and got the save shutting down the opposition over the last 2.
Div 2 2s: St. Kilda 10, Chelsea 0
Solid start to the season, where we scored 7 in the first two digs
before setting some kind of record in the 3rd inning where Chelsea
made 3 errors in the one inning, yet we failed to score. Single runs
in the 4th, 5th and 6th saw us run out comfortable winners. Chelsea's
defence wasn't up to scratch - their pitcher deserved better, but
several of our runs were unearned. Highlights with the bat included
Allen Stephens lead-off walk after falling behind to set up the first
dig, Sportsy padding up to a curveball with his head, Fairley's 2 RBIs
early, Raffa getting on base every time and scoring 3 runs, and a big
day from Marcel - with a couple of knocks including a triple that
would have ended up in the lake if we didn't have the fence. Billy
Millar was excellent on the mound, giving up just 2 hits in 4 innings
(one of them looked to be a sure double play, but bounced off the 2nd
base bag) - while striking out 8. Millsy closed and faced 9 batters
over his 3 innings, striking out 4, and helped along by two double
Shoutout to Millsy for landing a save by throwing 3 innings in
finishing a win, even though he inherited an 8 run lead. Sleeper
fantasy league pick.
Hits - Marcel 2 (3B), Raffa 2 (2B), Davies (2B), Stephens, Keiper,
Fairley, Hanton, Mills.
Nomination for player of the week - Billy Millar 4IP, 0ER, 2H, 8K, 2BB
Div 2 4s: St. Kilda 7, Chelsea 4
A late withdrawal Sat night and no luck getting a fill in we started the game with 8 players. Mitch from the 3s subbed in right field for us as a non batting fielder. (Thanks heaps Mitch).
Scoop was his usual strong self on the mound giving up only one run in 5 innings. His fastball was sounding about 80mph as it hit the catcher's glove, but whether it was or not was another question....
One error all day meant our fielding ably supported the pitchers and Marty came on and closed them out for an inning and a third.
Our hitting was the feature today, every person in the order contributing in some way. Everyone stayed focussed despite a windy day and luck not going our way with 5 or 6 hard hit balls being caught deep in the outfield.
Tony Torcasio plating four RBIs was a standout with a strong contribution also from Greg Waddell.
A credit to all in a gratifying team performance.
Div 3 1s (5s): Ormond Glenhuntly 10, St. Kilda 0
A tough start to the season for the Berts Boys, a couple of very handy new additions to the summer roster with the introduction of Kristian Vestergaard and Carl Gallen from the winter, and David Batten a new kid on the block.
Carl pitched an outstanding game and was backed up by some really solid defense. He was ablely followed by one half of our ER team being Derek Wong, who on the back of ten minutes sleep came out to play and then headed back to work. Awesome effort.
Unfotunately we just could not manage to put any score board pressure on Ormond and so never really got to see if we could rattle them in the field. An outstanding effort guys, against a team that had dropped a division, and heads held high.
Div 3 2s (6s): St. Kilda 10, Ormond Glenhuntly 10
A tough start to the season with the much favoured Ormond first up in the draw. A green glow was on the face of the STK team a different shade than that of the Hulk. A big start to the game with all players contributing to a big dig. Ormond responded mid way through the game with a 6 run dig, STK were on the ropes. In comes the STK’s hitters with another 5 run inning getting STK ahead by one run at the bottom of the 4th 10-9, Ormond Scored 1 run to tie up the game but could do no more damage with Paul securing the draw with a bullet pitch 3rd strike. A great team batting effort with major highlights from Carl, Simon with the bat and Ron on first. Bring on round 2!
Player of the round – Simon, aggressive with the bat and a bulldog behind the plate.
Div 4 South (7s): Ormond Glenhuntly 13, St. Kilda 10
St. Kilda was 1 strike away from winning their opening game on several occasions, until a bottom-of-the-last inning walk off grand slam dashed Saints hopes.
An Ormond team comprised mainly of first timers - albeit solid cricket players - jumped out to an early leading, pacing St. Kilda to a 7-2 advantage. Reliever Matt Kennedy entered the game and stifled the Ormond bats, holding them to 7 runs. Meanwhile, Ormond's first reliever, making his baseball pitching debut, could not find the strike zone, and walked the bases loaded and numerous runs in. A few timely hits and St. Kilda jumped out to a 10-7 advantage into the final inning.
Bottom of the last inning, Kennedy began to tire, losing his command of the strike zone. Still, he coaxed 2 outs, and had several opportunities to close the game, including a 1-2 count where he then hit the batter. With St. Kilda leading 10-9, 2 outs, and a 2-2 count on the hitter, he left the ball up in the zone, and their coach smacked a massive shot to deep, deep left center to end the game with a 13-10 Ormond win.
For a team that struggled to compete last summer, this was an encouraging start, and an exciting way to start the season, despite the loss.
Standout player was Ross Kennedy who went 2/2 with a walk and 3 RBI. Matt Kennedy was brilliant until the final dig.
Player of the Week round 1: Bill Milar (2s)