A1 vs BYE
A2 vs BYE
C1 vs Mornington Washout Draw
C2 vs Mornington 10-7 Win
Cheltenham Rustler’s C2 match on Saturday against Mornington tested the commitment of our team as the wind howled off the bay and rain pelted down in freezing conditions. Winter baseball at its best.
There may have been the odd suggestion (or prayer) that the game be called off but no, it was not to be. Mornington was determined to play and play we did!
The weather – the fact that we only had eight players – the fact that Mornington thrashed us 21-0 in our previous match and were on top of the ladder. It wasn’t looking good and the odds were stacked up against us.
Our opening batters didn’t get off to a great start either and Russ was less than impressed with his first strike out for the season. But we were able to recompose and our batting order delivered with two runs in from the first innings.
Our consistent batting from everyone was the highlight of the day and we slowly chipped away and brought in the runs.
We were grateful to have the father/son combo of Brad and Steve Earl to fill-in for the missing Dunkelys. Brad did a great job as opening pitcher in very difficult conditions. He delivered pitch after pitch in the rain. Mornington struggled to get the hits away and while they were able to get on base, not too many runs were secured.
It was always going to be a challenge to successfully take any fly-balls hit to the outfield considering the horizontal rain and wind. Thankfully only one fly made its way to the outfield. Poor visibility, dodgy knees and joints and muddy puddles all contributed to Steve slipping and missing the catch. Of course we were all concerned for his welfare. He recovered well as he successfully ran the bases making his return to baseball a good one (we think).
Showing his dad how it’s done, Brad displayed amazing skill when he picked off a runner on second base with a nifty underarm pass to Barb who tagged the runner to make a surprising but awesome out. While on a roll….as the other runner was a bit slow to return back to first base, Brad immediately seized another opportunity with a throw to Russ on first to secure another out. Very exciting play indeed.
With about 25 minutes left, the clouds opened up and the rain pelted down. It was way too dangerous to continue play so we huddled (well almost) in the dugout. It was only at that stage did Ant discover that we were actually leading and even if the game was called off, we would win. If we played on, Mornington needed to get four runs to beat us. Of course we wanted the rain to continue but Mornington were busting to play on. The rain eased a little and the Umpire instructed for the game to continue.
At this point, Russ came in to pitch and nailed it with accurate pitching straight into the glove. Mornington was able to get one player on base who made it home and then another batter got on base. However, great fielding from Brad at short-stop and from Ruby on third resulted in two outs as well as a strike-out from Russ meant that we had won – convincingly – with a score of 10 to 7.
Great effort C2s!