Sunday, October 28, 2012

Round 3 - ETPBC Div 5


Tough game was on the cards last weekend with a rejuventated Adelaide Angels side already accounting for some big teams from last year.

With the loss of Matt to a calf injury and the unfortunate news Hung (not sure of spelling...) who had to fly back to Korea due to the passing of his grandmother, Robbo brought in the services of the experienced Darren Roberts.

Personally I was still experiencing the effects of my throat infection that hit me hard at the start of the week - ended up home three days from work and was still about 85% healthy.

Divvy 5 took to the field however with high expectations, Adelaide had accounted for us twice last year and quite simply we wanted to win at home.

Robbo started off well however some really good hitting from Adelaide saw them take an early 3 - 0 lead.

Hits were few and far between for our side and the runners we were able to scramble onto bases were left there as we weren't able to capitalise. My first at bat was a near disaster as I went from normally watching the first pitch to jumping at it and skying it to 2nd base.. Would have been ok as it was a nice fastball down the middle - but... I decided to go after it way too late and result was it getting more air than distance...

Kicking myself now but a costly error I made at 3rd resulted with extra runs scored when I could have closed the inning out with a double play. Hindsight I should have stood closer and been ready for a bad bounce but geez - not a good feeling when you make an error and the runners you should have gotten out then cross home plate and score runs..

Unfortunately batting wise it wasn't a good day, East Torrens Div 5 brought in a run but it was all too late and we went down 9-1. First half from the team prob wasn't our best and we recorded our first loss for the year.

So we head to Wednesday training full of momentum to work on the plays we should have nailed on the day - more importantly, we hit the diamond to work on our hitting. Not sure how many hits we recorded for the day but it was definately not enough and personally having 0 hits from 3 at bats is not ideal...

This week we're at home again 3pm againts Flinders who were strong last year so expect a good battle!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Round 2 - ETPBC Div 5


Winners are certainly grinners!

Our Div 5 team entered the day with 10 players including myself who wasn't 100% with a dodgy throat. High in confidence however, we headed into warm ups, the 7 all draw last week against West Torrens built us with rage that a victory so close then had to be shared.

I felt fine to play so jumped back into 3rd Base, which built me with confidence that Robbo and the boys are happy with me in that position.

The boys breezed through warm ups and confidence was there we would play well and take the points.

Through the first couple of innings it was adament early that our team was on top, we put Woodville away without scoring whilst whacking 3 runs to our tally.

Matt managed to get on 1st early on however almost appeared to be shot in the league and hobbled very badly. His calf muscle went on him and sadly power hitting and our captain of the field is now limping to the bench - down to 9 players.

What was a concern however was the runners left on bases, Matt pointed out we should have had another 6 runs on the board.

Woodville suprised us all knocking on some batters and loading up the bases with none out, errors in the field also allowed some of them to reach the base - salt in the wounds. Robbo fought hard however this inning was all Woodville as unlucky bounces and some good hitting allowed them to tack 6 runs and double our score.

The boys looked shell shocked and Matt & Robbo called a quick chat, everyone was gutted we were in this position however noone was ready to give up.

To our teams credit we fought and fought, eventually reclaiming the lead - from there on we never looked back and ran out winners 15-9.

Our first win for the year and first win as a new team!

Robbo pitched well all day and was unlucky to get the runs scored against him. Our batters found the first pitcher to be a dream come true - wasn't hitting the zone all the time however when he did it was like plucking cherries.

Cummo & Jonesy took some really great catches out in the outfield with one Cummo sprinting in to dive and just take the catch - clutch catch as Woodville had a heap of runners on base and could have meant more runs if it passed..

I had a great day overall, some minor fielding bungles butmeans  more hard work at practice - was able to throw out another runner with inches to go and ended up going 3 hits from 4 at bats for the day, including a double and some RBI's to add to the tally.

So - we look next week to another home game against Adelaide 1.30pm - Heres hoping we can continue the win streak!

Will try and get some pictures up next week of each game

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Round 1 - ETPBC Div 5

Round 1 came and went as quickly as the lead we worked hard to maintain late in the game.

Our Div 5 team travelled down to West Torrens last Saturday for the Round 1 "Torrens Clash", rivalry has always been strong with the two clubs and this game was one neither side wanted to drop.

East Torrens Div 5 this year is a completely new outfit, new coach at the helm Robbo and his band of merry men, brought a wealth of experience and power into our side which last year failed to win more than 3 games and struggled both on the mound and with the bats.

One of my best mates Jarrad is one of the players from last years squad, both he and I agree we both need some work and we've struggled in the past couple of seasons (where coaching individuals for improvement hasn't been the focus). But both Jarrad and I agree the new coach and squad coming down has been a breath of fresh air.

This has been noticable throughout training and before warm-up's on Saturday, Matt our new catcher (and Robbo's right hand man) is everything about winning, but, he wants the team to win, not individual glory. He speaks to us all with respect and helps every batter out as much as possible to better their game.

So, Saturdays game a number of us had pre-game nerves, myself included. I spent all morning working through my bevy of songs to help calm down and not get worked up too early, songs including Layla (Eric Clapton), Bella's Lullaby (Twilight), The Back of My Head (Short Stack), Paparazzi (Lady Gaga) etc.

Yes the list above includes a song from Twilight and Lady Gaga, I am definately not a Lady Gaga fan but just like this one song... Twilight, well, have to admit I do enjoy watching the saga but that song and its melody I really love listening too.

The above worked for a while but the nerves kept coming, normally I'm not nervous before a game, Game 1, under a new coach, new team, this was a different scenario. So a swift change to "Fire Up" music was in order, special thank you to Linkin Park, Blink 182 & Good Charlotte for helping me out there.

I have everything to prove to the new guys, I cemented my spot at 3rd base last year (but thats easy when your the coach haha..). I had a great year last year and wanted to return so I had to prove myself worthy of staying in the infield. I also won the batting trophy last year so I wanted to show why and that I wanted to be a threat with the bat again this year.

My first at bat came before the first chance at fielding, felt ok out there but my timing was out... I found I was swinging late. Finally on the fifth pitch I claimed the ball with my bat, unfortunately I deflected it straight into my left foot, just below the shin... The ball kicked out to short stop and I hobbled to 1st base..

With that painful experience came the embarrassment side, my first fielding error. With a Double Play looming the ball was hit to me at 3rd and a late unexpected bounce left the ball hitting the top of my mitt and fumbling onto the ground, once I finally retrieved the ball it was too late to get any runners out.

Now with my head down and cursing myself came the new players in our team, never have I received so much encouragement after a bad play - Wazza at first, Hung at SS, Matt at catcher, all yelling out.

This lifted me quite well, spent some of the game still a bit jumpy but gathered my nerves to start fielding well and getting the runner out at first without overthrowing or misfielding the ball.

Both teams went tit for tat over the next 5 Innings, I enjoyed two hits from my next two at bats and also helped bring some runners home (We won't talk about me getting thrown out at home whilst attempting to slide - or as my son says, fall over the plate...)

In the 5th inning we were tied at 5 all with 1 out and my nerves came back to haunt me, I gathered the ball, an easy play to attempt to throw the runner out at first, routine play... Not sure why but my throw didn't have as much in it as required and it bounced to first base only just getting the runner out. Again my head down not happy - but like an alarm went off in the other fielders heads, the encouragement began to flow like crazy.

Last batter of the inning came to the plate and after watching a few balls he hit a grounder to me at 3rd, unfortunately this was one I couldn't wait for so I plunged forward. Gathering the ball whilst on my knees I looked up, rocketed a ball to first and just claimed the runner in time. This one play renewed my huge passion for baseball as it was one of those plays you hear in the big leagues the announcer screaming out in joy as the player dives for the ball then throws to first from his knees... Something i've always wanted to do.

Fired up we went into the last inning with confidence we could win this and just like that our boys brought home two runs and we went into the bottom of the inning 7-5 up.

Sadly West Torrens had their big hitters up next and they managed to tie up the game 7-7, luckily for us their last batter skyed the ball to me at 3rd and I was able to take the final out with a routine catch.

I thoroughally enjoyed the game, Robbo pitched all the way through and really controlled the plate well - never looked like tiring either. Matt controlled the plate like a real captain of the team, Hung the new boy was kept busy at short stop (I like to yell out Hit it Well Hung when he's batting hahaha) and Left & Centre fielders Jonesy & Ralph were kept busy too.

All our players hit very well and I think majority of us were able to grab a couple of hits on the day, sadly, like Matt spoke of at the end, 7 runs is great but leaving 10 runners stranded on base is something we need to work on. Looking back at the game our team played very well considering we only trained 3 or 4 times prior to Round 1.. This is also the first time our team has played together as one.

I was sore the next few days but Saturdays Round 1 game really ignited the fire inside of me to push to be the best for this team. I want to train hard and learn from the guys like Matt and Robbo as I feel they can really teach Jarrad and myself alot about our batting and the game.

One thing was also apparent to Jarrad and I, the need to also drop some kg's, so we now have a goal - 10kg's to be dropped, hopefully before Xmas. 10kg's off will help us compete more, run harder and be fitter for the team and family life.

This week we play our first home game of the season against Woodville @ 3pm. If this Woodville team is anything like we played two years ago then we will have our work cut out for us. But this team has the confidence that we can do it so I think this will be a very good game to watch - if your past Pattersons Reserve (Payneham) on Saturday then check it out, canteen will be open with some awesome hot food and drinks available!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Baseball Update - Div 5 ETPBC

Well we are almost to the season opening, our Div 1 & Div 2 teams kick off this weekend along with our Junior teams.

The rest will follow the week after including my team.

As you would have heard previously, we were looking more likely to move down to Div 6 as our team finished bottom the year before and we were super depleted in key positions.

However like the Oakland A's recent turnaround our fate did also, only 4 of us returned from last years team but its the additions from 5 players coming down from Div 3 which is the key.

In that group comes a Starting Pitcher, Relief Pitchers and a full time Catcher as well as a couple of Outfielders. Adding to the list we have now I believe we have a very formidable team, one worthy enough of pushing for a finals berth.

I'm hoping to slot back into my 3rd base position as I feel I played very well in that spot last year however will play wherever needed this year as its enough about favourites and where we want to play, its where we need to play to better the side and serve it best.

For years our Div 5 side has been very laid back and casual, I feel this is about to change. We need to me more thorough with our approach, more determined to win at all costs.

The addition of the Div 3 players also gives us that stability and familiarity, by this I mean we now have 9 full time players who will be playing majority of the season, last year we were hurt by part time players that played every now and then, not when required...

So, if your a sponsor reading this thinking should I sponsor this player or team I would urge you to consider absolutely. Personally, I had one of my best seasons last year after moving from Right Field to 3rd Base, batting I won the trophy with highest average and enjoyed some success bringing home the bacon against West Torrens. As a team there is alot of upside, the addition of Robbo's boys will be a major boost to not only our defense but also major boost to our offense which struggled badly last season.

Get onboard while you can, the East Torrens Div 5 team is about to take off!