Favourites for theswitchMONEYBALL 2015 the Canberra based Namadgi Dragons have lived up to their reputation and defeated Redlands Scorpions 4-0 in the grand final of the Open Men’s theswitchMONEYBALL Fastpitch Softball tournament in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia.
On a weekend where the weather played havoc with scheduling there was a massive day of fastpitch action on the Sunday with four teams in the mix for the winner’s cheque before completion of the final round games.
Completing the round the top two teams went head to head where Scorpions gained an early lead against Dragons with Josh Del Simone scoring off a Peters Wards sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the 3rd. But the Dragons were up to the challenge and bounced back with Adam Folkard hitting a bases loaded single to draw it up.
Due to the time restrictions detailed prior to the game the tie-breaker was enforced in the top of the sixth. Base-runner Zenon Winters scored off a James Darby single to go ahead and Scorpions were shut down by winning pitcher Adam Folkard to chalk up another win for the undefeated Dragons.
In the other round game which determined who would ultimately advance to the 2nd vs 3rd semi-final the Toowoomba City Dodgers built an early lead after a lead-off single by Chris MacRae was consolidated by a Chris Stahlhut home run. Experienced pitcher Joel Goodall did well for the Victoria Point Sharks to keep the score at 2-0 but Dodgers winning pitcher Jarryd Flavell kept the Sharks scoreless over the condensed five innings match to seal the Dodgers win and path to the finals.
The second placed Scorpions started on the back foot against Toowoomba City Dodgers after a Jono Wall home-run off Harrison Peters also scored Chris MacRae to give the Dodgers an early two run lead. Scorpions pegged one back in the third after a triple by Tyrone Bartorillo scored young gun James Purcell.
The heavens opened once again turning the slick diamonds into duck ponds and saw the Tournament Committee decide to transfer the semi-final mid-game to the grassed and open field Diamond 6.
Scorpions’ Adam Pearce blasted a solo home-run off Jarryd Flavell in the top of the sixth to level the scores. The Scorpions bats stayed alive in the top of the seventh with Marshall Kronk knocking in a couple of runs with a well timed single. David Bishop hit a sacrifice fly to bring Marshall Kronk home, only to be followed by the hot bat of Adam Pearce cracking a double to give Scorpions the 4 run lead.
Harrison Peters kept his nerve with runners on to shut out Dragons and saw Scorpions return to a major tournament grand final.
Seeing the number one pitcher in the world pitching on a back diamond of a regional ballpark right next to a greyhounds training facility is not the grand final atmosphere that was anticipated, albeit a unique and exciting experience. The final was commenced with not one minute to spare and the Dragons built an early two run lead when a Zenon Winters home run also scored James Todhunter to establish the pace in the first innings.
The script was repeated in the bottom of the third with a first pitch single by James Todhunter again capitalised by Zenon Winters’ second home run in the grand final! Playing on an unfenced diamond Winters was pushed to round the bases to beat the ball reaching home.
Adam Folkard was clinical in his disposition of the Scorpions offence and again stamped his authority as the dominant world class pitcher to take home his first theswitchMONEYBALL title.
In what was a challenging week all scheduled games were played and all teams had every opportunity to compete for the winner takes all cash prize.
Unfortunately the “Local Legends” Masters Grand Final between Brisbane Bluesox and Ipswich Tigers was determined a wash-out early in the game, as was the “Legends Of Fastball” Masters Exhibition Match on the Saturday afternoon before a pitch was thrown. The highly anticipated home-run derby was also not able to be completed.
Once again thanks to the Aussie Steelers representatives who availed themselves to provide their tips at the Aussie Steelers Coaching Clinics, and congratulations to the tournament team members!
THE SWITCH MONEYBALL ALLSTAR TEAM
BEST BATTER Richard DEVEY (Bruins) Bat 462, Slug 1000, RBI 7
BEST PITCHER Harrison PETERS (Scorpions) ERA .667 BF80 @263 K2A 62%
MVP Julian JEMMOTT (Sharks) Bat 462, Slug 1154, RBI 5
PITCHER Harrison PETERS Scorpions
CATCHER Luke Van De GRIENDT Sharks
1st BASE Aaron COCKMAN Namadgi Dragons
2nd BASE Chris STAHLHUT Toowoomba Dodgers
3rd BASE Danny KRONK Scorpions
Short Stop Julian JEMMOTT Sharks
Outfield 1 Ryan MERRIMAN Namadgi Dragons
Outfield 2 Jourdyn HOLLANDS Musketeers
Outfield 3 James PURCELL Scorpions
DH Tyrone BATORILLO Scorpions
Coach Phillip POWELL Namadgi Dragons
BEST PRESENTED TEAM Bruins