Cards claim advantage in rain-marred round

ILLAWARRA BASEBALL 

Illawarra baseball premiers Wests Cardinals claimed an advantage over their rivals with a 9-1 win over Kiama at Cringila Park in an otherwise washed-out round three on Saturday.

Northern Pirates' home clash against Shoalhaven Mariners and Dapto Chiefs versus Berkeley Eagles at Hector Harvey Park were called off but Cardinals and Braves were able to transfer their match from a sodden Gainsborough Oval to the Cards' home ground.

"Playing and winning when everyone else was off is a bonus," Cardinals' Jeremy Bec said.

"We pitched well, had a lot of hits and made only the one error so it was good all-round performance."

Cards lost to Chiefs in the grand final rematch in round two while the opening round in all grades was washed out.

With only one game played in round three and no competition over Easter or scheduled for April 26, most teams will have played just one game in five weeks heading into round four.

Cardinals outhit Braves 15-5 and scored at least one run in six of the nine innings, in a comprehensive victory.

Cards starting pitcher Scott Sartori threw six strong innings for five hits while Bec (3/4), Kieran Harris (3/5), Cameron Thompson (2/4) and Jim Longley (2/5) led the hitting.

Braves battled to beat Mariners in round two. With their pitching ace Jamie Simon retired, the Braves need to improve to make the finals.

Kiama beat Cards 6-3 in third grade while Cards won 11-6 in second grade.

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