Pirates face biggest test

Pirates will be looking to pitcher Ben Gibson when they take on Cardinals.

Pirates will be looking to pitcher Ben Gibson when they take on Cardinals.

ILLAWARRA BASEBALL 

Northern Pirates will have a better indication of their premiership prospects in Saturday's standout Illawarra clash against premiers Wests Cardinals at Cringila Park.

Pirates have won both of their games in a season disrupted by rain and public holidays but face their biggest test to date against Cardinals.

Ben Gibson pitched well and had two hits for Pirates in a convincing 6-1 win over Kiama Braves in round four, while Cards fought back from 7-5 down to beat Berkeley Eagles 9-8.

Cardinals and their 2013 grand final opponent Dapto Chiefs are the likely teams to beat, but Pirates want to show they belong among the serious title contenders.

Meanwhile, Berkeley and Shoalhaven Mariners are chasing their first win of 2014 in Saturday's clash at the Illawarra Baseball Field. Mariners were overpowered by Chiefs 11-0 last Saturday, with Tyson Graham smashing a grand slam homer as part of a seven run first innings. The other clash is Chiefs - Braves at Hector Harvey Reserve.

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