Cards show tricks, Eagles fed on scraps

BASEBALL

Illawarra baseball's dominant clubs over the past decade, Berkeley Eagles and Wests Cardinals, take contrasting form into Saturday's round-nine clash at Eagles Field.

Defending premiers Cardinals look formidable as they chase a fifth title in seven years, while after missing the semi-finals in 2013, Eagles have only the one win this campaign.

Eagles won seven top-grade premierships between 1998 and 2010, but the past couple of seasons have been a struggle.

Last weekend, Berkeley were well beaten 11-3 by Dapto Chiefs, while Cards thrashed Kiama Braves 10-1.

Berkeley and Kiama will likely battle for fourth spot this season, while Cardinals, Chiefs and unbeaten leaders Northern Pirates fight over the top two positions rewarded with a semi-final double chance.

Eagles need a win to build confidence, while Cards cannot afford to drop ground to Chiefs and Pirates if they want a prized top-two spot in the play-offs.

In Saturday's other games, Braves host Pirates at Gainsborough Oval, while Shoalhaven Mariners welcome Chiefs to IBL Field.

Pirates are coming off a 7-1 win over an error-riddled Mariners, with Pirates starting pitching Brendan Lower throwing a no-hitter into the sixth innings.

Saturday's first-grade games are from 2pm, with second grade at 11.45am and third grade at 9.30am.

ILLAWARRA BASEBALL

ROUND 9 (2pm)

Eagles v Cardinals at Eagles Field

Mariners v Chiefs at IBL Field

Braves v Pirates at Gainsborough Oval

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