Wests Cardinals eager to thwart red hot Kiama Braves

Illawarra baseball's in-form team Kiama Braves take on premiers Wests Cardinals in Saturday's standout round 13 clash at Gainsborough Oval.

Braves are on a four-game unbeaten run, while Cardinals are coming off a 4-3 loss to Dapto Chiefs in round 12.

Cardinals and Chiefs met in last season's grand final and last Saturday played out their third one-run game of this season.

In the past month Braves became the first team to beat Northern Pirates in 2014, then rallied for a draw against Eagles, then upset Chiefs and last Saturday outclassed Mariners 14-2.

Kiama's teenage pitcher Luke Brown has made a huge difference in recent weeks and in 5.1 innings against Mariners struck out 10 batters and gave up one.

Braves are a win behind fourth-placed Eagles, but both clubs have slumping Pirates in their sights, with the Bucs on a four-game losing streak after starting the season with six wins.

Pirates will be expected to end their poor run by beating Mariners in Saturday's clash at Dalton Park.

In the other round 13 clash, Eagles are coming off an impressive 7-0 win over Pirates and take on Chiefs at Hector Harvey Reserve.

Chad Blanch (3/4, RBI) and the Sloan brothers Aaron (2/3, RBI) and Jason (1/3, double, RBI) led the way with the bat for the Eagles. High wind forced the match to be called off after seven innings.

Ladder: (wins/losses) Chiefs (7-3), Pirates (6-4), Cardinals (7-4), Eagles (4-4, 1 draw)), Braves (4-5, 2 draws), Mariners (0-8, 1 draw).

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