High winds take toll as Dapto Chiefs thrash Cardinals

BASEBALL

Dapto Chiefs took a firm grip on Illawarra baseball's minor premiership with a 14-4 thrashing of arch-rivals Wests Cardinals at Cringila Park on Saturday.

Chiefs led 9-3 after just three innings, with four more runs in the seventh triggering the 10-run mercy rule.

It was Chiefs' third win in four matches against Cardinals this season, but the other three games were all decided by a single run.

Cards had a season-high six errors in the blustery conditions, making it tough on starting pitcher Blake Handley, who struggled through five innings.

Premiership winner Handley gave up 11 hits and 10 runs, but only four runs were earned, with the other six runs from fielding errors.

Chiefs also had their pitching troubles with Jarrett Commane forced out of the game with a shoulder injury in the second innings, after giving up two runs.

Chiefs skipper Craig Leighton finished the innings, with reliever Matt McCann then doing a great job throwing five digs for only six hits and one earned run.

Leighton made a difference with the bat, going 3/5 with 2RBIs, while teammate Tyson Graham was 3/4 with two doubles.

Cards skipper Josh Dean went 3/4 with an RBI and Dean Kontopoulos 2/4.

Chiefs (12-3) now have a two-game lead over second-placed Cardinals (10-6) with only three more rounds before the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Northern Pirates moved within a win of Cards after a clinical 6-4 away victory over fourth-placed Berkeley Eagles.

A four-run seventh innings gave Pirates a 6-1 lead but Eagles rallied with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to only trail 6-3.

The turning point came in the eighth innings, with Eagles failing to score after loading the bases with only one out.

Pirates starting pitcher Brenden Lower was outstanding, throwing seven innings for only five hits, three runs, with eight strikeouts.

Eagles starter Josh Doyle had a mixed day, striking out eight batters in seven innings, but giving up six runs with three walks and two hit-batters.

Doyle also went 2/2 with the bat and was supported by the consistent Chad Blanch, who went 2/4 with 3RBIs.

Lachlan Maher was 3/5 (1RBI) for Pirates, with Andrew Clifford and Brad Drain both 2/4.

Finally, bottom side Shoalhaven Mariners made it two wins in their last three games with an upset 8-7 victory over Kiama Braves at Ison Park.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop