Eagles in the hunt for tilt at Illawarra play-offs

ILLAWARRA BASEBALL 

Berkeley Eagles can take a firm grip on the final play-off spot in Illawarra baseball by beating leaders Dapto Chiefs in Saturday's round-18 clash at Fred Finch Park.

Eagles have won two more games than fifth-placed Kiama Braves with three rounds to go and take on the Braves in the final round of the regular season.

Berkeley are coming off a 6-4 loss to third-placed Northern Pirates but all clubs have had a fortnight off with a general bye last weekend.

Eagles starting pitcher Josh Doyle was instrumental in most of Berkeley's wins this season, while Chad Blanch was among the league's form hitters.

Chiefs are the team to beat and are coming off a 14-4 victory over arch-rival Wests Cardinals in round 17.

Chiefs reliever Matt McCann threw five innings for only one run, while skipper Craig Leighton had three hits and two RBIs.

In Saturday's other games, Cardinals will be keen to consolidate a top-two spot - and the finals double chance - by beating Braves at Cringila Park.

Pirates head to Nowra to face bottom side Shoalhaven Mariners.

The clash looms as a danger game for Pirates with Mariners winning two of their past three games and coming off an 8-7 home victory over Braves.

Ladder: Chiefs (12-3); Cardinals (10-6); Pirates (9-6); Eagles (6-7); Braves (4-10); Mariners (2-11).

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