Wests Cardinals have emphasised the depth of talent within the Illawarra region after winning the Macarthur Baseball League Senior League grand final recently.
The competition featured nine Under 16/17 aged teams – with six from across the local Macarthur catchment and three Illawarra teams. Cardinals proved the outstanding club and claimed an historic minor premiership/grand final double.
Cards capped an excellent season in style by beating Moorebank 4-3 in the grand final at Gilchrist Oval.
While Cardinals were the top team during the regular season they lost the major semi-final to Moorebank before advancing to the grand final by .winning the sudden death playoff.
In an excellent junior grand final, Cards raced through the first three batters in the final innings to shut down any hope the Sydney club had of claiming a dramatic final at-bat victory.
Cardinals took a 3-0 lead after two innings of the five innings decider before Moorebank scored three runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game.
Cards then regained the lead again in the fourth with a run to Riley Brown.
While the offense did their job, plenty of credit must go to the Cards pitchers Jacob Davis and Daniel Moss.
Jacob was excellent as the starter and conceded just two runs, while under extreme pressure Daniel showed terrific nerve as the closer, allowing just one run in the final three innings.
The whole team made some kind of contribution – be it in the field or with the bat – with doubles to Jacob, Daniel, and Max Bramble proving significant.
Riley Brown also topped the runs scored by crossing home plate twice plus showing his nerve as the closer in a very productive night.
The team was outstanding all season and deserved its minor premiership but showed it could perform in a one off big game by taking out the grand final.
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for Illawarra juniors with their grand final day washed out at Fred Finch Park last Sunday.
The Under 8 Tee Ball and U10 Little League Minors had their Gala Day called off with Pirates' Aiden Southcombe (Tee Ball) and Pirate Joel Monteleone (U10s) the top players during the regular season.
The Pirates Royals vs Cardinals Gold Little League Majors (under 12/13) grand final was washed out with Pirates claiming the premiership as minor premiers. Cardinals' Luis Vaughan was the top player, while Pirates won all 11 games this season.
Cards Maroon took out the Junior League (U14,15) title as minor premiers. Cardinals' James Bramble.was voted the top player with Cards winning 10 games, losing two and one draw this season.
Pirates are the Junior Club Champions for 2017.