Shoalhaven Mariners sink Premiers

Dapto Chiefs Mark D'Antonio goes hard at a pitch during Chiefs' 11-2 thrashing of Northern Pirates at Hector Harvey Park. Picture: ROBERT PEET
Dapto Chiefs Mark D'Antonio goes hard at a pitch during Chiefs' 11-2 thrashing of Northern Pirates at Hector Harvey Park. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Shoalhaven Mariners delivered the upset of the season with a stunning 14-10 victory over leaders and premiers Wests Cardinals at Cringila Park on Saturday.

The previously winless Mariners have been the whipping boys of the competition for several seasons but turned in their best hitting display in years for a deserved victory.

Mariners out-hit Cardinals 16-9 with their batters torching Cards' premiership-winning pitcher Blake Handley, who gave up eight earned runs on 14 hits and six walks in six innings.

Jeremy Bec also went for four runs in the critical seventh and final inning, in which Mariners extended their lead from 10-7 to 14-7.

Darren O'Connell starred with the bat for Mariners, going 4/5 with 2RBIs, with support from Brendan Lentill (4/4, 2RBIs) and 17-year-old Murray Lugg (2/4) with a double and 3RBIs.

Chase Richardson (1/3) had a double and 2RBIs for Cardinals, while Nathan Grogan was 3/4 with a triple and an RBI.

All pitchers had their problems, while the fielding was well below par with both clubs committing five errors in just seven innings.

But after many thumping losses Mariners made their first win an emphatic one over the premiers and with five straight home games at Nowra's Ison Park to finish the season they will be chasing more wins.

In other round 15 games, second-placed Dapto Chiefs thrashed third-placed Northern Pirates 11-2 at Hector Harvey Park.

Chiefs' Tyson Graham was ejected on a charge of foul language and starting pitcher Jarrett Commane was also thrown out of the game for throwing a pitch deliberately at a batter.

Chiefs were always in control after a five-run fourth inning gave them a 9-2 lead.

Commane threw seven strong digs, giving up seven hits but only two earned runs, while Pirates starter Lachlan Crawley was hit out of the game after three innings after conceding seven hits and seven earned runs.

Mitchell Thompson (3/5, RBI) and Mark D'Antonio (2/4, RBI) led the way in the batting box for Chiefs, while Lachlan Maher (2/3, RBI) and Brendan Lower (2/4) were Pirates' best.

Berkeley Eagles took a grip on fourth spot with a 14-0 win over Kiama Braves at Gainsborough Oval.

Eagles starting pitcher Josh Doyle was outstanding, throwing eight innings for just three hits, no runs and 11 strikeouts.

Chad Blanch hit 4/5 for Eagles including two doubles, a triple and 2RBIs, while Simon Greenshield was 2/3 including an RBI.

Brendan Capri had two of Braves' three hits.

In Saturday's round 16, Mariners host Eagles, Cardinals are at home to Pirates and Chiefs host Braves.


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