Berkeley Eagles edge out Cardinals in Illawarra baseball

Wind up: Cardinals' Nathan Grogan played in the 2016 grand final for Cardinals. Picture: Adam McLean
Wind up: Cardinals' Nathan Grogan played in the 2016 grand final for Cardinals. Picture: Adam McLean

In a possible dress rehearsal of the grand final, Berkeley Eagles again had the edge over Wollongong Cardinals.

The Eagles won 6-4 in nine innings, in a game featuring a number of pitching options available to both teams, with Cardinals starting Travis Xeureb, who gave up three earned runs in four innings while striking out three.

Eagles started with Chad Blanch, who has been the surprise packet of this season by taking on much of the pitching duties this year.

His solid performance of three strike outs and eight hits, for three earned runs, was over shadowed by teammate Josh Doyle who struck out five and shut-out Cardinals over the final four innings.  Eagles' Blake Barnard also delivered with the bat, going 2/3 with three RBIs, while Nathan Grogan and Scott Sartori had three hits each for Cardinals. 

At Dalton Park, Dapto Chiefs won their second game of the season, holding on 8-7 against Northern Pirates in eight innings.

Chiefs' Rocky Yates proved to be the difference in windy conditions, his five innings pitched only gave up four hits for one unearned run.

Chiefs' veteran Ben Garvey hit 3/4 which included a double and three RBIs. 

Two of his RBIs came at the top of the eighth inning that scored Troy Green and Nathan Leicht after Leicht singled to lead off the innings and Green was walked. 

In an exciting finish to the match Pirates scored five runs in the seventh inning and needed three in the eighth to snatch the game.

A lead-off double from Todd Southcombe threatened to do just that after James Baker brought him home on his hit to left field, while a couple of walks issued by closer Bailey Van Leeuwen had Chiefs clinging to their lead with the winning runs left on base.

ILLAWARRA BASEBALL LEAGUE 

Round 14 

First Grade Berkeley Eagles 6r, 12h, 4e d Wollongong Cardinals 4r, 11h, 2e; Dapto Chiefs 8r, 9h, 4e d Northern Pirates 7r, 10h, 3e.

Second grade: Pirates 5 d Dapto Panthers 0, Cardinals 14, d Eagles Green 4; Shoalhaven Mariners 9 d Eagles (B) 1.

Fourth grade: Pirates 5 drew Cardinals A 5; Cardinals (B) 21 d Shellharbour Warriors 20.

Fifth grade: Cardinals (B) 8 d Pirates 2; Warriors 11 d Cardinals 5A 9; Mariners 17 d Panthers 2. 

Sixth grade: Warriors 20 d Cardinals 3; Mariners 16 d Panthers 6.