Glenelg Baseball Club is your 2018/19 Division 3 Champions - going back to back in a thrilling extra inning contest against the Adelaide Angels.
In a season that showed the true whole club approach needed to fill out a full team on a weekly basis as a result of a preseason change of scheduling - we continued that theme in the grand final using 15 players in an epic contest.
Will Burke started for us on the hill and but for one inning where Adelaide took advantage of opportunities dominated the Angels over 5 innings. I don't have his full stat line as I'm not in possession of the scorebook but the young man did a fantastic job for us all year and got us to the sixth inning which proved pivotal in our win.
Brian Hiller was fantastic all game, having an absolute day with the bat - all the more amazing considering he caught all 12 innings of this affair.
We kept regular pressure on Adelaide all game - scoring single runs without cashing in on some great opportunities to blow the game open. Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth - down 7-5 with two outs and a runner in scoring position. Andrew Qualmann pinch hits for Leon Eldridge and laces a ball to left field for a single, and advancing to second (how I can't remember right now - on the throw/passed ball???). Down to our final strike in our next at bat, Handy dumps a soft single into left field to tie it up and it's a whole new ball game.
Both teams would threaten over the next 2 innings getting runners on base but both pitchers kept it scoreless. Into the bottom of the 12th, Brian Hiller continues his great day with a one out double. Qualmann perhaps realising we had a division 4 grand final starting in 40 minutes at the GBC decided he'd had enough of this one and absolutely crushed a fastball to deep left field for a walk off 2 run home run!
If you weren't at the game there is uploaded footage on the clubs facebook page from our fans phones in the crowd - the noise of that hit followed by the eruption of our playing group and supporters will not quickly leave you.
Massive congratulations to Adelaide for a fantastic game - one of the best I've been in.
To our lads that game was a snapshot of our season. Relying on the whole cast of characters not just one guy-dealing with disappointment and not letting it break you and being ready for your next opportunity. Darcy Gluyas made some of the best shortstop plays I've seen in extra innings.
We'll discuss this more at presentation night and in our end of year report at the AGM but please join me in congratulating every member of the GBC who played a part in this team throughout the year - your misfit toys:
Players (29): Adam Wufel, Alex Witty, Anders Lindberg, Andrew Qualmann, Austin McLure, Ben Dixon, Brian Hiller, Casey Hiller, Craig Handy, Dale Ziersch, Darcy Gluyas, Flynn Luders, Grant Jones, Greg Abroe, Jacob Eldridge, John Loy, Justin Millar, Kyle Alexander, Kym Bartlett, Lachlan Eldridge, Leon Eldridge, Luke Thompson, Matt Laverty, Rion Sato, Sam Dixon, Stephen Deeble, Thomas Grills, Will Burke, Zane Hiller.
Scorers (6): Heidi Bruggeman, Paul Luders, Leon Eldridge, Renee Jones, Beverley McGearey & John Laverty
Official Photographer / Team Manager -Lainie Hiller
A pretty amazing end to a really fantastic day. The 3s had just pulled off an extra innings win at West Beach which left 2 starters and the coach about 45 minutes to get into the cars and back to the Bay for a rare shot at 2 flags in 1 day.
The good thing about coaching vets is they can handle the pregame themselves, as I pulled in the sun broke through the clouds and headed up to a 35 and sunny perfect march day for a ball game.
With a div 1 capps medalists and arguably one of the best LH hitters the state has seen in recent times the Cards were a far different beast from our last meeting back in December. Gamer Eldridge took the pill to get the day underway and punched out the lead-off hitter to start proceedings. A HPB and bloop single later our tensions levels on the rise were squashed out via a 4-6-3 double play.
Marshy got us started with a 1 out single, back to back hits from Handy and Quals and we had a 1-0 lead after one. Gamer would officially find his grove in the 2nd, a 4-3 followed by back to back K2’s as Gamer would go on to face the minimum over innings 2-3-4 and retire 10 straight. Giving flash backs to the crowd of a young Sanga back in his heyday, before he would go on to lose a running race to almost anyone you can name.
With 2 on to start the 2nd GrAbroe would drop another perfect bunt to advance the runners, another Marshy single keep the scoreboard moving but a Shawy line out stopped the hope of the big inning. Our 3rd was a big inning started by a 1 out double to Quals and one of the biggest moments of the game coming with loaded bases and Corey Williams 2 run single, followed by Bobby Abroeu’s sac fly and the bays had a 5-0 lead. We got their starter out the game in the 4th but had the door closed on our threat to keep it at 5-0.
Gamer started the 6th running low on pitches, after sitting down the lead-off man back to back singles saw runners on the corners, a ground ball was booted and a run was in, after getting the next hitter to pop up to a great catch from Shawy the big unit was done. Stevens took the bump with the tying run in the on deck circle and their 5 guy at the plate, another pop up and the innings was over.
Both pitches kept it tight for a couple of innings, a lead-off double to start the bottom of the 7th from Paul Sadler saw him pull up lame going into 2B. Sadly his day was done and the coach would replace another injured player with himself for the 2nd time today. Deebs drew a bases loaded walk to get the score back out to 6-1, another hard hit ball from Shawy ended the inning as he couldn’t seem to find much grass on the day. We plated 4 more in the bottom of the 8th with hits to Bender Handy, Quals and Kloeds getting things started. Corey Williams again chiming in here, another QAB from Bobby and a 2 run single from Marshy suddenly it was 10-1 and we needed 3 outs to win.
Stevens would head back out to the hill with a nice buffer, a fly ball to left, a decent catch in CF had us 1 out away. A big chopper to Shawy, a pick from Kloeds at first and the day was ours.
A few people had asked me how we would go in the lead up to this game, my standard response "if we play good we’ll win". We didn’t play perfect, it’s rare you do, but we definitely played good and the scoreboard was a reflection of that. 17 hits on the game, that is something truly special in a GF.
Many thanks goes to the guys who took the field, and a huge thanks to those who didn’t, we win & lose together, #itsnotgolf. But this is a pretty special group to be part of and a well earnt, and well deserved result for the time and effort that goes into what we do.