Club stalwart pitches Ipswich into grand final
BASEBALL: Another error-free match and masterful pitching display by a club stalwart guided Ipswich into this year's Greater Brisbane League grand final.
Long-time Musketeers player Dean Jones stepped up to deliver one of the most vital six-innings starting pitching efforts of his baseball career.
His superb control set up Ipswich's 11-1 victory over the Redcliffe Padres in last night's game three of the semi-final series.
After a scare in their second semi-final, the Musketeers repeated their first game dose of tight pitching and power hitting to wrap up the series.
Having been regular grand final runners-up in recent seasons, Musketeers can now chase their first premiership success since 2001.
That will be in a series starting on April 5 against the winner of this weekend's preliminary finals between Windsor and Redcliffe.
Musketeers president Jon Campbell was delighted how Ipswich's off-season recruits had blended with Musketeers long-time baseballers.
Ipswich newcomers like Canadian duo Fernandez Beltran and Chandler McLaren, American left-hander Chase Davenport and Swedish import Pontus Bystrom have made a valuable impact.
"We've been working to get all these guys to come together at one time from all parts of the world,'' Campbell said. "It's all worked out.''
Campbell also praised dependable Ipswich products like Jones. Having pitched regularly in B-Grade this season, Jones produced one of his trademark top throwing displays at a crucial stage in the semi-final series.
After Ipswich scored seven runs in the fifth innings, Jones turned the screws on Redcliffe for another dig before finishing the game as winning pitcher.
"He just kept throwing strikes and hitting the spots,'' Campbell said.
"He did a great job.''
Minor premiers Ipswich finished the match with 10 hits and no errors.
Redcliffe had eight hits and two errors.
"We've played error-less baseball probably the last four games,'' Campbell said.
The latest win was by the same margin as Friday night's series opener. However, Redcliffe kept the semi-final battle alive by winning Sunday's game 3-1 in the Tivoli heat.
Campbell said a week off would be beneficial for Ipswich's pitchers before the grand final showdown at Windsor, home of the ABL championship-winning Brisbane Bandits.
State of play
GBL semi-final series at Tivoli Sporting Complex: Game 1 - Ipswich Musketeers def Redcliffe Padres 11-1. Game 2: Redcliffe def Ipswich 3-1. Game 3: Ipswich def Redcliffe 11-1.
Grand final series starts April 5 between Ipswich and the winner of the preliminary final between Windsor and Redcliffe.