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Modified baseball is catching on

Woolgoolga Bluesox pitcher Michael Crossland.
Woolgoolga Bluesox pitcher Michael Crossland. SUBMITTED

MODIFIED baseball for juniors commenced this week after last week’s rain-out and the kids absolutely loved the game and played with an enormous amount of enthusiasm.

Most of these kids have not played before and watching them in action you would think that they were seasoned pros.

There was some great batting and fielding, some awesome slides and action all over the field.

Standouts moments for the game was Conner Smithers sliding into home for a run, a centre field bomb by Charlie Gallagher for a 2-bagger and a great display of catching and batting from Jake Benson. Allstars took the win.

In the second game of Zooka ball action saw Woolgoolga Bluesox 1 take on Woolgoolga Bluesox 2.

This game was great to watch as you saw the club encourage all the players.

Standouts for the game were Jack Stevens who hit the ball out to centre field, and also picked up player of the week for Bluesox 1.

Also most improved of the week was Jessica Jarvis who got over her shyness of hitting the ball and connected well all game.

Bluesox 2 are a team of children who have great hand-and-eye co-ordination. They all hit the ball well and fielded like little Derek Jeter’s.

Player of the game went to James Wilhelm and most improved went to Tom Hoad. Bluesox 1 won by one run.

It’s awesome to see the real young ones in T-Ball back again this season and it is terrific fun to watch the kids truly enjoying the game.

The T-ball players this season are all new to the game except two-year veteran Ryan Phillips.

We split the children into two groups and had a training session to help the children understand the game.

In a few weeks time it will all work like clockwork and we will play real games.

Stand outs from Saturday were Darcy Cronin who was named Player of the Day and Ryan Phillips for his great hitting.

More great action was witnessed in the C Grade game with Callie Winsor hitting a really big fly to left field for a nice stand up double.

The handsome Matt Gordon has been batting extremely well this year and his pre-season training is really paying dividends.

Matt hit safe at every visit and popped a lovely line drive down left field.

Todd Ritchie made and impressive centre field catch which was awesome to watch.

Andrew Garner showed great skills in his role of pitcher for the Dodgers with an impressive fast ball that is proving to be extremely accurate and tough to hit.

Dodgers took the win 13-9.

Aiden Banks returned to baseball after a season missing in action but soon settled back into the team with the first out of the day in the Allstars v Dodgers B grade contest.

Banks also pitched for the Stars and it was great to see him on the mound.

A 20-metre running catch in left field by Jimmy Linsley off a Jason Bromell hit was an early highlight.

Linsley called for oxygen but his efforts kept the Allstars at nil going into the second dig.

A nice tag out by Bromell at third base from a flat throw from home by Bronson McIntosh followed then by a great double play involving them once again was nice to see.

Cameron Nottage smacked a 2-bagger in the last stages of the game.

They must breed them tough in Sawtell because Geoff Rogers, also known as ‘The Fox’, took one for the team with a fast ball pitch to the belly.

The Fox was umpiring and an unintentional foul tip collected him square in the ribs.

He continued his calling duties without flinching . . . any tougher and he’d rust.

On the second diamond the Kempsey Real Estate team took on the Woolgoolga Bluesox in B grade.

This was a close encounter with lots of friendly heckling.

Some stand outs from the game were from Kempsey Real Estate pitcher Jack Shaw who after Michael Hugo hit a screamer back to Jack who gloved the ball cleanly.

Ben Livermore also had a great game playing at third.

The stand outs for Bluesox were short stop Lauren Campbell who a great game with her glove and also batted really well.

Warren Collins always hit the ball in the outfield which looks like no effort at all.

Great double to get runners home and Dave Kennedy pitched a strong game but in the end Kempsey Real Estate took the game by one run.

A grade is drawing more spectators each week and with some great batting, pitching and plays to see each game, it is no wonder.

The Allstars were on fire this week and looked really good from the start.

Rookie A grade player Jason Bromell took on the pitching duties and from the first pitch had a strike.

Jason soon showed why he is a national talent with only two unearned runs for the game from his pitching and several Dodgers players striking out from his mix of fast and curve balls. Jason also batted 3 safe outfield bombs from 3.

The field backed Jason up with some lovely outs and especially remembered was Rob Kozik’s ripper outfield catch as well as Cookies slide into home under the tag to earn a run.

The Dodgers had some terrific plays with great fielding by ‘the Fox’ with a right-field catch and a nice relay from outfield through 2 sets of hands to reach Nathan Gallagher, Nathan set himself up for a great tag on Aiden Banks at home for the out.

The score tally showed Allstars 15 to the Dodgers five.

Kempsey Macleay played the Woolgoolga Bluesox in the second A-Grade game and once again the Bluesox showed they are a force to be reckoned with this season.

Michael Crossland pitched for Woopi and it was a pleasure to see him throwing nice hard fast balls and a whole series of tricky moving pitches to keep Kempsey scoreless until the last inning when one run slipped over the plate.

The end score was Woolgoolga Bluesox 6 to 1.

Stand outs for the game were Cale Bainbridge who caught five innings and then came in to close the inning on the mound.

With a few of their regular A grade players away a few Woolgoolga Bluesox B grade players stepped up to the plate and showed that they can play A grade like the best of them. MVP’s for the game were Michael Crossland for Bluesox and Sam Flannigan for Kempsey Macleay.

Baseball welcomes all spectators to come and watch a game or two any Saturday from early till late afternoon.

There are bleachers to sit on and a canteen with all you would expect for a comfortable afternoon, so come along and enjoy the action.