Nine teams brought back the enthusiasm for baseball in the Hastings over the Easter weekend.
Travelling to Wauchope’s Blackbutt Park from as far away as Sydney, Central Coast and Gold Coast it was the local Hastings team which made the most of the home ground advantage in A Grade.
In B Grade it was the Muppets from Sydney who took home the trophy against Coffs Harbour.
In A grade Hastings played the Robina Braves in the Sunday afternoon grand final.
It was a tight match, but Hastings ran away with the win 7-2 with the last few of the seven innings game a display of the local team’s endurance.
Team manager David Boyton said players from each of the local baseball clubs came together under the Hastings Association banner to represent the local area in the three-day carnival.
“There were standout performances from our experienced pitchers Trent Begley and Chris Whitfield. Gavin Carney pitched in the grand final,” Boyton said.
Baseball is having a revival in the Hastings area and with top class players like brothers Michael and Adam Pelley, Begley, Justin Willingham and Paul Matheson pulling on their gloves again, the future of the sport is only going to build.
Tournament coordinator Michael Potts said last year’s Easter carnival attracted four teams to Blackbutt Park. This year nine teams have promised to bring two or three more teams each in 2018.
“We’ve had nothing but positive comments from all the players about the great condition of the grounds,” Potts said. “The teams have been pleased with how well the tournament has been organised so next year we could have around 20 teams play.”
The 2017 local competition begins on April 30 for seniors. New players are most welcome to join in. A new team from the Camden Haven will take to the pitch for the first time this season, the Middle Rock Magpies.
The juniors play teeball and zookaball. Come and Try days will be held at Blackbutt Park on April 30 and May 7. Interested junior and senior players can find out more via the Hastings Association Facebook page which has links to each of the local clubs, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org