The Middle Rock Mariners Baseball Club played the Wauchope Giants at Blackbutt Park No 2 Diamond on Sunday, May 12.
The club has had a surge of interest during the off season and are now trying to settle down into two competitive teams for the rest of the season.
The A grade team knew that they were up against the reigning premiers and showed understandable nerves in the first few innings.
In the first three innings the team batted with a lack of confidence generally. However, hits by Marty Dures and Kobi Heagney showed the potential the team has to score runs.
The Giants on the other hand started strongly, putting together 7 safe hits and picking out 4 walks in an impressive start to the game. The Giants star batsman Mick Gough was unlucky not to hit a home run in the first innings when the ball dropped only centimetres from the home run boundary.
The Giants took a commanding 8 to 0 lead and it looked to the crowd that this was going to be a case of how many will the Giants win by.
Captain Coach Marty Dures then made some tactical changes bringing in rookie catcher Pete Kirkpatrick and moving third baseman Matt Lenton to the mound. The changes brought about a lift to the Mariners team. The fielding improved with Nathan Ellul and Nick Maxwell turning a hard hit line drive to third into a beautiful double play, then shortstop Brock Colley followed up by taking a catch on a ball that seemed sure to be a two base hit.
The team also started to fight back, putting together 5 safe hits and finding 4 base on balls in the last two innings and turning this improved batting into 5 runs. They were unlucky not to make it 6 runs, when a very close call on whether a tag was made before a runner crossed home plate went against the Mariners.
The final score of 10/5 showed that despite not starting well that the Mariners have fighting spirit that will see them soon in the winner's circle. Marty Dures and Kobi Heagney had perfect batting averages with each obtaining 2 safe hits and a walk from their 3 times at bat.
Nick Maxwell also picked up two safe hits. Kye Dures and Matt Lenton both had safe hits to left field.
The team was happy with their fightback but realise that next week they need to start playing well from the first pitch of the game.
The Mariners Rerserve Grade team although beaten 21/9 put together 13 safe hits. Matt Linsey had 3 safe hits from 3 turns at bat while the other 8 batters all made first base with either a safe hit or base on balls.
Next week the club will take on the Port Macquarie Spartans in the match of the day on Diamond 1.