With two similarly matched teams entering the day with an identical 2-1 record, it was quite possible the team that made the least amount of errors would come away with victory.
Disappointingly for the Newport Rams, it was their mistakes that went punished by the Sunshine Eagles in a 7-4 loss in the Baseball Victoria summer league division 1 at Barclay Reserve on Saturday.
“Both teams were playing good baseball, so it was a good chance to see where they’re at and where we’re at this year,” Rams coach David Asp said.
“We just had a couple of sloppy plays in the third inning where they scored a couple of unearned runs and that changed the game.”
Newport supporters got a first look at new import Riley Barr.
The American arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday and was immediately inserted as the starting pitcher.
Barr threw four strong innings before Asp worked in relief and teenager Kyle Morrison closed the game.
“He’s still finding his feet here, so we only gave him a brief outing,” Asp said.
“Our import last year, Jimmy Jensen, played against him in Europe and suggested he was a good bloke who would fit in with the culture of the club and can throw pretty hard when he gets fit and up and running.
“He’s fitted in well, he’s got a good sense of humour, so the guys will get around him pretty easily.”
Asp was pleased to see Morrison take to the mound. Morrison comes out of the Rams junior system.
“He’s an up and coming under 17 pitcher,” Asp said. “He’s shot up in the last couple of years, so we just need to give him a bit of confidence throwing in senior baseball.
“He’s got the goods, but he’s just got to start believing in himself.”
The highlight of Newport’s batting was a home run to Jake Sinclair.
It was Sinclair’s first hit of the campaign and it was one to remember.
Catcher Dean Malthouse was the most consistent in the batters box and did a good job behind the plate.
All in all, Asp was pleased with the performance, with the exception of missed plays in the field.
“We’re hitting well, we’re taking good at-bats, but we’ve just got to tighten up the defence and we’ll be alright,” he said.
Newport (2-2) will hit the road to face Sandringham – another 2-2 team – on Sunday.
In division 2, Williamstown continued its flawless start to beat Mulgrave 4-0 at Greenwich Reserve on Sunday.
The Wolves are 4-0 leading into a bye round.
In women’s division 3, Footscray copped its first defeat of the season, going down 8-5 to Essendon at Boeing Reserve.
The Bulldogs will re-load to face Doncaster at home on Saturday.