By JARROD POTTER
BASEBALL STATE WINTER CHAMPIONSHIPS
SIX games, two days, one state champion team.
Dandenong Baseball Association (DBA) continued its domination of the State Winter Championship after its under-14 brigade stormed past the likes of Geelong, Ringwood and Diamond Valley to take the title.
Dandenong won five of its six matches to clinch the title and DBA head coach Jade Hough had high praise for the extremely talented team’s performance, especially considering the current age of most in the roster.
“Some of these kids – given that they’re 12 and 13-years of age – the talent that they put on show over the weekend was absolutely amazing,” Hough said.
“To come away with so many close wins and play level headed the whole time was unbelievable.”
After conceding their one loss of the carnival to Ringwood on Saturday, after the match timed out and the scores reverted, the DBA needed to win everything on Sunday to clinch the title beyond doubt.
There would be no nails bitten as Dandenong soared against Ringwood the second time around – smashing the opposition 9-3 to all but retain the championship.
Hough had to hold back her joy and convince the side the last match had more on the line than in actuality.
“If we didn’t beat Ringwood we would’ve had no chance of winning – that was the most important game – and we beat them by six runs… that pretty much sealed the championship for us,” Hough said.
“I had a feeling going into the last game that we had already won the championships – but I didn’t tell the boys and I told them they had to win it.
“Very last game we ended up winning with one run within the last minute of the game – as we’d already gone over 10 minutes that we were allowed.”
Hough thought the side’s big hitters Joshua Smith, Jed Woodger, Dante Caruso and Mack Turley – were most impressive alongside pocket rocket Josh Ashen.
Pakenham’s Emily Devine earned her place in the side and made the most of the opportunity to face off against the state’s best.
“She didn’t do too bad – struggled a little bit, but being the only girl and everything on the team, speaking from experience it’s a bit hard,” Hough said.
“Would’ve been difficult for her… but she looked like she enjoyed herself a lot.
“Best asset would be her hitting… she’s got a bit of strength behind her.”
The DBA’s under-12s are up next, squaring off against the rest of the state over the weekend at Albert Roy Reserve, Bendigo (after the Journal went to press).
DBA UNDER-14 SQUAD: Cheltenham – Josh Ashen, Rhys Fairweather Mack Turley, Cameron Zimmerman, Shelby Roberts, Dante Caruso. Dandenong – Mitchell Shane. Dingley – Balin O’Callaghan, Jack Curtis, Joshua Smith, Jed Woodger. Frankston – Adam Harris, Jai Cebular. Mornington – Jacob Bald. Pakenham – Emily Devine.