The 14th annual Mount Gambier Baseball Masters was held at Blue Lake Sports Park and nine teams played in the competition across three days of action. Four of them travelled from Adelaide and one from Williamstown/Naracoorte also took on the local quartet of sides.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, last year’s tournament had to be abandoned just a month before it was scheduled but no Masters competitions over the last 12 months meant players were only too happy to return to Mount Gambier for this carnival.
Weather conditions late Saturday and early Sunday morning were patchy but no games were lost due to the rain. A total of 18 games of 90 minutes duration were played over the tournament with all teams in pool A and pool B playing four games each.
Because Pool A only had four teams in the round robin competition their fourth games were medallion rounds with the top two playing for gold and silver while the next two teams played off for bronze. In Pool B, medallions were decided by ladder positions.
Northern Aces held Misfits at bay winning seven runs to four in an enthralling contest with the locals holding their own against a talented city side. Local team Central overcame a fighting Willy Rangers for the Bronze Medallion winning 12 runs to seven.
In Pool B the Adelaide Aces won gold not losing any of their four games and finishing top of the table. The Mount Gambier Legends were awarded silver but only due to the fact their defensive run count was less that Playford City who took home the bronze medallions.
As an aside to this particular competition, there was another interesting little battle going on between the Legends and the Northern Aces. They were in the Battle of the Block.
Northern Aces entered two teams in the tournament, one in each pool. Whenever they play against each other in any Masters competition they play for a trophy affectionately called The Block.
Starting back in 2002 the two teams have met on 26 occasions with the Legends in front leading 15 times to the Aces 11. Included in that 11 is their win this time eight runs to six.
The trophy was presented by inaugural Legends player Ian Ewart. Mount Gambier Legends President Peter Walter presented medals to all winning team members.
The competition is organised and run by the Mount Gambier Legends Baseball Club. Before presenting the medals, club president Peter Walter thanked all participants, umpires, scorers and volunteers who gave so freely of their time over the duration of the competition in particular Lynne O’Dine and Kerry Walter who ran the canteen.
Special mention was made of the Mount Gambier City Council’s support of the tournament. All teams that attended were full of praise for the tournament and vowed to return again next year.