Central seals decisive baseball final victory

Central seals decisive baseball final victory

The first of a possible three games of the Mount Gambier and District Baseball League 2023/24 Division 1 grand final series got under way between Central and Federal at Blue Lake Sports Park under lights on Friday night.

Central’s number one pitcher and league best and fairest Dylan Chuck kickstarted proceedings on the mound.

Chuck and his teammates quickly dispatched the three batters in the first inning required for side away despite an error allowing a batter on base.

Federal sprung a surprise, maybe not to some, promoting Clay Carpenter with his off-speed pitches to do the duties on the hill.

Likewise, he and the team quickly ripped through the first three batters for side away.

Such was the theme of the game for seven and a half innings with both pitchers containing the batters, infielders picking up hotshots, outfielders running down any flyball that came their way with the still, heavy night air not allowing batters to get any meat into their outfield hits.

The bottom of the sixth provided the play of the game when Koby Chant’s flyball to rightfield was caught by Jordan Johnson, Alex Ridding who was at third base, took off for home but was gunned down by a magnificent, fantastic throw to catcher Alex Reppin with Ridding caught metres short of the homeplate for side away.

In the bottom of the seventh the black and white threatened when they loaded the bases with none out but left them all stranded.

Looking again likely to go to extra innings, as per the preliminary final, it was in the bottom of the eighth the Magpies were able to break the shackles.

A pitching change due to Carpenter pitching his allowable 125 pitches brought Alex Pearson to the mound and the Central batting lineup turned up the heat and put pressure on the Demons fielders.

Alex Ridding’s hit to shortstop was fumbled, Koby Chant beat out a throw from shortstop to have two on board.

Dylan Gull then found the sweet spot of the bat and hit deeply to left centrefield batting both Ridding and Chant home.

There was more pressure from the batters as Dave Harris got on first after a misfield by that baseman, Josh Chuck’s hit to shortstop and the resultant throw across the diamond resulted in another fielding error by the first baseman with the ball going through to the fence allowing both Gull and the fast wheels of Harris to cross the dish.

The fifth and final run of the dig and the game came when Chuck was batted in by Nathan Meinck’s sweet hit to centrefield.

Alex Ridding replaced Dylan Chuck on the mound, who had just 11 pitches left of his quota for the remaining games and continued the good work not allowing a run, picking up the save.

Central had nine safe hits for three runs batted in, three base on ball, one hit batter, 0 strikeouts, made two errors and left 10 runners on base.

Federal had two safe hits, one base on ball, 10 strikeouts, made five errors and left four runners on base.


Central sealed back-to-back premierships when they mirrored Friday night’s game 1 score of five runs to nil.

Koby Chant started for the Magpies and the Demons were quickly dispatched.

Federal’s number one pitcher Alex Reppin topped the hill as predicted as he did not start game 1.

Central jumped to a lead immediately thanks to some errors by the Federal defense.

Dylan Chuck hit safely to rightfield, Alex Ridding’s hit to shortstop created an error, Koby Chant’s hit to centrefield landed safely and then things went wild for the Demons as the resultant throw from him went awry which saw both Chuck and Ridding lighting up the scoreboard.

The black and white added another in the bottom of the second after Dave Harris beat out the play from second base and was batted in by Kyall McClean.

Meanwhile Federal could not find any success with the bat as Chant and Central kept control of the game.

Another run for Central in the fifth when Kyall McClean’s hit to third base created another wild throw putting him at second.

A sacrifice fly from Dylan Chuck ensured the Magpies scored their fourth.

Their final run came in the seventh when Nathan Meinck hit into another fielding error and scored on Dylan Gull’s hit out to rightfield.

Koby Chant closed out the game with the team getting the regulation three out in Federal’s final two at bats.

The cream rose to the top as Central was on its game from the get-go taking a liking to Alex Reppin’s pitching, hitting the ball all over the diamond getting safe hits and creating errors as opposed to game 1 when they struggled to get on to Clay Carpenter’s slower pitching.

Central had 11 safe hits for three runs batted in, two strike outs, made four errors and left nine runners on base.

Federal had six safe-hits, two base on ball, had six strike-outs, made seven errors and left 10 runners on base.

Most Valuable Player of the Series as adjudged by the umpires was Dylan Chuck from Central.


Third placed South Indians were opposed to ladder leaders in Division 2 Millicent which was without its number one pitcher Darcy Pink.

With nothing to lose they came out with all guns blazing with safe hits, base on ball, hit pitched ball and errors scoring four runs in their first at bat.

The Bandits fought back putting two on the scoreboard with regulation batting but they were the only runs they were able to score for the game.

In the second innings the mayhem continued as the Indians added a further five to put them in a winning position.

They added three more in the next two digs to run out easy winners in an upset.

Most Valuable Player of the Grand Final as adjudged by the umpires was Deegan Habner from South Indians.


Central also went back to back premiers making it seven premierships in 10 years when it defeated the highly fancied Naracoorte Rangers.

Central scored just the one run in the first and Naracoorte responded with four.

The Magpies drew level in the next inning when they added three as the Rangers pitching struggled to find the plate.

Central added three in the third and two in the fifth while Steve Kuhl’s pitching, and the Central’s fielders put paid to any further run scoring from the Naracoorte team.

Most Valuable Player of the Grand Final as adjudged by the umpires was Lachlan Ridding from Central.


Grand finals got under way with Big League team South Indians challenging the undefeated Central outfit on Friday night.

The Magpies completed the season undefeated as pitcher and League Best and Fairest Brad Walkom had complete control from the mound allowing the Indians batting lineup nothing.

The fielding of the Central’s team was outstanding only making a couple of errors and only allowing 20 batters to go through the batting box, two more than the minimum number.

Players from both sides play consistently at Division 1 and 2 level which augers well for both clubs’ futures.

While the score does not reflect the quality of the game Central was simply too good.

Central made the most of its safe hits, occasional walks and errors finishing the game in the bottom of the sixth under the mercy rule winning 11 runs to nil.

Central’s pitcher Brad Walkom, who struck out seven batters, was adjudged Most Valuable Player by the umpires.


Tigers jumped out of the blocks in their Junior League final against Central scoring the mercy inning seven runs, one of which was hit over the fence for a homer by Jai Hillstone.

Central replied with three but then struggled to get bat on ball with any consequence.

The black and orange added another mercy seven in the next dig with Hillstone putting another over the fence for his second homerun.

They added a further run in the next when Joe Box also put one out of the playing area with Tigers winning 15 runs to three.

Jai Hillstone for his batting effort was awarded Most Valuable Player of the Grand Final as adjudged by the umpires.


In a tight struggle Central secured its fifth premiership in a row against a determined Federal/Tigers combination.

It was not until the fourth inning in a tight and intense game the first runs were scored.

Central scored three giving it the upper hand in the premiership race.

Central’s pitchers Kye Wren-Mitchell and William Walkom held the opposition batters at bay and went on to win four runs to nil.

William Walkom was awarded Most Valuable Player of the Grand Final as adjudged by the umpires.


Tigers secured their second premiership of the weekend when their young Minor League team easily outclassed Federal 12 runs to five.

Tigers scored a mercy inning five runs in the first.

Federal opened its account in the second when it scored two.

Tigers added a further three in that inning while Federal increased its score by three in the third inning as did Tigers.

Alfie Merchant from Tigers was awarded Most Valuable Player of the Grand Final as adjudged by the umpires.

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