The final game of the season for the Guildford Mavericks was a home clash with the Richmond Dukes. Having played against them twice this season, both times record strong victories, 19-9 and 31-15, the Mavericks were confident of getting back to winning ways on the field.
Richmond though, were never going to make it easy by always being confident at the plate, aggressive base running and playing solid defence. Both starting pitchers tired early and were both replaced within 3 innings. The home team had more depth on the mound allowing Mat Heydenrych, James Molloy, Chris Ward and Edgar Simbajon to get time on the mound. The Dukes started with youngster Hamish Whitlear who pitched well in the opening two frames to be replaced by JP Pasterino who would go on to pitch the rest of the game.
After 5 innings the score was 16-9 to the home side who looked in control getting some timely hits includes doubles from James Molloy and Chris Ward. In the top of the 6th, with Molloy tiring on the mound, the Dukes scored on walks. Ward replaced Molloy but was unable to stem the flow so Edgar Simbajon took over and made short work of the remaining outs. By the end of the inning the Dukes had put on 11 runs to take back the lead. The Mavericks could only muster 4 in return leaving the score tied at 20.
In the top of the 7th, with 2 runners on, Dukes catcher Toky crushed a huge triple splitting the outfield. We are led to believe he has never run that far before… ever. They were the only 2 runs to score and with Pasterino now tiring the Mavericks looked to take advantage but could only score 3 in the bottom of the inning.
The Mavericks played good defence behind Simbajon to ensure the Dukes could score no more in top of the 8th. Pasterino was clearly tiring now having thrown more than 150 pitches and hit half of the Mavericks line up with pitches, the Mavericks made sensible at bats and ensured 9 runs crossed the plate to take the 10-run victory in walk off fashion in the 8th.
Great performances came from Brent Brakeboer, who’s bat continues to hot up, driving home 5 runs. James Molloy had a solid day with the ball, striking out 6 and looking sharp. Guildford Junior Myles Buckton hustled out an infield single and look confident at the plate every time he came up as did Tom Sullivan who continues to improve with every at bat, reaching base 3 times, scoring 3 runs.
Game Day Manager Phill Nathan said: “That was a hard earned win against a familiar opposition. The team kept their resolve and worked hard for a well-earned win. Another solid display in the offensive. Most importantly we have regained our momentum going into the postseason.
2B Phill Nathan
LF John Wilkins
P Mat Heydenrych
C Michael Burdett
3B Chris Ward
1B James Molloy
SS Brent Brakeboer
RF Myles Buckton
CF Tom Sullivan
Bench: Edgar Simbajon, Rob Wheeler, Adam Courtney, Michael “Hollywood” Garner