TAMWORTH chases a ninth June Baseball Carnival A Grade championship with a solid side missing one major ingredient.
Outstanding short stop Jake Forsythe, who pitches and hits, is unavailable because of university exams in Newcastle, co-coach Chris Dyson said.
“It’s a big loss for us,” Dyson said.
Forsythe has been in sparking batting form for his Warriors side in the Tamworth competition, hitting safely from all four at-bats last weekend.
His allround skills would have been an extra bonus for the side, with his electric fielding behind a strong arm.
Dyson and co-coach Aaron Harding have named a strong squad including veteran pitcher Robert Chandler, who is also part of the organising crew for the carnival.
“We might be able to use him for one or two games,” Dyson said.
“We only play four games in A Division this year because there are only five teams.
“We play Misfits on Saturday morning (10.30am) and Country 18s in the afternoon.
“Then we’ve got Deadstars Sunday and finish off with Interport Masters on Monday morning.
“Interport are always strong – they always arrive with one or two Brisbane BL players.
“But hopefully we’ll go all right.
“Playing the four games suits us pitching-wise.”
Tamworth Baseball Association (TBA) president John Warren leads the pitching staff, with Warriors clubmate Jeff Chandler, Cougars’ Kris Bird and Robert Chandler and talented Cale Penrith also to throw some innings.
“We should go all right,” Dyson said.
“A lot of the boys are hitting the ball well.
“It should be a lot of fun again as well.”
This year’s five-division June Carnival has a record 38 teams entered.
One of those sides, JC’s Legends, is endeavouring to win the C Division title after an emotional D Division Final win last year.
The team, a tribute side formed by friends and family of the late John (JC) Carter, played in 2011 in what many thought was a one-off tournament in memory of a man who had done so much for Tamworth baseball and the June Carnival.
However that team re-formed again in 2012 and last season and returns in 2014, elevated to C Division.
Its “minute silence and guest throw” game will be against Kingswood on Ground 7 from 12.45pm Sunday.
More on the JC Legends tomorrow.
TAMWORTH: Chris Dyson, Aaron Harding, John Warren, Mick Martin, Kris Bird, Cale Penrith, Scott Hurn, Jeff Chandler, Joey Holt, Lachlan Ng, Simon Norvill, Mitch Holt, Robert Chandler.