WARRIOR Blues and Rainbows had contrasting wins as they continued their neck and neck race to the Tamworth first grade baseball premiership.
The Warrior Blues were down 4-1 until the ninth inning when they staged a late rally to beat Cougars 5-4 while defending premiers Warriors Rainbows controlled their game against Knights to lead 14-2 before Knights also rallied late to score four late runs in a 14-6 loss.
Allen Brand (Knights) and James Psarakis (Warriors) were the opposing pitchers, with Psarakis in outstanding form, catcher and Rainbows skipper Robert Chandler said.
“James was great,” Chandler said.
“Both teams were at full strength and both scored two runs in the first but then we got lucky and had a few balls fall in and we scored six runs in the second.
“We then scored a run in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth while keeping them scoreless. But as they do, they score their runs in bunches and scored four in the last.”
While Psarakis was in control on the mound, Jeff Chandler had five hits, Mitch Holt four and Joe Holt three.
“We finished with 17 hits to Knights’ 11,” Chandler said.
Psarakis and the three Holt brothers – Joe Sam and Mitch – starred for Warriors.
Craig Haestier, Aaron Harding and Lee Poulton all came up with two hits for Knights.
In the other game, Kris Bird pitched the full game for Cougars and had the Warrior Blues under control and to just a run heading into the final inning.
However the Blues, who started with eight players, rallied after Vali Orcher’s triple scored three runs.
Then Keyton Hislop hit the winning RBI to snare a last inning win, skipper Chris Dyson said.
“We were able to shut them out in the last,” Dyson said.
“It was a good win, a good game.”
Ryan Handsaker had started on the mound for the Blues, throwing four innings before Mick Aldiss came on in relief.
Orcher finished the game with three hits, Aldiss two, Dyson two and Nathan and Ryan Handsaker one apiece.
“Kris Bird threw the full game for them and it was only in the last we stole it from them,” Dyson said.
“We play Knights now in the final round and the Rainbows play Cougars.
“We’re (two Warriors sides) tied at the top of the table. Next week will decide the minor premiership.”