OXLEY High School is adding baseball success to its already impressive list of sporting achievements.
The Oxley boys qualified for the CHS state final after a 12-1 hiding of Woolooware High in yesterday’s semi at Tamworth’s Field of Dreams and the players themselves can take even more credit than usual for the success.
They banded together to form the team and then sought help from teacher Lyle Elston and local baseballers Robert Chandler and Jake Forsyth to help.
“The boys have motivated themselves,” Chandler said.
“They’re a bunch of mates who wanted to play and they roped us in.
“They asked Mr Elston if they could play in the Proud Shield and they got Jake and I to coach them.
“Jake has played four years of college baseball.”
The boys went to Sydney for the quarter-final recently and came away with another big win.
That showed them what they are capable of and the semi-final proved to be just as one-sided.
“They play second grade here,” Chandler said.
“The advantage they have is that they play against men here, whereas the others are in age group competitions.
“I think ever since they went to Sydney they’ve really grown in confidence.
“They’ve won all their games by 10 runs.”
Toby Bowen pitched for Oxley and got five strike-outs while most of the batters picked up at least one hit.
Lachlan Ng, Luke Fox and captain Joe Holt provided two hits each while George Harradine, Cameron Reeves, Will Faulkner and Daniel Tadman added one apiece.
“Toby pitched well,” Chandler said.
“But even the boys on the bench make a noise.
“They’ve worked really hard.
“They’re still training two or three times a week.”
Oxley can now look forward to the state final in two weeks.
Chandler said Tamworth is not a strong baseball area these days but if Oxley does win the title, it won’t be the first.
“Oxley High won the Proud Shield about 20 years ago,” he said.
“So it’s cool that they have made the final 20 years later.”
The final is in Sydney in two weeks.