John Warren has made something of a habit of winning the most valuable player of the Tamworth Baseball grand final trophy.
On Saturday he won his sixth after helping Warriors to a 12-3 win over Cougars and their fifth straight premiership.
The only three runs against Warren was a big reason for that. He pitched all nine innings and didn’t concede a hit the first five.
“I was happy to go nine but it stuffed me,” he said.
After not playing for six weeks, he wasn’t very “match fit”.
It is hard to go nine, he said, but it helped that they were in front for a lot of the game.
“When you’ve got a decent lead like that it’s a lot easier and it feels like you’re in control a lot more,” he said.
“The pressure comes off. You can pitch the game you want to pitch not what they try to make you.”
He was very wary of Cougars’ batting power.
“They’re a tough team. They’ve got a lot of hitters,” Warren said.
“That’s what they do well.”
He said with any decent hitters, you aim to try and keep the ball down.
That probably is too his strength, describing himself as not really a strike out pitcher. He’s more of a ground ball pitcher.
Part of Warriors maiden premiership-winning side back in 1987, Warren won the MVP that year as well and again the following year.
He recently went away with the NSW Country side to play in the invitational Barrier Reef tournament in Cairns.
“It’s the first time the Country side has gone away for about seven years,” Warren said.
“They’re looking at starting some European tours.”
It will importantly give the kids coming through a representative avenue to go through. Previously that stopped at juniors.
Warren has also been recruited by the Sydney Deadstars to play at the World Masters in Auckland in April next year.
“I was pretty honoured,” he said.
Armidale Outlaws Josh Shaw was meanwhile named the mvp for the season. Armidale had a good year in their return season with Shane Wolfenden picking up the Rookie of the Year award.
Wolfenden pitched and played outfield in Orange B grade side and a few games for the Outlaws, after making the transition from cricket.