TAMWORTH Baseball Association’s June Baseball Carnival was another major success on the long weekend, with 45 teams completing 135 games over the two-and-a-half days of competition at the Field of Dreams and Riverside fields.
Carnival organisers are hopeful there will be 50 teams for the 50th addition of the event in 2018.
Tamworth men’s coach Dave King, a stalwart player, coach and official of the TBA over many years, thinks 50 teams is highly likely and he would love nothing better than to win it next year.
He believes he has the players to do it after taking a depleted team into the weekend to finish fourth.
Along the way the Tamworth side was beaten narrowly by Canberra Bandits (5-4) and eventual winners Deadstars (5-3).
“We played pretty well over the weekend,” King said while watching Deadstars beat reigning champions Interport Masters 3-nil in Monday’s A division final.
“We were in the hunt in four of the five games. It was just one or two digs in each of the games we lost that cost us. The boys threw well, batted as well as the other sides but we made errors at the wrong time and that hurt us a lot.
“We will have a stronger side next year, though. We had three guys unavailable and if they would have been able to play, they would have made a big difference. Next year is going to be different. It’s 50 years and we want to compete.”
However it won’t be an easy assignment, as 2017 victors Deadstars will be back itching to add to its many successes, as will Interport Masters and debutants Canberra Bandits.
Interport Masters were chasing a sixth successive title and eighth overall when beaten 3-nil in Monday’s final by Deadstars.
They arrived with just eight players after two stars were injured in the week prior to the carnival.
Deadstars celebrated a record year when they collected their seventh A division title since 1994.
“We love coming to Tamworth,” said Deadstars skipper Todd Nichols.
“Our A grade side saved its best game for the final.
“We brought six teams this year (a record 85 players) and had four times in finals. It is Tamworth’s 50th next year and our 25th. We will be back.”
A DIVISION: Interport 4 NSW Country Allstars 2, Tamworth 2 Brisbane Thunder 1, Canberra Bandits 9 NSW Country Allstars 0, Interport 4 Deadstars 4, Deadstars 6 Brisbane Thunder 4, Canberra Bandits 5 Tamworth 4, Interport 7 Canberra Bandits 1, NSW Country Allstars 7 Brisbane Thunder 5, Interport Masters 11 Brisbane Thunder 3, Canberra Bandits 4 Deadstars 2, Tamworth 3 NSW Country Allstars 0, Deadstars 5 Tamworth 3, Interport Masters 9 Tamworth 4, Deadstars 13 NSW Country All Stars 1, Brisbane Thunder 13 Canberra Bandits 6. FINAL TABLE: Interport 9, Deadstars 7, Canberra Bandits 6, Tamworth 4, Brisbane Thunder 2, NSW Country Allstars 2.