Sunday 20 March 2016
In weather conditions a far cry from opening day, the twentieth annual Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival was wrapped up under clear skies at Prince of Wales Reserve this afternoon, with interest in all age groups maintained until the very end.
By any measure the tournament was another wonderful showcase for Masters baseball, with games invariably played out in the positive and friendly, albeit at times competitive spirit that has characterised this event since it was created two decades ago.
Participants again demonstrated that the Carnival is indeed owned by the participants, each of whom has embraced the underpinning principles of participation, engagement, friendly interaction, fun and joy that are brought through team sport and its off-field socialising.
On behalf of host club Ballarat City Brewers, I extend our thanks to all players, families, supporters, officials (especially our band of umpires, who did a fantastic job in covering nearly fifty games over three days) , sponsors and supporters who continue to make this event such a consistently uplifting event for so many people. While effective delivery of the Carnival is quite a demanding exercise for all concerned, the laughs, the fun, the contests, the team bonding and the nurturing of old and new friendships surely make it all worthwhile.
While Coburg had booked a ticket direct to the 50 Plus final on Sunday, Tassy Tigers and Fitzroy played out an early morning Semi-Final that saw the Tigers post a 15-1 result over the Lions, whose roar had abated somewhat by the final morning. Clearly relishing the break between their games, Coburg was pressured early by Tassy before forging away for an 11-4 win in the final.
50 PLUS FINAL PLACINGS AFTER PRELIMINARY ROUNDS: Coburg (4 wins, 0 losses), Tassy Tigers (2-2, second on head to head), Fitzroy (2-2), Newport Rams (1-3, fourth on head to head), Big Cat Tomatoes (1-3)
With crucial preliminary games scheduled for Sunday morning, the 45 Plus group resulted in a finals clash between Big Cat Tomatoes and Pandas, both of whom had shown some terrific form during the series. In the end, though, it was the offensive power of the Big Cat Tomatoes that was decisive, as they surged to a comfortable break and went on to win the finale 11-3.
45 PLUS PLACINGS AFTER PRELIMINARY ROUNDS: Big Cat Tomatoes (4 wins, 0 losses), Pandas (3-1), Diggers (2-2, third on head to head), Sandringham (2-2), Bendigo (1-3), Bees (0-4)
Similarly in 35 Plus, final placings were not decided until early Sunday afternoon, when an impressive Sloths outfits was narrowly denied a finals berth by Big Cat Tomatoes, who faced the reigning titleholder in Pandas. Outstanding starting pitching by Cameron Forbes (Pandas) and Mark Richards (Big Cat Tomatoes) limited early scoring until the Pandas exploded with the bats to set up a 9-0 win against an ever-competitive opponent.
35 PLUS PLACINGS AFTER PRELIMINARY ROUNDS: Pandas (4 wins, 0 losses), Big Cat Tomatoes (3-1, second on runs scored against), Sloths (3-1), Ballarat (2-2, fourth on head to head), Cods (2-2), Red Sox (1-3, sixth on runs scored against), Tassy Tigers (1-3), Newport Rams (1-3), Doncaster Dragons (1-3)
Congratulations to the winning teams and to those who made their respective playoffs. Very well done to all teams – and all participants – on making the series another great success.
Good times and good memories.
All scores are shown to the right of this page. Scroll down for a selection of images.
Kingsley Collins (Administrator)
DAY TWO (Saturday 19 March 2016)
While shorts and sunnies were not exactly de rigeur for Day Two of the Carnival, conditions were far more pleasant as we were treated to another enthralling round of competition that opened up a variety of possible play-off scenarios for Sunday.
In 50 Plus, Coburg has gone four from four to book a berth in the Sunday afternoon final, while Tassy Tigers and Fitzroy Lions did enough to qualify for the Semi-Final to decide the Burgers' opponent. Finishing in fourth and fifth, Newport Rams and Big Cat Tomatoes both posted a win in the preliminary games and will watch on as their younger team counterparts partake of action on the sabbath.
Big Cat Tomatoes have already qualified for the 45 Plus final, although their opponent will only be decided after Sunday morning encounters involving other contenders in Pandas, Sandringham, Bendigo and Diggers - with the Bees out of contention but still a dangerous outfit should they be buzzing on the morrow.
Reigning 35 Plus champion Pandas - thus far undefeated - are looking the goods in their group, which today featured a remarkable 1-0 win by Sloths over Newport and a thriller between Ballarat and Tassy Tigers that was decided after two extra innings of tie-breaking intensity. While Big Cat Tomatoes are looking good to qualify for the playoffs, there are still competition variables that may come into play as Ballarat and Sloths remain the more prominent of other teams vying for the big dance.
With salubrious weather in prospect, we are poised for a fantastic final day of competition.
Scroll down for images from Day Two. All Day Two results are posted to the right of this page.
DAY ONE (Friday 18 March 2016)
The first day of Victorian Masters competition was wrapped up at Prince of Wales Reserve this evening, after experiencing what was undoubtedly the worst day of weather in its twenty-year history.
Nevertheless, as always, spirits were high, all scheduled games were played out and we were treated to another jam-packed round of fun and frivolity - with more than a touch of competitive baseball injected for good measure.
A more comprehensive report will be posted after Day Two. For now, Day One scores are listed to the right of this page and a selection of images is posted below.
*** UPDATE 10 MARCH (IMPORTANT) ***
CHANGES TO DRAW.
The late withdrawal of the Eagles team has necessitated changes to the 35 Plus Draw. The Final Revised Draw is attached and has been forwarded to managers.There will now be no early morning game on the Friday and Saturday for 35 Plus, and the Big Cat Tomatoes versus Eagles game scheduled for Friday afternoon has been deleted, with BC Toms 35 Plus now playing two on Saturday.
To ensure that all 35 Plus teams play four preliminary games and that all are involved on Sunday, we have needed to give one team two games on the Sunday morning. This is less than ideal and we apologise to the Sloths, who drew the short straw.
There are no changes to the 50 Plus or the 45 Plus Draw.
Please discard the previous Draw and inform your team members of changes that affect them.
Have fundamentally not changed from 2015 and are available on the Carnival website. The only changes of any note are to Rule 1 (age requirement) and Rule 15. Rule 15 provides a specific concession to any group that has multiple teams entered in the Carnival (IE Big Cat Tomatoes, Newport, Tassy Tigers and Pandas). It allows for teams to have a “floating” player between age groups, if necessary, provided the player meets the age requirement of that particular group.
For example, if a team in the lower age group copped a couple of injuries and was struggling for numbers, it would be allowed to draw a player from its team’s older age grouping for a particular game or games if it wished. A 50 Plus player could thereby participate in a 45 Plus or 35 Plus team if required. A 45 Plus player could participate in a 35 Plus team if required.
All games played would count towards finals qualification in any age group played.
ADDITION OF PLAYERS.
Players can be added to rosters right up until a team has played its first game. So if your team appears light on for numbers, there is still time to twist some arms over the next week.
The traditional Happy Hour festivities will again be held on the Friday evening, after the day games are complete and prior to the night-time blockbuster between the Diggers and Bendigo. All players, officials and supporters are cordially invited to join us as we partake of some cut price drinks and a complimentary barbecue among friends.
Even if your team is not drawn for a late game on Friday, we encourage you to stick around or to come back after your playing commitment for the day are over.
All three grounds are looking in great nick as a result of club maintenance over what has been a very dry summer in Ballarat. Just a reminder that Diamond 1 is the main ground, Diamond 2 is immediately adjacent and Diamond 3 is at the far end of the complex. We will not need to use the archery overflow.
PLAYER BREAKFASTS AND BARBECUE.
Player breakfasts will again be available from early on the Saturday and Sunday. Aside from the Friday Happy Hour, the barbecue will be going during lunchtime on Saturday and Sunday.
COFFEE AND TEA.
We thank Peter Hockey for again having his coffee van on site over the weekend while working around his playing commitments. There will also be a self-serve tea and coffee area near the barbecue area, operating on an honour system of a dollar a cup.
Some of you are already familiar with the Western Hotel, in Sturt Street. Great spacious pub for quality meals and sporting entertainment, including TAB. Management of the Western is keen to become involved with the Carnival and invites all Masters supporters to a Saturday night of live music from 7.00 PM and $ 10.00 pizzas until 10.00 PM.
To recognise the twentieth year of the Victorian Masters Carnival, host club Ballarat Brewers have organised event caps and stubby holders that will be available for purchase at the Canteen.
The Brewers are also running a raffle that will be drawn after the final games on Saturday.
REPORTING AND COVERAGE.
We will again aim to have all results and ladders available by the end of each day’s play and posted on our website and Facebook along with a selection of images. Local media has been very supportive of baseball in recent times, so we have no doubt that they will be around to check out just what this Masters phenomenon is all about.
If you have any questions or any concerns that we can help with at this stage, please let me know.
Otherwise, we look forward to catching up with you and your team next week at what is sure to be another fun weekend of Masters baseball.
Kingsley Collins (Administrator)
|***see left for standings after preliminaries***|
|Tassy Tigers||15||Fitzroy Lions||1|
|Big Cat Toms||11||Bees||4|
|BIG CAT TOMS||11||PANDAS||3|
|Big Cat Toms||10||Newport Rams||0|
|PANDAS||9||BIG CAT TOMS||0|
|Fitzroy Lions||7||Big Cat Toms||0|
|Tassy Tigers||4||Big Cat Toms||17|
|Newport Rams||7||Fitzroy Lions||9|
|Big Cat Toms||7||Diggers||3|
|Ballarat||1||Big Cat Toms||5|
|Big Cat Toms||2||Cods||3|
|Tassy Tigers||6||Fitzroy Lions||0|
|Newport Rams||2||Tassy Tigers||18|
|Big Cat Toms||9||Newport Rams||10|
|Big Cat Toms||0||Coburg||7|
|Big Cat Toms||8||Pandas||2|
|Sandringham||6||Big Cat Toms||11|
|Newport Rams||11||Red Sox||7|
|Tassy||5||Big Cat Toms||7|