The Manly-Warringah Minor League emerged from its summer slumber (and a healthy dose of coronavirus lockdown restrictions) last weekend, with all 7 games of Summer League played out at Aquatic Reserve Baseball Park in spectacular weather.
Forest Baseball Club had 5 teams in action on Saturday in the Summer League, with the unbeaten Renegades continuing their pre-Christmas form with a 10-2 victory over the Big Dogs in 1st grade. The game was much tighter than the score line suggested, with the Renegades clinging to a 5-2 lead going into the 5th inning thanks to some good pitching from Big Dogs’ Ben Cooper. Cooper threw 3 innings for 4 hits, 4 walks and 4 runs (1 earned run), as errors hurt the Big Dogs in the field. The Big Dogs were held by Renegades pitcher Adam Charman, who threw 8 strike outs over 5 innings, giving up just 2 hits and 2 walks and 2 runs (both unearned) in his first outing since early December. The Renegades recorded 8 hits, with Owen Harris (3) and Jeremy Markham (2) leading the way.
As the sun set over Aquatic Reserve, the Forest Mets were in action against the Pittwater Marlins, with the earlier result presenting them a chance to leapfrog the Big Dogs into the top 4. The Mets season to date has been marked by missed opportunities, blowing late leads to lose 2 of their 7 games by one run. Erik Horvath was once again the go-to on the mound for the Mets and held the Marlins to 4 runs over 4 well pitched innings. However, he was outdone by Marlins pitcher Eric Mena who used all his experience to keep the Mets scoreless over 3 innings, proving once again that age is just a number as he out-thought and outpitched his younger opponents.
With the Marlins holding a comfortable 4-0 lead, a pitching change in the 5th inning was to prove the turning point in the game. With the Mets requiring a minor miracle, a series of walks and hit by pitches allowed the Mets to load the bases, before hits and wild pitches allowed them to draw the scores level. Gary Coggan came on to stem the tide and closed out the inning, but not before the damage had been done with the Mets taking a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the 5th. Despite a late rally by the Marlins which saw the tying run at 2nd base with none out, a pitching change saw Luke Dixon come to the mound to ice the game, claiming the save for the Mets in a 6-5 victory.