By Justin Flynn
With Josh Lee (Saints) and Josh Crotty (Bellarine), both conjuring up terrific starts, this game remained an arm wrestle until the top of five – when the Bellarine strolled away with a three-spot that spelled trouble for an East Belmont outfit that surely had memories of two thumpings they had received at the hands of the Bears already this season.
While Saints responded with a run and the two clubs traded scoring blows in the seventh, a two-run break going into the bottom of the last inning of what had been of a terrific defensive game would have presaged – for most – an honourable loss for the haloes, but surely no cigar.
The Saints had another vision and clearly had another scenario in mind, as a lead-off walk was backed up by a Coleby Alldis single followed by a sacrifice bunt that placed runners at second and third with one out – an opportunity exploited by Luke Sherwell (with an RBI-double) before the decisive, match-winning blow was delivered by Hiro Sekine in the form of a single base hit into centrefield that plated two and handed the Saints a stunning win over a deflated Bellarine.
Both pitchers – Josh Lee and Josh Crotty – went deep into the contest, and both sides enjoyed scoring opportunities provided by the likes of the Bears’ Matt Sage (three hits and an RBI), Cameron Brown (three and one) and Chris Barker (two and one), while Hiro Sekine (four hits and three RBIs) was indeed the – ahem – hero for Saints, along with Sherwell (two and one) and manager Charles Thompson (two hits).
Buoyant after two big wins on the trot, Saints may fancy their chances at home to Guild on Saturday, while Bellarine – suitably chastened after a last-gasp loss to the haloes – will be away to Deakin for what should be a spirited Sunday clash at Deakin University.
Bellarine remains in the post season hunt and currently sits at third on the ladder. The East Belmont Saints improved their post season chances having inched closer to the Deakin Blues who play at the Deakin Sports district at Deakin University.
BELLARINE 0 1 0 0 3 0 1 0 (5) 1 error
SAINTS 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 3 (6) 0 errors
Bellarine: C. Brown 3, M. Sage 3, C. Barker 2, L. Stott, L. Hockey, C. Hockey.
Saints: H. Sekine 4, L. Sherwell 2, C. Thompson 2, M. Alldis, J. Lee, C. Rickard, C. Alldis.
Bellarine: C. Barker, C. Brown, M. Sage, L. Stott.
Saints: H. Sekine 3, L. Sherwell, J. Lee, M. Ernstzen.
Bellarine: J.Crotty 7.1 inn, 11 H, 7 Ks, 4 BB, 1 HPB, 6 ER.
M.Sage 0 inn, 1 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 HPB, 0 ER.
Saints: J.Lee 6 inn, 9 H, 5 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HPB, 4 ER.
J.Isbister 2 inn, 2 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 HPB, 1 ER.