All on the line in baseball finals blitz

BACK UP: Central's Cooper Smith will be one of several options the Magpies will have on the mound when contesting the Big League grand final. Picture: JAMES MURPHY

BIG LEAGUE – Central v South Indians

THE first baseball game of the weekend will be the Big League grand final on Friday night at 6pm.

Central will also be represented, matching up against the South Indians combination.

Central has been top dog all season with young pitcher and league best and fairest Brad Walkom sure to start on the mound.

He will be ably backed up by Cooper Smith and Justin Tzioutziouklaris who will both be raring to go.

The Ruwoldt brothers, Samuel and Mitchell, will look to go big from the batting box and will be followed by plenty of others in the likes of Jobe Harten, Daniel Ferguson and Bree Ridding.

South will be intent on shutting down the batting, probably starting Jett Lewis on the mound with Riley Parsons and Bradley Meek to back him up if required.

They also have plenty of depth in their batting roster with the likes of Ryan Meek, Nate Habner and Charlie Clarke.

With Central holding top spot all season it would not be unexpected to see the Magpies claim the first premiership of the weekend.

LITTLE LEAGUE – Central v Federal/Tigers

The Little League kicks off Saturday’s baseball action at 10am on Diamond 5.

Once again Central will be in contention for the premiership, playing the combined Federal/Tigers outfit.

The Magpies have also been ladder leaders all season and one would expect them to come out of the clash as premiers.

However, they have had some close tussles over the year against what will be a formidable foe.

There is plenty of pitching ability in the Central’s bullpen with league best and fairest Kye Wren Mitchell probably starting on the hill.

He will have plenty of back up in the form of young-gun Will Walkom and Harvey Gull.

There are no shortage of pitchers in the Federal/Tigers roster either, with the likes of Hunter Wyatt, Oliver Bramley and Dylan Simpson all capable.

Both teams have strong batting lineups.

Central looks to players such as Jobe Lynagh, Connor Ruwoldt, Jack Odgers and Tye Klaassens, while Federal/Tigers’ batting depth starts with Ashleigh Elletson, brothers Harrison and Nathaniel Freckleton and Tahj Pitkin.

Given the team’s outstanding season the safe bet would be Central once again.

MINOR LEAGUE – Tigers v Federal

Following the Little League clash, Tigers and Federal will go head-to-head in the Minor League decider.

Tigers held top spot on the ladder all year but only finished a couple of games in front of Federal.

For these little learners of the game this should be a close tussle.

Either Alfie Merchant or Hayden Rowley will start for Tigers on the mound, while league best and fairest Banjo Cannon or Banks Stephen is the likely starter for Federal.

While batting at this level is a little harder, expect Rowan Patzel, Spenser Koppe and Sophie Stratman to perform for Tigers and Angus Robinson Brydie Howard and Izac Peace to get among the hits for Federal.

One would have to pick Tigers for the premiership based on season form.


Junior League kicks off also at midday on diamond 3 between Central and Tigers.

Central finished well clear on the ladder and should become premiers.

Alex Hitchon and Aiden Meinck have done the bulk of the pitching, and one presumes that one of them will start.

Jacob Walkom, League best and fairest will lead off the batting with help from Angus Powell, Darcy Wurst and Chase Kilpatrick.

Either Ben Reichelt or Titan Dumigan would be expected to start on the mound for Tigers as they have done the bulk of their pitching this season.

In the batting box Atticus Mutton, Jai Hillstone and Joe Box head up the order and will be hoping to score more runs than Central.

DIVISION 3 – Central v Naracoorte

Also starting at midday on the main diamond at Blue Lake Sports Park, Central will look to defend its Division 3 title against Naracoorte.

The Rangers finished marginally on top of the ladder so this should be an exciting game of baseball played with intensity.

Ken Sisson – league runs batted in winner – will head up the pitching for Naracoorte, with reliever Brady Fox waiting in the wings.

They bat deep into their lineup which includes Tom Peach, Deston Comford, Dawson Fox and Asley Cross.

Steve Kuhl will return to the mound for Central after missing the preliminary final and expect him to step up a cog and pitch the whole game.

Central also bats deep and picked up a lot of hits last Saturday.

Their top batters include Anthony Ridding, Ben Green, Dean Cutting and Shane Frankenburg.

Naracoorte should win, but beware the old boys.

DIVISION 2 – Millicent v South Indians

The Division 2 baseball grand final follows the Division 3 game and will start at 2pm.

Ladder-leader Millicent will be pitted against South Indians, with the former entering as favourite.

Darcy Pink is the Division 2 league best and fairest for season 2023-24 and he will start on the mound for the Bandits, with Saxon Altschwager his back up if needed.

Millicent’s batting is led by Nick Cory – league runs batted in winner – along with Daniel Hateley, Tom Winkley and Anthony Mutton.

The Indians’ pitching duties should be shared between Riley Parsons, Bruce Morale, Brett Masterman and Wade Chant.

The batting lineup will be headed by Ryan Whitwell, Deegan and Nate Habner, plus Bradley Meek and Zac Ratcliffe.

While Millicent is the clear favourite, anything can happen in finals and South will push hard all game.