Shared from the 9/12/2017 Maroondah eEdition


Penguins are kings of winter

Heathmont makes it five premierships in six seasons


Sam Gibbons pitched Heathmont to a win with an outstanding effort on the mound in Saturday’s grand final. Picture: HAMISH BLAIR

HEATHMONT won its fifth premiership in the past six seasons when it knocked off North Balwyn to win the Melbourne Winter Baseball League A Grade grand final at La Trobe University on Saturday.

The tight match was blown open by a big hit from Hayden Dingle in the sixth inning when he scored a two-run homer. The Penguins were able to score again in the seventh and eighth innings to run away with the premiership, 4-1.

Heathmont assistant Matt Tayler said it was Sam Gibbons who set the tone of the match, however, remaining on the mound for nine innings and throwing 104 pitches in total.

“He only gave up one run for the day and really set the tone out there,” Tayler said. “Then when Hayden scored the two-run home run we never really looked back.”

Tayler said the match was tight and praised North Balwyn pitcher Tyler Dale.

Heathmont finished on top of the ladder with 13 wins and five losses and was the dominant side all year.

“We’ve had a fantastic season and this is another reward for a lot of hard work,” Tayler said.

Heathmont coach Matt Gourlay was absent for the match, as were two of the side’s regulars, and Tayler said having three “big hearts” of the club away made it tough, but that the players were all the more determined to come away with the prize.

“It was really disappointing not to have those guys there but that made us more inspired to do well for them,” he said.

North Balwyn coach Neil Burke said, despite having a 1-0 lead early in the game, the Stingers weren’t able to hang on or convert hits to runs when they needed to.

“We could have got further ahead but Sam Gibbons was outstanding for them and really was the difference,” he said.

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