Gahan in fast lane
By STEVE SPINKS
LISMORE'S gun pitcher Matt Gahan is eyeing a return to professional baseball following a surprising personal result in the Claxton Shield in Sydney recently.
Playing for Queensland in what are effectively the national titles, Gahan topped all on the mound by recording the fastest pitch of the seven-day tournament.
The powerful right-hander reached 148.8km/h (93mph) and consistently let rip between 90 and 92 mph.
"It surprised me a bit," Gahan admitted.
"I was expecting to top out around 91 and pitch consistently around 88.
"But I've done a fair bit of work in the gym."
So impressive were his short stints with the ball that Australian Olympic coach and Boston Red Sox scout, John Deeble, came calling.
"The Olympic coach said I've still got one of the best arms running around," Gahan said.
"He said there would be a place for me in 2008 at Beijing if I give it a good go.
"So I'm going to do that this time round."
The Rutherford's accountant is still cursing his luck after he missed out on a silver medal with the Australian team in Athens after he missed out on the final squad.
Gahan believes that in the next three months he should find out whether he can head overseas again, either to Japan, Taiwan or the United States.
Despite Gahan's presence, the Maroons still struggled in Sydney.
The 29-year-old started Queensland's second match against Australian Provincial and only gave up three runs in six innings, while he had four strike outs in two innings against South Australia.
"We (Queensland) only gave up 13 runs in five games," Gahan said.
"Unfortunately, we only scored a total of seven runs.
"It's fair to say we struggled in the batters' box."
It was disappointing but understandable, as seven players from the starting line-up from the year before were unavailable.
In 2004 Queensland were runners-up, in 2005 they finished second last. New South Wales defeated Victoria in the final.
However, something good has come out of Queensland's performance ... a second chance for a gifted pitcher.