Baseballers are ready for Ryde
SEBASTIAN Mathews and Travis Bazzana will represent Sydney team Ryde Hawks in the National Senior Little League Baseball Championships at Albert Park, Lismore, next week.
The long-time teammates hail from the Steelers Club in Ryde and amazingly already boast 10 Albert Park tournament appearances between them.
Travis is the son of former Norths junior Gary Bazzana who himself won a national title with the Queensland Under 18s in 1985 with former Timberjack players Sonny Roberson, Peter Buttrum, Mathew Gates, Michael Nind and Craig Blackler.
The boys first played at the Far North Coast Timberjacks tournament in 2009 when they answered an SOS from Gold Coast RDO Kevin Fenn, who was keen to get a third development team filled for the tournament.
The boys were excited to play in their first live baseball tournament rather than just watch their brothers, who were in Lismore with a Ryde Under-14 team.
Timberjacks appearances also followed in 2010 and 2011.
In 2013 Bazzana played in the NSW PSSA Softball Titles before returning twice in the 2015 season.
He first appeared as a 12-year-old rookie in the NSW CHS Baseball Tournament and later in the year collected bronze for the Ryde Hawks Little League team at the first National Little League Championships to be held at Albert Park.
Mathews also returned to Timberjacks in 2015 as part of the victorious Ryde Under-16 team.
"We have been working hard for over four months,” Matthews said.
"The team has bonded well and we are really excited to play together again after winning the NSW title in April.
"We hope that everything comes together at the right moment in Lismore.
"It is always a fantastic place to play. For myself, I'm ready to give it all, and ready to do whatever the team needs of me for a win.”
Bazzana was also upbeat about the Hawks' chances.
"We played some good defence at the state championships,” he said.
"All the guys get along well and enjoy each other's company. If we execute the fundamentals well and play hard for the full game, we can do well in Lismore.”
The championships start Sunday with teams from across Australia competing in the six-day competition.