Redbirds pitcher Beckham Crooks lets fly in the under-14 clash against North Bears.
Redbirds pitcher Beckham Crooks lets fly in the under-14 clash against North Bears.

FNC baseball coaches take last chance to experiment

WITH their sights set on the finals, FNC Major League baseball coaches used Saturday's matches as an opportunity to experiment with their line-ups.

The games had no bearing on the make-up of the finals, with minor premiers Norths already assured a place in the grand final starting Friday, September 12.

Workers and Brothers will do battle in a best-of-three series to determine who will take on Norths in the decider.

With his side already guaranteed a place in the grand final, Norths coach Warren Baxter experimented with his line-up in the clash against Brothers on Saturday.

Baxter's tactics paid off with Norths warming up for their grand final assault with a 6-2 win over Brothers.

Baxter used three pitchers and elevated Jason Britt up the batting order to clean-up hitter.

Britt has had a good year with the bat and he delivered again on Saturday with one hit, taking his average to just under .300.

Brothers coach Tony Egan also used the game to test out options ahead of the playoff series.

In the other game, Easts finished their season on a high with an impressive 11-4 win against Workers.

Peter Best led the way for Easts with four hits, including a double and a home run.

Best also had a solid outing on the mound.

In seven innings he gave up just five hits while striking out 10.

Also on Saturday the Division 1 and Division 3 semi-finals were contested.

In Division 1, minor premiers Norths defeated Workers Twins 5-3.

Mark Robb pitched the full nine innings for Norths and gave up 10 hits and three runs while striking out seven.

The win lifts Norths into the grand final while Workers will meet with Easts after Easts beat Brothers 9-7.

Dan Crowther took the mound for Brothers and had a solid outing and was well supported by Corey Wilford and Lachlan Ford with two hits each. For Easts, Aiden Hanlon and Reece Smith notched up two hits apiece.

In Division 3, Easts upset minor premiers Ballina 10-5.

McKenzie Pearson and Lachlan Allan teamed up for Easts in the pitching duties and controlled some of the Ballina big hitters.

In the sudden-death game, Norths beat Workers 7-6.

Norths pitcher/catcher combination of 61-year-old Brian Albrecht and Geoff Baxter (59) did a great job in taming Workers' normally big-hitting line-up.

Norths led 7-1 going into the last innings but Workers launched a spirited fightback but the margin proved beyond their reach.

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