Easts remain the benchmark despite pitcher’s struggles
EASTS extended their lead in Far North Coast Major League baseball with an 11-6 win over Norths on Saturday.
In the other game at Albert Park, Lismore, Workers grabbed outright second spot when they defeated Brothers 12-6.
Easts started aggressively against Norths on Baxter Field.
Lead-off batter Michael Munro drew a walk, then hits from Matt Vidler and Peter Best brought two runs cross the plate.
Norths levelled in the second innings.
Robbie Pruess, pitching for Easts, had problems with his control, walking three batters and giving up a hit to James Baxter.
It allowed Norths to score two and they continued to threaten with runners on first and second.
Paul Latta drove a ball to deep centrefield but Graham Snape made a great running catch to halt Norths' momentum
Easts immediately hit back in the third innings to make it 3-2 and extended the lead to 9-2 in the fourth with hits from Best, Will Riley, Reece Smith and Nat Steele.
Norths started to claw back, grabbing four runs in the fifth. Pruess gave up four walks and three hits as Easts' lead was reduced to 9-6.
Easts grabbed another two runs late in the game to seal the win.
Their 13 hits included three each to Riley and Best and two each to Vidler and Smith.
Rookie James Clark had three hits to be Norths' best batter.
Sixteen-year-old McKenzie Pearson, who took the mound for Norths, did a great job, showing maturity beyond his years to get out of some tight situations.
On Thew Field, Workers' first scoring opportunity came in the third innings. Hits from Daniel Clark and Scott and Micka McClelland, together with an infield error from Brothers, enabled Workers to go out to 3-0.
Workers extended their lead with another four runs in the next innings before Brothers salvaged one run in their turn at bat.
In the sixth innings Brothers clawed back into the game. Matt Wyatt opened the innings with a stand-up double then, with two out, consecutive hits from Pat Doyle, Andrew Muscat and Jake Bailey brought their team to within two runs at 7-5 down.
But Workers bounced back with four runs. Oakley McMahon, Dallas Knapp, Scott McClelland and Troy Pruess combined with hits to ensure the win.
Wayne Devlin notched three hits for Workers while the stand-outs with the bat for Brothers were Matt Wyatt with three hits and Jake Bailey with two.