WINDING UP: Jason Britt pitching for Norths in the Far North Coast Baseball Major League grand final.
WINDING UP: Jason Britt pitching for Norths in the Far North Coast Baseball Major League grand final. Cathy Adams

Norths take major league baseball grand final

NORTHS have won the 2014 FNC Major League grand final by two games to one in an epic battle in which a record 72 safe hits were recorded over the three games.

Game one on Friday night saw Norths inflict the mercy rule to run out winners 12 runs to 2 in seven innings.

Workers opened the scoring in the first inning after Dallas Knapp singled and was driven in by hits from Mick McClelland and Bryce Martin.

Workers pitcher Bryce Martin had control problems during Norths' turn at bat and he walked the first two batters.

Norths took full advantage and consecutive hits from James Linger, Danny O'Sullivan and Matt Hill saw them score three runs.

Workers replaced Martin with Caught on the mound and with loaded bases he was greeted by Jason Britt who drove the ball to right field for a stand-up double to give Norths three runs and a 6-1 lead.

HEAVY HITTER: Ahren Baxter batting for Norths in the grand final against Workers.
HEAVY HITTER: Ahren Baxter batting for Norths in the grand final against Workers.

Norths never looked back, putting six more runs on the board in the remaining innings.

Workers threatened twice with loaded bases but could only manage one run due to some quality defence and solid pitching from Norths.

Dean Gillespie and Paul Simes combined to shut down Workers and in seven innings they gave up 12 hits, struck out eight and allowed one walk. Their textbook pitching made life tough for several of Workers' normally big hitters.

Norths tallied up 16 hits, the best coming from James Linger, whose four hits included a line-drive two-run home run over the leftfield fence. He was backed up by Britt with three hits and three RBIs.

The best with the bat for Workers was Martin with three hits.

Game two saw Workers hit back, starting aggressively and running out convincing winners 16-6.

Norths saw three cross the plate in the first inning only to see Workers flex their muscles with the bat, to tally up 10 runs from seven hits, including a grand -slam home run from Knapp.

Workers continued the onslaught, grabbing five more runs and inflicting the mercy rule in seven innings.

For Workers, veteran Wayne Devlin notched up four hits while McCarthy, Linger and Britt had two hits each for Norths.

Game three was a classic, with the result in the balance until the final out.

GOING UP: The Redbirds are all smiles after grabbing another major premiership title in Division 3.
GOING UP: The Redbirds are all smiles after grabbing another major premiership title in Division 3.

Workers started where they left off Game two. Caught doubled to centre field and was followed by Knapp, who hit his second home run of the day to give Workers a 2-0 lead.

Norths hit back with one run after McCarthy singled to right field and crossed the plate after Hill singled.

Mark Robb tied the game up two-all for Norths in the second innings. He drove the ball to deep right field for a stand-up triple. Ben Daly scored Robb after a sacrifice fly to centre field.

Workers grabbed back the lead in the third innings through a combination of a Norths infield error and hits from Scott McClelland and Martin which saw them grab a 3-2 lead.

Norths hit back in their turn at bat. Hill walked and another hit from Robb saw Norths score two runs.

Workers were shut down for the remainder of the game through some tight defence and controlled pitching from Norths.

Norths grabbed another run in the ninth innings. giving them a 5-3 win and the grand final title.

Division 1 saw Easts win a nail-bitter 7-6 over Norths while in Division 2 Easts easily accounted for Norths.

Division 3 saw Easts grab another major premiership title by toppling minor premiers Ballina 22 runs to 1.



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