Big crowds gather for baseball championships at Lismore
HUNDREDS of people have converged on Albert Park, Lismore, for the Queensland under-16 and under-18 baseball championships.
Teams from North Queensland, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Far North Coast have been competing over four days in perfect weather.
Northern Star baseball correspondent Robert Baxter said some brilliant talent had been on display.
"It's been great - there's some tough competition and lots of close games," he said.
"We have a Far North Coast team in both age divisions of the championships."
Baxter said the carnival was an important fixture in the regional baseball calendar.
"It not only brings likeminded people together and into our area, but the kids improve by playing stronger competition," he said.
"There's some good talented kids out there.
"We've just had Kodey Wilford return from Mexico too and he's going great.
"We have four or five guys in our teams who have played overseas before."
Far North Coast teams doing well
THE Far North Coast teams continue to perform well in the Queensland under-18 and under-16 state championships.
After two days of the carnival the FNC under-18s were in third spot and the under-16s second.
Yesterday FNC under-18s defeated North Queensland 16-7. FNC broke open what had been a tight game with seven runners crossing the plate in the fifth innings.
The standout batter for FNC was Talisen Omera with two triples and a stand-up double. He was well supported by Will Riley, who continues to hit well.
FNC under-18s then battled it out with Brisbane North for third spot in the preliminary rounds but were outclassed 12-2.
They will have a chance to fight it out for the bronze medal today.
FNC under-16s yesterday lost 13-12 to Brisbane North.
After trailing for most of the game they fought back but, with the tying runner on third base, they could not produce the extra hit needed to score him.
The team hit back in its next game with a 16-5 win over Brisbane West so they have a chance today to go for the gold medal.
The national under-25 championships at Cairns in the past week featured two FNC players, Matt Wyatt and Jake Muscat, playing in the Queensland team.
Both put in good performances.
Queensland defeated South Australia 5-4 to take the bronze medal.
Wyatt batted .200 (five hits form 28 at-bats) while committing only one error, resulting in a fielding average of .944
Muscat did a great job on the mound. He was one of the best pitchers in the tournament with a healthy 2.25 earned run average (ERA), claiming two wins and no losses while allowing only three runs to be scored against him. He struck out 10 opposition batters.