The Jays jumped all over Sandringham starter Matthew Holmes in a blistering second innings that yielded five runs, only to see the lead whittled away immediately before the Royals pressed to a mid-game lead that proved too much for the Bonbeach outfit.
Scoring in five consecutive innings, the Sandy offence was on fire, collecting seventeen hits and applying enormous pressure with an aggressive running game in support of middle reliever Ryan Campbell and then Jason Ganek, who had a superb outing in pitching four scoreless digs while collecting three hits for his club.
Former Rustler Anton Cevec had a terrific game with three hits and an RBI, rightfielder Jock Allen did real damage with three hits and a couple of ribbies, while David Armstrong and Rob Anthony were among others who joined in the hit parade for the Royals.
With his side held to eight scattered hits, Luke Howell had no counter to the barrage, although Ricky Howell was able to apply the clamps and give his side some hope through the later innings.
As Sandringham Manager Daniel McGrath pointed out in his acceptance speech after the game, these clubs have met in a string of finals games over the past seven years – with mixed degrees of success. This time around, it was the Royals who were able to ride some wonderful late-season form to take the championship and qualify for a return to Division One.
“We’ll be going back up a little earlier than we anticipated,” McGrath said, “but the club has worked really hard on rebuilding and this result shows what can be done when you have people all working together in the best interests of the club.”
“They have a lot of experience in their club and Bonbeach always gives us tough competition,” he said.
“I’m very proud of the way our young players – and some older club people – were able to stand up today and give us a very pleasing result.”
Baseball Victoria commends both clubs on making the Grand Final series.
Congratulations to Sandringham on going though its post-season undefeated and securing an early return to Division One.
BONBEACH 0 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 (6)
SANDRINGHAM 0 4 1 1 2 2 0 0 X (10)
Bonbeach: R.Webber, B.Laux, T.Pinkster, A.Webber, B.Kelly, M.Prior, R.Howell, L.Hornstra
Sandringham: A.Cevec 3, J.Ganek 3, J.Allen 3, D.Housden 2, R.Anthony 2, D.Armstrong 2, B.Dicker, R.Morris
Bonbeach: T.Pinkster, R.Howell
Sandringham: J.Allen 2, R.Morris 2, D.Armstrong 2, A.Cevec, D.Housden, J.Ganek, R.Anthony
Bonbeach: L.Howell 5.2 inn, 16 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 1 HPB, 10 ER
R.Howell 2.1 inn, 1 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 0 ER
Sandringham: M.Holmes 2 inn, 4 H, 1 K, 3 HPB, 5 ER
R.Campbell 3 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 1 ER
J.Ganek 4 inn, 2 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 ER