Waverley wins Premier League Firsts Premiership

March 24, 20240
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Waverley defeated Blackburn 2-0 in the best of three Grand Final series. 

Read on to read the match reports courtesy of our scorer Robyn Karlsen.

Game 1 Waverley 10 def Blackburn 5

Firsts Report – Tuesday, 19th March v Blackburn
Waverley out hit Blackburn 14-7 and walked 5 times and were hit by pitch twice.
Waverley opened their account scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning when Damon Hill singled then Jordan Ley singled. Mitch Lording bunted safely, and Damon Hill scored on an infield error. Finn Weichard then singled which scored Jordan Ley.
Blackburn then scored a run in the top of the 4th inning. In the bottom of the 5th Tommy Maxfield tripled and Reece Longstaff was intentionally walked. Tommy then scored on a Liam Evans ground ball and Reece scored on Damon Hill’s single. Waverley scored another run in the bottom of the 6th when Finn crossed the plate after getting on with a walk.
The game tightened up when Blackburn scored another 3 runs in the top of the 7th making it 5 runs to 4. Waverley were not deterred however and bounced back with 5 runs in the bottom half which included Finn hitting a double to score 2 runs. Blackburn couldn’t catch up scoring just 1 more run in the top of the 8th before Waverley had them 3 up, 3 down in the top of the 9th to close the game.

Pitching
Starter Tyler Evan was the winning pitcher of the game going 6.1 innings with 6 strike outs over 101 pitches. Jamie Papanicolaou earned the save in relief pitching 2.2 innings with 3 strike outs.

Hitting
Finn Weichard hit a double and a single from 4 at bats with a walk and 3 RBIs.
Tommy Maxfield hit a triple and a double from 5 at bats with 1 stolen base and 2 RBIs.
Damon Hill 2 singles from 4 at bats with a walk and an RBI.
Reece Longstaff a triple and a single from 3 at bats, a walk and a hit by pitch, 1 RBI.
Jordan Ley 3 singles from 4 at bats and a walk.
Shakore Bragg-Taylor 1 single from 2 at bats.
Liam Evans was hit by pitch, 1 RBI.
Mitch Homfray a single and a sac bunt.
Mitch Lording a single.
Oscar Hargreaves walked once.

Game 2 will be at 4pm on Saturday afternoon at Melbourne Ball Park.
Go Wildcats!

Game 2 Waverley 6 def Blackburn 5

Firsts Report – Grand Final Game 2 – Saturday, 23rd March v Blackburn
Waverley are Premier League Champions after winning game 2 in the best of 3 grand final series at Melbourne Ballpark on Saturday afternoon, winning 6-5 in a nail-biting thriller that kept fans on the edge of their seats until the final out. The game ended in the top of the 9th inning after Blackburn had scored 2 runs to draw within a run of the Wildcats and had the tying run on second base with 2 out when third baseman Jordan Ley caught a line drive at ankle height to record the final out of the game. A sigh of relief was heard around the ground with the realisation that the Wildcats had risen to be champions again after 13 long years which was quickly followed by the jubilation that spilled over from the players on the field and in the dugout as they raced together and embraced as one in the champions’ huddle.
The Wildcats opened their account early scoring 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning. Mitch Homfray singled to centre field and moved to 3rd on Tommy Maxfield’s single to right field. Reece Longstaff doubled to left field to score Mitch then Tommy scored on an infield ground ball. Jordan Ley singled to left field to score Reece. Blackburn scored 2 in the top of the 3rd and another run to draw level at 3 runs apiece in the top of the 7th.
Waverley replied in the bottom half when Mitch Homfray singled and Tommy walked. With two out and the count at 2-2 Liam Evans singled to right field to score Mitch. Damon Hill’s too hot to handle line drive to 3rd base then scored Tommy. Liam Evans crossed the plate scoring the critical 3rd insurance run of the inning when Jordan Ley walked followed by Mitch Lording walking to pick up a crucial RBI for Waverley. With that the way was paved for the drama of the 9th inning when the Orioles scored the final 2 runs of the game.
The outfield cleaned up 7 fly balls for the game with Shakore Bragg-Taylor tracking down two long balls in spectacular fashion. The infield was solid with 9 assists and 14 put-outs for the game including 3 double plays.

Pitching
Finn Weichard got the start for Waverley going 5.2 innings, throwing 99 pitches, striking out 1 and giving up 2 runs.
Adam Bright pitched 1.1 innings in relief and took the win for Waverley being the pitcher of record when Blackburn drew level in the top of the 7th then Waverley headed them off again with 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th. Adam struck out 2 batters and gave up 1 run.
Jamie Papanicolaou earned the save when he closed the game pitching the last 2 innings, striking out 3 batters and giving up 2 runs.
All the pitchers were superlative keeping their composure in very tense circumstances backed up by our stalwart catcher Damon Hill and our reliable and consistent field of players. Well done to all.

Hitting
Reece Longstaff hit a double and a single in 3 at bats, walked once, batted in 1 run and scored 1 run.
Mitch Homfray hit 2 singles, stole a base and scored 2 runs.
Liam Evans hit a single, walked once, batted in 1 run and scored 1 run.
Jordan Ley a single, a walk and an RBI.
Mitch Lording a single, a walk and an RBI.
Damon Hill a single, 1 RBI.
Tommy Maxfield a single, a walk and scored 1 run.
Oscar Hargreaves hit a single and walked once.
Shakore Bragg-Taylor laid down a sac bunt.

Congratulations to the players and coaches on a wonderful season, your families and supporters are extremely proud of you all. Looking forward to keeping the momentum next season and working towards back-to-back premierships.
Go Wildcats!!

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