While many other South Australia sporting teams have fallen by the wayside in recent times, SA’s baseball side has risen from the ashes to make the 2009/2010 Dominos Claxton Shield grand final against Victoria, starting next Friday in Melbourne.
Not since winning the Claxton Shield in 1980 has a South Australian team played in a baseball grand final, making this year’s effort one out of the box.
After losing Friday night’s game one of the three-game semi-final series 1-0 against NSW, South Australia fought back to win Saturday’s game 3-2, then Sunday’s decider 1-0, in an awesome display of baseball at Norwood Oval.
The hero of the game was Ryan Murphy, who in his first start on the mound this season, pitched a complete game shut-out, while also accounting for SA’s only run, when he blasted a shot out of the park in the second inning.
Murphy only gave up two hits and one walk in the game, while striking out eight batters. Except for Michael Lysaught’s double in the sixth inning for NSW, not one batter advanced past first base for the visitors.
Lysaught was NSW’s most dangerous threat with the bat, as he could have tied the game in the third frame when his shot was headed for the other side of the home run fence, only to see rightfielder Dan Wilson reach over and pull in a sensational catch.
Now its on to Victoria for South Australia’s best chance at a baseball championship in 30 years.
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NSW 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 0
SA 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 x – 1
Hits: NSW – Lysaught, Dening; SA – Welch 3 Cresswell 2, Murphy (hr), Collins.
WP: R. Murphy; LP: C. Anderson.
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South Australia’s Michael Collins has been announced as the Claxton Shield offensive player of the season, while Matthew Smith earned Rookie of the Year honours.