The Brewers picked up their first A grade win in more than two months on Saturday, thrashing the Woolgoolga Bluesox 10-0.
The last time the Brewers won in A grade, David Edgecock was pressed into duty as starting pitcher and delivered for Bellingen. On Saturday, with the regular pitching corps depleted by injury and absence, the call went out again to “Edgey” and he was in command from start to finish, tossing five shutout innings.
The biggest moment in the game occurred in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Bluesox came to bat trailing 8-0 and the Brewers had brought Rob Kozik in to pitch in relief. Kozik gave up a hit to the first Woolgoolga batter he faced, then, with a 2-1 count on the next batter, suffered an injury and had to be replaced on the mound.
Bellingen brought Edgey back in to pitch and the Bluesox proceeded to load the bases with none out. The next Woolgoolga batter hit a soft line drive that looked like it was heading into left field and the runners took off, but Cooper Bake-Smith snared the ball in the air, flipped to Nik Doves at second base to double off the runner there, and Doves fired to first to complete a rare triple play to retire the side without a run scoring.
“Coop” chipped in three hits as well for the Brewers, on a day when every batter in the line-up contributed in some way.
Bellingen’s A grade win followed a narrow 10-9 loss in B grade.
It was a see-saw encounter with the teams trading blows early. The Brewers opened the scoring with a run in the first inning, as Joel Northcott doubled in Dave Wolfson with two out.
The Bluesox answered with three runs, but Bellingen came right back with three of their own, the big blow being Jon Lowe’s bases-loaded double. Woolgoolga scored one in reply and the teams were back on level pegging, 4-4, after two innings.
After a scoreless third inning, Bellingen went ahead with two runs in the top of the fourth, as Scott Hansen singled in Wolfson and Lowe with two out. But the Bluesox went back ahead, 7-6, with three runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Bellingen could do nothing in the top of the fifth inning , then Woolgoolga increased their lead to 10-6 with three more runs. But, down to their final at bat, the Brewers rallied again. With a runner on first and one out, Bellingen strung together four consecutive hits from Wolfson, his fourth on the day, Lowe, Hansen and Northcott, to narrow the gap to 10-9 with the potential tying and lead runs on base. But the attack stalled there, ending on a line out by young Cam Rutherford, who hit the ball hard but in bad luck all day.
The day began with the junior encounter between Bellingen and Coffs Harbour. The Brewers twice came from behind to register an exciting walk-off win, 16-15. Rutherford was best on the day for the Brewers with two hits and a shut down inning pitching. In their final game of the season before heading overseas, brothers Luke and Cam Greenwood each pitched an inning, with Luke also getting the winning rally started with a double.
Sadly, in addition to the loss of the Greenwood brothers from juniors, Bellingen will be playing on without senior standouts Lowe and Kozik, both of whom also are heading overseas and will miss the remainder of the season.