The Bellingen Brewers’ scheduled encounter Saturday with the Woolgoolga Bluesox was cancelled following Friday night’s heavy rains. As a result, with one week remaining in the regular season, Bellingen’s finish at the bottom of the ladder in both A and B grades is virtually certain. The Brewers will meet the Coffs Harbour Allstars in the single-elimination minor semi-final in B Grade and the Bluesox in A grade in two weeks’ time.
In B grade, the Brewers lost several players during the season to injury or who moved from the area, but bolstered their ranks with the additions of shortstop Dave Wolfson and young all-rounder Cam Rutherford. Leading hitter and center fielder Jon Lowe, who has been overseas, also will be returning in time for the semi-final. With pitcher Scott Hansen capable on the day of shutting down any opposing line-up, the Brewers are quietly confident they can overcome the Allstars to advance to the final.
Player losses during the season from A grade also have been heavy, with Rob Kozik and Braiden Spalding – two-thirds of Bellingen’s starting outfield – and Canadian pitching import Matt Erskine, unavailable for the playoffs. Wolfson and Lowe will be called into the side and the Brewers will count heavily on the pitching of David Edgecock against Woolgoolga. If the Bake-Smith brothers – catcher Hunter and shortstop Cooper – are at the top of their games, a win in A grade is well within Bellingen’s grasp.
The Brewers will meet the league-leading Sawtell Dodgers next Saturday in what will be their final tune-up for the post season.