Paul Holding had four hits and pitched three shutout innings for the Bellingen Brewers in a 21-5 B grade romp over the Sawtell Dodgers on Saturday.
After walking the lead-off Dodgers hitter, Holding was in complete control, striking out six and allowing just one hit over his three innings on the hill. At bat, the Brewers pushed seven runs across the plate in each of their first two times at bat and cruised home to the dominant win.
Luke Nelson took over for Holding on the mound. In his first pitching appearance of the season, Nelson held Sawtell to just one run in his inning of work. He was helped by outstanding defense, as Dave Wolfson, Mick Nelson and Cam Rutherford each turned hard-hit balls into outs.
Bellingen are still looking for their first win of the season in A grade, after Saturday's 13-6 loss to the Dodgers. The Brewers were hampered once again by the absence of key players, with five of their starting line up absent on Saturday.
With so many players absent, the Brewers still gave Sawtell all they could handle. After the Dodgers scored five runs in the top of the first, with three crossing the plate on a two-out, bases-loaded ground ball that snuck through the infield, Bellingen fought back to narrow the gap to 6-4 after three innings.
Sawtell struck again in the fourth inning, turning a series of wickedly-placed infield hits and fumbles into another five-run inning. Trailing 11-4, Bellingen managed two runs in reply, but could get no more.
Neil Davies was outstanding on the mound for the Brewers, and there is no doubt that with better luck, he is capable of pitching the Brewers to multiple wins this season. Matt Bryant had two hits for Bellingen and laid claim to the starting catcher position in A grade with his performance. Cooper Bake-Smith and Scott Hansen each had two hits and scored two runs for the Brewers.
Bellingen will meet the Coffs Harbour Allstars next Saturday, which will be the first time they take the field against former Brewer Joel Northcott, who has transferred to Allstars. After an 18-0 thrashing in A grade at the hands of Allstars in their last encounter, the Brewers are determined to even the score against Coffs Harbour and open their A grade account on the season.