Upsets or a changing of the guard?

Olympian Matt Buckley made his return to the local major league for Marist Brothers on Saturday at Albert Park. Buckley had a reasonable day at the office for the Brethren, collecting two hits and fielding with precision and style at short stop.caption (in to set sport - baseball 2): Rookie Sam Keehn fielded well for Workers at centre field, running down a host of high flies during the encounter.

In an opening round of upsets last years high fliers Workers Club and Easts Redbirds both lost their games against Marist Brothers and Norths respectively in the Far North Coast Baseball Major league at Albert Park on Saturday.

Norths, last years wooden spooners, smashed the Redbirds 15-1 in a lopsided encounter. Despite the fact that Redbirds are the reigning premiers the result wasnt all that unexpected as the men in red and white have lost their game breaking pitcher Nick Shailes for this season. So it wasnt all that surprising when the powerful young Norths batting line-up climbed all over Easts pitching early on, racing away to an 11-1 lead by only the third dig. In contrast, Gus Daly and Paul Simes dominated from the mound during the one-sided affair. Paul Simes was the best with the stick for the As, slugging four hits, while Ben Daly and Shane Edwards picked up three each.

In the other match Marist Brothers out slugged last years minor premiers Workers 12-7. The off speed pitching of Marists Luke Sharp drew plenty of high flies and with the Brethrens defence bolstered by the return of Olympic short stop Matt Buckley, it was always going to be a close run thing. Each of the highly experienced line-ups boast big hitters but in the end Marist managed to string together more hits and that gave them the game.

Brothers evergreen Jeff Mackney enjoyed three hits for the afternoon as did Mark Newstead. Matt Buckley chalked up two hits, as did Brett Groth and Dave Youngberry.

Workers rookie Trent Clark and pitcher Troy Pruess picked up three hits, while Sam Keehn, Dallas Knapp, Michael and Scott McClelland managed two hits each.


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