The Armidale UNE Outlaws have once again qualified for the Tamworth Baseball Association A & B Grade Grand Finals to be held in Tamworth this Saturday.
The B Grade team has made their third-straight decider and are hoping its third time lucky as they battle it out against Cougars starting at 11.45am. They defeated the Cougars a fortnight ago to proceed straight through. They will rely on the pitching of Jeremy Bird and newcomer Sam McKay to keep the Cougars hitters off their game and the power hitting of Ryan Semple, Ollie Grimble, Tamlyn Peterson and Keegan Bird to get them across the line.
The A Grade scraped through with a heart stopping 5-all draw (resulting in our guys getting through with a higher ranking) against powerhouse team Warriors who have competed in every final in the past two decades in either A or B Grade. Jeremy Bird got the Outlaws on the board with a line drive to centre field that tied the game in the second inning and when the Warriors broke away again with a two-run lead it was looking grim. In the final inning, patient hitting and great running saw Brad Smith collect his third hit of the game and scored Cam Beat and Mick Alldis to tie the game. Amazing effort by Josh Shaw who took the ball in only his second outing of the year and hurled a 141 pitch gem over six innings of work and then handed the ball to Brad Smith to finish the game off. The Outlaws will draw upon good pitching depth and a talented hitting line up that came back from two 2-run deficits last weekend to make the final weekend of action. A Grade will play Cougars beginning at 2.15pm.