Hello and welcome to the round one and two edition of Rounding Third. Season 2019 in the North Eastern Baseball Association got underway for the boys and girls of Wangaratta Rangers Baseball Club. The first round saw a return to the two division system, for the first time in over five years. Rangers Orange who play in B grade had the early game against Benalla B. Rangers Orange proved to be too strong for the newly reformed Benalla B, running out winners 26 to 5. In the late game, Rangers Black took on Benalla A. Rangers jumped out to an early lead and were in control for long parts of the match eventually winning 12-3.
Week 2 and warm weather greeted all the clubs to sunny Wangaratta. In B grade, Rangers Orange and Porepunkah played out an 8 all draw as time had run out, while in A grade, Rangers Black welcomed Wodonga Warriors White. It was a tight struggle early, with the Rangers eventually gaining some momentum after leaving many early base runners to grind out a win by the score of 11-0. Once again a very good crowd was in attendance for both games and the club thanks you for your continued support to start season 2019. This is going to be a big edition so let’s get into the news!
French Jonker and Sons
Over the first two rounds it has been pleasing to watch both Jason “Sunscreen” Jonker and Brendon “Frenchy” French get the opportunity to take the diamond with sons Nick Jonker, Heath and Damien French respectively.
It was seen on their social media pages that both men were wrapt to be playing the game they have played for many years, and have passed on their love of the game to their sons too. Congratulations gentlemen, hope you both have an enjoyable year of baseball with your sons in 2019.
Jenko begins season with a bang
Scott “The Beard” Jenkins is a busy man these days. With a young family to look after, and to his time as an apprentice plumber. What else can Jenkins add to his bow? Pitching is something Jenkins has identified as something he would like to do more over season 2019. He got his chance in week 1 down at Benalla where he threw two innings to get the Rangers over the line against Benalla A. He woke up a bit bit battered and bruised come Monday morning, but by Thursday night he was coming good. On Sunday against Wodonga, he let his bat do the talking. He sent a towering shot over left field to open his home run account for season 2019. Could this be the year of Jenkins?
Good to see Sam “Goggles” Grigg return to the diamond to play. He had made a deal with his fellow Esmond Street comrades that he would play some games this year. This has come about after Kelsey “Dropsie” Burder (who again lived up to his nickname in round 1 vs Benalla) said to him he could not buy into Ranger Ramble VIII to be held later in 2019. Grigg was his usual busy self on the diamond getting on base and speeding his way around the base paths. His coach Mick “The Skipper” Wyatt was impressed with his speed on the diamond, but was bemused by his lack of it, off it. He was telling Line Drive that Sam was the first one there and getting organised for warm up but one of the last to actually get out to warm up. Save the speed for the game Goggles!
The King is here
Great to have Angus King on board in season 2019. Gus has watched a game or two and been seen with the Esmond Street band at numerous Ranger functions. Now Gus has put the glove on and is having a crack out on the diamond. There are a few new faces down at The Ranch this year. A big welcome to Jimi “Winner” Wingrave who made his debut for Orange on Saturday with Dale “Lefty” Steven and Marcus Therkelman. Great see new players, welcome aboard!
Parker picks it perfectly
Aaron “Azza” Parker took to the hill against Wodonga Warriors and after a little bit of an unlucky start, found his groove. With the spluttering Ranger offense in the early innings Parker did a masterful job on the mound to keep the Wodonga bats subdued. Eventually the Ranger bats woke up and started giving him some run support. Once he had finished his stint on the mound, it was difficult to keep Parker out of the game at short stop. A great “eye open” short hop to get an out at first. This was followed by a loose ball that got away from Owen “The Gaffer” Godenzi, to stop a run scoring at home plate. This had the Ranger supporters in full applause for his efforts. Not to mention another supply of top notch lollies! Azza really did have a great day.
Juniors begin in Porepunkah on 28th of April
In what is definitely a step forward for the association, for the first time in ten years, junior baseball is back. After a power of work behind the scenes by all clubs, an under fourteen competition will commence a ten week season to be played at 12-1:30pm on each game day. Coaches Nathan “Fomo” Pool and Owen Godenzi are very excited and pumped about the next generation of ball players who will be wearing the Rangers colours. Training for juniors has moved to Thursday nights from 5pm at Targoora Park. All seniors, if available, are encouraged to head down early before their training and lend a hand to help run drills and teach the basics of baseball. The following Thursday night will see the juniors be presented with their playing tops following training and a good old fashioned pie night will be the order of the night too. These are exciting times for baseball in the North East, and all clubs are to be congratulated on working hard to ensure they have a team ready to go in season 2019. Good luck to all juniors out there. Hope you enjoy the game as much as I have for the past 25 plus years.
Teas on Thursday nights
After an amazing Spag Bol last week catered by Shaun “Old School” O’Neil, Azza Parker steps up this week for his famous steak sangas. Always a crowd favorite, no one will go home hungry with that on the menu. The club now has EFTPOS and for $10 includes a meal and a drink….. and maybe seconds if you are lucky. So now no excuse for not having cash. No cash, no worries. Look for the poll on the Rangers Facebook for more information.
Want to know what is going on? Multiple ways to do so!
Just a friendly reminder of where you can find Ranger information out there. Check out http://www.wangarattabaseball.com for game reports, courtesy of game changer. A link will be available to this report Team app and Twitter. There is always the Facebook site and of course this little blog if you really really want to know what the characters of the Wangaratta Rangers are up to. I hope to write this fortnightly during the season to get a real idea of who is doing what and all the other exciting things we have planned for the year.
Gilly and the Tin; to put your fines in
The tin is back and already the change is flowing into it. From strike outs to Mick Wyatt saying about a batter that, “he doesn’t want to hit it” , proceeds to hit a home run, wrong coloured socks on home days, to leaving a piece of uniform on the ground, there are plenty of ways that Gilly is looking to fill the coffers. Now we all know it is all in good fun, it’s always good to have a laugh about it after the game each week. So keep working hard at training on Thursday nights and then maybe, just maybe, you may not have to contribute as much as others…..Maybe.
Beaker where are you?
Rob “Butts” Seymour and Cam “The Soak” Scott were discussing past players and were wondering where Rob “Beaker” Barbour is hiding. Last year we were able to flush him out for an appearance at a Rangers home game and by writing about him, so hopefully once again it might just be enough to get him down to watch his beloved Rangers. I am sure your read this Beaker, and it would be great to see you and other past players down at Targoora Park over the course of the season.
Now for the club stuff
Junior training from 5pm Thursday. Senior to follow on Thursday after the completion of juniors. All are welcome.
Want to know all that is happening in the juniors? Check out https://www.facebook.com/wangarattarangersjuniorbaseball/ for all your information and needs
EFTPOS facilities available to pay your fees and merchandise. Available each Thursday and game day
After each home game dinner is on at our great sponsor Cafe Martini from 5:30 pm. All are welcome.
Punters Club returns. Interested? See The Soak for details
If you are unavailable place it on Team App of when you cannot play. Just let us know!
Rangers u/14 vs Porepunkah at Porepunkah April 28th
Rangers Black vs Bears Green at Porepunkah 2:15pm Sunday April 28th Rangers Orange have a the bye
Wow that was a big edition. Exciting times ahead. Till next time you avid readers (Jonno from Wodonga) out there and others……