Hello to all out there and welcome to a late winter edition of Rounding Third. A few months and a couple of lockdowns have passed since we last caught up with the goings on at Wangaratta Rangers, but we are lucky that some baseball has been managed to have been played over the past month or so. This week, there will be two games with Rangers juniors and seniors in action at Targoora Park. At 12pm, the under 15’s will play against Porepunkah in the grand final while at 2:15pm the A grade Rangers will be tackling a very determined Porepunkah for the right to play Albury Bears in the Grand Final. More about this and that later. Let’s get down to business!
Junior Rangers make the grand final
As previously mentioned in past editions of Rounding Third, one of the success stories of 2021 has been the reintroduction of the junior baseball season, with all clubs being represented in either the under 11’s and under 15’s age groups. Line Drive was watching the young Rangers being put through their paces last night under the tutelage of some of the best, and the way all have developed over the season has been absolutely sensational. This was evident over the past weekend when they managed to get over the line against Wodonga in what Line Drive understands was a highly entertaining affair. This week at 12pm will see them take on Porepunkah on Sunday at 12pm. Good luck!
Shout out to all of those little things!
A big shout out go to all those who has assisted with the development, implementation, enthusiasm and commitment to the North Eastern Baseball Association Junior League 2021. From coaches each week at training, on game days, to parents and guardians for making the effort on some cold Sunday mornings, to those volunteers who do the canteen week in week out. To all those across the association who do the one percenters to showcase and spread the word about baseball in the North East of Victoria. A BIG THANKYOU!
Rangers Canteen. What an effort
It has been a big year between lockdowns for the club. With the ability to host more than one game at a time at Wangaratta, this has seen an explosion in the number of games at Targoora Park. This has put a little bit of pressure on superstar two sport athlete Daniel “The Griff” Griffin. Griff has been fantastic this year once again getting the the canteen stocked, restocked and restocked once again to feed the hungry baseball fanatics young and old. Not to mention the variety and the kindness of others to make up treats each week for the players and supporters of all clubs to enjoy. If you see Griff around the grounds let him know his efforts are appreciated.
Two B grades. No problem
With the introduction of a second B grade side in 2021, the club was taking a leap of faith in that by going bigger, it would encourage more players to the club and also give everyone more game time. This was most certainly the case in 2021. With two very even sides, both were highly competitive throughout the season, with Rangers Grey finishing on top of the ladder, while Rangers Orange were third. The percentage difference between second and third was 5 runs! Rangers Grey have secured their spot in the grand final and unfortunately due to current restrictions, the higher ranked team on the ladder, Albury Bears will play off in the Grand Final (to be determined at a later date.) Sadly this means Rangers Orange season is over. To paraphrase President Nathan “FOMO” Pool sums it up beautifully;
“I would like to thank Steve Peruzzo, Mick Wyatt and Sean Warfe for their coaching efforts this year with orange, grey and all players, new and old. It has been an awesome effort to split out one B grade into two sides and have the results we have had this year. I’m extremely proud of our club and the way it carries it self on and off the field. Please get behind our juniors for their grand final this weekend and A grade in their preliminary final”
Moose returns. Old School mouths off again!
A late season inclusion into the Rangers A has been Bryan “Mr Pickleball” Wilson who has returned to playing after taking a break from the game. He has been a welcomed inclusion in the lineup and for the first time in a long time Rangers had a full compliment on a Sunday. Another luxury which has seldom been enjoyed in season 2021, is having impact player Shaun “Old School” O’Neil come off the bench and in his words against Wodonga a while back, “Show you how to do it as you shown nothing so far (sic)”He did and the the rest of the lineup then got into the groove of the game. Lets hope this continues on Sunday against Porepunkah.
Scott’s talk goes to another level.
Also during the above mentioned match against Wodonga Cam “The Soak” Scott decided to play word association games with last names of the Rangers A grade. With no spectators in attendance, some would say good, others would say rather horrible word play was the order of the day, with even the Wodonga boys getting involved. Most of it centred around the exaggerated Bryyyyyyaaaan and the Nathan “Fomo” Pool’s last name. Phrases such as “put a fence around it” was back, and also, “a game played on a green table in pubs” was bellowed between plays. Then it turned to what goes with Pool. It even brought a smirk from Nathan who was pitching at the time. You do a lot of standing around on the diamond so may as well enjoy it between plays!
Goggles forget something?
Good to see Sam “Googles” Grigg has returned to his forgetful best. His glove was last seen sitting on a concrete table out the front of the clubrooms a week or so back. Would Goggles have collected it yet? This scribe thinks not, but I am sure one of his crew would have had his back for him. Where’s the tin when you need it!?
Peruzzo goes swiping left
This is a recollection from about a month or so ago (who can remember!!) but while reading the recaps from Game Changer an interesting statistic caught the eye of Line Drive. Multi talented farmer Steve Peruzzo swiped three bases in a B grade game! Going back through the records of the past few years, one thinks this is the most bases he has stolen in the past three years! When asked about his penchant for on pinching bases, Peruzzo put on his coach hat. “I had to lead by example”. It worked as Orange went on to win the game!
Getting the extra work in
Great to see Nick “The Rookie” Jonker getting some tips from a Ranger legend at training last night. From out on the field with Rob “Butts” Seymour to working with Butts in the batting cage on his hitting. Coupled with another young Ranger out there on the field last night, it is great seeing these young men want to improve their game like the rest of us. The season may soon be over but let’s stick together and continue to enjoy one another’s company into the warmer months no matter by just having a throw or a hit in the cage. Being connected through the club is one way to keep healthy and happy.
Jonker demands the return of Line Drive
Resident male model for sunscreen, Jason Jonker was asking The Soak about the whereabouts of Line Drive. He was demanding it was time he got off his backside and wrote something. The Soak assured him that he’d been in contact with Line Drive and that something was in the works in the past few days. Rest assured Jason, Line Drive even has some photos this week too! Line Drive is present and always looking to mention whoever for something good or something amusing.
Now onto the club stuff
- U/15s vs Porepunkah from 12pm Targoora Park (maybe a livestream for you all out there)
- A grade Rangers vs Porepunkah 2:15pm.
- Got your fees in? See Spinner and sort it out please.
- Presentation penciled in for Saturday 11th of September for both Juniors & Seniors.
- Rangers 21 + 1 is postponed till a later date. Was slated for 18th of September. More details to follow in the warmer months.
- Got a personal sponsor? Line Drives’ friend does. Make sure you get around local businesses and show your support for them.
The final word. Look after one another, get around the club and the banter in the following weeks, no matter what happens. Stay awesome and Rounding Third will be back sooner rather than later,Go Rangers