Rounding Third By Line Drive August 27th 2019

Hello and welcome to a long overdue edition of Rounding Third. It has been a very busy couple of months for Line Drive, so unfortunately he has not had enough time to watch and observe the goings on down at The Ranch. However things have slowed down a little bit and he’s now had a chance to run an eye over what has been happening.
The North Eastern Baseball 2019 season has come to an end with both Rangers sides Orange and Black making their respective Grand Finals. Unfortunately through no want of trying, neither side could not get over the line. Congratulations goes to Porepunkah Panthers and North Albury Bears for their Grand final wins. Enjoy the celebrations. More about that sort of stuff later.
This edition will be quite wide as there have been sections written over the past couple of months. Stick with it and enjoy the read.
Butts is the man…and is the game.
    There are few players that I know that give as much effort in finals as one Rob “Butts” Seymour does. Year in and year out Butts puts the Orange and Black on with pride and will always give 110 per cent out on the diamond. He continues to throw himself around like a 20 year old and many of the plays he has made at second base this year, others would not even get near. His hitting and base smarts need to be mentioned as well and many pitchers find him a nightmare to pitch against. Butts has one of the longest histories with the club and is respected by many, for the way he plays the game. Always hard, fair and wants to win. Sometimes others look to gain an edge over him and ruffle his feathers, however Buttsy’s ability to just play the game and support his team is a testament to his nature. Most players show the respect deserved to him as a player, a coach and a friend.  Another great year of diving and countless double plays! Keep playing the way you do Rob. We all love and respect what you do for the game In the North Eastern Baseball Association.
Grand Final day 2019
    As mentioned above it was a wonderful effort for both Rangers Orange and Rangers Black in making the grand final for 2019. The hired a bus and many Ranger players and supporters jumped on to enjoy the trip up the Hume to Wodonga. Coupled with others who travelled far and wide to come watch the great atmosphere on the day.
In the early game Rangers challenged Porepunkah for long periods of the game but Porepunkah proved too strong in the end to take out the 2019 North Eastern Baseball Association B Grade title.
In A grade, Rangers Black jumped out of the blocks behind some strong pitching from Bryan “Moose” Wilson and took and early 3 run lead. One thing for sure is that the Bears would not rest and would come back at Rangers strong. A few hits here and there Bears slowly clawed their way back into the game and continued to scratch and fight for runs. Rangers Black threw everything at them but could not get over the line going down 11-4 in the end. It sounds like a big scoreline but the game was much closer than that. Rangers should be proud of the way they played the game and represented the club. From juniors to seniors, we are continuing to grow and thrive with plans to enter a third senior team, and a second junior side in season 2020. This is through the committed efforts of the current committee and the many helpers the Wangaratta Rangers are fortunate to have.  Watch this space for news in the off season. There is much planning to do!
GF day 2019
View of the B Grade from the outfield. Was a busy day so only picture Line Drive got.
Junior Final day 
    A typical winters day greeted the 2019 Junior Finals day held at Wangaratta on July 14th. The weather was cold, dreary, and it threatened to rain, but the enthusiasm and the play on the diamonds under some trying conditions was hot! The car park was full. The the numbers of parents, friends, former players and members of the North Eastern Baseball community coming together to celebrate and support juniors finals day was amazing to witness. Already many of the junior Rangers have recommitted for season 2020. A big thank you to Coaches Owen Godenzi and Nathan Pool, helped by a variety of others throughout training and on game-day in season 2019. Not to mention sponsors Wangaratta McDonalds and Frasca’s Steel.
Presentation Night
    This year the Rangers night to celebrate a fantastic 2019 season will be held on Saturday September the 7th at Wangaratta Gateway Hotel. It will be sit down affair with two course feed being the order of the night. Numbers are being taken online for those who want to go along and have a night of laughs and a good time. Some of the Ranger crew and their partners have already mentioned that they are going to ‘frock up’, so get the suits and dresses out ladies and gents. A best dressed award could be in order. Brownlow eat your heart out!  Dale “Humpernickle” Stevens has been checking out the menu and is looking forward to trying the chicken or the veal. Night will kick off with the Annual General Meeting followed by presentation starting at 6:30pm. If you are interested in becoming part of a vibrant forward thinking committee drop the club a line and come along on September the 7th.
Griff and no beard
A shock to the system when wandering to get a some food from the Wangaratta Canteen a few Sundays back, was being greeted by a clean shaven Daniel Griffin. A good friend of Line Drive was rather taken aback by being greeted by a clean shaven Daniel, so much that he could not call him by his usual nickname, “Griff”. He will now be known simply as ‘Daniel’ till it grows back. One wonders what the rest of Esmond street posse would look like if they shaved their defining features off too?
Grunt the Pig makes and appearance at the Baseball
Do you remember the day that you batted a thousand for the cycle and stole three bases? No? Not really, but Grunt the pig was at Targoora Park. Yes Grunt and his owner were out for a wander a couple of Sunday’s ago and all sort his presence. Shaun “Old School” O’Neil quipped to Rob “Butts” Seymour before the game that if he had a big day, no one would remember what Buttsy did on the diamond but many would remember Grunt being at the baseball. For the record, what did Buttsy do that day? It was so long ago now that you might need to ask him. Ask Grunt, he might know.
Thursday nights in 2019
The commitment shown by all who have pulled on the Orange and Black this year is to be commended. Week in and week out this year there has been on average no less than fifteen having a throw, a hit and generally improving their all round skills and knowledge at training on Thursday nights. I know to many readers at other clubs, 15 does not sound like many but for a small club this has been a huge effort. There are few who travel from afar each week for training and their effort is recognized too. A big thank you to all those who have put their hand up to cook a meal, run training, set up the diamonds, help out with juniors among all the other little activities we all have going on in our lives. It makes the drive over always worth it.
 
What on Earth is going on with the trip?
    The 2019 Rangers Ramble has taken many twists and turns over the past few months. At this stage it is still in a holding pattern. This has given the chance for a few Ranger trip veterans to realise they may have a chance to make the trip after all in 2019. Once determined, it will be full steam ahead for all. This does give the punters of the group a chance to continue to try raise funds and the tin is still open until those who go get on the bus. Watch this space.
Softball anyone keen?
    Softball is played on the border over the summer months and a few Rangers players travel up and play in the Albury Wodonga Softball Association. There are varying times that they play, but I do recall it is either Wednesday night or Saturday. The club is putting the feelers out there for anyone who is keen to play softball. For more information contact the club and let Kev Pool know.
Summer time is no time to rest.
    With so many plans that have come to fruition in season 2019, the club now looks to the off season to continue the revamp and resurgence of baseball in Wangaratta. A job to be completed over the coming months is to top dress the diamond to help promote more grass growth and improve overall appearance of diamond one. Diamond one had a bit of a tough winter and needs a bit of TLC. The club are looking to get together once a month over spring and summer to do work around the grounds and rooms. When plans are more solid we will update the Facebook page, Team app and web page for more details. The club are on the look for more players so would love to see new faces down at the Ranch in the coming seasons.
Cod Season
Did someone say Cods? Are we allowed to talk about Cods now? Esmond Street are you tailgating again on the weekend of March 19-22nd in Ballarat? Of course you are!
Now for the club stuff
  • Presentation at Gateway Wangaratta Saturday 7th of September $42 for a two course meal. Will be a great night.
  • Interested in Softball? Let Kev Pool know.
  • Got raffle tickets for the Rotary Wangaratta Raffle? Make sure you sell them and get them back to Kev Pool as soon as you can.
  • Working Bees will be posted online. Hope to see you there.
  • Interested in playing next season? We got spots for you! Come along and join the most progressive club in the North East!
  • Pickle ball on Tuesday and Saturdays. Message Moose if interested.
Well I think I have said enough this week. Apologies for the lack of writing over the past couple of months. I know there are many out there who do enjoy the read, and the catch up on what is going on in North Eastern Baseball. Look for another edition once presentation is done and dusted. I am sure there will be much to talk about then. Maybe I will save the big wrap up till then.
Till next time,
Go Rangers !

Rounding Third by Line Drive April 3rd 2019

Hello and welcome to the ‘Post Cods’ edition of Rounding Third. The North Eastern Baseball Association season is only a few weeks away. Training is back in full swing for the good folk who play for Wangaratta Rangers. The coaches have been putting the players through their paces and it has been good to see some new young fresh faces out on the diamond the past couple of weeks. The draw has been finalised and opening weekend will be Sunday the 7th of April. Rangers will be heading down the Hume to take on Benalla Bandits at Racecourse Reserve. More about that later. Now onto some news about what has been happening with the Cods.
Cods show plenty of fight
    This year the Cods had a bit of an interrupted preparation for their 6th trip to the Victorian Masters baseball Championships. It seemed every week there was a new challenge to put a Cod 35 and 45’s team on the park. However to the credit of the team managers, fellow Cods, and word of mouth, two teams proudly put the teal and black on in 2019. The Cods’s 35’s had the bare nine for the weekend, while the 45’s had one less. However both teams still did the North East proud. The 35’s had their best weekend on the diamond to date winning three and losing one over their four games, while the 45’s had their chances to notch a win but unfortunately fell just short. From all accounts from Line Drive’s spies in Ballarat,  all who suited up had a great time once again. Many have put their hand up for next year already. A big thank you to Ballarat Royals Baseball Club for putting on the weekend and the Alfredton Baseball Club who had very comfortable chairs to watch the game. A massive thank you to  Kingsley Collins who once again made the weekend run like clockwork. One thing for sure is that every Cod who does the four hour plus drive down from the North East to Ballarat and back again each year, continue to do so for the hospitality, camaraderie and a chance for a laugh, a drink and a bloody good weekend. Line Drive will return next year that’s for sure!
Cod banter
    The banter form the Cods was a little more subdued than past years. Maybe with the Shaun “Old School” O’Neil omission, the trip down was pretty tame. Enter Porepunkah’s Matty Shennan. The Punkah boys were running a little late and head Cod Nathan “Rubberarm” Pool was wondering where they were. Shennan was the first to pipe up and take on Pool on the chat. Shennan gave as good as he got on the chat and was asked to make sure he put his money where his mouth was on the diamond on Friday. From all reports from a Cod who was there, Matt Shennon gave a fine tribute to the sponsors with an epic Ice cream catch at left field. Not only did he play the two games for the 35’s, he was asked to bat nine and play right field for his third game of the day in the 45’s. A big first 24 hours, Shennan went on to have one of the more impressive rookie weekends many Cods have seen for a long time. Maybe a smoky for the pufferfish?
 
Socks maketh the uniform
    There have been many trends over the years with baseball uniforms. From the Knickerbocker look to the hemmed pant. From the hemmed pant to the un-hemmed baggy pant,  these have been quite subtle. The one area of the uniform that can make it stand out are under the pants, the humble sock. This year the Cods did some research and were able to get their hands on some old school style stirrup socks to jazz up the uniform. Five initial pairs were ordered and they have been a hit. Stirrup sock old timer,          Ash “Steel Panther” Meyers was suitably impressed with the colour and how it added to the complete package. Have a look for yourself below. Stirrup socks are back!
socks
Socks look pretty good 
The Pufferfish
    It has been a long operation for chief bean counter for the pufferfish award, Nathan “Fomo” Pool.  He has been tallying the votes and just generally waiting for those who went to Ballarat to get back to him. Meanwhile past winners Rob “Butts” Seymour, Ash “Steel  Panther” Meyers and Heath “Heater” Anders, are wondering if they are going to get their name engraved on the lump of wood for the second time. But the time has arrived to crown the 2019 Pufferfish winner. A rookie, Matty Shennan. Question is it silver or gold?
Thursday night training.
    Senior training is back for season 2019 and the Wangaratta Rangers encourage old and new players to come along, say hello and stay for a chat and a meal. Last week was a good old fashioned pie night and this week hot dogs are on the menu. During the year the players take it in turns to cook up a meal of their choice to the masses. One thing is for sure, the out of town travelers enjoy the meal. Remember $10 is all it costs and you always get plenty of food and drink for that amount. Hope to see you at training from 6pm Thursdays.
Season starts this weekend
    This weekend Wangaratta will head down the Hume to open their season against Benalla Bandits. Benalla have been very active over the summer time and it will be a good test to start the season. B-grade is from 11:30am while A-grade begins at 2:15pm at Racecourse Reserve Benalla. Drop in for a look if you are in the area on Sunday.
 
Now for the club stuff
  • Insurance for the season is now due. Check Teamapp and Wangaratta Rangers website for login details
  • Juniors Wednesday night from 5pm Come down and have a look.
  • Seniors training Thursday from 6pm and tea!
  • A and B grade both at Benalla Sunday from 11:30am
Thanks again and till next time,
Go Rangers

Rounding Third By Line Drive Grand Final Edition 2017

Hello and welcome to the grand final edition of Rounding Third. It has been a few weeks since Line Drive has run an eye over what has been happening down at the Ranch but boy what a few weeks it has been. The grand finals have been run and won. What a day of baseball was had by all. Three very competitive, high quality games of baseball were watched by a healthy crowd down at the Ranch over the weekend. From what this scribe witnessed and took part in, all enjoyed themselves very much. A big shout out goes to the volunteers at Wangaratta Rangers Baseball Club who marked the diamonds, manned the kiosk, raked the diamonds and made sure everything ran smoothly for all during the day. A big thank you to the umpires who traveled up from Melbourne to officiate the games. We all hope you enjoyed your day. Now what else has been going on? Keep reading and maybe one of your favorites might be mentioned.
Sun Shined on the North Eastern baseball Association Finals day
     A beautiful North Eastern Victoria day greeted all the clubs for the finals of the 2017 North Eastern Baseball Association. The Rangers men and women had brought the ground up to look a treat and mother nature shined down on Targoora Park. In the early game, which helped kick the dew off the ground, Rangers Orange overcame a dogged Wodonga Warriors Maroon by a run. The final score was 8 to 7.   Brendon “Photograph” French took the honors of best on ground with a sterling performance on the mound and with the ball. Well done Frenchy. A special mention has to go out to first year manager Jamie the “Gaffer” Samuels. The Gaffer took on an enormous job of looking after and rotating through a squad of sixteen players. It is never easy being the boss and especially even more when you have changing availability from week to week. Congratulations and well done on all your efforts from all of us at Wangaratta Rangers Baseball Club.
Jamie Samuels 2017 rangers Orange
Rangers Orange 2017. Photo courtesy of Jamie Samuels
Porepunkah prove too strong for Bears Gold
     In game two of the day, Bears Gold took on Porepunkah Panthers. In a cracking start to the game Porepunkah took an early lead to get a run on the board in the top of the first. Bears Gold were up to the challenge and hit back scoring a couple of their own. A couple of short innings kept the game tight before the experienced Punkah line slowly began get on top. Banksy put on a clinic on the mound while hitting up a storm and punkah cult hero (well with the peanut gallery sitting on the first base line) Jimmy Hughes hit a long ball to consolidate the lead. In the end Porepunkah claimed the win by a score of 11 to 3. Congratulations to Porepunkah Panthers.
Bears Green get the job done over Wodonga Warriors White
     A good crowd stuck around to watch the North Eastern Baseball Association A grade final between Bears Green and Wodonga Warriors White at Targooora Park. Warriors White have certainly been the form team of the past month, pushing Rangers Black a few weeks back then turning the tables back on Black last week after a stellar performance on the mound by wily veteran Ash “Metal” Meyers. Bears Green sent Brendan “Boo” Simmons to the mound and from the start, he was in control. Simmons was doing it all. He gave Bears Green the early lead with a three run shot over right centre fence. Warriors fought back scoring a couple of runs themselves and the crowd were into an entertaining contest. Home runs to Mark Taylor and Steve Coonan helped stretch bears lead and with Simmons in complete control on the mound, the game was Bears Green with a score of 9-3. Simmons was awarded the MVP with a magnificent display on the mound and collected multiple hits to be the player with the most impact upon the game. In all, nine innings of baseball was played in just under two hours and seven runs came from the three home runs. The game was played in great spirit and many commented on the overall quality of the baseball played throughout the day. Congratulations to Bears Green. North Eastern baseball Association 2017 A grade premiers.
Finals day Wangaratta 1
Late in the A Grade Bears Green vs Warriors White 
Nathan Pool MVP
     It was a great initiative by the North Eastern baseball Association to resurrect the league presentation night. From all reports those who went certainly did enjoy themselves. More about that soon. Anyway Rangers own rubberarm Nathan “FOMO” Pool took out the A grade award MVP for the 2017 season. A big congratulations to Pooly! When there is a game that needed to be thrown or won, Pool pitched his heart out on the mound each and every time. Now it has to be mentioned that Pool and good mate Rob “Butts” Seymour certainly did enjoy themselves arriving home in the wee hours of Saturday morning. However Cab driver Tony “Spinner” Smith dobbed the boys in for leaving behind evidence of their trip home. This being the baseball caps and the trophy. Another fine for the trip away tin boys.
French and Jonker share the spoils.    
     A big pat on the back goes out to wily veterans of Rangers Orange Brendon “Photograph” French and Jason “Sunscreen” Jonker who shared the 2017 C grade Most Valuable Player award for the North Eastern Baseball Association. It has been a big year for French . Playing his 300th and also getting to share the diamond each weekend with with his son Damien “Rookie” French. Jonker has played every game once again and just loves to play each week. On behalf of Wangaratta Rangers congratulations on the 2017 season men.
Great job Bryan
     The Rangers Black season came to an end at the hand of a very good Wodonga Warriors on a wet Sunday at Springdale Heights. Coach Bryan “Moose” Wilson has lead the Rangers Black squad with skill and enthusiasm all year. He has challenged the boys and girls to get better and give it their all at training and on the diamond. His work with the juniors between games during the season does not go unnoticed. His loyalty and enthusiasm with other members of the association has been impressive. Great job on the season Moose.
The squad get a quaddie.
     Finally it happened, Nathan “Fomo” Pool, Shaun “Flashback” O’Neil, Rob “Butts” Seymour and Cam “the Soak” Scott jagged a quaddie and boy they were chuffed! Lauren ‘Mrs Soak’ Scott also had input, choosing some nags along the way too. A nice little collect for the end of season kitty. Scott “Jenko” Jenkins was not so much pleased. When asked why was he not in on the quaddie The Soak replied “you were too busy playing a game on your phone”. Jenko just agreed with that. Mind you a ten per cent share of $1800 is not one to really be upset about missing.
Flashback does a phantom
     Sean “Flashback” O’Neil has been a revelation for this column this year. From his antics on the diamond and off it, Flashback has said many times to this scribe “Surely there is someone else to write about?” Well O’Neil you have just been a source of stories all year. This was again the case on Saturday. A few of the Rangers men and women decided to get together for a long lunch and a bit of punting. When it became time to change the scenery for dinner Flashback was all in for that. But was he? After he sent the rest of the party ahead he said he was just going to have a bit of a punt. He looked at his surroundings and did the old “phantom”. Trick is O’Neil knows multiple exits of where he was at and snuck out the door and home. Not a bad move really O’Neil. When questioned about it Sunday Flashback just lamented… “I wasted money on that Kebab” Enough said Flashback. Enough Said.
Nambrok is no more. 
    As the headline suggests Nambrok is no more. Remaining Band mates Kyle “Thrillmore” Gilmore and Kelsey “Dropsy” Burder have left Nambrok and reunited with their previous band mate Brad “Undies” Murdoch just north of the border in Albury. Dropsy assures this writer that this is only a temporary move and told all his avid fans out there to not stress too much as they will soon be back in Wangaratta. In the mean time check out Burders new wheels. He says they can go real fast. Always stylish Dropsy.
 
Get back on the bike Tetsu
     Iron Chef Tetsu Kamiyama did not quite live up to the name over the past week. Last Sunday he turned up sporting a rather black eye. Jason “Sunscreen” Jonker and Cam “The Soak” Scott asked Tets how did this black eye occur? Here is Tetsu’s long story. “Monday ride home fell off. Left bike and walked home”. Big black eye from the fall. On Tuesday Tetsu decided to go get his bike. It was not there. Lucky for him it had been handed into the local Police station where the owner was reunited with his bike.
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Nice to see the bike is in good shape
Griff and the tin
     Well the tin has been opened. Daniel “The Griff” Griffin let those who are looking to go on the end of season Ranger Ramble VI Bendigo Version 3.0 edition that the accounts are looking rather healthy. He has not told anyone what the final figure is, but if anyone who has been in possession of the tin at any point late in the season will know that it was rather heavy. Maybe for a final bit of a raffle  all could have a guess on how much is in the tin and receive a prize for the correct guess. Like a free lunch on the tins behalf? Anyway all will be revealed in how much is in the tin on October 20th 2017.
Happy travellers
     There has been a great many of players who have come from near and far to represent Wangaratta this season. Each week the Hume crew of Leah and Lauren Dinsdale, Daniel Griffin, Robyn “RPG” Percy Goulding come up from Melbourne most weeks. Not to  mention the Red runners Aaron “Azza” Parker and Tetsu Kamiyayma. Jason Jonker drives the southbound each week and don’t forget Cam “the Soak” Scott who leaves Yarrawonga for a feed and laugh in Wangaratta. As mentioned in a previous edition many travel to play for the club and they keep coming back. Hope to see you all again next year in the Orange and Black of Wangaratta Baseball Club.
Softball looks to return (from a previous edition but still very important)
     While having a chat to Kevin “The Legend” Pool he was saying that there has been some interest in getting softball going again over the summer time. It has been some time since softball has graced the diamonds of Targoora Park and now is the time to change all that, and look for expressions of interest in playing once again. It would fantastic if there are like minded readers of Rounding Third who are interested in playing Softball in the Albury Softball Association. For those who are interested get in contact with the club via email wangarattarangers@hotmail.com
CODS update
     Is it safe to talk about this now? Yes of course it is. CODS masters baseball will be back in March 2017. Already many have been canvassing the idea of having two teams. One for 35+ and another for the 45+ competition. If you are keen head over the Cods Masters Baseball at https://www.facebook.com/Codsmastersbaseball/ and look for upcoming information.
Now finally to the Club stuff
  • Presentation day/night poll is now up on Facebook. Vote for the according day or night please
  • Ranger Ramble VI Bendigo October 20th weekend.
  • Beanies still available as are stubby holders, see club for more information
  • T-Ball to begin in October sometime. Look for updates and information in the coming months
  • If interested in softball, email the club
Wow, that is a big edition. Once again congratulations to all involved in the North Eastern Baseball association and a big thank you if you have made it this far through the read. Remember to like and share and spread the good word about baseball in the North East of Victoria. Look for a presentation edition coming up in the next few months.
Finally
Go Rangers!!!!

Rounding Third by Line Drive February 21 2017

Hello and welcome to another summer snapshot of what is going on at Wangaratta’s one and only Rangers Baseball Club. Over the past week we have begun training, devised some big plans for the club rooms and even had a throw and a hit for good measure. We have welcomed some new faces around the club and all the usual suspects are gearing up for another season in the North Eastern Baseball Association. Before that there are plenty of things to discuss and other newsworthy items. Let’s get down to it.
T-Ball is a tearaway hit!
     Each Wednesday night the sultans of swing Bryan “Moose” Wilson, Nathan “Rubberarm” Pool along with Tony “Spinner” Smith and Kevin “The Legend” Pool have been putting the junior rangers through their paces. Last week saw over twenty kids running the bases hard and learning the skills of Rangers Rookie ball. In the next few weeks look for some exciting announcements about what the Ranger Rookies will be receiving. In the meantime look for Moose’s recaps on the Facebook site along with the clubs website. If you want to get involved head down to Targoora Park each Wednesday night from 6pm. All are welcome.
CODS update.
     Yes again some peoples favourite topic, CODS is almost here. The Older blokes have had a run around for the first time together for 2017 on Monday night. Looks like Rob “Butts” Seymour does not know when or how to slow down judging by his gravel rash on his leg. His excuse? He forgot he was wearing shorts. Good start to the cod season there. Since when have the cods boys slid in to base anyway? Bet you won’t see Rob “Beaker” Barbour doing that! In other Cod news, looks like all the usual suspects are gearing up for another trip the Victorian masters games in Ballarat. The carnival runs from March 17-19. Roll those arms over gentlemen they are going to get a workout!
Anyone seen the Big Cod Brownlie
     It has been a few weeks since Mick “the big Cod” Brownlie has been seen. Rumor has it he has put in a solid summer in preparation for his return to the Cod uniform in 2017. Brownlie has much to prove on the diamond this year. Wodonga’s Ash “Rockstar” Meyers is ready pumped and primed for the campaign ahead. Once again most eyes will be on Brownlie to see if he can defend his mantle as “The Big Cod”.
Wednesday night training
     Yes the Rangers boys and girls are back in training on Wednesday nights from 6:30pm down at Targoora Park. There are some new faces young and old looking to wear the orange and black this year for Wangaratta. Already the comments on some abilities to hit a ball have come into question. Jason “The Game” Jonker was questioning Cam “The Soak” Scott’s ability to hit the ball.  Later on while down in a short bit of infield work, Jonker failed to pick one ball up cleanly. This delighted the Soak taunting him “Just wait till you pick the ball up cleanly then how good will you be!” Once again the banter has started early.
Pres’s Prattle
     Tony “the master of Spin” Smith is a busy man once again leading the club from the front. In conjunction with line drive he is one of the main mouth pieces for this little club we call ours. Contrary to his name Spin is to the point and pulls no punches. He is a master grounds keeper over the summer time making sure the  surface of Rangers diamonds will be up to scratch once the season begins. Make sure you check out his posts on both the Rangers Facebook page and on the Rangers website. http://www.wangarattarangers.baseball.com.au
Spaniard living the summer siesta life.
     Well not entirely….. Angus “The Spaniard” Young has been plying his trade this summer with the Footscray Baseball Club. Talk is he enjoyed it so much that he is going to extend this to the Melbourne Winter season. Good luck Gus keep swinging and connecting.
The Rams are coming
     Saturday 4th March pencil it in Rangers and Codsters alike Croydon Rams will make a visit for a game and some true country baseball hospitality. If you are available for the game please let the club know and there will be a spot for you waiting and ready to go. More the merrier. Come down get involved and be seen around the club early on.
Rangers want you
     It takes many hard working individuals to make a club run smoothly. From chasing sponsors to cleaning up the diamonds, every little bit helps. Remember we play baseball because we love it and we love our club. We are all busy but come down get involved do a little bit to help out. Have a look, grab a rake, cook a meal, no matter what it is the club is always grateful.
Now for the Club stuff
  • Cods training next Monday night 6pm
  • T-ball Wednesday nights 6pm. Training 6:30pm
  • Practice match vs Croydon Saturday 4th March get along and get involved
  • Victorian Masters Games March 17-19 Ballarat
  • Bunnings BBQ if available let the club know
  • Start of season 2nd of April (oh wow wee)
  • Follow us on Twitter @Wangrangers and on Team app.
More in the next few weeks. Thanks for reading and
Go Rangers

Rounding Third By Line Drive Special Edition September 7th 2015

Hello and welcome to a special edition of Line Drive a recap of the grand Final by number one correspondent The Legend, The master and great bloke Kevin Pool

North East Baseball Association wound up their season on Sunday playing the Grand Final games at Targoora Park Wangaratta in perfect conditions.

N.A.S.C. Bears and Wangaratta Rangers Black played off for the “A” Grade pennant, Rangers Black batted first and were off to a good start when their lead- off batter, Mark Drage hit a two base git to centre field. Drage then went on to third off their second batters hit and with two runners out was brought home when their fourth batter got on base from a fielding error to have one run on the board before their third out was made. Angus Young started on the mound for Rangers Black and threw well for the first three innings, having only four batters face the plate in each inning and no batter got past first base safely. Rangers Black brought two more runs in their third turn at bat when some good base running forced Bears into rushing their fielding throws and ending in errors to Rangers advantage allowing them to hold a three runs to nil lead going into the fourth inning. Rangers Black batters went three up – three down in their turn at bat. The Bears first batter to face the pitcher in their dig. Greg Daniel hit a home run to centre field with the second pitch thrown to him, their next three batters got on base. Two from walks and one from a two base hit with bases loaded. Bears youngest player in Brad Nicholson, hit the very first ball pitched to him over the cones at centre field for a home run, bringing on a Grand Slam – another four runs for Bears and a pitching change for Rangers Black, Young had thrown 70 pitches, 38 of them strikes and Bears were starting to get his style.

Rangers’ Canadian player Bryan Wilson was their lucky player brought on to pitch and to try and stem Bears run flow. After walking the first batter to face him, Wilson struck-out the next batter to get the first out. Their fourth batter was put out at first base for the second out and the third out was made at home when the runner was caught trying to steal a run and Bears run rate was brought to a holt. With one out in their fifth inning, Rangers Black brought in another run when Nathan Pool was forced around the diamond by his fellow batters after hit a stand-up double to centre field, Rangers trailed by just one run at the bottom of the fifth inning with the score Bears five runs to Rangers four. Bears were held from scoring in their turn at bat, in fact neither team could get a break in the next four innings with the most batters from either side to face the pitcher was four in any one dig. With time running out and at the top of the ninth inning, Rangers Black had nothing to lose but to throw everything into their last turn at bat. With Bears pitcher, Greg Daniel already having thrown over 130 pitches and showing signs of tiring, Rangers lifted their game and being back at the top of their batting order, had their first three batters on base. Tetsu Kamiyama hit to the outfield to bring in two runs and the Rangers hit the front for the first time in the game. With a safe hit to the outfield, Rangers Black brought in another four runs before they lost their third out and held a five run lead. Bears were yet to bat and the pressure remained to hold them out. Bears first batter was thrown out at first by a perfectly fielded ball by Nathan Pool at third base and thrown to Cam Scott at first. Their second batter was struck-out watching a strike go over the plate and Wilson finished off a good stint on the mound with another strike-out for the game after throwing 89 pitches, 58 of them strikes and after being bridesmaids to Bears for so many years, Rangers could celebrate well into the night with a well-deserved win 10 runs to Bears 5.

Rangers Orange played Wodonga Warriors 1 for the “B” Grade trophy and were soundly beaten by a much better side on the day.

Chris Jones started on the mound for Warriors 1 and had only thrown ten pitches when Rangers Oranges third out was made. Not to be disheartened, Rangers first pitcher, Brendon French only had to throw six more before they had side away and it looked like we had a game on our hands. Another three up – three down for Rangers Orange and Warriors were back into bat and bat they did and the errors mounted up by Rangers in their fielding and by the time Rangers got the third out, Warriors 1 had 16 runs cross the plate, all from fielding errors. Rangers lost heart, everything they did went wrong and although Warriors stopped stealing bases and running on past balls, they still managed to bring in another five runs in each of their next five innings to run out with a massive 36 runs to Rangers Orange scoreless and only one safe hit for the game.

Benalla Bandits played Porepunkah Panthers for the “C” Grade cup and won in a tight nine innings game with Bandits 10 runs to Panthers 9.

Rounding Third By Line Drive Grand Final Edition 2015

Hello and welcome to this weeks edition of your weekly insight to the personalities who make up Wangaratta’s only Baseball club; The Wangaratta Rangers. Since the last edition much has happened both on and off the field in Rangerland. Last Sunday under cloudy then sunny,then cloudy then sunny skies, the players from six clubs had the opportunity for one last shot at some silverware. In the C-grade game, Benalla and Porepunkah played out a very entertaining and thrilling game with Benalla getting over the line in the last innings. In the B-grade Wodonga were just too good for Wangaratta Rangers Orange. While in the A grade game in-front of a large jovial crowd Wangaratta left it really late in the game to finally overcome a gallant Bears team by the score of 10-5. From all accounts the game was played in great spirit and many players flashed the bat and leather throughout the game. This writer is pretty sure that more will be said about these games in the Wangaratta Chronicle during the week. So it’s now time to wrap up North Eastern Baseballs’ biggest day on the calendar. Through the eyes of Line Drive.

Rangers win for the first time since 2004
It has been a while between drinks for the boys down at the Ranch. Year in and year out the Ranger boys have turned up on grand final day against rivals Bears, looking to turn the tables on their dominance over the North Eastern Baseball Association. After coming agonizingly close last year the Boys from Black were determined to notch  a win. The game was an absolute cracker. Rangers jumped on the board early through “The Rage” Drage sending a ball to the line, with the Rangers tacking on a few more runs to race to a 4-0 lead. Rangers Black pitcher, Angus Young looked composed on the mound till the fourth inning, when the Bears bats ran white hot. One thing about The Bears, they are a formidable hitting lineup. Two home runs including a grand slam put Bears on top 5-4. Change of pitcher for Rangers saw Mr Canada, Bryan “Moose” Wilson, come on and backed by some sparkling glove work silence the Bears hitters. Meanwhile for the Bears, Greg “Jack” Daniel, was keeping the Rangers hitters in check. Daniel’s control and pitch selection to the rangers batters was second to none. He was pitching his heart out. In the eighth inning, Rangers had runners on second and third. This was their chance to claw their way in front. Daniel’s was having none of it and through some excellent pitches, got out of a jam. Was it going to Bears year again? After Wilson cruising through the bottom of the eighth it was all in-front of the Rangers hitters in the ninth. Drage set the table by drawing a walk and then the Ranger bat’s came to life. Six runs scored in the top of the ninth. score is now 10-5. But the work was still not done. Never take NASC Bears lightly, no matter how many runs you score. Ranger favourite, Nathan “Pooly” Pool was going to have none of that and pulled off one of the finest defensive plays seen in a while at third base. Moose then did the rest on the mound and the Rangers had done it. North Eastern Baseball Association Premiers 2015. Congratulations Wangaratta Rangers.
Rangers moments after winning the 2015 final. Thanks to Tania Pool for the image
Rangers moments after winning the 2015 final. Thanks to Tania Pool for the image
Ranger Monday 
it was a quiet affair for the Ranger boys down at Cafe Martini. The boys came in bits and pieces, still reminiscing about the day before. All had celebrated long into Sunday night. Some longer than others. Most other players had made an appearance by 3pm but still no skipper Mick Wyatt! Eventually he was coaxed into making an appearance. We all love the big guy and a big special thanks goes to his efforts on and off the diamond each week for us as a club.
Rob Seymour is “The Game”
What is that old saying that you can’t keep a Rob Seymour down? Well maybe not exactly that phrase, but after a tough week last week against Wodonga Warriors, Buttsy was looking to put on a big one in the grand final. As mentioned last week, Buttsy is a big occasion player. Tough to get out and always attacks on the bases. None more so, than when he took home on a pass ball. Here is how it played out. Ball in the dirt past catcher. Catcher goes to get it, Buttsy sees his chance. Takes off for home. Pitcher coming in to cover the base looking for the tag, Buttsy dives head firdt into home plate spraying gravel everywhere. Call…SAFE! Buttsy gets up and then spits out half the diamond on the team mate Aaron “Azza” Parker. Face covered in dirt and the battle scars on his arm to prove to anyone he slid! He always has been and always will be, “The Game”.
Warriors bring the Venga Bus to Wangaratta
The Wodonga Warriors sure know how to have a good time. For their B-Grade final over the weekend it was decided by The Pres, Steve “Scooba” McMahon that a bus to the game was in order. The faithful piled onto the bus headed for Wangaratta. In a dominant display of pitching by Chris Jones and excellent hitting by all players, the Warriors were never headed cruising to a commanding victory. Then the boys decided to stick around and watch the A-Grade final. When that game was over, did they choose to leave? ‘No, let’s hang around a bit longer.’  Scooba tried on three occasions to gather the troops to no avail. Finally when the sun was long gone, the boys got on the bus to head back up the Hume. Thanks for sticking around and having a yarn with us. One thing, the stories got better about how good we once were as the night went on, didn’t they? Me included of course!
Thanks Blue
It was great to have two great umpires and great blokes make the time to come up and umpire the B grade and A grade finals for the North Eastern Baseball Association. They were amazed about the distance the players travel just to play baseball each week. It was commented that some guys in Melbourne do not like even driving 15 kilometers for a game. In many ways it’s just what we do in the country, travel for sport. It is just part of it.
On another note, the atmosphere down at Targoora Park was excellent over the weekend. With three games of baseball on, it gave the opportunity for all supporters and players to mingle and chat with one another before or during or after their games. Each person who pulls on their uniforms each weekend and drive the kilometers to play a sport they love in the North East, should be proud of their efforts. Thanks to all who came down to Targoora Park or volunteered and cheered throughout the season for your respective clubs. Keep working hard and spreading the word about baseball in north eastern Victoria.
Nambrok the name Being Blokes is the game
The Nambrok crew were at their best on Sunday. Not just comfortable sitting in chairs, the boys had the idea to watch the game in style by bringing down their well traveled couch. The boys lounged and cheered in style and comfort .At the conclusion of the match it was decided to drag it onto the diamond and have a drink there. However from last reports the couch is still down at Targoora Park just lounging around. Thanks for the support this year boys. Never a dull moment from you guys and one of the many reasons why the Rangers are such an enjoyable club to play baseball at.
Watching the game in style. Thanks to Tania Pool for the image
Watching the game in style. Thanks to Tania Pool for the image
When is a Selfie stick a good idea for your phone? How about on gravel?
It seemed like a good idea at the time but Lauren “Mrs Soak” Grenfell thought it was a great idea to break out the selfie stick during post match celebrations at Ranger ranch. It was a great idea until her phone fell out of the bracket. Not once, but quite possibly more than twice to completely destroy her screen. The photos from the selfie stick? Not too bad Mrs Soak!
Tetsu’s speech
In warm up before the final Tetsu Kamiyama was recounting his round of golf on Saturday to Cam “The Soak” Scott. He informed The Soak he could not put a foot wrong carting 24 points on the front nine. He was dreaming of winning the day and making a speech to fellow club members. Sadly his back nine fell apart, only having 15 points for a total of 39. So no speech for Tetsu. After the game on Sunday Tetsu was awarded best player for the grand final and when asked to give a speech, it consisted of “Thanks.” Wonder what he would have said at the golf club if he had won?
Wangaratta Chronicle. Supporting local sport.
Hats off to the Wangaratta Chronicle for their support over the past baseball season. This was especially evident over the past week when the Wangaratta Rangers graced the front page. This scribe is trying to think to when  the last time baseball locally graced a front page of the paper? It has to have been a long time. The action shots taken over the year have been excellent and the writing to the living legend Kevin Pool and support crew for typing it up are to be commended. Each time a score is placed on Twitter it is re tweeted. All these little things help get us known and that we do play baseball in Wangaratta and the North East.
Who owes what for what?
If you have seen Wednesday’s Wangaratta Chronicle there are a few individuals who owe some coin to
“Griff’s Tin.” There has been plenty of discussion on who owes what for what? Front page must be worth a bit, and the rest? Well it was called by The Griff that it would be ‘double fine finals.’ Ever the voice of reason, Nathan Pool,  said for those going on the trip, just tip a nominated amount into the tin. Best thing about that? On the Saturday we all get to celebrate again together. Special thanks needs to go to Griff for his mastery of the tin this year, and Chopper McCullough who have planned what will surely be a memorable Ranger Ramble IV.
A picture tells a thousand words.
So true that is, from over the past weekend. If anyone has any photos from any games past or present, have a look through them and place them in the folders on the Wangaratta rangers Facebook website. It is interesting to see how our uniform has evolved over the past few years, also who was and still is, playing for the club.  Plus you never know your images may make their way onto Rounding Third!
Rangers Black Kylie Wyatt Rangers Orange Lyndal Bradburn
Relay for Life Rangers Baseball Club
The wise heads down at Wangaratta Rangers have entered a team in the relay for life in Wangaratta to be held at Barr Reserve Wangaratta on September 26th and 27th. Always a great event and a great time is had by all. Let the Pres Tony “Spinner” Smith know if you are keen to participate. Check the Wangaratta Rangers Facebook page for more details.
My Rangers Rules The King is who?
Have to ask the Pres who the King is but I think most of you avid followers out there know already who has won this years crown. Once again man of lucious beard, an all round good guy and man of tin, GMBC player The Griff has taken the 2015 crown. Well done to Griff for what I have been told was an awesome cabonara. Get working on your recipes for next years ladies and gents.
Presentation Time
Presentation is set down for Saturday the 19th of September at Cafe Martini in Wangaratta. The Annual General Meeting will precede the presentation as per usual. All you Ranger players make yourself available and come along and get involved and as well celebrate what has been a great season.
Special thanks to our sponsors
STY Metals, Plumbforce, Reflex Glass, Pave Crete, Action Smash Repairs, Shanley Signs, Rea & O’Keefe, Winsec, Elect Solar, Insite Real Estate, Whitty Produce, Ref-Ridgetech, Your Everyday Gourmet, Cafe Martini and Wangaratta Motor Group. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Special thanks to all the hardworking members of Wangaratta and all the supporters who have been working real hard to improve our great club.
Now finally from me Line Drive 
Well that is about it for this edition of Rounding Third. It has been a big year. From Cods Baseball to winning the 2015 premiership. There have been plenty of stories in between. There are plenty more stories that could be told and will be told over the course of the journey. One thing Line Drive has found in writing this insight every week, is the amount of people who do check in on it and read it. Many of us have put hours and hours into Wangaratta Rangers and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I am pretty sure that this will not be the last edition for 2015 as one may be written after presentation night among other things. If anyone has any ideas and thoughts about this blog please let me know.
Like and follow on Twitter @WangRangers
Follow North eastern Baseball Association on Facebook
Have a look for us on Facebook Wangaratta Rangers
Get the Team app look for Wangaratta Rangers
So that’s it for this week. Hope you enjoy the read and please like and share. Till next time…..
Go Rangers

Rounding Third by Line Drive Grand Final edition 2015

Hello and welcome another edition of Rounding Third. This weekend the Wangaratta Rangers faithful will be out in force showing their support for their boys. Rangers Orange tackle Wodonga Warriors 1 while Rangers Black take on perennial powerhouse Bears. They boys had their final training run of the year on Wednesday night then had a hot dog night just to cap the training season for another year. This edition is a little different in format. The following will be a guide to who is who playing for the Wangaratta Rangers on Sunday.

Starting with Rangers Orange
Ian “Dino” Dinsdale
The warrior. Knows how to win. Dino has taken his red hot form from Cods Masters all the way through the season. Always a threat with the bat and very solid at first base.

Tony “Spinner” Smith
Also known as The Pres, Spin has relished his chances to play all year. Is in red hot form going into the decider. Had a ripper of a game a couple of weeks back and looks to have found his mojo at short stop once more. Runs the bases hard and a fierce competitor.

Rob “Beaker” Barbour
Has struggled a little with injury in the past few weeks, Beaker will bechomping at the bit to test himself once again. Has proven himself at all levels of baseball, a former coach, North East representative and foundation Cod. Beaker will be looking to come off the bench and make an immediate impact with the bat.

Brendon “Frenchy” French
Frenchy is an innings eater. This means give him the ball and he will throw all day for you. Has a variety of pitches and can still thow hard when he wants to. When not pitching he is platooning between second and third base. Clutch hitting is his forte.

Jason “JJ” Jonker
The Wodonga connection. Jonker has traveled all over the countryside to play for the Rangers. Just like Frenchy relishes the opportunity to pitch. May be down on velocity at times but has shown great pitch craft. Can work over hitters by his precise location. Can track a flyball at centre field and a clutch hitter.

Kelsey “Burderonthedancefloor” Burder.
He better not kill the groove. No he won’t! Burder has chalked up over 200 games of service to Wangaratta and the high majority has been from behind the plate. Calls a good game. When Burder is up, his team mates seem to lift. Leader of the Nambrok crew.

Kyle “Thrillmore” Gilmore
A Ranger crowd favorite. Gilly is a cult hero. Unofficially second in charge of the Nambrok crew, Gilly is a hard hitting third baseman. Can pull off the unbelievable play at the ht corner. Will certainly bring some x-factor to game on Sunday.

Brad “Undies” Murdoch.
The third member of the Nambrok crew, Murdoch has continued to improve in his second full season of baseball. Is quick over 90 feet and is a reliable calming outfield presence to the Orange lineup. Has been spotted on the mound from time to time.

Scotty “Jenko” Jenkins
He is a big rig with a big beard, Jenko dabbled in switching hitting last season, but has decided to bat from the right side once again. Has some good solid form behind him over the past month and can play a variety of positions. A true utility. Always a threat with the timber.

Jumping Jack Bradburn
The youngest and newest addition to the Orange lineup, Jack has reveled in playing this year with the Orange lads. Has doubled the ranks of left-handed bats at the club. Jack is still learning the game but look for him to bob up and get that clutch hit we all know he can do. Young fresh legs on the bases, always gives 110 per cent.

Dan “The Griff” Griffin
Played a couple of times last year and got the taste for it. Now The Griff plays Saturday for GMBC then comes home and dons the Ranger Orange on a Sunday. Doubles as our fines master among other things on the diamond. Griff is a positive influence on the dugout and is another member of the Nambrok crew. Sure pair of hands in the outfield and a good base runner.

18
Makes an impact no matter where he goes. 18 can hit run and do it all. Loves a yarn and a joke. When not playing is there watching and supporting the boys. A very positive influence on the Wangaratta Rangers Baseball club. Great to have him down there.

Special mention to those who have also put on the Orange this year. Justin Mortimer who has shown form of old and can still throw a good game. Sure with the hands and can play anywhere on the field. Sean Warfe who will be looking forward to getting a few more games in next year. Is the complete player. Cheyne Gilmore who played one game with his brother Kyle which saw the boys have a hitting duel.

Now time for the Ranger Black

Mick “The Skipper” Wyatt
The skipper has had a great year. From his time with the Cods and over the season, Mick has been an ever-present and willing to get in and have a crack. Can hit a ball a long way and is a sure pair of hands at first base. look for Mick to come off the bench and make his presence felt in the final.

Nathan “Pooly” Pool
The training guru, what would we do without Pooly? Thrown a few innings this year. Always gives it his all on the mound. Pooly has had a great season with the bat and is another calming influence on the Black lineup. Plays good third base when not pitching.

Rob “Butts” Seymour
The ultimate competitor. Seymour thrives on competition. Has shared catching duties with Aaron Parker this year and loves to throw runners out. Excellent outfielder and is a tough out when at the plate. look for Butts to have a big game this Sunday. He always does.

Tetsu Kamiyama
When not playing golf Tets loves to play baseball. Most likely the best hitter the north east has seen in the past 15 years, Tets is the number four hitter in any lineup. Lighting quick hands on the infield at short stop and second base, loves to play and is always up and about.

Travis “Frosty” Frost
A big game player. Frosty is a man who knows plenty about the game. Recently returned from injury and is better for the last couple of runs. Clutch hitting is his forte. Can refocus the Black lineup with his words and is both an on-field and dugout leader.

Bryan “Moose” Wilson
Moose can be a brutal hitter. Has hit some very log balls this season. Moose loves competition and will be chomping at the bit to get out there on Sunday. Another pitcher who has done the job on the mound this season. Moose just loves it.

Mark “The Rage” Drage
Centre field general, Dragey can chase down plenty of fly balls the rest of us cannot. The lead-off hitter of the lineup and has shown a great love of swiping the extra base all year. Another who is happy to be playing after a layoff due to the weather, Dragey will be ready to go come Sunday.

Aaron “Azza” Parker
Azza has returned to the club this season and has really enjoyed himself. Excellent catcher and great pair of hands. Azza is another who has thrown some innings this year just adding to his versatility. Bat is starting to get red-hot at the business end of the season. Azza Parker is always a threat

Steve “Fernando” Peruzzo
Another to return to the Ranger fold this season, Fernando has loed each and every game he has played. Started red-hot at Cods this year and has continued this form throughout the season. Hit two home runs a couple of games back swinging wood. Fernando is a safe pair of hands in the outfield.

Angus “Gusbus” Young
Gus. Need we say more. Loves the game and has rubber arm like flexibility. Gus has played a few times this year and look for him to be directing traffic from first base coaches box and on the hill. Has thrown some gems in the past grand finals and knows how to hit the corner of the strike zone.

Oh and Cam “The Soak” Scott
Don’t think we need to say much about him. Left handed and plays first base. Talks a hell of a lot. Think that sums it up really.

The support crews
Got to mention the support crews. However they are so many to mention. They show their support rain hail or shine. Especially that day at Benalla! Always great to have supporters there each and every week. Hope I have mentioned everyone. Hope you enjoyed the read.

So see you all there on the weekend. Targoora Park Wangaratta is where the North Eastern Baseball finals are. Good luck gents.

Go Rangers.