Baseball begins

THE Latrobe Valley Baseball Association season will begin this Sunday.

This year’s A grade competition has been expanded to six teams following the return of the Morwell Cougars and debut of the Leongatha-based South Gippsland Miners.

Coming off a fourth-placed finish last year, the Sale Rangers will begin their season at home against defending champions the Traralgon Redsox.

The Rangers’ first four games of the season will be played at Stephenson Park.

Morwell, returning to A grade, will host last year’s runners-up the Moe-Newborough Dodgers.

South Gippsland will travel to Churchill to take on the Cougars.

The pre-season Gippsland championships were held last weekend at Moe.

The Mornington Pirates claimed the Lloyd Lewis Shield with a 10-0 victory over the Dandenong Angels in the final.

The game was tight until the fourth inning with Pirates pitcher Brendan Wilson and the Angels’ Brad Croft holding the bats quiet.

The Pirates opened the game up with three runs led by a double from Matt Hardie who had a day out with the bat finishing with a home run, a single and double.

The Angels continued to put batters in position to score but fell short several times leaving vital runs on the base at side away.

Five sides from the LVBA and three from Dandenong association contested the event, each playing seven games over the weekend and the two top sides playing a final on Sunday afternoon.

The competition was strong with the metro sides coming off summer seasons and the local sides trying to introduce new players to the game as well as gearing up for the season proper.