Stepping up to the plate

THIS year’s Gippsland Baseball Championships will be hosted by Sale this weekend.

All are welcome to check out the pre-season competition, which will feature teams from the Latrobe Valley Baseball Association and Melbourne.

Last year’s winners, the South Gippsland Miners, defeated the Mornington Pirates 11-9 after only losing one game for the weekend.

It will also be a good opportunity for juniors and seniors interested in playing this year to check out the game and talk to players.

Sale Rangers president Julie Neesham said it would be an exciting season for the club, after rebuilding last year.

“This year our numbers are looking really good, and our A grade side should be very strong,” she said.

“We have a very competitive under 16 side — we were pipped at the post last year by Traralgon, but we should give them a good run for their money this year.”

Head coach Will Hector added the A grade team was boosted by some returning players.

“We have a new face, Nathan Hoffman, he’s played a couple of games with South Gippy last year but he’s moved down this way, he played at Moorabbin, and Lachlan Wrigglesworth, he’s come back this year, plus Brad Taylor, and Andrew and Justin Johnston, also Tim Hector,” he said.

Two younger players are heading to the US to play for Victoria this year — Joel Hector, and Kade Eicke, who went last year.

Neesham said the championships were always competitive.

“The Gippy champs is a major competition for us,” she said.

“It’s always good to get everyone together and socialise.”

Games begin at 9am at Stephenson Park Saturday and Sunday.