Saints fire after early stumble

Saints slipped to second place in the men's Intercity softball competition on Saturday following a win and a loss against Nelson opposition.

Up against Stoke Eagles in their first game at the Saxton Fields in Nelson, Blenheim's Saints went down 1-4, an inability to convert runners on base into runs the main issue.

Early errors allowed Eagles to take a 2-0 lead in their first turn at bat and from then on the visitors were playing catch-up. Eventually Saints batters began to find their form, Tyler Bird in good form and Jesse Kitto slamming a three-base hit. Darren Aldridge hit to bring Bird home but too often Saints couldn't finish off promising situations.

Denom Wisdom provided a fielding highlight for Saints with a fine double play, taking a good catch then effecting an out on home plate.

Game two and Saints dominated against Pirates, winning 8-0. Good fielding and solid batting plus impressive pitching by Shane Parnell meant Nelson's Pirates were never in the hunt.

Ryan Schollum provided the Saints batting highlight with an in the park home run and Kyle Marfell slammed a three-base hit.

Blenheim's Central lost their double header in contrasting style.

Waimea Eagles were too good, winning 6-0 although it wasn't until their third turn at bat that they opened the scoring with three runs.

Barry Anderson gave Central hope with two good hits. Graham De Boo had two hits and a walk but they just couldn't do enough to get base runners around to home plate.

Central were generally good in the field and Nick De Boo did good job pitching.

In the other match, Central went down in a see-sawing clash 5-6 to Titans, the lead changing hands several times throughout.

Central led 1-0 then trailed 3-1 before again snatching a 4-3 lead until the Titans finished strongly. Nick Lovell pitched well for Central and Nick Kelly and Nick De Boo hit runners on base but Central were unable to capitalise enough to get them in front at the end.

The Intercity finals are at A and P Park on Saturday, Waimea Eagles already guaranteed a place in the grand final, the other six teams playing off to meet them.


The Marlborough Express