By JARROD POTTER
DANDENONG Baseball Association (DBA) domination continued last weekend as the under-16s brought the next State Winter Championships triumph home to the south-east.
The Dandenong brigade thumped Ringwood 6-0 in the finale on the back of some superb pitching from Chris Nilsen who rattled through five shut-out innings to hold the opponents scoreless.
He only allowed two hits for the final, giving the batters plenty to work with as Jed Woodger, Zac Skinner, Riley Trad and Dante Caruso started the ball rolling on the other side of the bat.
DBA under-16s coach Paul Rutgers was supremely impressed by the entire side’s effort, especially making the step up to the under-16 division.
“Just proud of how they went about everything – it was amazing how they went from 14s to 16s and went to play on a bigger field and it didn’t faze them,” Rutgers said.
“It was just like another year to them and it was great.”
It backed up an amazing weekend with the side only conceding four runs across the carnival starting from the pitcher’s mound as the bullpen excelled.
“Our pitchers threw awesomely – they controlled all the games – and I think we only gave four runs,” DBA under-16 head coach Paul Rutgers said.
“We hit pretty well and across the days we had pretty much all bases covered.”
The association has been in amazing form throughout the tournament’s history and Rutgers wanted to make sure this campaign was no different.
“On every level, we want to come out of it as a winner,” Rutgers said.
“We don’t go away just to play for a weekend, we go away to come back with something.
“It’s pretty good coming away with that win as most of our pitchers on the weekend came up from under-14s.
“It was probably good by us coming into this and we had a couple of kids from last year have their second year this year – and how everyone went over the weekend was just amazing.”
It wasn’t just a win for the boys either with Emily Devine and Lili Cavanagh making their mark on the competition.
Devine caught brilliantly at home-plate while Cavanagh was a hitting machine as the DBA choose their best from across either gender to suit up for the association.
“Lili probably got the most hits out of everyone – think she had four hits, one walk and three hit by pitchers – she was struck twice in the same spot – in the thigh – and had a pretty big bruise after Saturday,” Rutgers said.
“Emily was at catcher predominantly and nothing really gets past her.
“We just go with whoever will work to the plan we’ve got and that’s who we pick.”
Rutgers also wanted to highlight the work of the coaches – Chris Anderton, Theo Rutgers and Joe Caruso – for their support of the team.
DBA UNDER 16 SQUAD
Mitchell Shane, Donnie Poole (DANDENONG), Riley Trad, Will Connolly, Will Tucker, Jed Woodger, Luke Socic (DINGLEY), Dante Caruso, Chris Neilson, Mack Turley (CHELTENHAM), Adam Harris, Aiden Fulcher, Lili Cavanagh, Zac Skinner (FRANKSTON), Emily Devine (PAKENHAM). Paul Rutgers (Head Coach), Chris Anderton (Assistant Coach), Theo Rutgers (Assistant Coach), Joe Caruso (EO).