Stealers players have helped Ryde North Hawks qualify for the Australian Little League Championships titles after some fantastic wins at the State titles.
Stealers players Mitchell Steer, Travis Bazzana, Lizzie Hogg, Kobe Kunce, Jackson Heap, Hamish Lambert and Harry Rockwell all made great contrbutions to the Hawks five wins from six games over the four day carnival.
The Hawks results were Central Coast 19/1, Cronulla South 14/7, Manly 0/12 loss, Hills South 11/7, Bankstown and Hills North 14/4 (Bronze medal game)
“The Lizard” Hogg was honoured with the team medal which was judged on the players Courage , Character and Loyalty. Lizzie had a very busy few days as she was also representing NSW Country under 15 girls at the National Tournament in the same week !
Crafty left hander Rockwell was entrusted with starting the game against the powerful Hills South team on day three in a game which would secure the trip to QLD.
He continually pounded the strike zone with a mix of change ups, curve balls and fastballs. His 55 pitch effort showed maturity beyond his years. Harry threw his off speed pitches for strikes at any time in the count which kept the powerful Hills line up off balance for over 3 innings of work.
Kunce was a fixture at 3rd Base and his line drive hitting was a feature of his game.
His long ball home run in the Bronze medal game ranked with the biggest home runs in the tournament. It is tough to believe Kobe was playing in his first official rep tournament.
The role of pinch hitting was often handed to Mitchell Steer . His on base percentage was well over 500 in the tournament and his aggressive hitting will be valuable at the Gold Coast.
As one of only 2 returning players from last years team Bazzana needed to step up and perform. He did so with aplomb striking 10 extra base hits and turning 5 double plays at Short stop. The home run he hit from the 9th pitch he faced (5 previous fouls) in his lead off at Bat vs Hills North was a crowd pleaser and set the tone for a tough day at the office for Hills.
Heap’s versatility and toughness is key to the Hawks plans for the Gold Coast. Selected as starting pitcher for the opening game he also played outfield and Catcher in the four day tournament.
Pitcher Hamish Lambert started both the Cronulla South and Manly games. While credited with the loss against Manly the effort over 60 pitches was outstanding as he constantly challenged the eventual State champions. Lambert will be key to the Hawks plans at the Nationals in June.