Giants Blue were made to work hard to retain their unbeaten record in the Intercity Premier Two [P2] Championship.
The defending champions led Demons 7–5 in the top of the sixth inning, and the game looked likely to go the full seven innings.
However, a change of pitcher for Demons swung the game the Blues’ way, said Giants stalwart Chris Feary, who watched the action.
“He walked three batters home, and the guys strung together a series of hits and all of a sudden, it blew out, and then we went out to the field and took three outs, and that was the game.
“There were no home runs; it was just really good solid batting, and the guys all hit singles or doubles.”
The Blues are the only unbeaten team in P2 and have a two-point lead after four rounds.
The final scoreline looks convincing, but Giants Red were pushed hard by Dodgers Black before pulling away to wrap up their Intercity Premier Three [P3] clash in five innings.
Feary, who played in the game, felt it was a close, tense affair until the Reds batters hit top gear in the third inning.
“The first couple of innings were very tight, and then we scored a couple of runs in the third inning and a couple in the fourth and then Gordon Wilmshurst hit a home run with two runners on base in the fifth.”
Feary said pitcher Tony Nixon was in outstanding form, giving up only one safe hit.
The Reds are the only unbeaten team in P3 and remain on target to finish the round-robin as top qualifiers.
The Giants women got their first points on the board, upsetting defending champions Tōtara Park 7–6 in Upper Hutt.
The win was even meritorious, given that several players were away or injured.
First base Rachel Paku was outstanding, taking some brilliant catches and being involved with a great double play. She was also strong with the bat, averaging 1000, with three safe hits and four RBIs to earn player of the day.
Giants finally got their season underway with a deserved 11–9 win over Demons.
Coach Greg Paku was rapt with their performance, saying all the kids played well, making some crucial outs at times and scoring runs when they needed to.
Rylan Waitere was player of the day for his solid pitching, making an awesome double play and being strong with the bat in hand.