Skip to main content
Below is an advertisement.
PREVIEW: 2018 SABL Div 1 Preliminary Finals
03/12/2018 9:05 PM ET
 

The top four teams from the minor rounds have all advanced to the preliminary finals setting up what promises to be an exciting weekend of baseball.

Let's get to it. Game times:

GAME 1 - Saturday 17 March, 3:00PM
GAME 2 - Sunday 18 March, 11:30AM
Game 3 - Sunday 18 March, 3:00PM (If Necessary) 

#4 Goodwood Indians @ #1 West Torrens Eagles
All games at Lockleys Oval, Lockleys

SEASON SERIES
Dec 10: Goodwood 6, West Torrens 4
Feb 25: West Torrens 5, Goodwood 1
Feb 25: Goodwood 6, West Torrens 2

Reigning champions and minor premiers West Torrens had problems with very few teams this season. One of those teams was Goodwood who won the season series with the Eagles.

It shouldn't come as a suprise - Goodwood have been hanging around the top of the ladder all season long. They're led by a contingent of former Bite and national team stars including Stefan Welch, Jeremy Cresswell, Josh Cakebread, Ben Wigmore and Darren Fidge.

Wigmore in particular was in fine form on the weekend as he came through with a cluth grand slam in a Game 1 win vs. Kensington. Unfortunately the Indians fell just short.

They'll need a solid pitching performance from Darren Fidge who had another remarkable season and was near the leaders of ERA and Wins. The infield tandem of Josh Cakebread and Jeremy Cresswell are both sneaky Capps Medal shots this season after both had season where they pushed a .400 batting average. 

But make no mistake - West Torrens bolster a lineup that should be feared by all. In each of their wins in a two-game sweep of Glenelg last weekend six players had multiple hits. Bite rookie sensation Curtis Mead led the team with a .397 batting average. Import Terrell Joyce is definitely one to watch as well. He has extreme power and a high average and is the motor of the Eagles offense.

West Torrens have a solid crop of pitchers including import Kenny McDowell, Bite player Nathan Vanderlinden, super-reliever Joel Chapman and James Snelgrove. Joyce can pitch too.

Including the finals, West Torrens has only lost once in their last 11 games. The team that stole the win? Goodwood. 

#3 Kensington Cardinals @ #2 Port Adelaide Magpies
All games at Port Adelaide Districts Baseball Club, Semaphore.

November 26: Port Adelaide 2, Kensington Cardinals 0
February 25: Port Adelaide 13, Kensington 0
February 25: Port Adelaide 10, Kensington 9

Both teams finished the season with equal points (49) but are separated only by head-to-head. 

Kensington have a great line up and experienced pitching. But Kensington at home is much different from Kensington on the road. The Cardinals have a 15-3-1 record at their home ground but they'll have to do it on the road at Port Adelaide.

Kensington feature an offense that can put up runs in a hurry. This was on display last weekend when they put up a seven run inning to grasp victory from the jaws of defeat vs. Goodwood. They're a talented side that has a three-time Capps Medal winner in Nick Talbot and one of the best imports in the competition in Austin Gallagher.

New recruit Evan Leblanc has been instrumental in the club's success and brings a high average, great defense and a bit of power.

Port Adelaide, meanwhile, are looking to return to the Grand Final after losing in a heartbreaking three game series in 2017. Dylan Brammer, who won last year's Capps Medal, is the favourite to win the MVP award again after a sensational year. He pitched a one-run gem in Game 1 of the first round vs. Woodville. 

Adam Crabb and Dushan Ruzik are also excellent starters so we expect runs to be at a premium. 
 

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.