Musketeers back on familiar Tivoli turf with renewed hopes
BASEBALL: The Ipswich Musketeers return home this weekend with plenty of added incentive after getting their Greater Brisbane League season up and running.
Musketeers host the Redcliffe Padres at the Tivoli Sporting Complex on Friday night before a second game at their headquarters on Sunday afternoon.
After a quiet start to the new season, the Musketeers secured their first win against Coomera last weekend - a 10-3 result after only losing 1-0 on Friday night.
"It was both pleasing and disappointing,'' Musketeers head coach Greg Suthers said.
"(In the first game) we had a couple of close opportunities and they played well.
"On Sunday, we were getting better and better.''
Suthers said Musketeers were feeling more confident heading back to Tivoli after a spate of away matches.
"The pitching has been really good. We're starting the hit the ball,'' the experienced baseballer said.
"They are starting to bunch them (hits) together.
"And the guys are starting to feel more comfortable with each other as well.
"A new coach, new players. They're starting to understand how each other plays and even how they interact, talk and stuff . . . become more of a team rather than individuals.''
Ipswich's new-look 2019/20 line-up includes Californian-based imports Logan Grigsby, Ryan Daugherty, Laine Huffman and Nick Grimes.
Grigsby and Daugherty are slotting into Ipswich's regular pitching roster, along with long-time Musketeers thrower Dean Jones.
Former outfielder Grigsby will also fill the important role of Ipswich player Andrew Campbell while he is on Australian duty the next few weeks and then back with the Brisbane Bandits in the national league.
Suthers was planning to start Grigsby on the mound on Friday night with Daugherty as reliever.
The consistent Jones will continue his important Sunday starting role.
With some hits finally coming last weekend, Suthers was upbeat about the weekend ahead.
"We're looking forward to the guys just getting out there in a familiar park and play some good baseball this weekend,'' he said.
"It's where we train twice a week and guys have been used to playing there. Hopefully everything comes together for us.''
Musketeers are also assisted by having former national leaguer Josh Roberts as catcher and other loyal Ipswich regulars like Rhett Bramwell and Greg Ellis playing.
Northern NSW trio Joshua Healy, Luke Dransfield and Andrew Carrol are also settling into this season's Musketeers squad along with talented youngsters like Billy Cruice, Jeremy Suthers and Campbell Twigg.
GBL: Friday (7pm) - Ipswich Musketeers v Redcliffe Padres at Tivoli Sporting Complex.
Sunday (1.30pm): Musketeers v Redcliffe at Tivoli.