Muskets forced to play semi-final decider
BASEBALL: A THREE-run home run in the Tivoli heat was all it took to deny Ipswich a direct passage to this year's Greater Baseball League grand final series.
However, the Ipswich Musketeers can set the record straight by winning the semi-final decider at the same venue on Tuesday night.
The Musketeers threatened to blast open the series between the competition's top two sides after winning Friday night's encounter 11-1 in eight innings.
However, Redcliffe had other ideas making their intentions clear from the outset in Sunday's second semi-final.
The visitors scored three runs from a home run in the first dig, providing the winning platform in the hot conditions.
Although Musketeers also scored early through Wade Dutton, Redcliffe retained its 3-1 lead after nine innings.
Musketeers president Jon Campbell said Ipswich pitcher Fernandez Beltran was superb in the first semi-final.
"He was awesome,'' Campbell said.
"He threw eight innings for one hit, 10 strike-outs and three walks. He dominated.''
All the Musketeers batters shared in the hitting spree.
Sunday's return clash was a tight affair, forcing a third game to decide which team advances directly to the grand final.
"We're a little bit disappointed,'' Campbell said.
"We out-hit them.
"We made some good plays and hit the ball hard.
"That three-run home run basically set the tone of the (second) game.''
Campbell said Musketeers were yet to decide who would pitch in the all-important decider.
Third-placed Windsor won the other semi-final series 2-0, including an 18-7 victory over Redlands on Sunday night.
Windsor play the loser of the Ipswich-Redcliffe series in this weekend's preliminary final.
GBL semi-final series: Game 1 - Ipswich Musketeers def Redcliffe Padres 11-1.
Game 2: Redcliffe def Musketeers 3-1.
Game 3 decider: Tuesday (7pm): Ipswich v Redcliffe at Tivoli Sporting Complex (Church Street).
Loser to play Windsor this weekend.