Ipswich Musketeers starting pitcher Fernando Beltran.
Ipswich Musketeers starting pitcher Fernando Beltran. Cordell Richardson

Muskets yet to hit best form after duel with leaders

BASEBALL: The Ipswich Musketeers have slipped out of the top four after two losses to the Greater Brisbane League competition leaders.

However, Sunday's 5-3 defeat to the Redcliffe Padres on the road showed the Ipswich side is not far off the pace.

Musketeers captain Josh Roberts pitched the entire nine innings, keeping his side in the game after Friday night's 9-4 defeat.

"They are a good young team,'' Musketeers president Jon Campbell said of the Padres. "We didn't play well on Friday night.

"We were in the game, leading 3-0 early but we just didn't seem to hit that well.

"But yesterday, we could have won that game. We're still not hitting as well as we could as a team.

"Josh pitched a good game yesterday. We just didn't bunch enough hits together when we needed to.''

Canadian import pitcher Fernando Beltran started on Friday night before being replaced by American recruit Chase Davenport.

With Musketeers international contingent still settling in, Campbell expects the Ipswich team to rebound strongly in this weekend's home games against the Redland Rays.

The Rays (five wins, seven losses) sit one spot below the Musketeers (five wins, six losses) as the competition starts to take shape.

After earlier wins over Surfers Paradise 11-5 and 4-1, the Musketeers were confident against Redcliffe.

"I thought we could win both games against the Padres,'' Campbell said. "But we're not far out of the top four.''

Meanwhile, Ipswich and Brisbane Bandits batter Andrew Campbell has made an impressive start in this year's revamped Australian Baseball League.

The Aussie squad member has already hit two home runs.

That included a Holloway Field fence-clearing strike leading off for the Bandits in their opening game 5-3 win over Adelaide Bite.

Campbell scored three RBIs in the same match before hitting another home run against Adelaide on Sunday.

Jon will join his son Andrew on this week's ABL road trip to New Zealand.

The defending national league champions are looking to consolidate their encouraging 2018/19 season start against the new Auckland side.

State of play

GBL: Redcliffe Padres def Ipswich Musketeers 9-4 and 5-3.

Next matches: Ipswich v Redland Rays at Tivoli on Friday night (7.30pm) and Sunday (1.30pm).