Panthers celebrate successful season
THE new Porepunkah community barbecue area was the venue of a well attended baseball presentation for the Porepunkah Panthers.
President Paul Meddings welcomed the attendees and reminded them of the positives of the season - the new uniforms, which were christened with a premiership, the ground building improvements and the reintroduction of junior players into the NEBA season.
The following presentations were made:
Best Player Award as voted by umpires during the season and the club’s Most Valuable Player Award as decided by a points system, went to Rian Banks. He was also judged the NEBA B Grade Best Player.
His large contribution on the mound saw him throw 25 innings, as well the complete game in the grand final. He obtained 36 strikeouts - the most by a Panther pitcher this year.
His batting performance was equally impressive with 33 safe hits and a batting average of .419. In the grand final it went to .750, and because of his all round performance, he was announced as the umpire’s B Grade Best Player in the grand final.
The MVP Runner Up Award went to Heath Anders who again showed his versatility by pitching, catching and playing the infield positions for only three errors in the regular season.
His batting average was 86 points higher this year at .368 and he was on base 56 per cent of his plate appearances.
He had a good year as the club coach and he set another fine example on how to play the game in the right spirit.
The Best in Finals Award decided by the points system was a close affair.
Only two points separated James Hughes ( 3rd) from Rian (2nd), who was the same margin behind Declan Boyce.
Declan again played errorless baseball and was involved in 10 of the 21 outs in the game.
Although he only batted .250 on the day, he was on base 75 per cent of the time and scored on each occasion.
His two hits to bring in runners to score were also important.
The Best Club Person Award went to Matthew Shennan for the third time in four years.
His work for the club extended from the resurrection of the team shelters to the organising and running of the Saturday morning barbecue, to assisting with sponsorship signage and to attending NEBA meetings as the club’s representative.
Home Run Balls were noted, firstly by Damon Barker with his grand slam in the May 14 match against the Wodonga Maroons, and secondly by James Hughes in the grand final to add a further two runs to the total.
Paul Meddings was acknowledged as the player with the most stolen bases for the season (8) which is the average he has achieved over his seven year period with the club.
Lastly, a thank you was given to all of the players, supporters and families who assisted the club during the year by doing umpiring and scoring in particular and the club goes into its 31st year with a great deal of confidence.