2017 Australian Uni Games
Exec: Alexander Cobb (President), Anthony Palmer (Vice President) and Alexander Bell (Master at Arms).
Veterans: Will Koehn, Georgio Katsifis, Hamish Lorang, Martin Ly and Olan Moon White.
Rookies: Perry Fisher, Matthew Kelleher, Morgan O’Doherty, Samuel Hall, William Boustred and Callum Rawlings.
As is tradition on the eve of competition, Sydney Uni Baseball honoured its deity Tatonka with a ceremonial bowl of libations. The rookies received their first lesson: No one is bigger than the bowl.
Monday morning saw Katsifis take the mound to dominate a diminished UNSW team, backed by plenty of run support and sledging. Inside-the-park homeruns from Palmer and Boustred (in his first ever game of baseball) and a Bell no-doubter to right-centre saw the Cynics prevail 18-7.
Palmer took the ball that afternoon against a strong Melbourne outfit; our lads frustrated in a 7-3 loss. Spirits were low upon return to the luxury of the Hilton, however the XMAS themed court did much to return the boys to their peak form. The softballers joined the courtroom, and tensions escalated when Fisher masterfully appropriated Sancha, their own deity. Rookies attended the bars that night gift wrapped, arms taped firmly to their sides to prevent misbehavior.
Tuesday was highly anticipated as the team had a 9am game followed by a free afternoon. Solid pitching performances from Fisher and Cobb ensured a non-depressed trip to the beach. Hamish Lorang and Will Koehn made the first hospital visit of the week after the former took a fastball off the thumb; no fractures thankfully.
The second hospital visit came that evening when Bell, dressed as Donald Trump, had his abhorrent behaviour impeached by 11 beer bongs. His defense was that he was only acting in character. The call to the ambulance was placed when President Trump had clearly hyper-hydrated.
Wednesday morning saw a severely under-the-weather Cynics lose 9-2 against a rule-breaking Newcastle team, whom had a full-time coach. Formal protests were placed for the offence.
That afternoon delivered the much-anticipated rivalry game against hosts and gold-medal favourites Griffuf (Griffith Uni). On the mound, Cobb escaped an early jam and proceeded to shut down the opposition; aided by multiple running catches from Koehn in centre. The Cynics smelt blood and feasted on Griffuf’s starter for a 9-2 win. The club song was sung with confidence, an impressive feat considering the rookies hadn’t yet learned the words.
Thursday morning, the Cynics squared off against locals QUT and couldn’t repeat the previous game’s heroics, losing 12-2. Cobb was the only one who wanted to recount the game afterwards, repeatedly mentioning his lead-off homer to centre.
Later, the Cynics faced UTS and Ben Cobb (SUBC Grade player and Alex’s younger brother). A severely overworked Ben was greeted by our best hitting performance of the week, highlighted by a second no-doubter from Bell. After one of the longest trots in history, Bell returned to the field with his phone and proceeded to call Mrs. Cobb and let her know that he “hit a zacc off Ben”.
In order to sniff a medal on Friday, the Cynics needed last-placed Monash to beat 4th placed Melbourne. Tatonka, after much praise and adoration throughout the week, produced another miracle as Monash prevailed. Now if the Cynics could defeat UQ, they’d make the bronze medal playoff.
In a back-and-forth contest, the Cynics found themselves down by 3 runs going into the final inning; and then mounted a comeback for the ages. Hits from Palmer, Koehn, Bell and Katsifis tied the game. Katsifis on second with a severely torn hamstring was removed for pinch runner Callum Rawlings who had never played baseball before the week. A passed ball saw Rawlings advance to third, then the catcher air-mailed the ball into left field, allowing Rawlings to score the winning run.
The Bronze Medal game gave the Cynics a chance for retribution against Newcastle, and make them pay for the ignominy of having a full-time uni games coach.
The boys got off to a hot start with Cobb and Palmer leading off with back-to-back homers. Cobb then pitched 7 strong innings backed by solid defense from Fisher at short, Katsifis at first, Palmer catching and Koehn in centre. A 7-2 final score saw Sydney Uni awarded the Bronze Medal.
Importantly, based on the above body of work, the Cynics also won the Tin Medal for off-field performance.