Rovers fight back off Leo’s arm

Normal, Sports

The National, Wednesday March 5th, 2014


THE Red Rovers have taken over the lead in Mt Hagen’s softball competition following two good wins last weekend.

The Rovers beat Brown Eagles 12-8 and came from behind to defeat Drongos 9-7 in a gutsy effort to jump to the top of the competition ladder.

Drongos with hurler Westin Kakat at the helm combined with catcher Kuli Topiso to keep Rovers batters at bay as they piled on seven runs.

Rovers were struggling with their batting but after the third turn at bat they re-grouped after a team huddle with captain and former Port Moresby player Eddie Maips at the centre got them switched on.

The talk must have done the trick with an inspired effort from Rovers reeling in the seven-run deficit.

They quickly piled on nine runs at the bottom of the fourth inning with Pacific Games train-on squad member Chris Kouse hitting a home run to start the comeback.

Maips also sent a hit over the boundary to bring Milton Kombukun, Chris Kewa and himself home to leave Kakat rattled on the pitching mound.

Rovers’ relief pitcher Fidelis Leo was brought on for Alphonse Niggins Junior in the fourth to keep the pressure on.

Leo was guided by catcher Maips who called the pitches and made doubly sure Leo knew the areas to work.

The change in pitcher paid off as Leo emptied the Drongos’ dug out in a clinical performance.

Standings: Rovers 29, New Guinea Islands 26, Gazelle 26, Drongos 25, Pirates 23, Radazz Ice 17, Brown Eagles 8.