Orange’s new baseball team is back on the winner’s list

It’s been a long wait for baseball fans in Orange without a team but the reformed Raiders have won two games in a row only weeks after they were formed.
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President Luke Whitton said the team, which was dusted off and reformed in Augustabout 10 years after disbanding, was doing well.

“We’ve won two from four games,” Whitton said on Thursday.

Add in a bye and the team is well up the ladder having now played every team in the Wallerawang competition once.

“We lost our first match to the Cougars 9-4 but then we won our next two games and had a bye.

“Last week we played the Raptors. They had some fairly skilled players and we had players out due to indoor hockey commitments and work and injury.”

They lost 17-6 to set them back but Whitton was confident they would rebound quickly.

ThisSunday they face the Cougars, the team who beat them in the first round when they were still building a team with many players who had not played baseball before.

“It’s an opportunity for us to get the win back after the first loss.”

Whitton said that when the team disbanded they were the A and B grade premiers so it was good to see a return to a winning culture.

“Overall I’m really, really happy with how all these players are developing.”

He said Glenn Murphy was a key player.

“He travels from Sydney each week and he’s leading the batting average at the moment. He used to play in Sydney.”

Co-coach Andrew Phelan has justcompleted alevel three coaching course.

“He would be the most credentialled coach in the region.”

Whitton said Phelan’s experience and game knowledge was invaluable in teaching the team’s largely young players about the game.

“He’s an awesome addition to the side.

“He’s teaching our young kids the right way to do things.”

The Wallerawang Baseball Association (WBA) competition consists of several teams from that town, the Cougars, the Lizards and the Raptorsplus the Bathurst Phantoms.

It is played over 15 rounds with about one-third of the season now completed.

After a break over Christmas competition will continue fromJanuary to March.

Finals will be played from March 12 with the grand final on March 19.

Games are at 11am and 1.15pm every Sunday.

There is also an annual sevens competition to be played on January 29.

Whittonsaid he was trying to workwith the WBA organisers to improve the standards and affiliations of the association.

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