The ACT 89ers have retained the John Reid Shield after defeating a gallant New South Wales side 4-3 at Blacktown International Sportspark.
Due to torrential rain on Thursday and Friday morning, the tournament saw five games abandoned meaning the top-4 teams following the first round of regular fixtures advanced to the finals.
The 89ers were easily able to account for Queensland with a 10-0 win wrapped up in four innings to secure a spot in the final while NSW overcame Victoria 7-2 and Queensland 4-1 to complete the match-up.
New South Wales made their intentions clear in the top of the second inning belting back-to-back home runs through Lachlan Hay and Mitch Brownlow to put the home team up 2-0 early over the defending champions.
They were able to convert a Josh Bond double to extend their lead to 3-0 early in the game putting pressure on the ACT team.
Captain coach for the 89ers, Andrew Kirkpatrick, began the fightback for ACT with a solo shot over the fence in the bottom of the fourth inning.
An innings later, scores were equalled at 3-3 after two more runs were scored through Kyle Johnson and Josh White for the ACT.
The NSW batters missed an opportunity to re-take the lead after they were unable to convert loaded bases in the top of the sixth inning, the class of ACT pitcher Adam Folkard striking out the final batter to keep the game tied.
In stark contrast, Evan Byrne smoked another home run to edge the ACT men in front 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth.
New South Wales were unable to equal in the top the seventh and the 89ers retain the John Reid Shield.
The U18 Women’s National Championship will round out the National Championships for the Summer, taking place at Blacktown International Sportspark 19-25 January.
Tournament MVP – Jarryd Farrell (SA)
Best Batter – Jarryd Farrell (SA)
Best Pitcher – Harrison Peters (NSW)
Rosemary Adey Rookie of the Year – Bradley Kilpatrick (NSW)
Grand Final MVP – Evan Byrne (ACT)
Grand Final Box Score
Preliminary Final Box Score