SWINGING INTO THE GRAND FINAL: Rockhampton A's Bernard 'Louie' Cox.
SWINGING INTO THE GRAND FINAL: Rockhampton A's Bernard 'Louie' Cox. Allan Reinikka ROK201018asoftbal

Rockhampton A comes runners up in state softball titles

SOFTBALL: ROCKHAMPTON Softball Association's A men's have gone farther than any Rocky team at a state level.

In the Queensland Open Men's Championships at Kele Park, Rockhampton A came runners up to Redlands in Sunday's grand final, losing 10-4.

Coach Louie Cox said despite missing out on the top place, the team was extremely happy to have done enough to make it to the end.

"We're really proud,” he said.

"The boys were playing for one another and coming through with good plays and good hits when it counted.

"We had one bad inning and it just got away from us.

"We had to play three games each day so our pitchers were worn out a bit and Redlands were able to capitalise on that.'

Redlands, dubbed the "home of Queensland softball”, was always going to be a tough team to face.

"We had a shot but they're a really strong side,” Cox said.

"Every game was a tough game and there was no guarantee we'd make the final and we did the best we could.

"We really stuck it to them, kept powering on and focused on where we got.

"We tried a bit of short game and bumps and stuff in the final but they didn't come off.”

A stand-out was Bryce Heal, 25, who hit three or four home runs for the team.

"His batting was really good,” Cox said.

"He's got a really good head on his shoulders and does a lot for the team.

"Ben Preston hit a home run and that fired the boys back up and gave us a late surge with another two runs in. We then finished the game strong.

"There weren't enough runs to beat them. We went seven innings and that's a game.”

Ryan Smith and Michael Ludkin also impressed.

"They showed a lot of guts,” Cox said.

"They pitched all weekend and did a great job in the middle.”

Rockhampton A will be ones to watch in coming states.

"There's a lot of good juniors coming up who are keen to get into the team,” Cox said.