Rocky softball champ joins Qld School Boys Championship
SOFTBALL: Last weekend, it came down to a nail-biting tie breaker in the U19 School Boys Championship, between the undefeated New South Wales outfit and Queensland.
With 1-1 on the board and a star pitcher with an injured rotator cuff, Rockhampton's Nicholas Crouch, 15, wondered whether his team could make the final run to defeat the blues team.
"We had a load of bases with none out and NSW was batting. I thought we had lost for sure,” the Frenchville Scorpions player said. "But he struck them out and we won.
"It wasn't as good as the U17s, which was my first nationals win, but it was still good to beat them.”
The victory was a hard-earned one, with the Qld team earning four wins against the ACT team and copping four losses against the NSW squad.
It was the win against ACT in the semi-final that put them up against the blues for a final redemption, and keeping their best pitcher hidden until the last bout, they took their opposition by surprise.
"We built from each game against NSW and hid our strongest pitcher,” Crouch said.
"We laid off the higher pitches and didn't swing at them and then we just worked on areas in the field, just little one-per-center stuff.”
The Canberra-based competition showcased another Rockhampton talent, Jackson Gouge, who joined Crouch on the team.
"(I made the team because) I made the Capricornia team and we went to Maryborough and played against North, Wide Bay, Bundaberg and Sunshine Coast earlier in the year,” Crouch said.
"We came third and they selected 12 players for the Qld team.
"We had a two-day training session on the Wednesday and Thursday and flew out at the end of that week.”
Despite it being the first U19 School Boys Crouch has been involved in, due to lack of numbers to make a team last year, he had already formed relationships with his teammates from previous Qld teams and CQ competitions.
Crouch hopes to make the U18 state team for Rockhampton again this year and head to Sydney to compete in October.
"Never give up, work on everything,” he said.