The 1971 Division 1 Premiership was a dominant defensive effort - a complete game shutout by Noel Smith restricting Footscray to just 2 hits over 9 innings.
Sporting Globe - August 28th 1971
by George Edwards
Bulldogs to win flag
Footscray should beat Melbourne in the A grade baseball grand final at Straw field tomorrow at 2:40. It promises to be a clash of the giants. Footscray's main task will be to cut the Demons supply line and I believe they can do this, spearheaded by coach Ern Bolton and take the flag after a gap of more than 20 years.
Bolton has had years on the mound and is easily the most experienced twirler in the business. The Demons fought their way into the finals with a great finishing burst after a slow start and landed in second berth one point behind leaders Coburg.
A strong batting line-up gave the Demons a fine season tally of 167 safe hits with Murray Fielder (26), Mike Brinkman (23), Roger Miller (22) and Norm Robinson (20) being chief sluggers.
With favourable conditions the ball will be dispatched regularly to the outfield, and Footscray's defence will be under constant pressure. Footscray are not short of long ball hitters and they have Ian Curwood (25), Ken Eastwood (24), Dave Nichol and John Dalton (20 each) to worry the Demon pitcher.
Sporting Globe - September 1st 1971
BASEBALL TITLE TO MELBOURNE
by George Edwards
Melbourne won the A grade baseball premiership with a crushing 4-0 win over Footscray on Sunday. The Demons attacked early and lead-off batter Roger Miller hit safely. He was sent across the plate on Ern Bolton's "baulk". A further run in the second trip to the plate and two runs in the fourth put pressure on the Bulldogs and they were fumbling to give their opponents an easy ride.
Footscray had a great chance in their second when John Dalton was safe on shortstop's error but succeeding batters flied out to leave the runner freeze on the far corner.
The Bulldogs frittered away another chance to score in their fifth frame when Ritche Copeland "walked", Kevin Michael hit safely but, again they could not bat themselves into scoring runs.
Late in the game Melbourne appeared to be cruising with a four-run advantage but Footscray's big battery could not press home any advantage. Noel Smith pitched intelligently for the Demons, he struck out four batters bat was sending his first pitch across the plate to many batters who just looked it over.
There was plenty of big hittng and the respective centrefielders Murray Fielder (M) and Ritchie Copeland (F) took 11 flies in that position - six to Fielder.
Ross Straw Field, 28th August 1971
WP: Smith, N 9IP, 0ER, 2H, 4K
Hits: Robinson, N (single), Miller, R (single), Illingworth, E (single), Provis, D (single)
RBI: Illingworth, E
Team LOB: 3
President: C. Spargo
Secretary: G. McKee
Coach: D. Went
Scorer: A Cavanagh
Bat Boy: D. Brooks