GRAND SLAM: Josh Roberts scored three home runs for the Ipswich Musketeers.
GRAND SLAM: Josh Roberts scored three home runs for the Ipswich Musketeers. Rob Williams

Home run hat-trick puts Roberts' stamp on Musketeers win

BETWEEN rugby league and running bases, Josh Roberts is used to scoring points on a field or pitch.

The Ipswich Musketeers player/coach led by example on Friday night as he smashed three home runs, including one grand slam.

"Sometimes it just happens like that,” Roberts laughed.

"I don't really know know what it was, I was just trying to throw the ball up there a bit.”

Ipswich fought off a late comeback by Surfers Paradise to claim a 14-9 victory on Friday night, before returning yesterday to make it two-from-two with a 9-1 win.

While yesterday's game was played at Surfers' home ground, Friday night's clash was held at the smaller Beenleigh diamond.

Looking to take confidence ahead of the upcoming finals, Roberts admitted the smaller pitch helped with the extra boundaries.

"Yeah I think it did (help a bit),” he said. "Beenleigh is a smaller field so you don't have to hit as far to get runs.

"They got away from us a bit on Friday night so it was good to come back and try to make our stamp on the game. They are a very young team and being an older side we do come in and expect to win against teams like that.”

With only two rounds remaining in the Major A competition, the Musketeers are well placed in third position.

Clashes with fellow top-four contenders Carina and Redcliffe will pave the way for Ipswich to cement their finals credentials.

"We knew with six games remaining that if we win them all we are a chance of sneaking into second place,” Roberts said. "We just want to worry about those games and if the other teams lose then we are setting ourselves up for the finals.

"We'll take a lot of momentum and confidence if we can win against Carina and Redcliffe who will both be in the finals.”

While Roberts was instrumental in the Musketeers two wins, their coach praised Ipswich teammates Wade Dutton and James Linger for their efforts.

"Dutton and James both hit really well over the weekend,” he said. "In terms of pitching, Ryan (Torrey) and Dean Jones are just doing their job every week.

"It's great having guys like that who can just go out there and get it done.”

This weekend the Ipswich Musketeers face the fourth-placed Redcliffe Padres. In the final round, Ipswich play Carina, while Redcliffe take on ladder leaders Windsor.



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