Musketeers bolt into grand final
IPSWICH Musketeers survived a thrilling semi-final against Windsor Royals to earn a week off before the Brisbane Major League grand final.
The top two teams at the end of the regular season - Ipswich and Windsor - faced off in a best of three semi final series at the Tivoli Sporting Complex.
Former Brisbane Bandit Steve Greer helped the Musketeers to an exciting 4-3 win on Friday night in a game that could have gone either way.
At the bottom of the ninth, Windsor were leading 3-0 and brought in Brisbane Bandits pitcher Matt Timms to close.
Greer stepped in for the Musketeers, and with loaded bases produced a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 3-3, and send the game into extra innings.
Windsor threw a wild pitch in the 11th inning and Greer again stepped up to score the winning run and close out the game 4-3.
While it took a last-ditch team effort to secure the win, Musketeers veteran Dean Jones said it was captain Josh Roberts who kept the team in the fight.
"It was a nervous game but Josh threw well for nine innings and kept us in it," he said.
"We just had to get some runners on base, which we did in the ninth and things started to happen then."
At 31 years old, Jones is one of the most experienced players in the Musketeers line-up and knew just how crucial the Friday night win was for their finals chances.
"It's important to win those close games and it really helped us out today," he said.
"Everything pretty much went to plan and it's good to be able to take that week off now before the final.
"We'll train a bit more during the week and rest up."
Windsor will take on the winner of Carina Redsox and Redlands Rays in the preliminary final.
Jones said he would not be surprised if the grand final would be a rematch of this weekend.
"We expect to see them (Windsor) in the grand final," he said. "Getting this win gives us a bit of confidence against them."
The former Queensland representative believed the home ground advantage played a part in the team's success.
"The crowd makes a big difference and just being able to play on your home ground is the main benefit," Jones said.
"It'll be good to be able to celebrate with them afterwards."
With a 6-3 lead in the final innings it was American import Michael Perrone who took the mound to close out the second game today.
Perrone was put under pressure when Windsor managed to claw back two runs and threatened to send the game into extra time for a second time.
Much to the relief of the Ipswich fans, Perrone kept a cool head to close the game out at 6-5, and hand the Musketeers a 2-0 win.
Jones was confident Perrone could handle the pressure.
"You expect that from a good team like Windsor," he said.