Consecutive wins secure Musketeers home ground final
CELEBRATIONS started early in the Ipswich Musketeers dugout this weekend.
Back-to-back wins over the Gold Coast Surfers side guaranteed Ipswich will finish at the top of the Brisbane Major League with one round remaining.
With an unassailable lead at the top of the table, the wins on Friday night and this afternoon secured a home ground semi-final for the Musketeers.
Ipswich captain Josh Roberts said the celebrations began after a 11-3 victory in wet conditions on Friday night.
"We needed that one win to lock down the home final and it was a big win so we were celebrating," Roberts said. "I can't remember the last time we finished the regular season in first place."
If the Musketeers can continue their winning streak into the finals they will be playing for their first title in more than a decade.
The Musketeers returned to Tivoli Sports Complex today, buoyed by the knowledge it would not be their last appearance at the home ground.
The fifth-placed Surfers needed both wins to have a shot at making the finals but struggled to challenge the Musketeers as they cruised home to a 5-2 win.
Surfers pitchers were all current or former junior Queensland representatives and played well against a quality Musketeers side determined to end their season on a high.
Musketeers pitcher Dean Jones had a commanding game on the mound, throwing eight innings, conceding only four hits. He made three strike outs.
With the bat it was Andrew Campbell who entered the highlights reel producing a rare triple.
Depending on next weekend's results, the Musketeers will host either the Redlands Rays or the Windsor Royals in the semi-final.
Roberts said he didn't have a preference between the two potential opponents.
"It might sound a bit corny but we will be focusing on our game and just aiming for the win," he said.
"Hopefully the home final means we can get a bit of a crowd down to the grounds to cheer us on."
One more regular season round remains against the last-placed Redcliffe Padres.
Roberts said the final game would be a chance to give a few extra pitchers a spell in preparation for the best-of-three finals format.
"Dean and myself will probably throw a few less and give some of the other boys a go," he said.
"The win also means we get the week off before the semi-finals. Getting that week off means you can set your pitching line-up and have everyone fresh and ready to go."
A win in the semi-final would cement a home ground grand-final and a chance for fans to see the Ipswich side complete a fairytale finish to the Brisbane Major League.