Baseball duo aim for top

By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

NOT CONTENT with sharing a fine season with the rampaging Pine Rivers Rapids A grade base- ball team, former Gladstone play- ers Brent Thomsen and Nigel Jones look certain to represent their state together next year as well.

Both players have shown out- standing form with the bat for a Rapids team sitting pretty in second spot on the Brisbane Major A grade premiership ladder.

The Rapids added to their pre- miership credentials last week- end when they easily accounted for competition front-runners Surfers Paradise 9-2 in the mid- season Commissioner's Cup final. Despite his form as a hitter, it's been a frustrating season for Thomsen who has had to give up pitching duties due to a shoulder injury.

'I haven't trained (for pitching) this year because I'm still getting over an arm injury,' Thomsen said from Brisbane. 'I've been out of pitching for six months.'

Thomsen's dilemma forced him to refine his game, working on his hitting ability and moving to the outfield.

'It's been a bit of a tough year not pitching and I thought I might get dropped from A grade because I wasn't in my normal spot but it's worked out all right.'

Thomsen said he and Jones, himself a former pitcher, were en- joying success at the batter's plate for the Rapids and were now ex- pected to line up for the Queens- land provincial side to tour New Zealand in February.

Thomsen, 19, said Jones, who, in his mid-30s, had stated his intention to retire after the current season, had been a big help as he has set about improving his batting.

'Nigel reckons it's his last year ... says his body's aching after ev- ery game this year,' Thomsen laughed.

'But he's still playing well and wants to go out with a premiership.'

Thomsen has represented his state at under-18 level since first doing so as a prodigiously-talent- ed 16-year-old in 2002 and is look- ing forward to donning the senior maroon uniform.



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