WINNING Newcastle baseball grand finals has become second nature for Belmont veteran Adam Blight.
The Seagulls have played in the past 27 Newcastle Major League deciders, and Blight has been there for 17 of them, including the past nine as champions.
The 37-year-old has one last chance to add another title to his collection when Belmont face Toronto at Waterboard Oval on Saturday.
“I’ve made the decision [to retire], and what a way to go out with number 10 … hopefully,” Blight said this week from the Blue Mountains, where he is working as a carpenter remodeling a hotel.
“It’s been a privilege to play with this great club, and I’ll be exhausted on Saturday night because I will be putting everything in to win it.”
The infielder admits this year’s minor premiers are the strongest challengers to emerge during Belmont’s decade of dominance.
“I think this is going to be the hardest one to win,” Blight said.
“I think Toronto’s hitting line-up is one of the best I’ve come up against.”
Blight will play a key role in the field at shortstop before likely coming on in relief to replace starter Tim Cox.
It is a formula that has worked well for the Seagulls this year, including in last week’s preliminary final against Phoenix.
“I think defence will win the game for us,” Blight said.
“Basically it’s going to come down to pitching and good defence, because both sides have very good hitting.”
Toronto are chasing their first top-grade title and are desperate to turn around their fortunes after losing three deciders since 2012.
That includes an agonising 18-12 defeat last year when the Seagulls used all their big-game knowhow to score eight late runs when the game was in the balance.
“We pride ourselves on our experience,” Blight said.
“They haven’t got that. They’ve never won a grand final, so all the pressure is on them
“I’m sure they hate us and are desperate to beat us, and if they do, I’ll tip my hat to them.”
MAJOR LEAGUE GRAND FINAL
Toronto v Belmont
Saturday, Waterboard Oval, Blackalls Park, 2.10pm
Toronto line-up: Michael Campbell CF, Moko Moanaroa LF, Pat Maat RF, Boss Moanaroa 3B, Kurt Eden 2B, Dillan McMaster SS, Todd Bowden 1B, Dylan Smider C, Nic Anderson-Vine DH. Starting pitcher: Jason McAdam. Relief pitcher: Thomas Holland.
Belmont line-up: Jace Poole CF, Mark Dries 3B, Tom O'Gorman 2B, Chris Hook RF, Greg Allen 1B, Ed Figueroa DH, Adam Blight SS, Sam Brown C, Ilan Laws LF. Starting pitcher: Tim Cox.
Second grade (11am): Toronto v Belmont
BarTV will stream the decider live from 2pm at bartvsports.com.au