There were plenty of close games over the weekend as the 2019/20 VSBL Division 4 season continued. Melbourne continues to impress, celebrating 14 straight wins in the East while Footscray White and Red dominate at the top of the North West. Cheltenham secured a win to stay first in the South with two teams close behind.
Division 4 East
Waverley Wildcats Red 13 v Waverley Wildcats Black 12
Needing six runs for the walk-off victory, Waverley Black fell just short as the Waverley Red team were the ones cheering at the end of the game.
The first inning saw a lot of runs being scored with Wildcats Black holding the edge 7-4 until Wildcats Red responded with seven of their own in the second.
By the time the bottom of the fourth rolled around, Waverley Red were up 13-8 and had to put the foot down to have a shot of beating their opponents.
However, Waverley Black tallied four runs at the bottom as they lost their third game of the season.
Waverley Black will want to bounce bag in a big way against Monash Uni this weekend.
Waverley Red moved up a spot from seventh to sixth on the back of this win and will only look to be going further up the standings when they take on Melbourne.
Malvern Braves 3 v Fitzroy Lions Gold 11
The Braves just never strung their offence together at key moments like Fitzroy Gold did and that went a long way to deciding the victorious team in this game.
The Lions got their account moving in the first with four runs, adding another in the third while Malvern scored one and two in the second and fourth.
A six-run fifth inning was the final nail in the coffin for the Braves who succumbed to their 10th loss of the season while Fitzroy Gold sits third with a 8-5-1 record.
Malvern is now on a four-game losing streak heading into a game v St Kilda while Fitzroy Gold takes on Blackburn.
St Kilda Saints 8 v Monash University Farmers 8
It was a great job by St Kilda to shut down the Farmers after the home team held an 8-3 lead after the second inning.
Seven runs in Monash Uni's first dig was what set the pace early for the Farmers who added another run in the second before not scoring the rest of the game.
Not going down without a fight, the Saints rallied together to find three runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth that tied things up.
It was the Farmers' third draw of the season as they sit fifth with a 5-6-3 record, on the same winning percentage as fourth-place St Kilda with a 6-7-1 record. St Kilda will play Malvern this weekend while Monash Uni is away to Waverley Black.
Blackburn Orioles 0 v Melbourne Demons 14
Melbourne remain undefeated this season as the score in this game reflected their record for the season; 14-0.
Not dropping a game all year, the Demons continued that against the lower-ranked Blackburn. The Demons started their first inning off with five in the first, ahead of a strong finish to the game with nine runs across the final two innings.
Melbourne Coach Bryce Webb says the first and fourth innings were impressive with the Demons' bats coming alive. "The first three innings of defence were also highlights as we were looking at a no-hitter going into the 4th," Webb said. "Liam Jackson was impressive, as he pitched a complete game shutout. He had never gone more than 3 innings before."
Sitting comfortably at the top of the ladder with just Waverley Black anywhere near first place, Melbourne will look to ramp up their game going forward. "Solid defence has been the biggest strength for the season, followed by big bats in the middle of the line up," Webb added. "We need to increase our efforts going into the final rounds and look to work on the areas that we need to improve."
Blackburn will hope to find a win over Fitzroy Gold this weekend while the Demons will see if they can make it 15 straight against Waverley Red.
Division 4 North West
Fitzroy Lions Maroon 6 v Fitzroy Lions Blue 8
Fitzroy Maroon were up 6-1 ahead of Fitzroy Blue's third dig but that was when Blue got ahead, scoring six runs in a display of great hitting.
Throughout the final three innings of the game, Lions Blue were able to shut down the Lions Maroon bats and extend their own lead by one in the fifth.
This was an especially exciting and historic game for Fitzroy with three father-son duos taking the field for Fitzroy Blue, including Ethan and Mario Epifanio, Michael and David Jones and Ryan and Cameron Knight.
The Maroon team is close to entering the top four, sitting fifth with an 8-5 record whereas Fitzroy Blue isn't far behind in seventh with a 5-8-1 record. Fitzroy Maroon will be away to MItchell Majors Yellow while Fitzroy Blue will be away to Mitchell Majors Black.
Photo: Fitzroy Lions Baseball Club
Mitchell Majors Black 15 v North Coburg Rebels Maroon 1
North Coburg Maroon salvaged one run in the final dig of the game against Mitchell Majors Black who came up with a hefty tally of runs across five innings.
Their account started with back-to-back three-run innings before seven runners crossed home in the third. Mitchell Majors Black then closed the game with back-to-back one-run digs.
It was Mitchell Majors Black's third win of the season as they've won the last two games, hoping that continues against Fitzroy Blue. North Coburg Maroon will hope to find their second win against Essendon Jets this weekend.
Footscray Bulldogs Blue 5 v Essendon Bombers 7
While each team found at least one dig where runs were pouring in, the Bombers acted upon the chances they created more than Footscray Blue.
The Bombers scored four in the first and were up by five runs before Essendon had a four-run dig of their own in the third.
The Bombers had back-to-back one-run digs in the fourth and fifth as Bulldogs Blue ended the game after scoring one at the top of the sixth.
The Bombers now sit on three wins for the season ahead of a meeting with Footscray Red. Footscray Blue will play Mitchell Majors Black, hoping to win once more after winning the two games prior to this meeting.
Mitchell Majors Yellow 2 v Footscray Bulldogs White 10
Footscray had back-to-back four-run digs to open their offensive accounts while getting single runs in the third and fourth innings.
Mitchell Majors Yellow scored a run in the second and a run in the fourth to form a bit of a reply but never got going further.
Bulldogs White are on a two-game win streak and sit second on the ladder with an 11-1-1 record, not far behind first as they now turn their attention to North Coburg Gold. Mitchell Majors Yellow, who had won seven in a row before now, are third with a 10-4 record as they take on Fitzroy Maroon next.
Footscray Bulldogs Red 7 v Essendon Jets 3
Footscray Red have cemented their spot at the top with a win over Essendon Jets.
The game was tied 1-1 going into the top of the third, when the bulldogs tacked on three runs. Another three runs came in the top of the sixth, with the Jets putting together two runs in the final frame but that was it.
Bulldogs Red have been good this season, just losing one game to sit with a 12-1-1 record while the Jets are 4-8-1. The Jets will travel to face North Coburg Maroon this week while Bulldogs Red will take on Essendon Bombers at home this weekend.
North Coburg Rebels Gold v BYE
The Rebels are in fourth place with an 8-4-1 record ahead of a big game at Footscray Bulldogs White.
Division Four South
Berwick City Cougars 13 v Melbourne Demons 6
The Demons were only behind by one run as the second innings finished when the Cougars were ahead 4-3.
However, the next two Berwick digs elicited nine runs as the lead grew to 10 runs, the Demons able to peg it back by a few in the final two innings of the game.
The Cougars' second win in a row puts them further away and allows them to cement a top four finish as the season has four rounds to play, sitting third with a 10-3 record. They take on St Kilda this weekend. Melbourne has a chance to enter the top four this weekend as the Demons come face-to-face with Ormond Glenhuntly.
Cheltenham Rustlers 15 v Ormond Glenhuntly 4
Cheltenham put three runs up in both the first and the second, although Ormond Glenhuntly got on the board at the bottom of two, scoring one.
Each team scored another in the third to make it a 7-2 ballgame in favour of the Rustlers. By the fifth the score was 8-4 to Cheltenham.
Putting the result to bed in the sixth, Cheltenham scored seven runs as the margin was too much for Ormond Glenhuntly to come back from.
Cheltenham sits atop the South competition with a 9-1-1 record going into a bye week. Ormond Glenhuntly has lost the last seven and will take on Melbourne in the upcoming round.
Pakenham Pumas FORFEIT v St Kilda Saints
Pakenham is 1-14 at the bottom of the ladder while St Kilda stays in fourth place with a 6-5 record heading into the next round. Pakenham plays Monash Uni and St Kilda plays Berwick in round 16.
Monash University Farmers v BYE
Monash University is 10-2-1 in second place, narrowly ahead of Berwick. The Farmers play the Pumas next.