Melbourne continues to light up the competition and keep opponents at bay in VSBL Division 4 East as the season draws nearer to the end, winning a 15th straight game. Footscray Red and White are battling it out for top spot honours in the North West while Cheltenham has kept in first place despite a bye and big wins to Monash Uni and Berwick.
Division 4 East
St Kilda Saints 2 v Malvern Braves 8
Malvern took care of business early, getting out to an eight run lead within two innings before the Saints scored their first runs at the top of the fifth.
While the teams are similar, it was just the Braves fourth win of the season and they have come up from seventh place to sixth spot on the ladder while the Saints are still fourth with a 6-8-1 record.
With three rounds to go, St Kilda will aim to get back onto the winner's list against Waverley Black while Malvern would surely like to keep the wins coming, especially against Melbourne.
Monash University Farmers 3 v Waverley Wildcats Black 8
Waverley Black struck first but fell quickly behind as the teams went into the bottom of the third. Monash Uni scored three runs across the second and third inning to lead 3-1.
Waverley Black evened the score when the fourth inning concluded and found the lead with another one-run dig in the fifth before going all out in the six to score four runs.
The Wildcats Black side has locked up a top-two finish as they sit second with a 13-3 record ahead of a meeting against St Kilda while for the Farmers, they're just outside the top four, but on the same winning percentage as fourth-placed St Kilda. The Farmers will hosts Fitzroy Gold next weekend.
Blackburn Orioles 7 v Fitzroy Lions Gold 6
In Fitzroy, Lions Gold were set the task of scoring two runs at the bottom of the seventh for the win but couldn't manage a run after Blackburn came from behind to secure the lead, and eventual win.
The Orioles scored all seven of their runs in the final two innings - two in the sixth and five in the second - as they fought back against a 6-0 deficit where Fitzroy started the game with three runs in the first.
A clutch single from Johnny McBride scored three runs and put Blackburn in front for good.
It was a bitter blow for the Lions Gold as the Orioles recorded their second win of the season but first proper win which is set to give them a wealth of confidence after being on a 12-game losing streak.
The Orioles will take this momentum with them when they play Waverley Red next week while for Fitzroy Gold, they come up against Monash Uni.
Melbourne Demons 8 v Waverley Wildcats Red 2
Melbourne tasked Waverley Red with getting nine runs in the seventh and final inning of the game after building up an 8-0 lead and keeping the Wildcats scoreless.
The Demons highlights were when they scored three runs in the fourth before contributing two more in each of the sixth and seventh innings. Waverley Red scored two at the bottom of the seventh.
The win to Melbourne keeps their streak going, sitting first at 15-0 and looking forward now to Malvern while for the Wildcats Red side, they'll feel a good chance against Blackburn.
Division 4 North West
North Coburg Rebels Gold 4 v Footscray Bulldogs White 8
North Coburg Gold looked right in this game despite giving up the first two runs to Footscray White in the second innings.
The Rebels were able to cut the margin in half in their third dig but the Bulldogs fought back in a big way, scoring five runs at the bottom, adding one in the fourth, it seeming like a big task ahead for the Rebels.
North Coburg Gold knew the situation and scored three runs in the top of the fifth before the final out was made.
Footscray White is less than a percent away from top spot and faces North Coburg Maroon this weekend while North Coburg Gold will take on Footscray Blue in a good mid-table matchup.
Fitzroy Lions Blue 0 v Mitchell Majors Black 10
It wasn't until late in this game that Mitchell Majors Black scored their runs, starting with one run in the fourth before six in the fifth and a further three in the sixth.
Until the fourth inning, it was largely a pitcher's duel as Fitzroy Blue and Mitchell Majors Black as the home team kept letting their defence talk.
Michael Bourke, Coen Fitzgerald and William Gurnett were all instrumental for Mitchell Majors Black, as the team secured win number four of the season while Fitzroy Blue is just one win ahead of them on the ladder. Mitchell Majors Black will travel to Essendon this weekend while Fitzroy Blue will have the bye to ponder the remainder of the season.
Essendon Jets 17 v North Coburg Rebels Maroon 1
Essendon got the first runs of the game in the second when they scored four while North Coburg Maroon got their one and only run at the bottom.
After that, the Jets scored a further 13 runs, helped by five in the third and seven in the fifth as the score ballooned out. Blake Coleman, Ben Jansen and Jacob Kline helped Essendon's cause as there were hits up and down the lineup.
The Jets are still behind a few other mid-table teams but will be playing Fitzroy Maroon next up while North Coburg Maroon will search for another win as it'll be tough over Footscray White.
Essendon Bombers 6 v Footscray Bulldogs Red 10
Essendon scored either side of their box score with two to start things off in the first inning but after that point, Footscray Red were 2-7 up after four innings.
The fifth and final inning saw the Bombers start with four runs, which brought the margin to one run. But the Bulldogs had other ideas as they kept going at it, scoring three runs to complete the win.
Footscray Red would be happy with the win as they stay in first place with a 13-1-1 record ahead of a matchup with Mitchell Majors Yellow while the Bombers are 3-11 and take on Mitchell Majors Black next time around.
Fitzroy Lions Maroon 8 v Mitchell Majors Yellow 4
Fitzroy Maroon were up 4-0 after their third turn at bat as Mitchell Majors Yellow scored their first at the bottom.
Fitzroy Maroon scored one more in the fourth before Mitchell Majors Yellow took two more to their score in the fourth.
With a 5-3 scoreline, the game could've gone anywhere but the Lions seemed to put that to bed at the top of the fifth when they scored three runs to which Mitchell Majors Yellow could just muster one in the bottom in reply and in search of a great comeback.
Fitzroy Maroon moved into the top four on the back of this win and will play Essendon Jets next while Mitchell Majors Yellow sit third ad will play fellow top-four competitor Footscray Red.
Footscray Bulldogs Blue v BYE
Footscray Bulldogs Blue sit sixth at the completion of the round with a 6-8 record but with three games to go. The Bulldogs will need a win this week over North Coburg Gold to keep in touch with their opposition.
Division 4 South
St Kilda Saints 3 v Berwick City Cougars 22
Berwick had two maxed-out seven-run innings in the second and third as they were at a 3-19 lead after three, five more runs came from their first dig.
St Kilda scored a run in the second and two in the third as the Cougars finalised their score in the fifth with three more.
The Cougars have stayed in third spot on the ladder with an 11-3 record ahead of a game against Pakenham while St Kilda is clinging onto a top four spot but will be eagerly waiting on the results this weekend as the Saints have a bye.
Pakenham Pumas 2 v Monash University Farmers 11
Monash Uni started the game off with a bang, collecting seven runs in the first inning and it was a 0-10 scoreline to the Farmers after two complete innings.
The Pumas fought back started in the fifth with two runs to their score while Monash Uni finished the game by scoring one at the bottom.
Monash Uni is 11-2-1 but the Farmers aren't safe in the top two just yet as they prepare to face Ormond Glenhuntly. The Pumas are 1-15 and will face Berwick in their next game.
Ormond Glenhuntly 9 v Melbourne Demons 5
Melbourne had a chance to win in the bottom of the fourth inning but just managed three, after being down 9-2.
Ormond Glenhuntly scored three at the first dig of the game before the Demons came within one. Ormond Glenhuntly scored a further three in the second and fourth inning too.
It was Ormond Glenhuntly's fourth win of the season before they play Monash Uni while Melbourne sits 5-6 and wants to win against Cheltenham next time around.
Cheltenham Rustlers v BYE
Cheltenham, despite the bye, has stayed in top spot with a 9-1-1 record but won't want to slow down against Melbourne in the upcoming round.