Despite dropping a game to Fitzroy, Sunshine still remains on top by one game as VSBL Division 1 enters the final week of regular season games. For the rest of the Division 1 competition, semi-finals start this weekend with Blackburn leading the reserves and thirds and Melbourne finishing on top in the fourths.
Division 1 Firsts - Round 25
Fitzroy Lions 6 v Sunshine Eagles 1
The Lions scored their first run in the second, followed by another in the fifth before a big seventh inning saw four runs cross the plate for Fitzroy.
Behind 6-0, Sunshine had some work to do and it took until the bottom of the eighth inning for the Eagles to pencil in a run.
Fitzroy's Brock Pawley pitched a complete nine innings to receive the win, giving up five hits for one run with nine strikeouts.
Tallying nine hits across nine innings, the Lions had Ethan Epifanio, Tom Wilson and Gavin Juchnevicius record two each, the latter two making it to second on one occasion with an RBI and a run to their name. Epifanio scored twice while Tom Dicker and Danny King also benefited from batters getting them around the bases to score.
Scott Barr took the loss for the Eagles, going five innings for six hits, two runs and five strikeouts. He was supported by Adam Irons and Griffin Weir. Irons didn't let any runners on base in two innings of work while Fitzroy batters got three hits and four earned runs off of Weir.
There were five hits across the board for Sunshine, birthday boy Bryce Aldridge with a double and Joshua Byrne a triple as he made his way to home on a Jordan Young RBI single.
It was a great win for the Lions who had won eight games prior to this weekend but have now moved up a place to 10th with a 9-15 record and breaking up a two-game losing streak in the process.
Fitzroy's Head Coach Ryan Mitchell says this result proved that the team can go toe to toe with anyone. " The way the boys played was incredible," Mitchell said. "With the bat everyone really did contribute by putting hits and runs on and bunting. We just really did the small things which paid off big time."
Mitchell is confident that Fitzroy can repeat this performance against a tough competitor. "All we need to do is play like we did on weekend - stay relaxed with no errors and I believe we will come home strong."
It was Sunshine's sixth loss of the season, and for the top-placed team in the competition, the Eagles have won one of the last four games as they take a 17-6-1 record into round 26 where they're again at home to Fitzroy.
Photo: Fitzroy Lions Baseball Club
Geelong Baycats 6 v Essendon Bombers 5
Essendon scored the first run of the day at the bottom of the third but it was quickly drawn even again when Geelong brought in a run in the next dig.
The Baycats continued their run scoring in the sixth with five as the Bombers were forced to catchup in front of a home crowd, and they managed to come close.
Essendon started by bringing the margin back by one run in the seventh, and the eighth is where the Bombers gathered up some momentum to have three runners cross the plate, but unfortunately for the home side, they couldn't finish the job in the ninth.
Geelong's Rudy Jaramillo pitched five innings for the win on the mound giving up four hits for one run along with three strikeouts.
Of Geelong's 12 hits for the day, Kelli Zablan scored a quarter of them as he hit a three-run homer while Troy Snarey and Tyler Luther-Wilson each had two hits for one run, Troy Snarey also recording two hits. Kobe Greenhalgh had a one for one game with an RBI.
Michael Formisano took the loss for the Bombers, lasting 5.2 innings for eight hits and five runs - four of them unearned - with three strikeouts.
Jared Cruz, Scott McIntyre and McLeod Sell each had two hits for Essendon, Sell coming home on both hits too. Cruz scored also while Ross Bament and Peter Stokes each scored a run from their singles.
It would have been a great comeback win for the now 10-14-1 Essendon, however the Bombers slip a spot from eighth to ninth place. Geelong's 16th win of the season sees them keep second place on the ladder as the Baycats bounced back from a 6-3 loss to Waverley last week. Both teams will continue to give it their all again with two games to go.
Newport Rams 0 v Sandringham Royals 11
As Sandringham celebrated Teal Day for Ovarian Cancer Awareness, the Royals got on top of the Rams in a huge shutout win.
The home team got things started in the first with one runner scoring before adding four more in both the third and fifth innings, ending the sixth inning with a further two scores.
David Asp took the loss on the mound through five innings, seeing 13 hits and seven earned runs.
Newport tallied five hits for the day, all single hits to Cameron Lyons, Mason Wray, Connor Schibeci, Jason Jarvis and Scott Hillier.
Cody Anderson has been a star for the Royals in the middle this season, and this game was no different. He pitched seven innings for five hits and zero runs while striking out seven batters to record the win.
Declan Ferguson and Branden Stenhouse each had three hits for the game that included a double. Ferguson scored two runs from his few hits while Will Tucker also scored twice and Jack Wills went two from two. Timothy Lane and Harrison Wills both had two hits for the day as Sam Skinner and Ferguson collected two RBIs each.
Sandrigham has moved up one spot to eighth place, holding onto an 11-14 record with back-to-back wins and a chance to make waves in this competition with two rounds to go. Newport has a 4-18-1 record heading into the final two games against Sandringham.
Blackburn Orioles 4 v Melbourne Demons 0
Blackburn remains inside the top three with a 15-8-1 record after scoring a 4-0 shutout win over Melbourne.
The Orioles got on the scoreboard in the third with two runs before adding a run in both the seventh and ninth. Defense played a big part in the result, recording no errors in the field.
Blake Hodgson picked up the win for the Orioles on the heels of a scoreless outing, giving up four hits with four strikeouts in five innings. Scott Mitchelson got the save, giving up two hits and zero runs in three innings.
Blackburn had 10 hits in total, with Luke Hughes leading the way with three and coming around to score once. Cooper Goodman and Charlie Collins each had two hits, Goodman adding an RBI. Ben Leslie and Jacob Evans each crossed home after they had safe hits while Liam Hopkins was the other scorer for the away side.
Melbourne, now with an 8-16 record, will look to get some runs on the board against Blackburn early when these sides meet again.
Berwick City Cougars 4 v Cheltenham Rustlers 2
An eventful second inning ended 2-1 in favour of the Rustlers but for them, that's where their scoring ended, although they did a good job of keeping Berwick from getting too far in front.
The Cougars got ahead in the fourth inning when they put up two runs before adding one more in the ninth as the visiting side completely shut down Cheltenham for the majority of the game.
Craig Barnett picked up the win for the Cougars, going seven innings for four hits and one earned run with five strikeouts while Cameron Gibbens got the save, pitching the remaining two innings with one hit, zero runs and four strikeouts.
Cheltenham's fiery offense that scored 28 runs over the last three games was considerably quieter in this game, with five hits on the night. Ben Fierenzi was the standout with the bat, going 3-for-4 with a double and two singles. Andrew Gribben doubled and Dylan Trevorah singled as well.
Jack Enciondo handled six innings, giving up five hits and five walks for three earned runs with four strikeouts. Lars Liguori threw 2.2 innings for Cheltenham, giving up three hits and one earned run with three strikeouts.
It was a bitter blow to the Rustlers as they are wanting to move further up from their fourth place position, now with a 14-10-1 record. There are plenty of rivals looking to take that spot too, including 12-11-1 Berwick which will try to continue winning in the series against Cheltenham.
Waverley Wildcats 3 v Upwey Ferntree Gully Tigers 4
These two sides had a long, tough fight on their hands with the game going 11 innings.
The final play involved Upwey Ferntree Gully's Pete Schreoders hitting a single to score Jordan Elliot and claim the walkoff victory.
Jarrod Turner pitched eight innings for the Tigers while Donovan Hendicks threw three innings in relief. Turner gave up six hits, two walks and three earned runs with five strikeouts while Hendricks allowed three hits and struck out two in his scoreless outing.
Travis Murphy had two hits with an RBI double while Elliot, Schreoders and Hendricks collected two hits as well.
Waverley's Andrew Russell pitched six innings and went for seven hits and four walks for three runs but it was Adam Bright who saw a loss next to his name, pitching 1.1 innings with four strikeouts but unfortunately two hits and one run that decided the game.
All but two of the Wildcats lineup had hits, all singles except from Reece Longstaff who made it to third and soon scored. Jacob Sheldon-Collins and Jamie Papanicoloau were the other two to score for Waverley with Jordan Ley, Mohi Kahui and Sheldon-Collins recording RBIs.
Upwey Ferntree Gully and Waverley are only separated by 0.38% on the ladder as they're fifth and sixth respectively and if this game is any indication, the remainder of the series is set to be hot as each team wants to make a charge into the top four.
Jacob Sheldon-Collins of Waverley had an RBI in Sunday's game. Photo: Baseball Victoria
Division 1 Reserves - Round 19
Fitzroy led for the entire game after scoring two runs at the bottom of the first before each team scored once in the second.
The Lions were ahead 4-1 after three before both sides brought a runner home in the fifth. Fitzroy brought a run back at the top of the sixth, but that remained the score until game was called.
Fitzroy ended the season in ninth place with a 7-11-1 record and carried momentum right to the end with a three-game win streak. Sunshine finished 11th with a 2-14-1 record, as the Eagles' wins came in the third game and the third-last game of the season to overcome a 13-game winless streak going in the middle of the campaign.
Melbourne Demons 4 v Blackburn Orioles 13
Melbourne had a 3-0 lead after their fourth dig, but Blackburn proved too powerful, recording five runs in the fourth and backing it up with eight runs in the fifth.
The Orioles ended the year on top of the ladder with a 13-2-3 record and will turn their attention to a semi-final matchup with Waverley.
Melbourne's season ends in seventh place with a 8-9-1 record. The season started well for the Demons, going 5-2 after seven before a seven-game winless run halted their campaign.
Cheltenham Rustlers 4 v Berwick City Cougars 7
Berwick ended the season on a high, beating Cheltenham for win number six of the last eight games.
The Cougars finished in 10th place with a 7-11 record, while Cheltenham was one spot below with a 7-10-2 record. Four wins in five games during the middle of the season the Rustlers' best stretch of the season.
Upwey Ferntree Gully Tigers 11 v Waverley Wildcats 10
Upwey Ferntree Gully survived an almighty scare at the bottom of the sixth as Waverley needed six to win, but the Wildcats fell short of the magic number, recording four in that dig.
Scoring two runs in the first two innings, the Tigers were up by four runs but that lead was cut in half by the Wildcats at the bottom of the second.
Upwey Ferntree Gully scored a massive six runs at the top of the third but Waverley scored the next four runs during their next two digs to keep the scores close.
The fifth inning had no change to the scoreboard while a sixth inning saw the Tigers with one run, leaving Waverley six runs for the win.
While Upwey Ferntree Gully needed the win to possibly go into the four, they've just been kept out by Waverley. The Wildcats end the year in fourth with a 9-4-5 record and will look to a semi-final against Blackburn. The Tigers made a good effort in a three-game win streak to end their season, finishing just two percent outside the top four.
Division 1 Fourths - Round 19
Sunshine was leading 3-2 after the first, but a seven-run second inning from Fitzroy paved the way for them to get in front. The following few innings saw each team score three runs.
The Eagles have extended a winless streak to 13 games to end the season after starting the year at 4-1, finishing 11th with a 4-13-1 record. The Lions have won two of their last four games to see some positive results at the backend of the season, finishing 10th with a 4-12-3 record.