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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 Lions 8 v Sunshine Eagles 17

Sunshine ended the season on a high note with a huge nine-run win over Fitzroy as the Eagles scored in every inning of this contest.

It was Sunshine's highest-scoring game of the season, even better than a 13-5 scoreline v Newport back in round five. 

Fitzroy produced an eight-run fifth inning after four straight scoreless digs but it wasn't enough to destabilize a Sunshine side that was clicking on all cylinders.

The Eagles got off to a great start when they had five runs after the first, scoring another two in the second and five in the third for a luxurious 12-0 lead. 

Another long dig for Sunshine ended with them scoring four more in the fourth, before the Lions came out swinging with nothing left to lose. Sunshine scored one at the bottom of the fifth as the game finished.

Sunshine has ended the season in ninth place with a 6-11 record and taking a three-game win streak with them while Fitzroy has finished in 10th place with a 4-14-1 record. One of the highlights for the Lions was overcoming a slow start to the season, where they were 0-5-1 after six but won the next two to kickstart their winning ways.

Geelong Baycats 10 v Essendon Bombers 10

These two sides couldn't be split in the final game of the season as Essendon came close to pulling off a miraculous walkoff victory at the bottom of the fifth.

After some excellent hitting from Geelong in the second when they scored seven, the Bombers were down 10-3 going into the final dig of the game. Essendon replicated Geelong's success from earlier and scored seven but ultimately fell short of making one more and settled for a draw. 

Hayden Peoples threw four fantastic innings for Geelong, while Emerson Rickard and Blake Witham also took turns on the mound. Connor Hickey collected three hits, including a triple and two stolen bases. Witham had two hits and three RBIs while Harper Rickard, Chris Durston, Connor Hughes, Will Brennan and Emerson Rickard all had hits too. Tommy Renouf had a couple of walks from quality at-bats as well. 

Essendon missed out on the top four after finishing the season in sixth place with a 8-9-2 record, but the Bombers can be pleased about the really good stretch in the middle of the season where they won eight out of 10 games from round six to round 16. Geelong ended the season in eighth place with a 5-9-4 record, three of those draws coming from the past five games.

Newport Rams 13 v Sandringham Royals 5

Sandringham got the jump early, scoring four in the first inning but that lead was later cut down all the way when Newport scored in the second.

The Rams brought home six at the top of the third to the Royals' one at the bottom before the away team ended on a high, adding three more and shutting Sandringham out at the end.

The Rams have certainly finished the season on a high with a big win, their second of the season after their first came in round 13 following a 0-12 start to the season. Sandringham finished in 11th place, one spot above the Rams, with a 3-13-2 record. The highlight of the Royals season was a three-game unbeaten run in rounds three, four and five.

Blackburn Orioles 5 v Melbourne Demons 2

Blackburn finished the season on top of the Division 1 reserves ladder after downing Melbourne. The Orioles have a a 16-2 record with a 13-game win streak still alive, something they will want to continue as they look ahead to next weekend's home semi-final against Waverley. 

The teams were tied at one apiece after the third but a three-run fifth for Blackburn turned the game in the Orioles' favour. Melbourne scored one more in the sixth while Blackburn tacked on the fifth and final run of the game.

For the Demons, they've just missed out on the finals as they end the season in fifth place with a 10-7-1 record. After getting off to a hot start where they were on top with a 5-0 record after six rounds, the Demons drifted off a little bit due to some one-run games that didn't go in their favor.

Berwick City Cougars 0 v Cheltenham Rustlers 5

Cheltenham has secured second spot and a home semi-final after beating Berwick in a shutout win on the weekend. 

The Rustlers scored four in the second and added another one in the fourth to take the result and see their record improve to 16-3.

The Cougars end the season in seventh with a 7-9-1 record, thanks in part to their form at the start of the season showing great signs, winning their first two and going 3-3 after six rounds.

Waverley Wildcats 3 v Upwey Ferntree Gully Tigers 11

With positions inside the top four still not certain between these two teams prior to the first pitch, Upwey Fentree Gully shot ahead and solidified their third placing, ending the regular season with a 13-3-1 record.

The Tigers capped off a great season with a big win over Waverley and it was with help from guys like Daryn Cassidy and Simon Ratcliffe that has allowed Upwey Ferntree Gully to a sixth consecutive finals appearance.

Mitch John got the start and was good in allowing two runs over five innings, Bryce Taylor closing out the game with one final inning.

Kaioh Sato paced the offence with three hits (two doubles and a triple) and four RBIs, Staci Rogers and Riley Light each having an RBI double too as an all-round team effort when batting provided some great baseball being played.

Upwey Ferntree Gully finishing third means the Tigers will travel to Cheltenham for a semi-final while Waverley will take on Blackburn.

Geelong Baycats 0 v Essendon Bombers 5

The Bombers saw themselves up by three runs after two innings as they managed to shut Geelong out of the game, scoring two more in the sixth and final inning.

This game was just a precursor to a semi-final clash between these two sides again next weekend at Geelong.

The three-time reigning champs Geelong ended the season in second with an 11-3-3 record while the Bombers finished third with an 11-3-5 record.

Newport Rams 1 v Sandringham Royals 16

A semi-close game after three innings still saw an inkling of hope for Newport, even after the Royals scored three in the first and two in the third.

But a massive 11-run fourth innings shot the margin upwards as Sandringham accounted for the Rams, seeing the away side end the year with a 2-15 record. 

Newport was 2-4 after seven rounds but the following 11 games resulted in losses for the Rams to end their season. Sandringham finishes the regular season in sixth with a 10-9 record after an up-and-down season.

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

Geelong Baycats 5 v Essendon Bombers 6

The Bombers won in a walkoff victory over Geelong, securing the three runs they needed after being down 5-3. 

The teams traded one-run digs during the first inning before Geelong brought in the next two in the second. The result was drawn again by the end of the third when the Bombers had two runners score.

The Baycats added one more from each of the fifth and seventh, but Essendon wasn't prepared to give up easily.

The burst of momentum from the Bombers where Josh Jedretich secured the walkoff will hold them in good stead going into a semi-final at home to Blackburn this weekend. 

For Geelong, the season has come to a close at a 9-8-1 record but it wasn't without a real red-hot crack, especially in the second half of the season where from round seven, the Baycats held a 9-3 record that included six wins in a row.

Newport Rams 7 v Sandringham Royals 12

A 3-2 first inning total saw the Rams leading and the away side replicated their first inning score in the third too.

However, Sandringham played beautifully at the bottom and took the lead and grew it plenty, recording 10 runs, to which Newport could only seek one run in reply, at the top of the fifth.

Unfortunately for the Rams, they couldn't end their season with a win, going down to a 0-17-1 record, the closest they came to a win being a drawn result against Fitzroy in round seven.

Sandringham started the season off well, going 3-2 after five rounds but the Royals quickly lost the next five and were behind ever since to finish with a 7-10-1 record. 

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.

Melbourne Demons 2 v Blackburn Orioles 2

It was a draw for these two sides to end the home and away season, however both of these teams will be playing on in the semi-finals.

Blackburn's two runs were scored at the bottom of the first while Melbourne's two runs were scored at the top of the fourth, with plenty of great defensive displays in between for the seven-inning game.

Melbourne finished the season with a 17-1-1 record, the only loss coming at the hands of Cheltenham in round 11. The Demons will be at home to Waverley next weekend. Blackburn finished the season in third with a 12-5-1 record but with a four-game winless streak going into finals, the Orioles will need to perform well against Essendon.

Cheltenham Rustlers 7 v Berwick City Cougars 3

The Rustlers have rounded out their season with a win over Berwick, but it wasn't enough to get them over the line and into the top four, instead finishing fifth with an 11-8 record and a 5-1 record from the past six games as they made a run for it.

Berwick sits one spot below in sixth with a 9-7-2 record, finding a positive in just losing three games from the last 10. 

Upwey Ferntree Gully Tigers 5 v Waverley Wildcats 4

The Tigers have improved their win tally this season with a win over Waverley, as the team has also built on their form from last season.

Upwey Ferntree Gully was ahead 5-0 after a three-run effort in the third, shutting down the Waverley bats in the first two innings.

Things turned from the bottom of the third when the Wildcats finally got on the board, tallying two runs in the third and fourth, leaving them to score four at the bottom of the fifth after shutting down the opposition bats themselves. 

Waverley managed two before three outs were made, falling short of a win to end their season. It was alright though as they'd had fourth place locked up and will be participating in a semi-final against Melbourne this weekend.

For the Tigers, a 6-11-1 record for the season has seen their year end well with a three-game win streak but before that, they had six losses in a row which put them behind much of the rest of the competition.

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