After high-energy, high-scoring semi-finals, teams have secured their spots in the VSBL Division 3 Firsts and Reserves grand finals. After dominating all season long, Springvale will pursue a premiership in the top nine, while Pakenham and Ormond Glenhuntly Blue will battle it out in the reserves.
Division 3 Firsts
Ormond Glenhuntly Blue 6 v Springvale Lions 10
A huge six-run effort at the bottom of the second set the Lions up for a big win in this semi-final but Ormond Blue did keep up the pressure.
Although Springvale added two more runs at the bottom of the third to lead 8-0, Ormond Blue found some runs and was back in the contest courtesy of a four-run fifth dig.
Springvale was good on the defense thereafter, not allowing another Ormond Blue run until the ninth inning when the Hunters were chasing after the Lions had added two more along the way.
Springvale starter Lucas Anderson threw three smooth innings and he would have had nine straight outs except for an error. The Hunters also struggled with errors, and Springvale jumped on those scoring opportunities with a few unearned runs in the mix.
Geoff MacDonald pitched in relief for Ormond Glenhuntly and did a good job of making sure Springvale runners were left on base, with the Lions stranding 13 in total for the game.
Scott Baillie came in to relieve Anderson and struck out two in his first inning. It wasn't long before Springvale was back to scoring with Adam Thatcher stealing second and scoring on a double from Rydge Hogan. Chris Davies opened the seventh with a double, advancing to third on a wild pick-off throw before coming home on a ground ball.
The Hunters did get a second hit off of Baillie in the top of the ninth, with the runner scampering home on an infield error.
Five players in the Lions lineup had multiple hits: Lucas Anderson, Rydge Hogan, Lucas Price, Chris Davies and Scott Baillie. Price had four RBIs while Matt Cameron and Adam Thatcher also had hits.
Springvale finished the regular season far in front with a 18-1 record, meaning Ormond Glenhuntly Gold has a big task ahead for the grand final clash.
Ormond Glenhuntly Gold 20 v Pakenham Pumas 4
This would have been a relatively even contest if not for two monstrous innings from Ormond Glenhuntly Gold.
The first inning yielded a two-all scoreline while the sixth produced the same result for each side.
However, it was a six-run fourth inning and a 10-run ninth inning that saw the score catapult into a 16-run margin.
The Hunters will take that run-scoring ability into the grand final where they’ll need it against Springvale. After all, the Lions scored 238 runs in the regular season while giving up only 29, and the Hunters scored 127 runs and gave up 155.
Springvale won 3-2 in their last meeting back in round 17, but the Hunters did hand the Lions their only loss of the season in round 12 with a final score of 5-4 in favour of Ormond Glenhuntly Gold.
Division 3 Seconds
Ormond Glenhuntly Gold 3 v Ormond Glenhuntly Blue 13
In a fantastic Ormond Glenhuntly classic, Ormond Glenhuntly Blue has bragging rights and a spot in the grand final at home against Pakenham this weekend.
Ormond Glenhuntly Blue shot out to a 7-1 lead after four innings with back-to-back three-run digs in the third and fourth.
Ormond Glenhuntly Gold came back briefly in the fifth, scoring two but one run to Ormond Glenhuntly Blue in the sixth and a whopping five runs in the seventh to end the game sealed the deal.
The Hunters will play Pakenham in the grand final, and throughout the regular season Ormond Glenhuntly Blue won just one out of four meetings, that victory coming in round one with a 7-0 win. Pakenham won 16-15 in round 11 and 11-8 in round 16, with a 6-6 draw between the two teams in round six.
Pakenham Pumas 12 v Springvale Lions 8
Pakenham beat the ladder-leaders Springvale in a high-scoring contest to make it into the grand final.
Springvale left the scoring too late in this game, as the Pumas were already out to a nine-run lead after their second inning, thanks to a first inning that produced four runs and a second inning that saw six runs come in.
Bit-by-bit, the Lions looked like charging, first scoring two runs at the bottom of the third but their runs were quickly cancelled out later down the track when Pakenham was scoring too.
Pakenham scored one more run at the top of the eighth, leaving an eight-run margin that Lions had to chase in their final two innings, however the home side was just able to score four in the ninth inning.
Pakenham is through to a grand final now where the Pumas will take on Ormond Glenhuntly Blue.