The 2019/20 VSBL Division 2 season features fantastic baseball action week in and week out, and this latest round was no exception. Williamstown got the series win over ladder-leading Moorabbin, while Malvern and Werribee continued to stay in pursuit of the first place position. There's three weekends of play left before the break, and teams are looking to make a strong push toward the end of the year.
Division 2 Firsts - Round 12
Werribee Giants 11 v St Kilda Saints 0
Werribee secured the shutout on St Kilda to keep themselves in line with two other teams at a 9-3 record within the top four.
The Giants got the result on the back off 11 hits, each player on the lineup recording at least one; Daine Gregory and Kyle Newman getting on base twice.
Wade Balzer and Harvey Garrett each hit doubles but it was John Curnow that stole the show as his home run brought in three runs. Newman brought in three runs also as he was one of four players who tallied two runs - the others being Joshua Lee, Gregory and Garrett.
Lee was on the mound for the whole seven innings and got the win as he gave up three hits and zero runs. He also struck out 12 batters out of the 25 he faced.
Williamstown Wolves 10 v Moorabbin Panthers 4
The Wolves have gotten the better of their competitors in the past two weeks, handing the Panthers their only two losses of the season as they won the series.
This top-of-the-table clash saw both Williamstown and Moorabbin getting off to hot starts, the scoreline reading 3-2 to the Panthers as the first inning came to a close.
The next couple of innings produced some great defensive displays and it was the Wolves who extended their lead when they found four runs in the fourth, which was followed by an extra two runs the next inning.
Moorabbin got the next two runs in the fifth and seventh, holding onto a glimmer of hope but the Wolves packed it up with another run in the eighth before shutting the rest of the Panthers out of advancing on their at bats.
The Wolves tallied 11 hits on the day, three coming from Robert Higginson including a double, Higginson also collecting two runs and two RBIs. Aaron Green had two runs from two hits. Jayde Thorne had two hits including a double, bringing in a total of four runs.
Dennis Neal pitched five innings to get things started, giving up eight hits and three runs while striking out three. It was Neal's eighth win of the season in 10 pitching outings. Kevin Desmedt pitched three innings for two hits, one run with three strikeouts.
The Panthers will be hoping they don't add anymore to the loss column when they face Port Melbourne, while the Wolves take on Mulgrave as they look to grab top spot.
Bonbeach St Chads 2 v Doncaster Dragons 11
Doncaster won big against Bonbeach, led largely by a huge home run from Brendan McDonald, one of two hits that brought in six runs in total.
Marcel D'Avoine scored three runs off of three hits that included a double. Nic Unland scored four times from two hits and four base on balls.
John Britton was on the mound for six innings where he gave up three hits and one earned run, coupled with eight strikeouts. Simon Fitzmaurice pitched three innings for one hit, zero runs and two strikeouts.
The Bluejays are still searching for win number one as they travel to St Kilda while Doncaster host Werribee as the Dragons look to go for four in a row on the back of their three-game winning streak.
Port Melbourne Mariners 2 v Malvern Braves 1
Solid pitching kept this game moving along quickly as Port Melbourne held on for the win. The game was scoreless through six innings before Port Melbourne finally got on the board with two runs in the top of the seventh.
Malvern managed a lone run in the bottom of the eighth but the Mariners steadied the ship to secure their seventh victory of the season after some tough losses in recent weeks.
Tyler Dale covered 6.1 innings, giving up six hits, three walks and two runs - one unearned - to Port Melbourne. Mitch Kennedy came in to relieve him, keeping things scoreless for the rest of the game as the Braves tried but couldn't make up the deficit.
Malvern sits at a 9-3 record along with Williamstown and Werribee, while Port Melbourne attempts to catch up, currently at 7-5.
Malvern moves on to Preston and Port Melbourne faces a challenge against the top team on the ladder, Moorabbin.
Mulgrave Rebels v Preston Pirates - WASH OUT
The game between Mulgrave and Preston was washed out.
Division 2 Reserves - Round 10
Werribee Giants 0 v St Kilda Saints 10
This was a great result for the Saints as they achieve a .500 record and continue to climb up the ladder after winning three in a row.
St Kilda managed 10 runs in both games against Werribee, except this past Sunday the Saints got the satisfaction of a sweet shutout victory.
Werribee is in the middle of the road with a 4-4-2 record as the Giants gear up to face Doncaster. St Kilda hosts Bonbeach this weekend.
Bonbeach Bluejays 7 v Doncaster Dragons 19
The Dragons squashed the Bluejays hopes of win number two with a dominant performance at the plate.
Travis Cutt, Simon Fitzmaurice, Campbell Hutton and Angus Stals made a difference for Doncaster as the team improved t 4-6 on the season. Bonbeach is 1-9 at the bottom of the ladder as the Bluejays prepare for St Kilda.
Doncaster hosts Werribee for round 11.
Port Melbourne Mariners 4 v Malvern Braves 6
Another close match-up saw Port Melbourne and Malvern continue to battle hard, although in this game the Braves managed to get revenge after a 5-4 loss the week before.
Port Melbourne tied the game at four in the fifth before the Braves came back in the final frame to score two runs and get the win.
Malvern improves to 8-1-1 ahead of Sunday's matchup with Preston while Port Melbourne sits at 3-7 as the team hits the road to visit Moorabbin.
Mulgrave Rebels 4 v Preston Pirates 5
The Pirates were thrilled to get a win thanks to a late push, scoring three in the bottom of the fifth to get the win.
Mulgrave hopped on the board first with one run in the second, before the Pirates scored one run each in the third and the fourth.
Both sides scored three in the fifth, but the Pirates were able to get the job done. Now Preston is 2-7-1 while Mulgrave is 4-6 before games against Malvern and Williamstown, respectively.
Williamstown Wolves 7 v Moorabbin Panthers 6
Moorabbin won 6-2 the week before but Williamstown bounced back with a narrow victory on Sunday.
The Panthers took an early one-run lead before the Wolves scored three in the third. Moorabbin answered with four runs in bottom frame and an additional run in the fourth. But a late offensive burst from Williamstown saw the Wolves emerge victorious, improving to 8-2.
Moorabbin still sits at the top of the ladder with a 9-1 record but Malvern and Williamstown are hot on their heels.
Williamstown plays Mulgrave next and Moorabbin plays Port Melbourne.
Division 2 Thirds - Round 10
Port Melbourne Mariners 1 v Malvern Braves 20
Malvern has improved their season record to 10 wins on the back of a blistering defeat of Port Melbourne.
The Mariners would've been hoping for a closer result given they went down by six runs last week, however the Braves piled one 20 runs, their third score of 20 runs or more this season, asserting their complete dominance over the rest of the competition.
For Port Melbourne it's the team's sixth loss in seven games as the Mariners currently sit eighth with a 3-7 record as they look forward to playing against Moorabbin while Malvern will want the streak to continue this weekend v Preston.
Preston Pirates 4 v Mulgrave Rebels 4
Mulgrave and Preston were unable to be separated on the scoreboard, drawing the match in a competitive game.
It was the Rebels second draw this season, that and a couple of narrow losses could've seen them a bit higher on the ladder at this stage.
Mulgrave travel to Williamstown this weekend, determined to see the result fall in their favour while Preston face ladder-leaders Malvern in a tough matchup.
Moorabbin Panthers 13 v Williamstown Wolves 0
Moorabbin proved too good for Williamstown, performing a shutout win.
It was a different result to last week when the Wolves prevailed to give the Panthers their second loss of the season, but the Panthers made up for that this week to remain in second as they look towards a game with Port Melbourne. Williamstown will want to try to break into the top two when they play host to Mulgrave.
Doncaster Dragons 12 v Bonbeach St Chads 3
Doncaster kept themselves in the top four with a good win over Bonbeach, leaving the Bluejays stranded in last placed with their one win.
Bonbeach takes on St Kilda this week, hoping to make their way up the ladder while Doncaster plays fellow mid-table team Werribee.
Werribee Giants 2 v St Kilda Saints 23
With both teams on four wins heading into this game, St Kilda blitzed through the Giants offensively and defensively to record a 21-run win and take their record to an even 5-5.
The 1-1 series result sees the two clubs separated by a game once again but the Saints couldn't crack back into the top four where they were before Round 9.
Though. the Saints will be feeling confident that they can enter the top four as they start a series against Bonbeach while the Giants will want a tighter defence if they were to keep up with Doncaster next weekend.
Division 2 Fourths - Round 10
Preston Pirates 5 v Mulgrave Rebels 4
Preston beat Mulgrave in a tight encounter as the Rebels looked close to breaking through and recording their second win of the season.
The Pirates are now in fourth place with at an even 5-5 for the season ahead of a match between third-placed Malvern. The Rebels on the other hand are 1-9 on a six-game losing streak but it doesn't get any easier as a meeting with first-placed Williamstown is scheduled for this weekend.
Moorabbin Panthers 1 v Williamstown Wolves 4
The Wolves kept their perfect record intact at 10-0 as they were victorious against the Panthers who have lost their past three games.
Williamstown host Mulgrave this weekend while the Panthers face Geelong, both teams putting up the same amount of runs thus far this season with 81 so they each know how to work the bats, setting it up for a good game in Round 11.
Geelong Baycats 12 v Malvern Braves 7
It was a hard-fought win for the Baycats in the home leg of their series against Malvern which has ended at one-all.
Malvern started the top of the first with an early run but the Baycats were able to keep their other runners on base throughout the innings to hold them to that single run.
The Baycats responded in a big way with five at the bottom, their batters staying in the box and seeing the pitches closely to draw hits and walks.
Geelong was sloppy in the field at the top of the second, the Braves taking full advantage as they made their way back to the plate three times in that dig. However, the Baycats managed to score another couple of runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning, much in the same fashion in the preceding inning.
The third inning was an up-and-down affair on both sides, the Baycats impressed by the fielding at centre from Harry Sim.
The Braves levelled the scores in their fourth turn at the plate by scoring three runs, the Baycats answering that by taking the lead back but only by the smallest of margins.
Geelong performed a three-up, three-down of Malvern's bats at the top of the fifth and finished the innings with four runs.
Daniel Dobbie pitched well and managed a few hits himself as the rest of the team performed well with the bats; Marc Weakley went four from four as Darren Turner went three from four. Jennifer Mason drew three walks in a display of working the count in her favour.
Werribee Giants v St Kilda Saints - WASH OUT
Doncaster Dragons v BYE