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2020/21 VSBL Grand Finals: Essendon Wins Division 1 Firsts

Essendon claimed its first VSBL Division 1 Premiership since 2016/17 and its seventh in 10 years after sweeping Waverley in the grand final series with a 6-4 win on Tuesday night and a 9-6 win on Saturday.

Essendon had 15 hits in the high-scoring affair and Waverley collected 11 hits.

Waverley loaded the bases in the first with singles from Mitchell Homfray and Reece Longstaff and a walk by Jordan Ley. Essendon pitcher Gareth Formisano got the third out to escape the threat.

Scott McIntyre had a 2-out double in the bottom of the first but didn't score until the second with four singles and a HBP. Darby Sexton and Cody Rodwell singled before scoring on a base hits from Shoma Ikehata and Jack Giles. A double play ended the inning.

Neither side scored in the third, although Waverley's Longstaff doubled with two outs and Essendon's Jarryd Rogers had a lead-off single before three quick outs.

Jordan Ley cut Essendon's lead in half with a solo homer in the fourth but Essendon battled back with three straight singles to Rodwell, Ikehata, and Jared Cruz before Giles reached on an error. Waverley got out of the inning but not before Essendon made it a 4-1 ballgame.

Waverley scored two in the fifth as Oscar Hargreaves and Jacob Sheldon-Collins singled. Homfray grounded out to score a run and Longstaff had a sacrifice fly to center to score another.

Essendon powered back in the bottom of the fifth with a lead-off double to Ross Bament and an RBI single by Michael Formisano. Sexton and Ikehata singled and by the end of the inning, Essendon led 6-3.

The Bombers kept up the scoring following a 1-2-3 top of the sixth, thank to singles from McIntyre and Rogers. A groundout and an error gave Essendon a 7-3 lead.

Waverley got back on the board in the seventh with singles by Andrew Russell, Oscar Hargreaves, and Homfray.

Essendon held on to an 8-5 lead and got one last run with a sacrifice fly by Giles to score Ikehata in the bottom of the seventh.

A bases-loaded walk brought Waverley within three in the top of the eighth and Ley singled with two outs in the ninth, but Michael Formisano closed it out to lock in the win and get the save.

Gareth Formisano was credited with the victory after giving up five runs on nine hits over seven innings, striking out eight and walking one.

Click HERE to read the recap from the first game of the grand final series.

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