The 2020/21 VSBL season is almost over for Division 1, with several teams battling hard to get into finals. The last games are this weekend before the playoff picture is finalised.
Melbourne Demons 3 v Geelong Baycats 13
The first three innings were scoreless with both sides having strong pitching, although the Demons got one on in the fourth. Geelong followed up with four runs and another in the fifth. By the end of the sixth it was a 8-3 ballgame, and Geelong went on to score a further three runs in the seventh and two in the eighth.
Melbourne's Hayden Godbold threw five innings with 13 first pitch strikes and two strikeouts. He gave up six hits, two walks, and five runs - four of them earned. Mitchell Bowen pitched 1.66 innings, giving up four earned runs and two unearned runs on three hits and four walks with a pair of strikeouts. Two earned runs scored during Kye Stehr's time on the mound with two hits and two walks.
Geelong's Rudy Jaramillo had another fantastic outing on the mound, hurling 21 first pitch strikes across seven innings with 10 strikeouts and 0.86 WHIP. He gave up four hits, two walks and three runs. Hayden Peoples handled an inning in relief with one walk and two strikeouts.
The winning offense included 11 hits with Tyler-Luther Wilson knocking in four runs on a double and a home run. Jaramillo had a 2-RBI single and Sam Moon doubled and walked to bring home two runs. Josh Davies had two singles and two RBIs while Ryan Darcy and People also recorded RBIs. Kelli Zablan and Jordan Baumann both singled and doubled.
Ethan Scalzo had two of Melbourne's four hits with two RBIs, while Slade Squire plated the other run and Tim Sullivan and Kurtis Smith had singles.
Melbourne has a 2-11 record and Geelong has a 7-6 record with 101 runs scored and 55 given up. The two sides play this weekend too.
Berwick City Cougars 0 v Waverley Wildcats 4
The Wildcats had two runs in the second and two more in the sixth to seal the deal on their win.
Luke Papanicolaou threw 5.33 innings for Waverley, picking up the win with five hits, three walks, and two strikeouts. Jamie Papanicolaou handled 2.66 innings with three hits, a walk, and four strikeouts, while Andrew Russell had a three-up, three-down inning.
Berwick's Craig Barnett pitched seven innings with eight hits, two walks, four runs, and four strikeouts. Aaron Ouwehand gave up one hit but kept things scoreless in one inning of pitching work.
Jordan Ley and Damon Hill both had two RBIs on two base hits while Finn Weichard, Mohi Kahui, and Ben Aslett had one single each.
Matthew Homfray had three base hits, while Marcus Graham and Cain Bumpstead both had two. Ouwehand singled as well.
After this shutout victory, the Wildcats are 11-2 at the top of the ladder with 90 runs scored and 45 given up. They play Sandringham next while 5-8 Berwick has one more game to go against Blackburn, looking to improve on 74 runs scored for and 67 against.
Cheltenham Rustlers 5 v Sunshine Eagles 6
Sunshine scored one in the second and had a 4-0 lead going into the fifth before Cheltenham got two back. Sunshine regained a four-run lead in the seventh but the Rustlers weren't going down without a fight, scoring three in the ninth to put Sunshine on edge.
Sunshine had Billy Parsons on the mound for six innings to get the win. He gave up one earned and one unearned run on nine hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts. Jeremy Young got the save in three innings of work, giving up three runs on five hits with a walk, a HBP, and a strikeout.
Russell Ferguson covered four innings for Cheltenham, giving up 10 hits, walking one, and striking out one. Four runs, one of them unearned, scored during his time on the mound. Andrew Campbell threw three innings with two runs given up on five hits and a walk, plus two strikeouts. Jack Enciondo threw one scoreless inning with two hits allowed.
Sunshine had RBIs from Cam Deeble, Bryce Aldridge, Nathan Gatt, Jordan Young, and Parsons. The winning pitcher collected three singles while Deeble doubled and singled twice. Aldridge and Allan de San Miguel had two base hits and Jordan Young had three. Allister Lovelock doubled as Josh Byrne and Jeremy Young singled.
Cheltenham's Jack Dunn plated two with a pair of singles and a double, while Conor Myles walked and doubled for an RBI and Michael Leslie had an RBI single. Leslie, Sam Michael, and Dante Caruso had two base hits each as Josh Ashen, Ben Fierenzi, Mack Turley, and Andrew Gribbin had one.
The Eagles have an 8-4-1 record on 76 runs for and 51 runs against. Cheltenham sits at 8-5 with 87 runs for and 67 runs against. Sunshine plays Essendon and Cheltenham plays Upwey Ferntree Gully next.
Malvern Braves 6 v Blackburn Orioles 3
The Braves got the job done with two runs in the third, three in the fourth, and a final run in the eighth. Blackburn scored two in the fifth and one in the ninth but it wasn't enough to catchup.
Tyler Dale threw five innings, giving up six hits, two walks, and two runs with three strikeouts to get the win. Mitch Kennedy gave up one run in two innings with two hits, two walks, two strikeouts, and a HBP. Nicholas Parton handled two innings as well, keeping things scoreless with no hits, just three walks and a strikeout.
Blake Hodgson threw four innings for Blackburn, giving up eight hits and five runs - four of them earned - with a HBP and a strikeout. Sam Bucello covered three scoreless innings with just one hit, a HBP, and two strikeouts. Scott Mitchinson had four hits, one run, and three strikeouts in two innings on the mound.
Malvern's winning offense included three RBIs to Jarryd Dale on a single and two doubles, plus two RBIs to Geoff Holland with a single and a double. Henry Hayman had three singles and a double, Jack Hanger collected two base hits, and Justin Burke and Ryan Othen also got on base with singles.
The Braves recorded their third win, now with 66 runs scored total and 100 given up. The reigning premiers slipped to 6-6-1 with 70 runs scored and 71 allowed. Blackburn hosts Berwick and Malvern hosts Fitzroy in round 16.
Upwey-Ferntree Gully Tigers 2 v Essendon Bombers 0
This close matchup between the Tigers and the Bombers came down to runs scored in the sixth and the ninth. Jarrod Turner got the win on the mound, giving up just one hit to Jack Giles with two walks and five strikeouts.
Essendon's Sam Street did well on the mound too, giving up 11 hits but keeping the Tigers to just two runs, with two walks and four strikeouts. Gareth Formisano maintained the shutout in under an inning on the mound.
Peter Schroeders had two singles, a walk, and an RBI while Staci Rogers plated the other run on a pair of singles. Jordan Elliot singled and doubled twice as Donavon Hendricks, Riley Light, Wade McConnon, and Ashley Winton had one single each.
Upwey Ferntree Gully has a 10-3 record in second place with 84 runs scored and 50 runs conceded. Essendon has a 7-6 record with 54 runs for and 45 against. The Tigers play Cheltenham and the Bombers play Sunshine in the last round.
Sandringham Royals 16 v Fitzroy Lions 6
The Royals were a force to be reckoned with at the plate, scoring double-digits for the first time since a 14-5 win over Sunshine in round 10.
Fitzroy was first on the board with one to start the game, but Sandringham soon followed up with four in the second and two more in both the third and the fourth. The Lions powered back with five in the fifth but the Royals calmed down to stop them from scoring again, meanwhile putting up three of their own in the sixth and four in the seventh. A final run came around in the eighth.
Declan Croker threw five innings, giving up seven hits, four walks, and six runs - one of them unearned - with a strikeout. Grant Irving handled the other three innings, keeping things scoreless with just two hits and a walk.
Fitzroy's Ryan Mitchell threw four innings, giving up 10 hits and eight runs - one of them unearned - with three strikeouts and no walks. Warwick Purchase also handled four innings, conceding eight runs on seven hits and three HBP with a strikeout.
For Sandringham, Will Tucker and Zak Skinner had four RBIs apiece, including a home run and two singles for Tucker and a single and a home run for Skinner. Brandon Stenhouse singled twice, doubled, and walked for three RBIs while Tim Lane singled and tripled for two RBIs. Sam Skinner collected two base hits, a walk, and two RBIs. Irving doubled, Harrison Wills singled, and Declan Ferguson had an RBI and two base hits.
Jordan Hill singled twice and doubled once for two RBIs, while Ryan Mitchell, Damian Preston, Tyler Trevaskis, and Purchase all plated one, the last three with singles. Gideon Van Twest Smith doubled as Gavin Juchnevicius and Ethan Epifanio had base hits.
Sandringham has an 8-4-1 record on 90 runs for and 59 against. The Lions head to Malvern and the Royals host Waverley on Saturday.