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The 2020/21 VSBL season opened with some surprise results and exciting matchups in Division 2. There's a few weeks left before the break as teams aim for a successful start to the season.

Division 2 Firsts - Midweek Games (Thursday, 3 December 2020)

Newport Rams 0 v Moorabbin Panthers 6

The Panthers opened their season with a shutout victory over the Rams, made possible by a great start from Mike McGillvray. He threw the entire game, covering five scoreless innings with 11 first pitch strikes and four strikeouts. He had a 0.80 WHIP on the night.

Hits were hard to come by on the night, as Newport had just two and Moorabbin had three. The Rams made no errors while the Panthers had one, but even so Moorabbin made the most of a few chances to get ahead.

Tyler Comben, Troy Malthouse and Harun Pelja all took the mound for Newport as Moorabbin's Matt Hardie had two hits and Travis Finney took two walks. Adam Harris also took a couple of walks, and his defence at third was rock solid. Moorabbin took back-to-back walks on several occasions throughout the night to boost the score.

Connor Schibeci and Keenan Spence had Newport's two hits, with Schibeci getting on base in the first.

Out of the five innings, Moorabbin scored one in the second, four in the third and one more in the fifth.

Ormond Glenhuntly Hunters 0 v Mulgrave Rebels 6

Mulgrave shut out the Hunters in their first game in Division 2 with some late runs. The game was scoreless through three thanks to solid pitching on both sides before the Rebels put one up in the fourth and five more in the fifth. The Hunters were kept at bay as the game finished in Mulgrave's favour.

Doncaster Dragons 15 v St Kilda Saints 4

Doncaster got started early and didn't look back in a comprehensive win over the Saints. Strong pitching and hitting sealed the deal for the Dragons to open their season on a high note, with upcoming games v Williamstown, Preston and Newport.

Port Melbourne Mariners 2 v Werribee Giants 2

It was a close one at Melbourne Ballpark as neither side could quite pull away with the win. The Mariners were the first on the board, scoring their two runs in the second, as Werribee answered with one run scored in the bottom half.

The game was narrowly in Port Melbourne's favour for most of the evening, until the Giants tied it up in the bottom of the fifth.

A scoreless sixth on both sides saw the game finish in a draw. Port Melbourne had five hits total while Werribee had six, with one error charged to the Mariners and three to the Giants.

Port Melbourne's Tyson Cox-Davies had two hits while Jock Allen and Luke Jones also had hits. Sam Morris, Kevin Ung and Thomas Zeylemaker took walks. Cox-Davies and Ung had RBIs while Oliver Box knocked one in for Werribee.

Cox-Davies threw five innings with 15 first pitch strikes, two strikeouts and a 1.40 WHIP. Edmond Pagano struck out one and had three first pitch strikeouts in his inning of work. Josh Lee handled four innings for Werribee with 13 first pitch strikes, three strikeouts and a 1.50 WHIP. John Curnow also contributed on the mound with a 1.00 WHIP.

Williamstown Wolves 18 v Preston Pirates 0

The runners-up from last season kept up their fine form with a solid team hitting performance. The Wolves started early and didn't give up with their bats, continuing to score runs throughout the four inning game.

Williamstown's Daniel Chircop was hard to hit on the mound, allowing the Wolves to focus on offence and racking up the runs. Williamstown scored four in the first, seven in the second, three in the third and four in the fourth on their way to their first win of the season.

Division 2 Firsts - Weekend Games (Saturday/Sunday, 5-6 December 2020)

Mulgrave Rebels 4 v Newport Rams 14

The Rams bounced back from a round one loss with a great performance v Mulgrave. Newport started strong and didn't look back, putting five runs up in the first. It started when Zac Seipolt doubled on a 0-2 count to score the first runner.

Mulgrave answered with two in the top of the second but Newport came right back, scoring three runs each in the second, third and fourth frames. Mulgrave's two other runs came in the fifth and the seventh as the Rebels collected eight hits total while giving up 16 to Newport.

Newport's defence made one error while Mulgrave's had three. David Asp pitched five innings for Newport with 17 first pitch strikes and three strikeouts. He gave up six hits and a walk along with three runs. Mulgrave's Liam Richardson pitched three innings with 21 first pitch strikes and three strikeouts. Ryan Phillips contributed two innings for Mulgrave with six first pitch strikes, two strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP.

Jared Berman led Newport's offence with three quality at-bats including two walks and four RBIs. Ryan Morrison also had three quality at-bats. Keenan Spence had three hits and three RBIs while Mulgrave's Nick Thompson and Phillips had two RBIs and two hits, respectively.

Newport is now 1-1 and hosts Werribee next while Mulgrave is also 1-1 with a home game v Port Melbourne coming up.

Williamstown Wolves 3 v Doncaster Dragons 4

Doncaster narrowly won over Williamstown in this close matchup, finishing the game in walk-off style. Daniel McGrath started for the Dragons as they battled hard against the Wolves and came out on top.

With this result, Doncaster and Moorabbin are the only teams without a loss in the division. The Dragons look to go 3-0 on the road this weekend at Preston while Williamstown takes a 1-1 record into a home game v Ormond Glenhuntly.

Photo: Doncaster Dragons Baseball Club

Preston Pirates 3 v Moorabbin Panthers 16

Preston's pitching and offence was strong to start but the Panthers prevailed in the end, racking up the runs as the game went on to secure a successful Sunday result.

Moorabbin Club Coach Ben Laux says the infield defence was strong. "Adam Harris at third and Travis Finney at shortstop were exceptional," Laux said. "Kieren Lewis was a strong performer catching and collecting three hits and two stolen bases."

Matthew Hardie pitched 3.1 scoreless innings to quiet Prestons' bats and get the win.

"Going forward outpitching and defence will keep us very competitive," Laux added. "Having a young athletic group will help us manufacture runs."

Moorabbin hits the road to play St Kilda next and Preston has a home game v Doncaster.

Port Melbourne Mariners 7 v Ormond Glenhuntly Hunters 6

The Mariners watched their lead slip away as the Hunters worked to erase a five-run deficit, but still Port Melbourne managed to get the win.

Ormond Glenhuntly scored four runs in a valiant comeback effort, led by a double from Kyungsoo Jeon and Geoff MacDonald's home run.

Darryl George drove in six runs, going 2-for-3 at the plate. He smashed a grand slam in the fifth and a base hit in the sixth.

Port Melbourne's Matthew Parker earned the win on the mound, with the righthander surrendering two runs on two hits over six innings, striking out six and walking one.

Kevin Ung and Samuel Morris pitched in relief, and Morris recorded the last out to get the save.

Brad Dolan took the loss for Ormond Glenhuntly, giving up four runs on three hits in four and a third innings pitched. He also struck out four.

Tyson Cox-Davies hit a home run for Port Melbourne and George went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the team in hits.

Ormond Glenhuntly racked up eight hits, including multiple by Jiwon Choi, Jeon and MacDonald.

Port Melbourne plays Mulgrave next and Ormond Glenhuntly plays Williamstown.

Werribee Giants 10 v St Kilda Saints 3

After a 2-2 draw v Port Melbourne on Thursday night, Werribee got a win on Sunday. The Giants scored an early run and added one more in the third. They carried a 2-0 lead into the fifth before tacking on three more runs in the fifth.

St Kilda responded with three in the bottom of the fifth to stay in the game, but there were two more Werribee runs in the sixth and another in the seventh. Two additional runs in the eighth added to Werribee's lead.

Oliver Box had three hits and Jon Lowe had two for Werribee, while Alan Ortiz had two hits for St Kilda.

Werribee and St Kilda both had eight hits on the day, but errors were a problem on both sides. Werribee made three errors and St Kilda made six. St Kilda pitchers also gave up a considerable number of walks, as Ryan Balzer took five walks and Josh Lee took three.

Box had 3 RBIs for Werribee, while Wade Balzer had two and Andrew Maki had one.

Werribee's Trent Pantalleresco pitched five innings, throwing 14 first pitch strikes with eight strikeouts. Lowe contributed three innings on the mound with nine first pitch strikes and six strikeouts. St Kilda's Tom Snowden pitched 4.2 innings, striking out four.

St Kilda plays Moorabbin at home while Werribee heads to Newport.

Division 2 Seconds

Mulgrave Rebels 5 v Newport Rams 13

The Rams and Rebels went head to head with Newport coming out on top thanks to an impressive display of hitting and pitching prowess. Aaron Robson made some tough plays at short and Dave Ninnis had a diving catch in left field. The Rams will look to go 2-0 as they host Werribee on Saturday. Mulgrave's next game is at home v Port Melbourne.

Williamstown Wolves 8 v Doncaster Dragons 9

The Dragons refused to go down without a fight, walking it off in the end to secure a game one victory. Doncaster plays Preston on Sunday while Williamstown hosts Ormond Glenhuntly for a big game.

Preston Pirates 0 v Moorabbin Panthers 6

Moorabbin got the shutout win over Preston on the back of strong pitching and hitting. The reigning premiers will look for a 2-0 start to the season when they head to St Kilda. Preston hosts Doncaster at home for the second round.

Port Melbourne Mariners 2 v Ormond Glenhuntly Hunters 8

The Mariners fell behind and couldn't come back against a strong Ormond Glenhuntly side. The Hunters enjoyed their first win in Division 2 and will look for another as they visit Williamstown on the weekend. Port Melbourne plays Mulgrave next.

Werribee Giants 3 v St Kilda Saints 3

It was a close game as neither side could quite pull away in the end thanks to solid pitching and defence when it counted. Up next for Werribee is a game at Newport and St Kilda plays Moorabbin at home.

Division 2 Thirds

Mulgrave Rebels 2 v Newport Rams 6

This game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when Newport scored two runs. The inning opened with a lead-off double before Sam Fraser singled and stole a base ahead of Kevin Johnson's ground rule double.

Four more runs followed in the fifth on a Fraser grand slam before the Rebels scored their two in the sixth. The score stayed that way as Newport earned win number one ahead of a home game v Werribee. Mulgrave plays Port Melbourne next.

Ormond Glenhuntly Hunters 6 v Port Melbourne Mariners 10

The Hunters battled hard but ultimately it was the Mariners' game as their pitching and hitting prevailed. Port Melbourne's next game is at home v Mulgrave while Ormond Glenhuntly hosts Williamstown for the next matchup.

St Kilda Saints 6 v Werribee Giants 7

It was another close matchup but Werribee managed to sneak away with the win. Werribee has the chance to go 2-0 with a game at Newport on Saturday. St Kilda faces Moorabbin in search of a win.

Moorabbin Panthers 21 v Preston Pirates 5

The Panthers were firing on all cylinders as they cruised to a big win over Preston. The reigning champs are set to play St Kilda in round two and Preston plays Doncaster.

Doncaster Dragons 10 v Williamstown Wolves 3

Doncaster had a dominant performance to take out the win and keep Williamstown under control. The Dragons will look to do the same when they play Preston at home for round two as Williamstown visits Ormond Glenhuntly.

Division 2 Fourths

Mulgrave Rebels 4 v Newport Rams 12

The Rams took advantage of their scoring opportunities and strong defence to secure a round one win. Newport hosts Werribee for round two and Mulgrave visits Port Melbourne.

Doncaster Dragons 1 v Williamstown Wolves 3

This close matchup wrapped up in Williamstown's favour as the team that's won two out of the last three premierships stayed in front by two. Williamstown's next game is at Ormond Glenhuntly while Doncaster hosts Preston.

Ormond Glenhuntly Hunters 9 v Port Melbourne Mariners 8

Another tight result saw the Hunters earn their first Division 2 win by a narrow margin. The Mariners will look to repeat their solid offensive efforts in the next game at home v Mulgrave while the Hunters play Williamstown at home.

St Kilda Saints 15 v Werribee Giants 10

Both teams were confident at the plate and on the base paths, but the Saints made the most of their scoring opportunities to pull in front of Werribee. St Kilda looks to go 2-0 at Moorabbin this weekend after the Panthers won via forfeit in round one, while Werribee plays Newport.

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