The VSBL Division 2 season is headed straight for finals with Newport and Moorabbin leading the way.
Newport Rams 12 v Mulgrave Rebels 11
This game came down to the wire with the Rebels coming within one in the final frame.
Newport hung on for win number 12 despite falling behind by five runs in the second. Mulgrave led 6-1 after the third and at the end of the fourth, it was a 7-3 ballgame. The tides turned in the fifth with Newport putting six on the board, followed by one run in each of the next three innings. Newport had a 12-7 lead going into the ninth as Mulgrave scored four more but fell just short.
Winning pitcher Tyler Comben threw six innings for Newport with 22 first pitch strikes and a 1.83 WHIP. He gave up seven hits, four walks, two HBP, and five runs with eight strikeouts. Nathan Smith pitched a scoreless third of an inning and although six earned runs scored against Harun Pelja, the Rams came out on top.
Mulgrave's Ryan Phillips was on the mound for four innings with 20 first pitch strikes, six hits, five walks, two HBP, and five earned runs. Brad Adams threw three innings with 16 first pitch strikes, five hits, four walks, one HBP, and six runs - five of them earned. Jayson Arthur got the Rebels' only strikeout of the day with three hits, a walk, a HBP, and an unearned run in two innings.
Mason Wray had three RBIs with a walk and three singles for the winning team, while Nathan Smith single and walked twice with an extra-base hit and an RBI too. Dean Malthouse and Comben doubled as Mathew Lawman, Scot Malthouse, and Connor Schibeci plated runs. Ryan Morrison and Jared Berman also singled.
Mulgrave's offense was led by Riley O'Shea with three RBIs on two singles and a double. Grant Miller had two doubles and two RBIs and Caleb Poole had two singles and a double. Ricardo Anaya, Michael Morgan, Nicholas Thompson, Paul Rutgers, and Phillips had hits too.
Newport sits second just behind Moorabbin with a 12-2 record on 119 runs scored and 51 given up. Mulgrave is fourth with eight wins and six losses on 89 runs for and 80 runs against. The Rams play Preston and the Rebels host Doncaster next.
St Kilda Saints 3 v Werribee Giants 5
The Giants opened with three runs in the first, followed by one more in the second and a fifth and final run in the fourth. They kept St Kilda off the board until the seventh when they scored once, followed by two runs in the eighth.
St Kilda ran out of steam against strong Werribee pitching, with Trent Pantalleresco hurling seven strong innings. He gave up three hits and walked five with a HBP, an unearned run, and three strikeouts. Harry Garrett allowed two hits, one HBP, and two runs in an inning. Josh Lee walked one and struck out two in his scoreless inning of work.
The Saints gave up eight hits to Werribee, including two singles to Pantalleresco and two doubles and an RBI for Wade Balzer. They walked nine Werribee batters, with Oliver Box taking first three times for that reason in addition to a double and an RBI. Andrew Christou, Anthony Moanaroa, and Lee recorded hits too.
This win sees Werribee in third with an 8-5-1 record on 75 runs for and 65 runs against. Werribee hosts Moorabbin in the next round while ninth-place St Kilda visits Ormond Glenhuntly.
Doncaster Dragons 4 v Williamstown Wolves 13
Five runs in the first and another four in the second gave Williamstown a 9-0 lead going into the third. The next few innings were quiet until Doncaster got four runs in the sixth. Williamstown kept things under control with three runs in the sixth and one in the eighth.
Winning pitcher Dennis Neal gave up nine hits and four runs - three of them earned - with four walks and a strikeout. Daniel Chircop threw two innings, giving up one hit and two walks with a strikeout. Aaron Green gave up one hit in a scoreless inning.
Doncaster's John Britton allowed three earned runs on four hits, three walks, and one HBP with seven strikeouts. Billy Findlay and Simon Fitzmaurice handled two innings each, with nine hits and nine earned runs coming against the latter, as well as a walk, a HBP, and two strikeouts. Findlay gave up one run on three hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
Williamstown's high-powered offense benefitted from the return of injured Justin Gourlay, who smashed a home run on the fist pitch of his at-bat and homered again later in the game. He singled too for a total of five RBIs. Jason McDonald was another key contributor with four RBIs on three singles, while Green and Hiroshi Narasaki also plated runs. Dennis Neal, Mitchell Collins, Robert Higginson, Scott Meager, and Chircop also recorded hits.
Nic Unland, Derek Medlin, and Findlay plated runs for Doncaster. The team had three doubles off the bats of Britton, Findlay, and Medlin, with Findlay collecting three singles as well. Brian Chen, Dakota Gibson, and Brendan McDonald had base hits.
Doncaster sits above Williamstown on the ladder with a 7-7 record on 99 runs for and 102 against. The Dragons are in fifth place and play Mulgrave next while seventh-place Williamstown looks to improve on a 6-8 record at home v Port Melbourne. The Wolves have scored 82 and given up 47 runs.
Ormond Glenhuntly Hunters 9 v Port Melbourne Mariners 2
The Hunters kept the Mariners off the board in all but one inning to record their seventh win of the season. They scored one in the second, four in the fifth, and another four in the eighth.
Kyungsoo Jeon threw seven innings with four hits, eight strikeouts, and two earned runs. He had 19 first pitch strikes. Doha Kwak provided two innings of scoreless relief work with one hit, one walk, and one strikeout.
Port Melbourne's Matthew Parker threw five innings with 10 first pitch strikes, six hits, four walks, five runs - one unearned - and seven strikeouts. Kevin Ung handled 2.33 innings with six hits, one walk, four runs - three earned - and two strikeouts. Tyson Cox-Davies handled 1.66 innings with one strikeout and no hits, walks, or runs.
The Ormond Glenhuntly offense was led by Geoff MacDonald with four RBIs on a single and a double, while Jeon had an RBI single and Kwak plated two on a pair of base hits. Timothy Carracher singled twice with an RBI, Changho Choi and Brad Dolan walked, Jiwon Choi singled and walked, and Rhy Dyball singled two times. Josh Goschnick doubled and Keunyeol Park singled as well.
Cox-Davies had a single and a double for Port Melbourne while Parker and Beau Graham singled. Gurcan Tiknaz knocked in the team's two runs with a big double in the second.
The Hunters sit sixth with a 7-7 record and 80 runs for and 85 runs against. Port Melbourne is eighth with a 5-8-1 record and 57 runs and 81 against. Ormond Glenhuntly takes on St Kilda and Port Melbourne plays Williamstown.
Moorabbin Panthers 2 v Preston Pirates 1
It all came down to the ninth inning but ultimately the Panthers held on for the victory, their 12th of the season. Preston put in a good effort, only giving two runs in the sixth, but the Pirates faltered with runners in scoring position in the ninth, just losing their grip on the comeback win.
Michael McGillivray threw six solid innings for Moorabbin, keeping things scoreless with four hits and five strikeouts. Matt Fordham knocked in Preston's one run of the game while Moorabbin's RBIs came off the bat of Neil Johnson.
Moorabbin's Christopher Nielsen threw three innings of relief with four hits, seven strikeouts, and a run. Nicholas Pascuzzi pitched seven for the Pirates with six hits, three walks, two HBP, two runs, and three strikeouts. Gabriel Valderrama gave up two hits and a walk in two scoreless innings.
Nick Bertucci singled three times for Moorabbin while Adam Harris, Ben Laux, Kieran Lewis, and Andrei Smith singled.
Preston's Mitch Leggehad two singles and Darcy Byrne-Connell doubled. Nick Djorgonoski, Glenn Farrell, Jaycob Pascuzzi, and Hebert Rodriguez also singled.
First-place Moorabbin has a 12-2 record with 104 runs scored and 31 against. The Panthers play Werribee and the Pirates play Newport next.