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The VSBL Division 2 season continued with high-scoring games as teams race toward finals and look to make the second-half of the summer even stronger than the first.

Division 2 Firsts - Midweek Games (Thursday, 21 January 2021)

Doncaster Dragons 1 v Moorabbin Panthers 9

The Panthers relied on pitcher Stewart Mathieson to secure win number six. Mathieson pitched 4.33 innings with two hits, four strikeouts, five walks, and one unearned run.

Christopher Nielsen pitched two-thirds of an inning, keeping things scoreless in support of Mathieson. Doncaster's Brian Chen gave up three earned runs in an inning with a hit and four walks, while Angus Stals gave up two hits, four walks, and four runs with a strikeout in 1.33 innings.

Moorabbin's offence included two RBIs from Kieran Lewis as Nicholas Bertucci, Travis Finney, Andrei Smith, and Mitch Sheldon-Collins plated one each. The team's hits were all singles from Adam Harris, who had a pair of base hits, and Bertucci, Finney, Lewis, Nielsen and Neil Johnson.

Nic Unland doubled for Doncaster as the Dragons slipped one spot to fourth with four wins, three losses, 54 runs for, and 49 runs against. Doncaster plays Port Melbourne next while the 6-1 Panthers look to improve on 71 runs for and just 25 runs against when they play Mulgrave.

Newport Rams 10 v Ormond Glenhuntly Hunters 5

The Rams scored early to put the game in their favour and held on for win number five despite a late rally from the Hunters.

Newport led 2-0 after the first and 5-0 after the third, with both teams scoring one in the fourth. Four runs scored on each side in the fifth as Newport improved to a 5-2 record to take over third place from Doncaster.

Newport's Harun Pelja pitched three scoreless innings with no hits, just one HBP and two strikeouts. Mason Condie threw 1.33 innings with three hits, two walks, one HBP, and four runs. Tyler Comben struck out one and walked one with an unearned run scored in two-thirds of an inning.

Ormond Glenhuntly's Geoff MacDonald contributed 2.33 innings on the mound, with four hits, one strikeout, two walks, and three runs. Jiwon Choi threw two innings with three hits, two strikeouts, two walks, a HBP, and five runs - four of them earned. Brad Dolan threw two-thirds of an inning with one hit allowed, as well as three walks, one HBP, and two runs.

Newport's runs were batted in by Jared Berman, Mathew Lawman, Aaron Robson, and Keenan Spence. Lawman and Spence homered while Berman had two base hits, Ben Jon Howard singled, and Ryan Morrison singled twice and doubled once. Robson also had an extra-base hit.

Choi, Kyungsoo Jeon, Keunyeol Park, and Jason Maxwell each had one RBI for Ormond Glenhuntly. Jeon and Maxwell singled as Park doubled.

5-2 Newport has 62 runs for and 31 runs against going into a game at Williamstown, while eighth-place Ormond Glenhuntly has scored 32 and given up 49 in two wins and five losses. The Hunters host Werribee next.

Mulgrave Rebels 7 v Preston Pirates 1

The Rebels scored two in the first and three in the third on their way to win number four. Both sides scored once in the fourth while Mulgrave got a final run in the fifth.

Mulgrave had six hits and five walks, while giving up four hits and two walks to the Pirates. Preston's lone RBI came from Ryan Golledge.

The Rebels moved up a spot to fifth place with four wins, three losses, and an even 36 runs scored v 36 runs given up. Meanwhile the Pirates have one win and six losses, with 20 runs for and 94 against. Mulgrave's next game is at home v Moorabbin while Preston plays St Kilda.

Port Melbourne Mariners 6 v St Kilda Saints 1

St Kilda was first on the board with a run in the second, although Port Melbourne tied it up in the third. The fourth was scoreless but the Mariners kept pushing, scoring three in the fifth and two in the sixth to win their third game and bounce back from a 9-1 loss to Moorabbin the round before.

The Saints had Daniel Hogg on the mound for 4.66 innings. He gave five hits, five walks, one HBP and four runs to the Mariners with a strikeout. Thomas Snowden pitched the other 1.33 innings with a hit, a strikeout, a walk and two unearned runs.

Despite the loss, the Saints collected eight hits against Port Melbourne but left 10 runners on base. Mariano Heyden had an RBI single while Rolando Curiel and Alan Ortiz doubled, Mariano Favia had two base hits. Snowden and Paul Puskar also singled.

The Saints sit ninth with a 1-6 record on 26 runs for and 67 against. Port Melbourne is sixth with a 3-3-1 record on 37 runs for and 40 against. St Kilda visits Preston and Port Melbourne hosts Doncaster next.

Williamstown Wolves 3 v Werribee Giants 1

The Wolves won their fifth game in a close matchup, with all the scoring coming in the first inning.

Williamstown put together a three-run first while Werribee responded with one, while the next four innings stayed scoreless.

Daniel Chircop threw five solid innings for Williamstown with no hits, five walks, one unearned run, and four strikeouts. Werribee's Trent Pantalleresco threw five innings with six hits, two walks, one HBP, three runs, and five strikeouts. Cameron Mcnish also pitched.

Williamstown's offence included hits from Mitchell Collins, Nicholas Gray, Aaron Green, Tyler Gwin, Jason McDonald, Scott Meager, and Hiroshi Narasaki. Williamstown sits second with a 5-2 record on 64 runs for and 12 against, while Werribee is seventh at 3-3-1 with 28 runs for and 27 against.

The Wolves host Newport and Werribee visits Ormond Glenhuntly next.

Division 2 Firsts - Weekend Games (Sunday, 24 January 2021)

Werribee Giants 7 v Ormond Glenhuntly Hunters 13

The Giants have lost three of their last four as the Hunters broke the tie with a six-run eighth inning.

Werribee led 3-1 after the first, and the next three innings were quiet until Werribee tacked on two more in the fifth. The Hunters fired back with four to tie the game, forcing a back and forth battle. The sixth was scoreless while the seventh saw Werribee score once and the Hunters score twice.

Ormond Glenhuntly exited the sixth with a narrow 7-6 advantage, but Werribee tied it in the next frame. Then the Hunters scored six in the bottom of the eighth to secure the win, their third of the season.

Kyungsoo Jeon threw eight innings for Ormond Glenhuntly, with seven hits, seven strikeouts, five walks, and seven runs - three of them earned. Jiwon Choi handled one scoreless inning to close it out with no hits, two walks, and one strikeout.

Josh Lee pitched 4.66 innings for Werribee, giving up seven hits, two walks, five runs - three earned - along with three K's. John Curnow contributed 2.66 innings with five hits, one walk, one HBP, and six runs - four of them earned. He struck out four. Wilmer Castillo handled two-thirds of an inning with three hits, two HBP, and two runs scored.

Jeon plated five runs for Ormond Glenhuntly with two huge singles, while Choi knocked in three with a walk and a pair of doubles. Geoff MacDonald plated two with two singles and a double as Doha Kwak had two hits and an RBI and Jason Maxwell had a double, walk, and an RBI. Brad Dolan and Changho Choi singled and teammate Keunyeol Park had a pair of base hits.

Werribee's offence was led by Lee, who plated two on a single, and Wade Balzer who homered and doubled. Castillo got a run in with a double and a single, while Samuel Reale had two base hits and Ryan Balzer had one.

The Giants have slipped from third place in round three to seventh place after eight games. They have a 3-4-1 record on 35 runs for and 40 runs against. Ormond Glenhuntly is one spot behind in eighth with three wins, five losses, 45 runs for, and 56 runs against. Werribee plays Moorabbin and Ormond Glenhuntly plays St Kilda next.

Moorabbin Panthers 2 v Mulgrave Rebels 0

The Panthers squashed Mulgrave's hopes of back-to-back wins with a big shutout victory as the pitching on both sides took centre stage.

Moorabbin scored two runs in the first as the next eight innings were quiet. Michael McGillivray threw the entire game, keeping things scoreless with just two hits, four walks, one HBP, one wild pitch, and four strikeouts.

Ryan Phillips threw the first five for Mulgrave, giving up those two early runs before settling in. He struck out two and gave up eight hits overall, with one walk and two HBP. In Liam Richardson's two scoreless innings of work, the Panthers got one hit and struck out once, while Jayson Arthur threw one with no hits, just one HBP and two strikeouts.

Arthur and Caleb Poole had Mulgrave's only hits of the game while Moorabbin's two RBIs came off the bats of Mitchell Barr and Stewart Mathieson. Barr had three singles, Mathieson, Nick Bertucci and Travis Finney all doubled, and Matt Hardie, Adam Harris, and Kieran Lewis singled.

Moorabbin remains at the top of the ladder with seven wins, one loss, 73 runs for, and 25 runs against. 4-4 Mulgrave sits fifth having scored 36 and given up 38. Next up, Moorabbin hosts Werribee and Mulgrave visits Doncaster.

Doncaster Dragons 11 v Port Melbourne Mariners 1

Doncaster outhit Port Melbourne 14 to nine with a flurry of runs in the last few innings.

Port Melbourne made two errors on the day while Doncaster had none, with the Mariners' only run coming in the fourth. Doncaster scored three in the second, one in the fifth, three in the seventh, and two in each of the last two innings to record win number five.

Angus Stals threw four scoreless innings for Doncaster with three hits and four strikeouts, while Simon Fitzmaurice also contributed four innings, giving up just that one run. He had six hits, two walks, and four strikeouts. Billy Findlay threw the other inning, walking one and striking out another. Fitzmaurice had ten first-pitch strikes while Stals had nine as the latter recorded an impressive 0.75 WHIP too.

Port Melbourne's Matthew Parker hurled 16 first-pitch strikes with nine hits, three strikeouts, two earned runs, and two unearned runs. Kevin Ung pitched two innings with four hits, two walks, one HBP, five runs, and a strikeout. Edmond Pagano's inning of work included one hit, one walk, three HBP, and two earned runs.

Doncaster's offence included two RBIs apiece for Findlay and Marc Sandy, while Brian Chen, Derek Medlin, and Nic Unland plated one each. Chen and Findlay both singled and doubled as Sandy, Dakota Gibson and Brendan McDonald contributed two base hits each. Medlin singled as well.

Ung had Port Melbourne's only RBI single while Matthew Morris had two base hits. The team's other singles went to Jock Allen, Tyson Cox-Davies, Luke Jones, Sam Morris, Jack White, and Parker.

Sixth-place Port Melbourne has a 3-4-1 record with 38 runs for and 51 runs against. Third-place Doncaster is 5-3 with 65 runs for and 50 runs against. Round nine has Port Melbourne at home v Williamstown as Doncaster hosts Mulgrave.

St Kilda Saints 8 v Preston Pirates 6

The Saints fought back from an early three-run deficit to get their second win on the board.

Preston scored three in the bottom of the first before St Kilda scored one in the third and three in the fourth. Preston regained the lead with two in the fifth but the Saints erased that one-run advantage their next turn up. St Kilda's three runs in the seventh sealed the deal as the Pirates one run in the ninth wasn't quite enough to bridge the gap.

Thomas Snowden threw the first six innings for St Kilda, giving up three hits, three walks, three earned runs, and two unearned runs with a pair of strikeouts. Adam Schoppe pitched in relief, striking out three in as many innings with three hits and one run.

Preston's Jaycob Pascuzzi gave up six hits across five innings with a strikeout, a walk, and a HBP. Four earned runs and one unearned run scored during his time on the mound, while teammate Nick Djorgonoski gave up three hits and two walks in four innings of work. He struck out two as three runs scored - two of them earned.

St Kilda's offence included RBIs from Mariano Favia, Millar Kuhl, Robby Lewis and Paul Puskar. Both pitchers contributed at the plate, with Schoppe plating two and Snowden plating one. Several players had doubles on the day, including Kuhl, Schoppe, Snowden, and Daniel Hogg, while Favia, Puskar, and Alan Ortiz singled.

Hebert Rodriguez plated two for Preston with a single and a home run, while Pascuzzi, Mitch Legge, Ryan Golledge, and Matt Fordham also knocked in runs. Legge doubled and singled as Golledge, Rodriguez, and Nick Pascuzzi had base hits.

Preston has one win and seven losses while St Kilda is 2-6 going into games v Newport and Ormond Glenhuntly, respectively.

Newport Rams 12 v Williamstown Wolves 0

Newport's bats came to life late in the game as the Rams overpowered another top four team.

The first five innings were scoreless before the Rams broke through with three in the sixth. The Wolves shut down their scoring attempts for the next two innings, but the Rams racked up nine in the final frame to secure win number six.

David Asp and Tyler Comben shared pitching duties for the winning side, with Asp giving up five hits and a walk with one strikeout in five innings. Comben struck out eight Wolves in four innings with one hit and three walks.

Dennis Neal started for Williamstown, with six hits and eight strikeouts across seven innings. He walked one and gave up three runs - two of them earned. Daniel Chircop threw 1.66 innings with five hits, three walks, one strikeout, and seven runs - five of them earned. Aaron Green pitched for less than an inning, giving up two runs on three hits.

Keenan Spence plated three for Newport with a big home run, while Mason Wray, Nathan Smith, Connor Schibeci, Ryan Morrison, Troy Malthouse, Mathew Lawman, and Dean Malthouse also knocked in runs. Lawman doubled twice and singled once, while Dean, Scott, and Troy Malthouse all doubled. Morrison and Schibeci had extra-base hits as well.

Williamstown had singles from Mitchell Collins, Aaron Green, Tyler Gwin, Robert Higginson, Jason McDonald, and Hiroshi Narasaki.

6-2 Newport sits second with 74 runs for and just 31 against, while 5-3 Williamstown is fourth with 64 runs for and 24 runs against. The Rams are at home v Preston and the Wolves play at Port Melbourne next.

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