The 2020/21 VSBL Division 2 season will finish with exciting grand finals in the Seconds, Thirds, and Fourths. After washouts in the round 18, the Firsts took the field for the semi-finals on Thursday night and the series will continue over the weekend.
Division 2 Firsts
Mulgrave Rebels 4 v Newport Rams 9
The Rams took the first game of the series with two runs in the second and one in the fourth. Both teams scored one in the sixth as Mulgrave tacked on three in the eighth and Newport scored five to break the tie and secure the victory.
The Rams collected 13 hits while the Rebels had seven. Newport made one error and Mulgrave made four. Nick Thompson had two hits and three RBIs for the Rebels, while Paul Rutgers and Grant Miller contributed with three quality at-bats each. Rutgers and Ryan Phillips saw the ball well, taking walks.
Scot Malthouse had four quality at-bats for Newport as Mason Wray and Jared Berman collected two hits each. Wray had two RBIs and Berman had one.
Mulgrave's Jayson Arthur threw eight innings with 27 first-pitch strikes, five strikeouts, and a 2.12 WHIP. David Asp threw six innings for Newport with 14 first-pitch strikes, five strikeouts, and a 0.83 WHIP. Tyler Comben handled three innings with nine first-pitch strikes, three K's, and a 2.00 WHIP.
Newport finished the regular season in second place with the same 14-2 record as Moorabbin and 157 runs for v 56 allowed. Mulgrave came third with a 9-7 record on 97 runs for and 94 runs against.
Newport hosts game two on Saturday at 2:00pm while Mulgrave will host game three on Sunday if the Rebels even the series.
Werribee Giants 0 v Moorabbin Panthers 11
The Panthers racked up the runs to take a big lead in game one. Moorabbin scored three in the first, two in the second, and six in the sixth.
This shutout victory puts Moorabbin in good position for the weekend games as the Panthers pursue their first Division 2 Premiership since 2015/16.
Moorabbin finished atop the ladder in the regular season with a 14-2 record on 120 runs for and 35 runs against. Werribee came fourth at 8-7-1 on 84 runs for and 88 runs against. Moorabbin won 6-4 over Werribee in round 16.
Game 2 is at Moorabbin on Saturday at 2:00pm, followed by the third game if necessary at Werribee on Sunday.
Division 2 Seconds
Newport Rams 3 v Moorabbin Panthers 8
The Panthers scored five in the first and one in the second to get ahead of the Rams, who didn't score until the final frame when they tacked on three runs. Moorabbin's two runs in the seventh also helped their cause.
Moorabbin will host the grand final as the Panthers look to go back-to-back. First pitch between Moorabbin and Werribee is at 2:00pm on Sunday.
Doncaster Dragons 2 v Werribee Giants 3
The Giants booked their spot in the final after beating Doncaster by one run. Werribee finished the regular season in second place with a 6-1-3 record. The Giants scored 70 runs and gave up 30, while their grand final opponent finished first with nine wins, one loss, 137 runs for, and only 16 runs against.
Werribee won 4-3 over Moorabbin in round six, so the Giants are the only team to beat the Panthers this year.
Division 2 Thirds
Williamstown Wolves 9 v Newport Rams 10
The Rams scored seven in the first inning, forcing Williamstown to play catchup to stay in the game. The Wolves got two back in the second and another two in the fourth, but those were quickly cancelled by two more Newport runs. The score was 9-8 Newport going into the seventh, as Williamstown briefly tied it up before Newport walked it off for the win on a double by Kevin Johnson to score Tony Hemmerijckx.
Williamstown had 12 hits overall while Newport had 10. This marked Williamstown's second walk-off loss to Newport this season after the Rams won 3-1 in round five.
The Rams host Doncaster for the grand final on Sunday at 2:00pm.
Doncaster Dragons 3 v Moorabbin Panthers 1
The Dragons are through to the grand final after beating the Panthers. Doncaster finished the regular season in second place with an 8-1-1 record on 109 runs scored and 59 conceded. Moorabbin finished third on the same record but with 130 runs scored and 32 given up.
Moorabbin won the grand final last year and will look to do the same at Newport, a team they lost to 7-8 in round three.
Division 2 Fourths
Doncaster Dragons 9 v Williamstown Wolves 10
The Wolves narrowly managed to book their spot in the grand final for a chance to win their third flag in four years.
The Wolves have yet to be beaten this year, finishing the regular season 9-0, and they will host the grand final on Sunday with first pitch at 2:00pm.
Ormond Glenhuntly Hunters 7 v Moorabbin Panthers 5
The Hunters knocked the second-place team out of contention with a strong performance. The Hunters scored two in the first, one in the second, another in the fifth, and three final runs in the sixth. They survived a late comeback from Moorabbin as the Panthers scored one in the fifth and two in both the sixth and the seventh.
Ormond Glenhuntly finished in third place with six wins, three losses, 70 runs for, and 52 runs against. The Hunters' grand final clash with undefeated Williamstown will be a big test as the Wolves won 14-13 in round two and 3-1 in round 11.