Mens 1s lose another close one
A dynamic pitching performance by American James Sanders proved too much for the Doncaster Dragons, who lost a high-standard game to the Sandringham Royals at home on Sunday.
After starting the season slowly, the Royals have charged into the top four, with Sanders playing no small part in the resurgence.
Doncaster pitchers Lachlan Craven and Michael Dobeli threw brilliantly, but the Dragons' hitters could do very little against Sanders, who pitched a complete game as the Royals won 3-0.
Craven kept the Dragons in the hunt into the seventh inning, allowing just one run on three hits and no walks while striking out five. But no matter how well he and Dobeli pitched, the Dragons were never a chance because they could not put a run on the board.
Only four Doncaster hitters - Chris Nicholas, Liam Crivelli, Andrew Mazzocato and Chris Whyte - had base hits, and all four hits were singles. Third baseman Scott Couling also batted well, but for no result, with two line drives caught at left field.
Things won't get any easier for Doncaster next week, with an away game against top team Bonbeach. After looking settled in second place, the Dragons suddenly look vulnerable and are in danger of missing the final four unless they can win at least three of their last four games.