The Doncaster Dragons got off to a flying start to season 2006-07 with an impressive away win against the Cheltenham Rustlers.
In a game dominated by pitching, none was better than Lachlan Craven, who dominated the Rustlers and set up the 2-0 win.
Craven allowed just three hits and two walks, striking out four, before tiring in the sixth inning and giving way to reliever Michael Dobeli.
Dobeli continued where Craven had left off, allowing only one hit as the Dragons closed out the game.
It was a quiet day for the Doncaster hitters, up against a Cheltenham line-up that included three pitchers who have signed professional contracts with US teams. A strong wind blowing in also made it hard for the hitters.
The only runs of the game were scored in the second inning. Paul Weichard led off with a walk, advanced to second on Chris Nicholas' hit, then scored on a double by Scott Couling.
Sean Pascoe added another run when he drove in Couling on a ground-out.
Nicholas, Couling and Liam Crivelli were the only Dragons to hit safely in the game, but it was all the team needed as the combination of pitching and solid defence enabled Doncaster to have a successful start to the season.
The Dragons play their first home game of the season when they host former Division One powerhouse Upwey Ferntree Gully at Deep Creek Reserve on Sunday.
2s lost to Cheltenham 0-3
Doncaster went down 3 runs to 0, but our performance certainly shows that we shall be a competitive team this season.
We had 6 hits to Cheltenham 4 and our players gave indication that we understand playing a short game.
This was the first game with the club for several players, Michael Warne and James O'Rourke both from Traralgon. James pitched in relief and did a very good job for our team. Steele Ratcliffe,Sean Toulson,Andrew McCrae,Daniel Marveggio all new this season and thes players will be exciting members of the club this season.
Our safe hitters were Steele Ratcliffe (1), Sean Toulson (1),Michael Mazzocato (1), David Bailey (2)
Next week we play Upwey at our home ground and looking forward to good thing.
3s lost to Cheltenham 3-12
The Doncaster 3rds started well against last years grand finalists Cheltenham, leading 3 - 2 after three innings due to some strong pitching by Brendan Nick. Cheltenham however eventually got their bats going and ran away with the game with a 12 - 3 victory. A slow start for the Dragons offence, and we can only improve from there.
4s defeated Cheltenham 20-3
Opening day of the 2006/07 summer season saw the 4ths continuing on from their premiership winning form of last year with a resounding victory against a “very young” Cheltenham team.
It was tightly contested early on seeing scores level at 2 each going into the bottom of the 3rd with the Doncaster boys hitting the ball well but holing out to the outfield in a lot of cases. John “JD” Dixon was in control on the mound showing all the signs of having a very strong winter season behind him, mesmerizing the opposition hitters with his new secret weapon – the “JD curve”.
The bottom of the 3rd saw the flood gates open & the Dragons bats come to life, with the boys doing some of their finest work with the hapless pitchers giving up 11 runs to put the game out of reach. This was followed up with another 7 runs in the 4th dig which also saw the evergreen – Tutti looking buffed after a big off season, take the mound and giving up only1 run in a fine pitching display.
Other major contributors were Neil Medlin in the lead off spot going 4 for, stealing at will & catching everything in sight, the Hugh-meister patrolling 3rd & having the eye of a “dead fish” with the bat & “Deals” who was a bees diaphragm (it was a big bee) from hitting it over the “huge fence” in left field as it sailed just past the foul pole.
Special mention must go to our newest member of the team Scott, going 1 for 1 with a steal; which I’m sure will make for great discussion around the dinner table – well done Scott!
Finally I need to mention the El Presidente who put on a batting display with a couple of doubles (which would’ve been triples or in the park home runs to any other player in the club) & stealing like a man possessed. And while I’m on base running & the techniques thereof, I do need to mention a copybook “slide” into home plate. If it’s not in some instruction manual somewhere in the world I believe it soon will be.
To paint the picture, Burger took off from 3rd base to home after a wild pitch; both teams, umpires & crowd looked on in awe as the big fella gained more & more pace as he approached home plate, the poor Cheltenham player looked up in utter horror as the B-Train bore down on him & as an ambulance was about to be called to pick up what was left of the Cheltenham player, Burger put on something which was a mix between Michael Jackson’s moon walk (but in a forward direction) & Fred Flinstone and his tippy toe tenpin bowling technique, stopping on a “dime” as he came to home plate and putting his big toe onto the plate seemingly to mock the already shell shocked Cheltenham team, only to be called out on a tag by the “blue”.
This move is now known as…”the Burger slide” & the big fella will be only to keen to demonstrate it at training this week.