BV Summer League, Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 November, 2011.
Division 1 Werribee 1 Doncaster 12
The weather got hot and so did the Doncaster Dragons, who cruised to a 12-1 mercy-rule win over Werribee at Presidents Park.
On by far the warmest baseball day of the season so far, the Dragons pitched, hit and fielded very well on their way to a comprehensive win.
No one enjoyed the southern California-like weather more than starting pitcher Jonny Bravo, who collected his first win for Doncaster and did it in style, not allowing a runner past second base on his way to six innings of shutout.
Bravo had only one strikeout, but allowed only three hits and no walks, lowering his ERA from 4.79 to 3.90.
His task was made easier by some tidy defence, as the Dragons made 20 defensive outs without an error, and by some explosive hitting. The Doncaster hitters racked up 17 hits in the seven-inning game, most of them against Werribee import Dustin Northcott.
There was no shortage of offence either. Shortstop Scott Carr led the way with five hits, catcher Ryan Lea had three and DH Slade Squire had two, as did first baseman Leigh Bertrand and left fielder John King.
After a scoreless first inning, Doncaster got on the scoreboard in the second. Carr doubled and Ben Kernick singled.
What followed next was a comedy of errors and a scorer's nightmare, as Carr stole home while Kernick was caught in a rundown that involved five throws and ended when Kernick reached second thanks to some elusive base-running and a couple of Werribee fumbles.
Kernick eventually scored Doncaster's second run when driven in by Matt McQuiggan, who earned his second RBI of the season with a single to right field.
The two-run second inning was followed by a three-run third. Lea walked, Bertrand singled, Squire doubled and Kernick hit a sacrifice fly to give Doncaster a five-run lead.
It got even better in the fourth inning. Back-to-back doubles by Lea and Bertrand were followed by back-to-back singles by Squire and Carr to blow the game open for the Dragons, who by now led 8-0.
A pitching change by Werribee halted the scoring in the fifth, but that didn't last long. In the sixth inning, Lea, Carr and Kernick all reached base and scored when King cleared the bases with a double.
While the result was never in doubt, an insurance run was handy if the Dragons were to win in seven innings and save some pitching for the midweek game. Carr's fifth hit of the day drove in third baseman Michael Daykin to provide that buffer.
As it turned out, the extra run wasn't needed. Luke Brazier, making his debut in the firsts, pitched the final inning and allowed just one unearned run to ice the win.
It was a welcome win for the Dragons, who had lost their previous two games. But the task is likely to be much tougher on Tuesday night, when Doncaster takes on second-placed Geelong at Altona.
- John McDonald
Division 1 Reserves Werribee 1 Doncaster 10
Division 1 Thirds Doncaster 19 Werribee 0
Division 1 Fourths Doncaster 15 Werribee 1
Division 4 Cheltenham KK 5 Doncaster A 4
Division 5 Doncaster B 2 Melbourne 11