BV Summer League, Tuesday 23 November, 2011.
ALTONA: Still up beat after a high intensity win last Saturday, the Dragons (6-6) took on a the cattle stealers from Cheltenham (6-5-1) for the second time in a fortnight.
With 6 wins on the season the signs are there that we know how this game must be played at this level.
On the flip side of this there are also indications that inexperience still shows through. This was the story on Tuesday at the Altona igloo. A blazing top half of the first inning put Cheltenham starter Steven Gourlay to the sword, scoring 4 runs.
Differing vastly from the last meeting where Gourlay threw 9 innings for only 2 only for Doncaster to give up 3 in return. In fact Cheltenham scored 3 in each of the first 3 innings to gather their total for the game.
At 15, young gun Luke Brazier took the ball for his first start in the senior nine. Looking calm and showing some of his trademark velocity Brazier battled hard.
An excellent trait to have but after retiring the first 2 hitters in the 2nd inning his control took a holiday. Rhys Hopper relieved Brazier but fared little better in the 3rd with several misplays allowing the Rustlers to gain serious ascendency.
Our offence out hit the potent Rustler line up 11 to 9, scoring 1 run in the 2nd inning and a further 3 in the 6th. On a different night the game could or should have been ours but the lapses cost us. An outstanding 5-4-3 double play in the 4th led to a 3 run 5th inning comeback. An encouraging sign after the middle innings were very downbeat. It must be said that we have to stop putting ourselves in those positions though.
Hopper settled down to throw 3 scoreless innings in relief. Between the two pitchers only 6 runs were earned.
Our hitters were outstanding with Scott Couling, Leigh Bertrand, Scott Carr and DH Daniel McGrath all picking up 2 hits. Manager Michael Daykin and right fielder Matt McQuiggan would consider themselves unlucky not to get more green pencil.
Doncaster takes the road trip to Waverley on Sunday then host the league leading Essendon side at ‘Dollar Dog Night’ at Deep Creek next Tuesday 6.15 pm.
HITS: Couling Bertrand Carr McGrath 2, Daykin Lea Kernick 1.