The 2017-18 season got off to a great start for the Doncaster Dragons as the new-look team beat Werribee at Deep Creek.
With some new faces in the firsts lineup, the Dragons could not have wished for a better start as they put together an impressive display to win 8-3.
Missing some experienced players from last season, the Dragons looked to within and gave opportunities to some youngsters who had previously played only at lower levels.
Leading the way was outfielder/pitcher Brian Chen, making his debut start in the firsts, who had four hits and earned a save with three impressive innings in relief.
Chen came into the game in the seventh inning after an excellent performance by starting pitcher Andrew Chesterton, who pitched five scoreless innings before giving up a two-run homer to Werribee catcher Oliver Box in the sixth. Chesterton allowed just four hits and three walks in his six innings, striking out five and leaving with his team up 6-2.
The Dragons did most of their good offensive work in the second inning, when the first six batters all reached base. Callum Lethborg led off with a walk, Luke Utting doubled and Stephen Pound walked to load the bases. Branson Gibson walked to drive in Doncaster’s first run, then Chen picked up the first of his four hits and Chesterton kept the momentum going with an RBI single. An RBI groundout by Jack Burgoine and a Werribee error on a Derek Medlin ground ball added up to a five-run inning for the Dragons.
They added to that lead in the third inning, when Luke Utting doubled and stole third base before scoring on Chen’s single.
The Doncaster offence went quiet for the next three innings before adding an insurance run in the seventh on Pound’s sacrifice fly, which scored Ben Utting. Chen added another run in the eighth when he scored on a wild pitch.
Doncaster’s next game is at La Trobe University next Sunday against Preston, who beat Malvern 7-0 to open their season.