With the game on the line, it all came down to one pitch.
The Doncaster Dragons were leading Upwey Ferntree Gully by one run, but the Tigers had the bases loaded with two outs and darkness setting in. On a 2-2 count, closer Simon Fitzmaurice threw a perfect pitch, which broke across the inside corner for a called third strike, ending the threat and ensuring the Dragons would win.
It was the first midweek game of the 2014-15 season and Doncaster's first win at Deep Creek. The final score of 5-2 was not an accurate reflection of the closeness of the contest. For most of the game the Dragons led 1-0, with that lead coming in the second inning after a double by Brendan McDonald, who scored thanks to an errant throw by an Upwey infielder.
A terrific outing by starting pitcher Andrew Chesterton ensured that the narrow lead would hold up through five innings. Chesterton allowed just four hits, with five walks and two strikeouts. And when he ran out of steam in the sixth, Fitzmaurice was there to ice the win.
An inning earlier, the Dragons had added a couple of insurance runs. Andrew Mazzocato and Ben Utting both walked to set up the inning. After a balk, two stolen bases and an infield single by Billy Findlay that fell between two fielders, McDonald drove in two runs with a two-out single.
The win seemed secured as the game entered the bottom of the sixth inning. All the Dragons had to do was bat long enough to allow time to expire. But they did even better than that. Nic Unland's one-out walk was followed by an infield hit by Mazzocato. When Mazzocato stole send -- one of seven stolen bases by the Dragons for the game -- it set up a perfect opportunity for Ben Utting, who duly delivered a two-run single.
After a slow offensive start to the season, in which they scored only four runs in the first four games, the Dragons have now won two in a row to take their win-loss record to 3-3. To make it a hat-trick of wins, they will need to beat Williamstown (2-4) in an important home game at Deep Creek on Saturday.
-- John McDonald