James Bennett - 13/10/15
For the second week in a row the Dragons have been shutout, going down 4-0 at the hands of Waverley at Deep Creek Reserve.
However, this week’s performance was an improvement from last week’s dismal 14-0 loss Blackburn.
The Dragons were led by a strong start from Simon Fitzmaurice, who gave up one earned run and struck out four.
The game started as a pitcher’s duel, but poor base running led to missed opportunities for the Dragons to score. Waverley scored the first run of the game in the third inning with a one out RBI single.
Mistakes from the infield would cost the Dragons three runs in the fifth inning. Two runs scored on a groundball that got through shortstop Scott Carr’s legs, and another run scored in a run down.
In the sixth inning, Ben Utting replaced Fitzmaurice on the mound, whilst the Waverley bullpen was locked in and continued to shut down Dragons hitters.
Utting was also strong in relief, quieting the Waverley bats and allowing only one hit and striking out five in four innings of work.
The Dragons failure to score runs was something coach Utting addressed.
“It’s the same as what we did last year, we didn’t really hit consistently last season,” Utting said.
“Traditionally we don’t score a lot of runs, so it is a major concern we need to address. “We just don’t have someone who’s on fire at the moment.
As a team we need to do the little things and it starts with swinging at good pitchers and getting on base.”
Utting also noted the team was unfortunate not to score any runs.
“We were unlucky, we hit the ball pretty good all game. We lined out to infielders and hit the ball deep to the outfield that got caught all day.”
The solid start from Fitzmaurice is a good sign for the Dragons heading down the stretch who, with their import still in transit, have some questions with their starting pitching depth.
Fitzmaurice said his off speed pitches worked well for him.
“I pitched pretty good. [I] had a few mistakes, its all got to do with the fielders and they backed me up.
“Mainly the change-up worked the best but the curve ball worked well also.
“I’d liked to think I could start [in the ones again this season] but I’ll do what the club want me to do.”
Billy Finland continued hit strong start to the season with two base hits.
Marcel D’Avonie was flawless at third, making four tough putouts look easy.
The Dragons continue their home stand against Melbourne on Saturday.