Doncaster went from 0-5 to 2-5 very quickly in the win loss column, enjoying a 4-0 shutout win over Sunshine.
Despite going into the game without Ben Utting and Nic Unland, the Dragons were coming in fresh off a midweek victory against Springvale.
Deep Creek Reserve was looking spectacular on another beautiful warm sunny Saturday afternoon. Simon Fitzmaurice started for the Dragons and put up his best start, to what has already been a solid season for him.
Doncaster threatened early in the first three innings, putting up base runners however, grounding into double plays and mishit pop-ups to the infield cost the Dragons runs.
In the bottom of the fourth inning the Dragons cashed in on a few errors by the Sunshine infield, scoring four. Andrew Mazzocato led off with a walk and Glenn McColl reached on a dropped catch by the Sunshine second baseman. With runners on first and second Marcel D’Avoine laid down a perfect bunt to load the bases. Brendan McDonald followed up by hitting a slow roller to third, whose throw home was off target, allowing Mazzocato and McColl to score.
Andrew Reeves continued the Dragons scoring drive with a two run RBI single, putting the Dragons 4-0 up. It was an important at-bat for Reeves who was coming off his self-proclaimed “worst month of baseball.” “It feels good, I’ve just been working on my hitting, just glad that month is over, cause I’m moving forward and so is the team,” said Reeves. “When you come up with runners in scoring position and one out, it makes your job pretty easy, you have the put the ball in play and I got an outside fastball that I put away”
Coming off two wins in a matter of days, Reeves said team confidence is up. “You have to take it one week at a time, we’re young developing team. I think the confidence will be up. These are the types of teams we should be beating,” said Reeves.
The Dragons nearly gave up a run in the top of the fifth but left fielder Brendan McDonald threw a bullet to home plate to nab the runner attempting to score a run. Fitzmaurice continued to throw strong, although he got himself into trouble in the sixth inning. With two out and one on in the inning, Fitzmaurice then gave up a single and walk to load the bases. However, his strong pitching forced a ground ball to third that Glenn McColl scooped up and throw to first ended the threat.
Fitzmaurice finished six innings, seven hits, two walks, one hit-by-pitch, zero runs and struck out four.
Marcel D’Avoine had no trouble preserving the shutout, as he closed out the game with ease. D’Avoine went three innings; one hit, no walk, no runs, and struck out three.
Brendan McDonald said it was a great victory for the Dragon pitchers. “It’s a good reward for our pitchers to get the shutout, Simon was outstanding, I think he only got into trouble in one inning and was able to make good pitches to get out of it,” said McDonald. “Simon deserves a win or two with the way he’s pitched this year, we haven’t been able to back him up.” McDonald highlighted the team’s good plate discipline. “Last few games we’ve managed to strangle together some good at-bats, work our walks and not make silly outs. Their starting pitcher struggled with control and we were able to take advantage of that,” said McDonald.
Marcel D’Avoine led the Dragons offence with a bunt single, a double and scored a run. However, he grounded into a bizarre 1-4-3-2-5 triple play in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Dragons will travel to Newport next Sunday (Nov,15) to start game one of a double header. Game two of the double header will be held at La Trobe University on Tuesday (Nov,17).
- James Bennett