It took them a while to get going, but once they did there was no stopping the Doncaster Dragons. The Dragons beat Port Melbourne 13-5 at Deep Creek for their second win in as many games to start the 2016-17 season.
While the final margin suggests an easy victory, it was tough going early for the Dragons, who found themselves down 2-0 going into the bottom of the third inning. But that's when the offence got going. Second time though the order the batters adjusted well, with seven consecutive hitters reaching base. That resulted in a 5-2 lead, which became 7-2 an inning later. Port Melbourne hit back with three runs in the top of the sixth inning, but another five runs in the seventh gave Doncaster an unassailable lead.
Leadoff hitter and third baseman Nic Unland led the offensive charge with four hits, a stolen base and two runs scored. Ben Utting was also productive, collecting three hits and a walk, with two RBIS and two runs scored. Billy Findlay, Scott Carr and Callum Lethborg each had two hits, with seven RBIs between them in a productive day for the Doncaster middle order.
Starting pitcher Simon Fitzmaurice earned his second win in as many appearances with six solid innings. Fitzmaurice allowed nine hits and three earned runs, minimising the damage by not walking anybody.
That trend continued through the relievers, with Carr pitching two innings for just one hit and no walks. Wearing the Doncaster uniform for the first time, import Tyler Cooklin shook off any jetlag to pitch the ninth inning, striking out two and not allowing a hit or a walk.
Doncaster and Port Melbourne meet again on Thursday night at Deep Creek (changed from Altona), followed by an away game at Upwey Ferntree Gully next Saturday.