Newport Rams have put their full potential on display in a shock 14-0 mercy rule win over Melbourne Demons in the Baseball Victoria summer league division 1.
The Rams are rock bottom in the west conference and the Demons are top ranked in the east, but it was almost a reversal of roles as the Rams toyed with one of the premiership contenders throughout the game at KC White Reserve on Sunday.
Nobody in their wildest dreams would have predicted such a scoreline before play – nobody except Rams catcher Dean Malthouse.
“I have some pretty wild dreams, so I think we should be winning like that every week,” Malthouse said.
“It’s a reminder to us that when we put all that hard work in and you get to the weekend and have a couple of things go your way, we can put up some big numbers.”
Newport’s pitching numbers have stacked up favourably against most teams in the competition this season.
Six shut-out innings from import Riley Barr certainly helped their cause in keeping the Demons scoreless.
Simon Fitzmaurice threw the final inning before the umpires called the mercy rule to end the game after the seventh.
What the Rams have lacked on occasions is sufficient run support, but they got that in spades against the Demons.
“I think we put on seven runs in the third inning,” Malthouse said.
“Once that happens, you give yourself a bit of a buffer and you can kind of relax a little … just play your game, rather than pressing on every single game.”
The Rams got hits up and down the line-up, their batters executing their plans to perfection.
“There were great at-bats,” Malthouse said. “Even the first two innings – we didn’t score in them, but we weren’t leaving good pitches
or swinging and letting the pitcher off the
“We were putting good, hard contact on the ball and eventually it broke apart and we scored a bunch of runs in the third.
“We put down bunts, we had timely hitting with runners in scoring positions – something we hadn’t done at all this year. It just built from there.”
Newport remains on the bottom of its conference, but still has plenty of games to make up ground on the top four teams in the competition.
The Rams could still finish as high as second, such is the closeness of the competition.
“You win a couple in a row or lose a couple in a row and you can either be fighting for play-offs or fighting to avoid relegation,” Malthouse
“We’re down in the bottom part of the ladder, but if we win two or three games we’ll be right back up to potentially finishing in the top two in our division.
“I think we’re a chance in every game, so we have a good shot of stringing a few wins together and maybe sneaking into the play-offs and causing a bit of damage.”
Newport will hit the road on Sunday to face another east conference power, Blackburn Orioles, at Billabong Park on Sunday.
In women’s division 1, Footscray went down 3-1 to Essendon in a tight game at KC White Reserve on Saturday.
The Bulldogs remain third on the ladder, one win back from the Bombers.