Williamstown let a golden opportunity for a breakthrough win slip away on Sunday, going down to Doncaster in Vic Summer Baseball League.
The division 2 clash presented the Wolves with a prime opportunity to grab a much-needed win.
With import pitcher Dennis Neal controlling things on the mound early, it looked they were on track.
But a change of pitcher in the seventh inning gave the Dragons the opportunity they needed.
They got on top at the plate to turn a six-run deficit into a two-run win.
The final score was 9-7.
Williamstown pitcher Daniel Chircop, who came on to relieve Neal, said it was an opportunity missed.
“It was a good game that we controlled
90 per cent of, but we let it get away from us at the end, which was disappointing,” Chircop said.
“Neal pitched fantastically. He did six innings for one run, and I think it was a no hitter through the first five, but unfortunately I came on and blew it for us.
“They really gathered some momentum. And, as happens in baseball sometimes, the hitting is infectious. Once they got on a roll we couldn’t stop them before it was too late.”
Williamstown had the better of the battle in the early stages, with Neal controlling things from the mound and the Wolves enjoying some strong appearances at the plate.
The Wolves scored three runs in the first, one in the second and three more across the fifth and sixth, while Doncaster would not get on the score sheet until the sixth as it struggled to deal with Neal’s variations.
Nick Gray and Justin Gourlay both grabbed two hits for the day for Williamstown.
Doncaster came back into the game in the seventh inning as it hit in four runners.
It took the lead in the eighth when the side’s lead-off hitter hit a three run-homer.
While the Wolves tried hard to retake the lead in their final two at bats, they fell short, slipping to their sixth loss from seven games.
Chircop said that despite the pile up of losses, their form wheel was starting to turn and they had higher expectations for the upcoming games.
“We’re really close to firing on all cylinders, and our goal is to not drop another game before Christmas,” he said.
“We think that’s pretty achievable, especially with the mid-week games starting this week and our pitching depth will suit that very nicely.
“We’ve really supported each other during this losing run and the feeling around the group is really positive, so that’s why we still think we can turn this around pretty quickly.”
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