Williamstown Wolves were left with a hollow feeling after missing promotion to Baseball Victoria summer league division 1.
The Wolves made a hasty exit from the division 2 finals, going down 2-0 to Preston Pirates in a best-of-three semi-final series.
Game one was the dagger for the Wolves, losing 3-2 in a game they could, and probably should, have won.
There was no coming back from that disappointment for the Wolves, who went down 9-1 in game two.
Wolves catcher and coach Jarryd Rogers rued the missed opportunity of game one and over-aggressive base running.
“We could’ve easily won game one, which would’ve changed the whole series,” he said.
“It was a bit of a downer that they really came out to play in game two, hit really well and we didn’t hit so good. They threw their two best pitchers at us and they threw really well.”
Williamstown will rue its return of just three runs across the two games.
The Wolves’ base running in game one was costly.
“We got a lot of runners on base, but they got thrown out on base, which is a big no-no,” Rogers said. “It happened four, maybe five times, where we had runners on base and they got thrown out by the catcher or a double play that shouldn’t have happened.
“We encourage our players to take it on and it usually works out. To their credit, the Preston catcher is phenomenal defensively and exploited aggressive base running that we’d normally get away with.”
While the Williamstown offence was not up to scratch in the series, Rogers was pleased with the team’s pitching and defence.
He praised tireless work of import starting pitcher Jonathan Mottay in the play-offs and across the season.
“He’s been our most dominant player,” Rogers said. “It’s not just that he throws well, he can throw well for a really long time … seven or eight innings a game.”
Mottay threw 10 innings in game one and four innings in game two.
Daniel Chircop offered some relief in game two, but neither had the run support to be able to carve out a victory.
Williamstown will be hard at work in the off season trying to lure Mottay back to the club for next summer.
The Wolves will also examine why they could not achieve their goal of promotion to division 1.
“At the start of the year, we were fairly confident that we were going to get promoted this year,” Rogers said. “We did improve as a club, with hitting and defence especially, as well as culture at training and off the field.
“It was just unfortunate that two teams can go up and the top two teams this year were definitely Preston and Berwick.
“Next year, if we improve again, I’ve got no doubt we’ll make it into division 1.”