Williamstown Wolves have been denied a rare no-hitter in the last inning of a 20-1 mercy rule win over bottom-of-the-ladder Ballarat City Brewers in Baseball Victoria summer league division 2.
The Wolves pitching staff was on song at Greenwich Reserve on Sunday until the Brewers found a seventh inning hit off relief pitcher Sean Talbot.
Wolves player-coach Jarryd Rogers said even struggling teams could fire.
“They always manage to get a hit here or there, so it was great for us to go through that many innings without giving up a base hit,” Rogers said.
Wolves import Jonathan Mottay blew off the cobwebs from the mid-season break with four impressive innings.
Daniel Chircop kept the Brewers scoreless in his two innings in middle relief before Talbot finished the game.
While the Wolves were chasing a no-hitter, the most important thing for Rogers was to get innings into the arms of their pitchers.
“We’ve got a fair number of pitchers who we needed to get through,” he said. “We’re glad to get through them today so we’re ready to face the top team [Berwick City] next weekend.
“There was a bit of rust – there were times when we walked people unnecessarily and then pitched well to get out of the inning.
“Towards the end of the game, we put ourselves in some bad situations, but then we pitched well to get out of it.”
Offensively, the Wolves enjoyed a feast of runs. The highlights were towering home runs from Rogers, who had four hits, and Justin Gourlay.
Gourlay’s power hitting in the four spot has been hugely important for the Wolves.
“He’s been killing it this season,” Rogers said. “He’s our power guy – when he hits the ball, it’s usually a double or a home run.
“It suits the team well because he bats in the line-up at four and bats behind the guys who get on base like me, Greeny [Aaron Green] and whoever bats two. When he does get a big hit, he scores a lot of runs.”
Green has been superb in the lead-off spot. More often than not, the seasoned campaigner fights his way on to base for others to send him home.
“I think he’s got the highest on-base percentage in our team,” Rogers said.
Now that Williamstown has secured its predictable win over the winless Ballarat City, it will be full steam ahead for a trip to take on ladder leader Berwick City.
With the team that finishes on top gaining automatic promotion and the Wolves sitting in third place and within arm’s reach of City, this Sunday’s blockbuster at Cyril Molineaux Reserve has plenty riding on the outcome.
“It’s pretty tight at the moment between Berwick City, Preston and us, so this will be big,” Rogers said.
“We had top spot and were undefeated for a while, but then we lost one game and lost top spot instantly, so it’s pretty competitive up there.
“A win will go a long way to what we want to do and that’s finish on top.”