By Ewen McRae
Werribee Giants had to work hard for it, but it came away from its round two Vic Summer Baseball League clash with a vital win.
Hosting Malvern, the Giants gave up an early lead, but led by some strong pitching from Trent Pantalleresco and a good all-round hitting display they recovered to take the win, 8-6.
The Giants were missing some players and had others playing in different positions, and Malvern took full advantage as they got out to an early lead with a run in the first innings.
The Braves scored twice in the third, but the Giants got their own score rolling at the same time with two runs.
Pantalleresco started on the mound for Werribee, but it was with the bat that he made the early impact as he struck a two-run home run in the middle innings to get his side the lead for the first time.
While Malvern was able to tie the scores again in the sixth, the Giants capitalised on some wild pitching in the eighth inning to take the decisive lead, and held on in the final inning to take the win.
Pantalleresco was the star for the hosts, pitching the whole game and getting four hits.
Werribee Giants had 15 hits for the day, and coach John Curnow said it was pleasing to take a win that could easily have slipped away.
“Their [Malvern] pitchers were pretty good all day, but we were just able to get base runners on and score enough,” Curnow said.
“We didn’t have much pitching relief, so Trent [Pantalleresco] gave us all he had and that was fantastic. He got better as the game went on.
“Malvern got some quality players in the off season, so I don’t think they would have been expecting the loss, so we’re feeling really good early in the season.”
After falling short of the grand final last summer, Curnow said his side was aiming high for this one.
“We want to get to division one, and we’ve got to make finals to do that so we’re aiming to finish on top,” he said. “Our minimum is to get top four, and we were disappointed to miss top spot last year, so everyone wants to work a bit harder this year to get it done.
“We feel like we’ve got the team to take us to the top division, and we’ll be boosted this week with a few players coming back to strengthen all our sides up.”