By Lance Jenkinson
Winning has become a habit for Werribee Giants in the Baseball Victoria summer league division 2.
Even when the Giants were playing at nowhere near their best levels, they found ways to improve to 12-1 for the season in a “real sloppy” 7-3 extra-innings win over Port Melbourne Mariners at JL Murphy Reserve on Sunday.
The Giants’ grit is a delight for coach John Curnow.
“We’re able hold the teams when we’re not playing too well,” he said.
Pitching did the job for Werribee after an error-riddled day in the field and a string of wasteful at-bats.
The Giants committed four errors and their batting was disjointed.
“We didn’t play their field as well as we do every other field,” Curnow said. “They attacked the balls that we hit to them and we stood back and let them play us.
“We also couldn’t string the hits together, which is a bit of an issue. We’d get a hit, then two outs and we couldn’t do anything.”
The positive for Werribee was the superb pitching display by Wes DeJong.
He threw 10 innings, averaging 10.3 pitches per innings, and was a constant thorn in the side of the Mariners batters, who managed only six hits for the game.
“He really battled for us today,” Curnow said. “Guys let him down in the field a few times today and he stood up.
“He stayed focused and did his job the whole day, no matter what.
“That’s what he does every time he goes out there.
“We’ve got good confidence whenever he’s on the mound that we’ll do all right.”
DeJong was in total control from the outset.
He mixed up his speeds and pitches and froze the batters with his curveball.
Any time he dropped the curve into the dirt, he had catcher Oliver Box as his insurance policy.
“Wes throws a lot of off speed stuff in the dirt and tries to keep the hitters off balance,” Curnow said. “He did a real good job back there, blocking all that.”
At 3-3, Andrew Christou got the go-ahead hit in the 11th inning before import Guillermo Salazer closed out the game with an inning in relief at the bottom of the 11th.
Werribee remains one game back of unbeaten Cheltenham Rustlers with another trip to Port Melbourne coming on Thursday night.