Werribee Giants find a spark and finally overcome slow start

Werribee’s Wesley De Jong. (Shawn Smits).

By Lance Jenkinson

At the end of the sixth inning, Werribee Giants coach John Curnow could sense his side’s clash with Mulgrave Rebels in the Baseball Victoria summer league division 2 was slipping away.

Trailing 4-1, the Giants needed a spark to get back into the contest, so Curnow provided it in the form of a good old fashioned spray.

“I gave the guys a bit of a rev up after the sixth inning and they responded,” he said. “It wasn’t a convincing win, but we got over the line in the end.”

Werribee delivered one of its most devastating blows on an opponent all season in a blistering seventh inning.

The Giants pounded the Rebels pitchers for nine runs in that inning to take the game away in one fell swoop.

“They got themselves on base, started moving each other over,” Curnow said.

“A couple of blokes who came in off the bench, like Andrew Maki and Reece Hayward, did the job for us.

“They got a couple of hits and drove in some runs, which was handy.”

Werribee’s pitching was solid throughout the game.

Wes De Jong produced a marathon 110-pitch effort.

De Jong’s extended time on the mound came about through a hamstring injury to Trent Pantalleresco.

Josh Lee was superb in his closing role, pitching the final three innings.

Lee was scheduled to start Thursday night’s second game against Mulgrave, but that might need to be postponed.

“He came on and closed down the game,” Curnow said.

“He was going to start Thursday night, but he threw a few too many down, so we’ll have to see how he pulls up.

“We didn’t want to use him today, but we had to with Trent out.”

While Werribee was not at its best, a win’s a win at this stage of the season.

The second-placed Giants are striving to keep in touch with ladder leaders Williamstown Wolves – a side they meet in the run-in to the playoffs.

“We’ve got two pretty important series coming up,” Curnow said.

“We’ve got Mulgrave again on Thursday night and then we’re playing against Moorabbin, who are in the top four, and Williamstown, who are sitting on top.

“Hopefully we can keep winning and then come up against Williamstown and really challenge them for top spot.