Werribee Giants gate-crash Sunshine party

Werribee’s John Curnow is cramped on a pitch inside the plate. Picture Damian Visentini

Werribee Giants played the role of gatecrashers on Saturday when the Sunshine Eagles celebrated with fanfare 50 years of baseball at their home field of Barclay Reserve.

The Giants had a job to do to preserve their place in the Baseball Victoria division 2 top two, and they emerged with a vital 1-0 victory.

A tougher away game there is probably not this season, which is why Giants coach Charles Thompson was so happy with the outcome.

“We knew coming into that game, obviously with it being on the road, playing against a strong team and with them having their 50th anniversary of playing at their field, it was definitely going to be hard,” Thompson said.

“Credit to Sunshine, they definitely came ready to play, but my guys were ready as well.”

While the scoring was low, both sides had their chances to put runs on the board with runners in scoring position at various stages.

Whenever there was an element of danger, it was snuffed out by the pitchers of both clubs.

For Werribee, it was star US import Trent Evins, who put the clamps on the hosts. “He had a tremendous game,” Thompson said. “He went seven innings and threw 73 pitches.”

Eventually, the deadlock was broken, coming off the back of a double to Wade Balzer, who was driven in by Cameron Wilson.

Wilson was the standout in the batters’ box for the Giants, going two-from-three with a single, a double and an RBI.

But this historic day would be remembered for top-shelf pitching.

Thompson has been delighted with the output of his pitching staff this season.

“They’re doing a phenomenal job on the mound at the moment, allowing the defence to play behind them and not just trying to strike everybody out.”

Thompson credits experienced catcher Oliver Box for his side’s strong defence this season.

Box has worked well with the pitchers and has a good read of the game from behind the plate.

“The pitchers have to be on the same page as the catcher,” Thompson said. “He’s doing a great job with the pitchers, knowing what they’re really in command of on the day and they’re definitely clicking on all cylinders at the moment.

“It’s a big plus having a guy who’s been in the game for a long time and played at a high level as well.”

While Werribee is on a high after beating a likely finals rival, Thompson has warned of the perils of complacency against low-ranked Ballarat tonight at the Melbourne Ballpark.

“There’s never an easy game in this sport,” he said.

“Being at the top of the ladder makes it even harder.

“You know that teams in the middle or at the bottom are going to try and play their best game on that day because they always want to knock off the teams at the top.”