Werribee Giants make big strides

Connor Wilson sends a pitch down in relief for the Werribee Giants on Sunday. (Shawn Smits)

New year, new Werribee Giants?

Giants coach Charles Thompson hopes Sunday’s 11-7 win over Mulgrave Rebels will spark his team’s revival in Baseball Victoria summer league division 2.

The Giants did not perform to expectation before Christmas, but Thompson can already sense a more positive vibe within the team as it chases a finals berth.

“Looking at the standings and where we’re at, we didn’t start off with as good a footing as we usually do,” Thompson said. “Hopefully, from today’s game we can build a bit more momentum moving forward. Everybody is up and at it right now.”

There was a bit of rust in Werribee’s win on Sunday – but nothing unexpected for a team that had not played since before Christmas.

In general, the Giants were the better team on the day, out-hitting Mulgrave and doing enough defensively to pick up the win.

Starting pitcher Josh Lee was outstanding. Lee started the season slowly but has become more dominant as the season has worn on.

“He threw an outstanding game,” Thompson said. “He started off a bit rusty the first couple of games of the season, but leading up to the Christmas break he was only getting better.

“His last outing, he threw extremely well, but unfortunately we did drop that game … today he picked up right where he left off and he was in front of hitters in the count all day long.

“That’s where he’s really strong – every time he’s out in front of hitters, he’s hard to beat.”

Lee also had an impact in the batter’s box, going two-for-four with two RBIs and a home run in a well-rounded game.

Connor Wilson worked in relief for Werribee, but was a bit wayward. Wade Balzer was brought in for the final three innings and guided the Giants to victory.

“He finished off the game and did absolutely fantastic,” Thompson said. “He gave up one run and probably three hits, but for the most part he kept the ball down and was getting outs.”

Dustin Biell was a constant menace on the offensive side of Werribee’s ball game.

The import picked up two hits and an incredible three stolen bases.

“It’s awesome being able to have a physical specimen like himself,” Thompson said.

“Being able to hit for power, contact, his speed, his arm – he can basically do it all really.”

Oliver Box and Cameron Wilson also came up with big hits for the Giants.

Fifth-placed Werribee will be looking to keep its momentum going when it travels to sixth-ranked Bonbeach Bluejays this Saturday.