Werribee Giants win a thriller over Ballarat City

Reece Haywood produced an energetic performance in the field for the Werribee Giants. Picture Damian Visentini

Werribee Giants have escaped with a thrilling 11-10 win over Ballarat City Brewers after a rollercoaster ride in its Baseball Victoria division 2 contest at Prince of Wales Park on Sunday.

It was the second time this season that Werribee has recorded a one-run win over the Brewers, a team struggling on the lower rungs of the ladder that seems to bring its best to the table when facing the Giants.

Werribee coach Charles Thompson expected nothing less from the Brewers, or any other team his side confronts now, with the Giants perched top of the ladder.

“With us being on top of the ladder, every team that we play are going to come with their best to knock us off that top spot,” he said.

“Our guys were up for the challenge.”

On a day when 21 runs were scored, you would be forgiven for thinking the pitchers got touched up and the fielding was below standard.

But that was not the case for Werribee’s three unearned runs, and spectacular plays in the field made up for these.

“Defensively, we had guys making plays like they were on ESPN,” Thompson said.

“Trent Evins made a diving catch at shortstop on a line drive up the middle, Reece Haywood was making quite a few running catches over the back going in the shallow centre field and shallow right field down the foul line.

“So, defensively, it was great.”

Josh Lee started well on the mound for Werribee, but ran into trouble, with bases loaded before the call was made to the bullpen.

Youngster Connor Wilson was entrusted to get the Giants out of the jam, and did so with aplomb.

“He’s very young, but very talented … He came into this game with bases loaded and struck out one, then got a ground ball play to get us out of the innings with no run recorded.

“It definitely could’ve been a different story, so credit to him for stepping up big time.”

John Curnow worked in relief for Werribee before Evins closed out a wild game. Werribee’s batters were on-song all game with John Curnow the standout, going three-from-four with two doubles, a single and three RBIs.

Wilson, Todd Kriehn and Oliver Box also came up with big hits at important times.

“It was a real good offensive game,” Thompson said. “We had 14 hits on the day.”

Werribee will be out to preserve their buffer on a busy week when they face Berwick Wednesday at Melbourne Ballpark, followed by a western derby with Williamstown at President’s Park on Saturday.

In women’s division 2, Werribee had a heavy 16-8 loss to Essendon on their home diamond at President’s Park last Saturday. The one-win Giants will make the short trip to third-placed Footscray this Saturday.