By Lance Jenkinson
With it so tight at the top of the ladder for most of the season, it only took Williamstown Wolves to be “a little bit off” their best form in recent weeks to cough up first place and automatic promotion in the Baseball Victoria summer league division 2.
The Wolves knew once they relinquished top spot with two rounds to go, they were not going to get it back, with Werribee Giants odds-on to sweep a three-game series against bottom of the ladder Bonbeach, which they did and went on to lock up prime position.
While the Wolves were understandably disappointed to miss out on automatic promotion, they will not have to wait long to get their redemption with finals around the corner, a premiership up for grabs and a second chance at promotion.
And, Williamstown has powered back up to top form in the past two games, rounding out the season with two wins over strong opposition in the Malvern Braves.
“We’re going into the finals with a lot of confidence,” Wolves outfielder Daniel Chircop said.
“Winning the last series of the season has really boosted our confidence playing against a lot of Melbourne Aces players now that the ABL has finished up.
“Beating them at full strength has really boosted our spirits.”
Williamstown had a nail-biting 5-4 win over Malvern to clinch a 2-1 series win.
Wolves starting pitcher Dennis Neal paved the way to victory.
“He threw a fantastic game,” Chircop said.
“He went seven innings and gave up three runs.”
The best duel of the game was the lefty-on-lefty battle between Malvern starting pitcher Jon Kennedy against Williamstown lead-off batter Aaron Green.
Green took the honours, grabbing two hits.
Kennedy, a Melbourne Aces player this season, was taken out of the game after five innings.
“Lefty on lefty is always an uncomfortable at-bat, but he [Green] does it so well,” Chircop said.
“We did a good job getting Kennedy out of the game in five innings and getting into the bullpen and doing some damage there.”
Williamstown will square off with Moorabbin in a three-game semi final series starting on Thursday night in Mulgrave.