In game three of the final round but one, there were not real surprises except for game one of the double header between the Sydney Blue Sox and the Canberra Cavalry.
Sydney Blue Sox 2 – 0 Canberra Cavalry
Today, a double header between the Sydney Blue Sox and the Canberra Cavalry was scheduled. In game one the Blue Sox Lachlan Wells kept the Cavalry in check rather well as he allowed only three hits in 5.2 innings. In the remaining 1.1 innings, Todd van Steensel did not give up a hit but walked two. The Blue Sox eventually won by 2 runs to 0 as they scored a run in the third and one in the sixth inning for the win.
Best hitter for the Blue Sox was Grant Heyman, who went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI.
Sydney Blue Sox 4 – 7 Canberra Cavalry
In game two the Cavalry jumped on Blue Sox starter Wayne Lundgren. Lundgren lasted 3.2 innings and allowed all the runs that Canberra scored. He gave up seven runs on ten hits, walked three and struck out one. The Blue Sox scored four runs, two in the second inning and two in the eighth but clearly fell short.
Notable fact about double headers in the Australian Baseball League: When they play a double header in the Minor Leagues, both games last seven innings (barring extra innings). In the ABL only the first game is shortened to seven frames. The second game will take the usual nine innings.
Adelaide Bite 2 – 1 Perth Heat
The Adelaide Bite helped their cause as they won their third straight and extended their lead over Sydney to three games.
In the bottom of the first, Perth took a 1-0 lead on Allan de San Miguel’s double on which Derek Peterson scored all the way from first after he had drawn a walk.
But Adelaide would bounce back in the top of the fourth on RBI singles by Angus Roeger and Marc Wik for the game tying and game winning run.
Despite the save situation, Loek van Mil did not see any action today.
Brisbane Bandits 2 – 1 Melbourne Aces
Another close game in Melbourne as the Aces hosted the Bandits. Until the fourth inning the game was scoreless but in that inning Donald Lutz deliverd big time with a solo homerun to left center field, to give the Bandits a 1-0 lead. In the top of the eighth, Andrew Campbell drove in Liam BedfordAaron Whitefield from second base on a fly ball single to center field.
After the Aces cut Brisbane’s lead in half on a double by Josh Davies in the bottom of the ninth, they had a golden opportunity to tie the game with a runner on third and one out. But the next three hitters were retired, so Brisbane won the game by a slim margin of one run.
Best hitter for Brisbane was Aaron Whitefield, who went 2 for 3 with a double. Winning pitcher was Travis Blackley. Blackley lasted six innings in which he issued two hits, three walks and fanned six. Ryan Searle clinched his 16th save of the season, despite giving up the run to Brisbane in the ninth.
With only five games left in the regular ABL season, there are still a few possible scenarios. The Bandits have clinched a play off spot, but they can still be overtaken by the Cavalry, who are trailing by four games. The Adelaide Bite are out of contention for first places as they trail the Bandits by six games. But they still have to keep winning as they have a three game lead over Sydney.
Next week, the Bandits have to face the Perth Heat, who should not be a very big problem. The Sydney Blue Sox will face the weakest opponent in the standings: Melbourne. Adelaide will host Canberra and both teams have a lot two win.