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ABL: Lutz and Bandits win Claxton Shield

CaptureThe Brisbane Bandits finished their dominant season with a two game sweep of the Adelaide Bite in the ABL championship series.

In a must win situation for the Bite, the Brisbane Bandits dealt the first blow.

The Bite had  scoring opportunities in the top of the second and third inning. Angus Roeger was on third base with two outs in the second inning, but Chris Adamson struck out for the final out of the inning. In the third inning Stefan Welch was the final out as he struck out and left Travis Demeritte in scoring position on third base.

With two outs and runners on the corners, Donald Lutz homered to right field on the first pitch that he saw in that inning, to give the Bandits a 3-0 lead.

After a rain delay the Bandits extended their lead in the fourth inning. Steven Chambers struggled with his control as he gave up a single to David Sutherland, followed by a wild pitch and a walk. But he wasn’t helped by his defense as first baseman Chris Adamson fielded a sharp grounder, hit by Andrew Campbell for the first out and then made a throwing error that allowed Sutherland to score the Bandits’ fourth run.

On the other side, Travis Blackley cruised through the first five innings by striking out six and allowing just four hits. Even the two errors that his team mates committed did not hurt him as the hits and those errors were too scattered to be dangerous.

After Steven Chambers gave up a lead off double in the bottom of the fifth inning he was pulled in favor of Nick Talbot. In four innings and a hitter faced in the fifth, Chambers gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks. He fanned six.
But Talbot didn’t fare much better as he gave up a run thanks to a throwing error by Marc Wik, on which Logan Wade could score the fifth run for Brisbane.

In the top of the sixth, the Bite finally did something back as Kyle Petty homered on a 2-0 offering off Travis Blackley. Blackley appeared to be off balanced after that dinger as he gave up a walk and a single, but eventually recovered and got out of the inning without further damage.

Normally used in the final inning of a game, Loek van Mil entered the game in the bottom of the sixth in an attempt to keep the Bandits from scoring more runs. But he failed in doing so as he allowed two runs to score; one on a wild pitch and one on a single by Logan Wade.

Van Mil was replaced in the bottom of the seventh by Ito Takuro who kept the Bandits from scoring more runs.

If the Bite still had any hope of getting back into the game, that hope was smashed when closer Ryan Searle entered the game in the top of the ninth. Searle kept his opponents to a .165 average throughout the regular season and fanned 58. Searle finished his dominant season by retiring the side for the 7-1 victory over Adelaide.

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The Bandits celebrate their win (photo: Grant Dewberry@BigunitGrant)

 

Travis Blackley earned the win as he cruised through six innings.
The loss went to Steven Chambers.
Best hitter for the Bandits was Logan Wade, who went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and a run scored. Most impact had Donald Lutz with his three run dinger.

In two games the Bandits outscored the Bite 14-5, which proves the dominance of this team in the 2015/2016 season. With this win, it is the tenth time that the Claxton Shield is brought to Queensland.

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