In the fourth week of the ABL season, the Melbourne Aces did a good job by winning three out of four as did the the Adelaide Bite vs the Perth Heat. The Sydney BlueSox split the series vs the Brisbane Bandits. Several European players saw action in week four.
The Adelaide Bite won the opening game of week four by beating the Perth Heat 5-4. After Adelaide took a 5-0 lead, the Perth Heat came back with a rally in the seventh inning to make it a close game again. Eventually Dutch closer Loek van Mil earned his first save of the season.
On Friday, a six run fifth inning was enough to clinch the victory for the Bite. But in the next inning they scored two “insurance” runs. Max MacNabb earned the win after six innings in which he gave up two runs on eight hits and struck out three.
On Saturday both teams played a double header of which the first (seven inning) game was won by Perth 3-1. For five inings the game was tied at one, but in the sixth inning Perth scored two runs on a bases loaded single to left field hit by Matt Kennely. Winning pitcher was Tom Bailey, who went the distance and allowed one run on four hits while striking out eleven. Another Dutch note: Catcher Bas Nooij of the Bite, went 0 for 2 with a strike out but he threw out a potential base stealer.
In the second (nine inning) game of the double header, the Bite stayed at the right side of the score: 9-5. Loek van Mil slammed the door in a non save situation in the final inning. He gave up a hit, two walks and struck out one.
The Melbourne Aces walked away in the standings after winning three out of four. On Friday, they clinched a convincing 5-1 victory over the Canberra Cavalry. Mark Hamburger pitched eight solid innings in which he struck out twelve.
Melbourne won both games of the double header on Saturday, 3-0 and 7-2. Keisuke Honda clinched his third victory of the season by winning game one. He lasted all seven innings in which he allowed three hits, walked one and struck out five. In the second game former Dutch hoofdklasse pitcher Dushan Ruzic (Curacao Neptunus) walked off the field as a victor. In five innings he gave up one run on three hits, walked two and struck out one.
On Sunday, Canberra managed to win the final game of the series 2-1. For the biggest part of the game, it was tied at one, but in the top of the ninth inning, Canberra scored on a bases loaded single by Kyle Perkins. Closer Steve Kent shut the door in the final inning by walking one and striking out three for the save.
The Brisbane Bandits and the Sydney Blue Sox split the series this weekend. As the teams squared off on Friday, Brisbane’s former Dutch hoofdklasse pitcher Justin Erasmus pitched a solid game. In six innings he gave up just three hits, one walk and struck out nine.
Sydney took both games of the double header on Saturday. The seven inning game ended with a convincing 6-2 victory as Luke Wilkins stepped off as a victor after six frames in which he gave up two runs on five hits and struck out three.
The second game of the double header was quite an exciting one in which Sydney had a 5-0 after three innings. But Canberra bounced back in the fourth and fifth to take a 6-5 lead. Eventually after the seventh inning the game was tied at eight. German Sven Schuller entered the game in the seventh in relief with runners in scoring position. As he gave up a hit to Kevin Padlo, Brisbane scored twice to take the lead again. But Schuller cruised through the eighth inning as he retired the side and stepped off the field with no run allowed. Sydney clinched the walk off victory when Alex Howe hit a lead off homerun to right field.
On Sunday, Brisbane clinched a convincing 5-1 win. Three runs in the first inning were enough to clinch the victory but Brisbane scored two more insurance runs in the fifth.
In this series, German Donald Lutz returned to the Bandits. In four games he could not impress yet as he got only one hit out of ten at bats (a double) and struck out three times.
In the standings, the Melbourne Aces (11-5) now have a two run lead over runner up Sydney BlueSox (9-7). The Adelaide Bite (8-8) are now tied for third place with the Canberra Cavalry (8-8), trailing Melbourne by three games. Reigning champions Brisbane Bandits (7-9) are in fifth place trailing by four games and the Perth Heat are sixth with a 5-11 record, trailing Melbourne by six.