In round eight of the Australian Baseball League’s 2016-2017 season, the following series were scheduled: Melbourne Aces @ Canberra Cavalry, Perth Heat @ Adelaide Bite and Sydney BlueSox @ Brisbane Bandits.
The Melbourne Aces clinched a convincing 11-1 win over the Canberra Cavalry in game one as Mark Hamburger was flat out dominant in a complete game outing. Hamburger had a modest number of strikeouts with seven this time. He gave up one run on eight hits and a walk. The one run that he gave up was a solo homerun by Cavalry catcher Robbie Perkins, who went 1 for 2. Allan de San Miguel went 5 for 5 with six RBI for Melbourne.
Another convincing win in game two as the Aces beat the Cavalry 12-6. Jeremy Guthrie went six innings for his first win but he gave up six runs (four earned) on eleven hits. Thanks to the run support he could clinch Friday’s win despite three errors that the Aces made.
Saturday’ss game did not quite go as planned for the Aces as former Dutch hoofdklasse pitcher Dushan Ruzich had an off day. In four innings he gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks. Best hitter for the Cavalry was David Kanditas who went 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored as the Cavalry beat the Aces 8-1.
But on Sunday the Aces clinched the series by winning a close one 6-5. After Melbourne took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, the Cavalry bounced back to take a 2-1 lead in the third. Melbourne on its turn took the lead again in the fifth inning as they scored three runs. But the Cavalry scored the same number of runs in the bottom of the fith to take a 5-4 lead.
But the Aces flexed their muscles once more in the top of the seventh and scored two more runs for the victory.
The Adelaide Bite clinched the series vs the Perth Heat by winning three out of four against a Perth Heat that seems to have found its groove lately.
Game one was a rather easy 5-1 victory for Melbourne. Zach Cooper was masterful in six innings for Adelaide as he struck out seven and allowed only one run (solo homerun by Tim Kennely) on five hits. Jordan McArdle and Karl Hoschke both went 2 for 2 but Hoscke did a tad better as he homered, doubled and drove in two runs and scored one run himself.
After Friday’s game was rained out, it was played as part of a doubleheader on Saturday.
Adelaide won the first, seven-inning game, with a narrow margin: 4-3. The Bite scored all of their runs on homeruns. Max MacNabb pitched 5.1 innings for the win. He gave up three runs on five hits and a walk and struck out five. Loek van Mil clinched his first save of the weekend after 1.2 innings in which he only gave up one hit.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Perth Heat stayed at the right side of the score as they won 5-3. Michael Lee won his second game of the season (W 2-4) after seven innings of work in which he gave up three runs on nine hits and a walk. Jordan McArdle went 3 for 4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored.
Sunday’s game was a close affair again. A two run first inning was enough for the Bite to win the game. A double by LeDarious Clark, a walk drawn by Josh Altman and another double by Stefan Welch plated two runs for Adelaide. In the top of the sixth, the Heat scored a run on Derek Peterson’s double. The Bite used five pitchers of which Loek van Mil earned his second save of the weekend by pitching the ninth in which he walked one and struck out one. With his two scoreless outings in the weekend, Van Mil lowered his ERA to a microscopic 0.52. Fellow Dutchie Bas Nooij went 1 for 3 in Sunday’s game and threw out two potential base stealers.
In the series between the Sydney BlueSox and the Brisbane Bandits, the Bandits won two and the BlueSox one as one game was rained out.
In Thursday’s game, the Bandits clinched an easy 9-4 victory over the Blue Sox. As the game entered the eighth inning, the Bandits had a 9-1 lead. But the Blue Sox scored three more in that inning to reach the final score. German Sven Schuller pitched 0.2 innings for the BlueSox in which he gave up one hit and struck out two. Former Dutch hoofdklasse pitcher and German Bundesliga pitcher Justin Erasmus only pitched one frame in which he earned the hold.
Despite two errors, the BlueSox clinched the win on Friday: 10-9. They scored three runs in the first, one in the third and one in the fifth before the Bandits scored three in the bottom of the fifth to get on the board. A six-run sixth inning gave the Bandits a 9-8 lead.
But eventually, Sydney scored two more runs in the eighth inning for the win. Former Dutch hoofdklasse pitcher Craig Anderson got the no-decision after five innings in which he gave up three runs on four hits and two walks. Josh Guyer pitched 1.2 innings for the win.
The Bandits won Saturday’s game with a close 7-6 score. Once again the BlueSox were not able to cling on the lead as they blew a 4-1 lead.
German Donald Lutz had a rather succesful weekend as he went 4 for 12 with a homerun, a triple, a double and four RBI.
In the standings the Melbourne Aces (24-8) have extended their lead over the Canberra Cavalry (17-15) to seven games. The Adelaide Bite (16-16) is in third place, trailing by eight games. The Brisbane Bandits (14-17) are fourth, trailing Melbourne by 9.5 games. The Sydney BlueSox (12-19) are now in fifth place but with one game less played than the Perth Heat (12-20).