With two of three races decided already, it was still a decsive day for both the Brisbane Bandits and the Canberra Cavalry. Both teams needed a win to clinch a play off spot, even though the Bandits still had an escape route if they would lose.
The Canberra Cavalry hosted the Brisbane Bandits in the final game of the regular season. Especially for the Cavalry it was a must win situation. The Bandits had the escape route of playing a make up game vs Sydney. At the start of the game, the Bandits had a half game lead over the Cavalry. If they would lose, they still had to play the make up game vs Sydney. In that case Brisbane had to win to get a tie with Canberra in the standings. In the head-to-head results, Brisbane has a better W-L record, so they would advance to the play offs.
But the Bandits took their fate into their own hands as they beat the Cavalry in a convincing way 11-2.
In the first inning, the Bandits took a 3-1 lead and they never looked back. Cavalry starter Scott Cone did not start well as he walked the first three batters that he faced. David Rodriguez then followed with a fly ball double to left field that drove in Aaron Whitefield and Wade Dutton. Mithc Nilsson moved to third base on the play and eventually scored on Logan Wade’s 4-3 ground out.
The Cavalry got on the board in the bottom of the first inning when Scott Kelly scored from third on David Kandilas’ 4-3 ground out.
In the remaining eight innings, Brisbane would score eight more runs, while Canberra managed to score only one.
Scott Cone took the loss as he lasted only 2.2 innings in which he allowed four runs on three hits and four walks and struck out just one. Justin Erasmus pitched two innings in relief and earned the win as he gave up two hits and fanned one.
Kevin Padlo was the best hitter for Brisbane as he went 2 for 3 with two runs scored. But the most impact had David Rodriguez once again. Rodriguez went 2 for 5 but drove in four runs with a double and a homerun.
In the other two games, nothing more was at stake but bragging rights.
Since the Melbourne Aces reassigned a shipload of their regular players, you may assume that the Aces gave their regulars some rest, even though the ABLCS is still two weeks away.
The game vs the Perth Heat was lost 8-2. After the Aces took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning, the Heat bounced back in the bottom of it by scoring two runs.
In the next inning, Perth would score three runs. Aces pitcher Daniel McGrath recorded two quick outs before giving up a walk to Jesse Barron and a single to Alex Hall. McGrath then was replaced by Sam Street, but the latter could not prevent the Heat from scoring.
Street wasn’t helped by his defense as Ryan Dale committed a throwing error that allowed Jesse Barron to score and Alex Hall and Matt Dixon to move into scoring positon when the latter hit the ball towards third base. Street then hit Joey Wong with a pitch to load the bases and then gave up a two run single to Ulrich Bojarski.
Melbourne scored once more in the sixth and Perth added three more to their total in the seventh to reach the final score of 8-2.
Nick Veale pitched six innings for the win. He gave up two runs on four hits (one solo homerun by Jared Cruz) and fanned four. Best hitter for Perth was John Riley, who went 2 for 4 with a double, a homerun, three RBI and a run scored.
The Adelaide Bite took a commanding 4-1 lead but let the Sydney BlueSox come close as the Bite eventually won 4-3.
After the Sydney BlueSox had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, the Adelaide Bite turned the tables as they scored three runs in the second inning.
After the Bite scored one more run in the bottom of the fifth inning, the BlueSox rallied to score two runs but the rally fell short as Jacob Younis grounded out 5-3 for the final out of the inning. The two runs were scored after Matt Campbell (single) and Joshua Dean (double) moved into scoring position. When Joshua Strong was hit by a pitch, the bases were loaded. But Sydney failed to take full advantage of this situation when Trent D’Antonio grounded into a 6-4-3 double play on which Michael Campbell scored.
Ryo Nishimura then tripled to right field to drive in Joshua Dean, but that was all the BlueSox could accomplish.
Kyl Hampton lasted five innings for the win as he gave up one run on three hits and struck out three.
Best hitter for Adelaide was former Dutch hoofdklasse player Bas Nooij, who went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Most impact though had Connar O’Gorman, who drove in three runs on a homerun.
The Adelaide Bite and the Brisbane Bandits will advance to the play offs where they will decide who will advance to the ABLCS in a best of three series next Friday, Satuday and Sunday.