Over the winter, we aim to meet your baseball fix here at Beyond the Box Score. To do so, we’ll be covering the Australian Baseball League for each week that the competition is running. We also would like to remind you that many of the games are streamed and recorded on the league’s YouTube channel.
Adelaide and Brisbane split their series (2-2)
Game 1: BRS 10 - 6 ADE
Game 2: BRS 3 - 4 ADE (7)
Game 3: BRS 3 - 0 ADE
Game 4: BRS 4 - 6 ADE
The Queensland squad’s foray into South Australia left them only a game out of the play-in game as the Bandits and Bite split the series. Bandit fans came away encouraged as their offensive ringer, Donald Lutz, broke out in the series. Lutz led off the first game with a home run, along with Mitch Nilsson, and had a 3-5 day at the plate. Lutz would leave Adelaide going 6-12 with a .538 OBP on the series. Despite being quiet for most of the set, Kevin Padlo also led off the series with a 3-5 night where he scored twice.
Finally, in the third game of the series, Daniel Nilsson put in his first scoreless outing of the year, going five innings, and Ryan Searle continued to shut the door for the Bandits en route to his sixth save. For Adelaide, Marcus Greene Jr. went yard in the first game of the series; he still sits tied for the league lead in home runs with Allan de San Miguel, Mike Reeves, and Kyle Perkins — all at five. LeDarious Clark also had a big series as the Bite leadoff man. Clark went 5-14 with seven runs scored and two RBI. Finally, ABL legend Mitch Dening smacked a hit in each of the four games and now owns a five-game hit streak.
Canberra wins the series over Perth (3-1)
Game 1: PER 2 - 5 CAN
Game 2: PER 4 - 5 CAN (7) (PPD)
Game 3: PER 6 - 4 CAN
Game 4: PER 2 - 7 CAN
Canberra hosted the bottom-of-the-table Perth Heat and hoisted itself into second place. The Cavalry were led by Kyle Perkins, who posted a 5-11 series with two home runs and five RBIs over only three of the four games. Ahead of Perkins, Scott Kelly notched two three-hit games on the doubleheader day from the leadoff spot. Despite an 0-5 night in the first game of the series, Luke Hughes was the catalyst for Perth. Going 7-18 on the series with a double and two runs scored, Hughes set the table for Perth’s offense, as he usually does. On the other end, Joey Wong continues his struggles as he left Canberra without a hit.
Melbourne sweeps Sydney (4-0)
Game 1: SYD 4 - 5 MEL
Game 2: SYD 2 - 6 MEL (7)
Game 3: SYD 0 - 5 MEL
Game 4: SYD 0 - 5 MEL
After entering the week in first and second place, respectively, the Aces and the Blue Sox were mismatched in Melbourne. The Aces offense fed off Blue Sox starting pitching, as Trevor Foss was the only starter to allow less than five runs. In Foss’ start, the Blue Sox got to Mark Hamburger a bit as he gave up a season high four runs, but with eleven strikeouts. The Sydney bullpen couldn’t keep Melbourne in check, however, and they lost it in the late innings. Ronald Acuna continued to impress this series, hitting a whopping .462 with a .611 OBP, two steals, and two doubles. Also, catcher Allan de San Miguel knocked out two home runs and six RBIs on the set. Keisuke Honda faltered a bit as well in this series, with a six-walk outing over five innings. Despite that, he gave up only two runs and grabbed a win.
Australia defeats the World All-Stars 2-1
The ABL All-Star game pits the World All-Stars, also known as imports, against native Aussies. The World Team was led by the likes of Jeremy Guthrie, Ronald Acuna, Roman Collins, Stone Garrett, Malik Collymore, and Keisuke Honda. Aces star pitcher Mark Hamburger was also selected, but did not play. The Aussie team was much of the usual suspects with Luke Hughes, Stefan Welch, and Mitch Dening leading the way and Craig Anderson getting the start.
The game was low-scoring. Guthrie’s first ABL appearance was a quick first inning for the World All-Stars. This went on to be a theme as the first run was plated against Luke Wilkins of the Blue Sox in the 4th inning. Team Australia would go on to respond in the 7th after three walks from Honda. The two teams remained tied until the bottom of the 9th when Trent D’Antonio came up.
Two years, two #ABL ASGs, two @TeamAusBaseball walk-off wins. #OURGAME pic.twitter.com/p1TiWps0GB— ABL (@ABL) December 22, 2016
Matchups for Next Week
Brisbane (9-11) @ Adelaide (10-10)
Perth (6-14) @ Canberra (11-9)
Melbourne (15-5)@ Sydney (9-11)
Anthony Rescan is a Contributing Writer at Beyond the Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyRescan. Anthony also explained his time in the Australian Baseball League at Baseball Prospectus and on Effectively Wild.