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: ADE 8 - 3 BRS
Game 2: ADE 13 - 10 BRS
Game 3: ADE 10 - 13 BRS (7)
Game 4: ADE 5 - 13 BRS
Lots of runs! Adelaide and Brisbane clashed with a massive amount of firepower in Queensland for their split. Mitch Dening was arguably the biggest star of the series, going 9-19 with four home runs and eight RBI. Dening smashed three of those home runs in a single game, mind you. Dening tied Marcus Greene Jr., who went 6-16 with a home run and five RBI, for the home run lead with six. Jordan Cowan was a usual suspect in the company of this power surge as he crossed the plate seven times in the series. Finally, Jordan McArdle, all of 18 years old, went 6-15 with four RBI and a home run, his first of the season. Aaron Whitefield led the way for the Bandits with a .444 average on the series, eight runs scored, three home runs, and five RBI. David Rodriguez’ debut series was very successful as he made a big showing. Rodriguez went 8-17 with seven RBI and four runs scored.
The only pitching performances of note came in Game One where Max MacNabb faced off against Zac Treece. Both did respectable jobs holding the teams to three runs or fewer in around five innings. However, the Brisbane bullpen could not keep them in the game.
Canberra and Perth split their series (2-2)
Game 1: CAN 2 - 8 PER
Game 2: CAN 4 - 3 PER
Game 3: CAN 7 - 0 PER (7)
Game 4: CAN 4 - 7 PER
The last-place Heat managed to claw back some wins in Barbagallo Ballpark against a Cavalry team that currently sits in second place. The Heat saw the return of star Tim Kennelly — yes, there’s lots of Kennelly’s — and big leaguer Warwick Saupold. Tim went on a tear. He went 7-13 with three runs scored, three doubles, a home run, five RBI, three walks, and just one strikeout. On top of that, his brother Matt had two three-hit games and a solo home run. Saupold saw his only action getting the multi-inning save in Game Four.
On the Canberra end, their starting pitching really came through in their wins. Louis Cohen, in his third start of the year, threw a seven-inning, five-strikeout outing that stymied the Heat offense, despite three walks. Sean Guinard, though also plagued by walks, went five scoreless in a seven-inning game and struck out six. The offense was aided by extra-base hits from the usual suspects in Kandilas, Perkins, and Reeves, and also by a couple of home runs from Almonte and Moanaroa.
Melbourne wins the series over Sydney (3-1)
Game 1: MEL 4 - 3 SYD
Game 2: MEL 2 - 9 SYD
Game 3: MEL 6 - 4 SYD
Game 4: MEL 4 - 1 SYD
Melbourne continued their dominance of the ABL this season exiting Blacktown with a commanding lead over the rest of the pack. In typical 2016-17 Aces fashion, Melbourne debuted two former big leaguers in this series by trotting out Peter Moylan and Jeremy Guthrie. Moylan made two appearances in the series, giving up no runs over 3.2 innings with six strikeouts. He also earned the save in Mark Hamburger’s fourth win and fourth straight double digit strikeout game. No Melbourne hitters performed all that spectacularly — especially with Ronald Acuna not in the lineup — but Wigberto Nevarez did go 1-4 in each game in his ABL debut series. Also, Brad Harman’s struggles continued as he continues to hover around the Mendoza line.
The Blue Sox brought out some strong performances from their starting arms and middle infielders. The left side of the infield combo of Jacob Younis and Tucker Neuhaus went a combined 16-32 with seven runs scored and seven RBI. Trevor Foss continued to be dominant, striking out eight over six innings and allowing only one earned run. Aussies Luke Wilkins and Craig Anderson, who sits tied atop the wins leaderboard with four, also turned in exceptional performances from the rubber. Finally, Yuki Katayama’s first start with the Blue Sox put him through five innings with only three runs allowed and seven strikeouts.
Matchups for Next Week
Brisbane (11-13) @ Adelaide (12-12)
Perth (8-16) @ Canberra (13-11)
Melbourne (18-6) @ Sydney (10-14)
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.