Heat's defence too much in last game of SA hub
A sensational defensive performance from the Perth Heat has meant that one hit for one run has been enough for them to leave South Australia's Australian Baseball League hub on a winning note.
Not only was the pitching superb from the Heat once again on Wednesday against the Adelaide Giants at Dicolor Australia Stadium, but the work in the field was critical in the eventual 1-0 victory.
Tampa Bay Rays prospect Nathan Wiles got the start for the Heat and he was outstanding over the opening five innings. He produced six strikeouts along the way and while the Giants had three hits, they weren’t able to turn any of those into a run on the board.
There was a tight call in the bottom of the second inning though. Cornelius Randolph hit a single to get on base for the Giants and then Luke Williams backed it up with a double.
A flyball from Kendall Simmons up next then gave Randolph a chance to still go from third to home for the opening run of the game. But he didn’t factor in the bullet like arm from the right field of Ulrich Bojarski.
It did appear Simmons was on track to score, but the throw from Bojarski was so powerful and on target that catcher Ford Proctor didn’t have to move, took it and then tagged the Giants runner short of home plate.
As it turned out, that proved critical in the final result because the Giants didn’t get another good chance to score the rest of the way and the Heat did manage just the one hit for the game which they were able to turn into the winning run.
That winning run for the Heat arrived at the top of the sixth inning. The inning began with Jess Williams getting walked before he was able to get to second even if Tim Kennelly was thrown out at first.
Proctor was then walked by the Giants with Williams advancing to third base for the Heat and then even though Robbie Glendinning ground out next at bat, it was good enough for Williams to get to home plate.
That gave the Heat the 1-0 advantage and that was enough to secure the victory.
Even in the bottom of the seventh, the impressive fielding of the Heat ended the game with a nice play from Glendinning to Grant Witherspoon at first for the final out of the contest.
It was such an impressive defensive showing from the Heat on the back of the pitching performance started by Wiles in his five innings. He then got relieved firstly by Will Sherriff and then Dylan Unsworth.
The performance means the Heat leave the South Australian hub on the back of two victories the last two days to hold a 7-6 record ahead of a string of home games at Empire Ballpark starting Saturday against the Adelaide Giants.
By Chris Pike
ABL REGULAR SEASON, ADELAIDE HUB GAME 8
PERTH HEAT 1 (Williams)
ADELAIDE GIANTS 0
W – Nathan Wiles; L – Mitch Neunborn; S – Dylan Unsworth
Wednesday January 20, Dicolor Australia Stadium
IMAGE: SMP Images