Heat scorch Giants in emphatic performance
The Perth Heat have sent a message to the rest of the Australian Baseball League of their intentions this season with a brilliant display in all areas to beat the Adelaide Giants 12-2 on Wednesday at Brisbane's Viticon Stadium.
It was the second day of action in the ABL's Queensland Hub and the Heat backed up their 5-1 victory against the Brisbane Bandits on Tuesday with quite the statement performance against the Giants on Wednesday.
The Giants themselves were coming off a first up 6-1 win against the Bandits as well a day earlier so the stage was set for a tremendous battle between the Perth and Adelaide teams on neutral turf, but it was the Heat that simply blew their opponents away.
The Heat went scoreless in the first inning, but that was the only reprieve for the Giants. The scoring began with a homerun from Hawaiian Shane Sasaki, the first in Heat colours for the Tampa Bay Rays exciting young prospect.
He also brought Ulrich Bojarski and Abiezel Ramirez home when he cleared the fence before also in the second inning, captain Tim Kennelly delivered his first homer of the season to make it a 4-0 ball game.
The Giants did get a run back in the bottom of the second with a homerun to Rixon Wingrove, but the Heat were just warming up and went up 5-1 in the top of the third after Robbie Glendinning made it home after a Bojarski double and sacrificial flyball from Ramirez.
There were more runs to come in the fourth inning on the back of a Glendinning double that saw Sam Kennelly reach home and make it 6-1.
Bojarski was struck by a Greg Mosel pitch to start the fifth inning and he ended up scoring on a Sam Kennelly single. Hall was then also hit by a Mosel pitch leading to him being replaced for the Giants by Mitchell Hughson.
It didn’t halt the Heat's momentum, though, and a Grant Witherspoon double allowed both Sam Kennelly and Hall to score and make it 10-1. That became 11-1 when Tim Kennelly also got home when Glendinning again got the ball into play.
The Heat had a scoreless sixth inning with the Giants getting a run back in the bottom stand, but then in the seventh and final inning, the Heat secured the 12-2 win when a Ford Proctor single allowed Hall to again score.
There was so much to like with the Heat performance including the homeruns to Shane Sasaki and Tim Kennelly. Sasaki drove in four runs in his three times at bat while Kennelly was walked twice.
Tampa Bay prospect Abiezel Ramirez was impressive hitting two doubles while Robbie Glendinning also finished the game with two hits. Grant Witherspoon, Ulrich Bojarski, Ford Proctor and Sam Kennelly all had at least one hit too.
The offence was scintillating for the Heat but the pitching was again brilliant as they conceded just the two runs again to mean they've only given up four runs in the three matches of the ABL season to date.
Rays prospect Nathan Wiles opened up the game brilliantly for the Heat pitching the first four innings and delivering five strikeouts and just the two hits.
Daniel Schmidt then came in for one good inning before Nick Alexiou did hand out three walks before Will Sherriff came out and closed the deal with two strikeouts in his one inning at the mound.
The Heat will now look forward to a double-header at Viticon Stadium on Thursday starting at 8am Perth time against the Giants and then at 4.30pm against the Bandits.
ABL REGULAR SEASON, QUEENSLAND HUB GAME 2
PERTH HEAT 12 (Hall 2, S Kennelly 2, Ramirez 2, Bojarski 2, T Kennelly 2, Sasaki, Glendinning)
ADELAIDE GIANTS 2 (Wingrove, Lightbody)
W – Daniel Schmidt; L – Taylor Lehman
Wednesday January 6, Viticon Stadium
By Chris Pike.