Heat too much for Bandits in Adelaide
Perth Heat continued their strong start to a week in the Australian Baseball League's South Australian hub with an impressive 5-1 victory against the Brisbane Bandits on Friday.
Having spent the past six days in Adelaide waiting for the chance to return to the baseball field after the hub in Brisbane was forced to come to a premature end after four games for the Heat last week, they started well against the hometown Giants on Thursday night.
With Beau Sulser dominant at the mound and then the bats producing five runs in the sixth inning, the Heat beat the Giants 5-0 and then looked to continue that momentum against the Bandits on Friday morning Adelaide time.
It was Tampa Bay Rays prospect Nathan Wiles getting the start for the Heat and he continued on in impressive fashion after a strong start already to his season down under.
It was a scoreless first two innings from both teams before the Heat got the scoring going in the third.
It started with a single ground ball from Sam Kennelly before the breeze saw a hit from Jesse Williams escape the outfielder.
Ford Proctor was then walked to load the bases for the Heat and Robbie Glendinning also managed to find grass in the outfield to drive in the first two runs of the game.
Tim Kennelly was intentionally walked and then Alex Hall struck out but the Heat had done enough to lead 2-0 with Wiles continuing to give away nothing for the Bandits bats.
Wiles ended up throwing four outstanding innings with four strikeouts, just the three hits and not conceding a run.
The Heat then pulled a surprise with Warwick Saupold first up out of the bullpen. The former Major League regular at the Detroit Tigers had only pitched the previous night back in Perth against some West Australian young prospects.
But he flew to Adelaide Friday morning, jumped in the bullpen and then was called up on to pitch the fifth inning for the Heat. He did well too to keep the Bandits scoreless and hitless over his two innings.
The Heat extended their advantage at the top of the sixth with Shane Sasaki getting himself on base and then steal both second and third, and then running home when Sam Kennelly was able to get the ball in play.
That gave the Heat a 3-0 advantage which then became 5-0 by the end of their seventh inning on the back of a single to Glendinning, double to Grant Witherspoon, and double to Tim Kennelly.
Nate Gercken then came on to throw the last inning for the Heat and produced two strikeouts to keep the Bandits scoreless for the game as the Heat won 5-0 to improve to a 4-3 record on the season to date.
It's now a double-header at Adelaide's Dicolor Australia Stadium on Saturday for the Heat against the Bandits first up and then the Giants in the evening.
By Chris Pike.
ABL REGULAR SEASON, ADELAIDE HUB GAME 2
PERTH HEAT 5 (Williams, S Kennelly, Sasaki, Witherspoon, Glendinning)
BRISBANE BANDITS 1 (Campbell)
W – Warwick Saupold; L – Matt Hardy
Friday January 15, Dicolor Australia Stadium