Heat unable to capitalise on fast start against Giants
Perth Heat started on fire to begin another series at Empire Ballpark but couldn’t maintain an early 2-0 lead with the Adelaide Giants recording the 5-2 victory on Thursday night.
The Heat and Giants had a couple of days off in Perth to regroup and refresh from the four-game, three-day series that started on Saturday night with both teams locked in a fascinating battle to keep close to the league-leading Melbourne Aces.
After the Heat played their opening 13 games of the season on the road, they got to return home on Saturday with both them and the Giants flying in from Adelaide to start the first of two consecutive series at Empire Ballpark.
The Heat started on fire with a walk off home run on Saturday night from Shane Sasaki before racking up 11-6 and 15-6 victories against the Giants in a double-header on Sunday.
But Adelaide got one game back with a win on Monday and now after two days off, the teams resumed hostilities and in the end it was the Giants recording the 5-2 victory.
That improves the Giants to an 11-8 record while the Heat are 10-8 with both teams currently alternating between second and third position with the Aces still out on top at 14-7.
The teams are back at it again at Empire Ballpark on Friday night with the first pitch to be thrown at 6pm. They then wrap up the series on Saturday with a double-header with the games to begin at 4 and 7pm.
With Dylan Unsworth the starting pitcher on Thursday night for the Heat, they were able to keep the Giants quiet early on in the game while starting well with the bat.
Tampa Bay Rays prospect Ford Proctor connected on his third home run of the season in the first inning as the Texan put the Heat on top 1-0. That became 2-0 when catcher Alex Hall nailed his first homer of this season in the bottom of the second.
Unsworth was able to maintain the Heat lead until the Giants opened their account in the fourth and then went ahead with two more runs in the fifth which was started by a Grant Little triple just before Unsworth's night came to an end.
It had still been another impressive pitching display from the South African with three strikeouts along the way.
Despite hits late in the game from Proctor, Tim Kennelly and Robbie Glendinning, none of them turned into runs and the Giants added another couple in the ninth including a Luke Williams home run to come away with the 5-2 win to take the one-nil lead in this second series in Perth.
ABL REGULAR SEASON, HOME GAME 5
PERTH HEAT 2 (Hall, Proctor)
ADELAIDE GIANTS 5 (Williams 2, McArdle, Wingrove, Little)
W – Luke Wilkins; L – Dylan Unsworth; S – Todd Van Steensel
Thursday January 28, Empire Ballpark