Impressive Heat comeback to level Giants series
Perth Heat had to come from behind but they did so impressively with a five-run eighth inning securing an 8-6 run in an exciting Game 2 of this second series against the Adelaide Giants at Empire Ballpark on Friday night.
The two teams were playing one another for the 12th time already this Australian Baseball League season, and they put on quite the show for the strong crowd of 1480 people at Empire Ballpark.
They had already played one another during hubs in both Brisbane and Adelaide, before their first series in Perth over last weekend which saw the Heat secure the win three games to one.
A couple of days in between and they resumed hostilities for their second series out west in succession, and on Thursday night that saw the Giants start well with the 5-2 victory despite Heat home runs from Ford Proctor and Alex Hall.
That meant the Giants had gone ahead of the Heat into second spot on the ABL standings as both try to find a way to maintain pace with the league-leading Melbourne Aces.
So the Heat needed to bounce back to level the series on Friday night and they did so with the eventual 8-6 victory on the back of that impressive eighth innings, and standout pitching from Beau Sulser and Warwick Saupold.
He might have come to Perth a recognised reliever, but Sulser has delivered outstanding starting pitching for the Heat and he got the start again on Friday and cruised through the first two innings only looking at six batters.
That allowed the Heat to go ahead in the bottom of the second when Abiezel Ramirez was walked and then Jake Bowey got the ball in play. Ulrich Bojarski did the same to allow Ramirez to go from second to home and make it 1-0.
The Giants took over in the third, though with a couple of runs to put the pressure back on the home team.
Adelaide remained on top 2-1 when Sulser's night came to an end after five innings where he did only concede those two runs and threw five strikeouts.
The Heat then took back the lead in the bottom of the fifth with a brilliant triple from Ramirez that saw Grant Witherspoon get home. Bowey then put a ball up far enough to give Ramirez time to get home and put the Heat up 3-2.
It was the Giants turn to fire back at the top of the seventh when three consecutive hits off Saupold allowed in two runs to put the visitors up 4-3 and the Heat had to respond.
And respond they did with a brilliant eighth inning starting with hits to Bojarski and Jess Williams. A double to Shane Sasaki brought both guys home before another Proctor hit allowed Sasaki to score.
Robbie Glendinning then stepped up for the only home run of the game and his third of the season to make it 7-4 and the Heat ended the inning leading 8-4 with Witherspoon scoring again thanks to another hit from Bowey.
The Giants might have scored a couple more runs in the ninth but the Heat still won 8-6 to level this series up at one game apiece while moving back into second spot at 11-8 ahead of the now 11-9 Giants.
The two teams complete their series now with a double-header on Saturday at Empire Ballpark with the games beginning at 4 and 7pm.
By Chris Pike.
ABL REGULAR SEASON, HOME GAME 6
PERTH HEAT 8 (Ramirez 2, Witherspoon 2, Sasaki, Bojarski, Glendinning, Proctor)
ADELAIDE GIANTS 6 (McArdle 3, vanderLinden, Fitch, Williams)
W – Warwick Saupold; L – Jackson Brebner-Russ
Friday January 29, Empire Ballpark