Susler sets up Heat batters to deliver Adelaide win
A brilliant pitching performance from Beau Sulser and then a breakout five-run fifth inning has seen Perth Heat open up time in the Adelaide hub impressively with a 5-0 victory on Thursday night over the Adelaide Giants.
The Heat were back in action to resume the Australian Baseball League season at Adelaide's Dicolor Australia Stadium in the first of what is scheduled to be eight matches over the course of seven days.
It comes after the similarly fixtured Brisbane hub ended early and the Heat have been in Adelaide since last Friday, and took out some of that frustration of being holed up in a hotel with a tremendous performance against the hometown Giants on Thursday night.
The Heat opened up the week in Adelaide by using Beau Sulser as the starting pitcher. More known as a reliever for much of his career, the Californian who is tied to the Pittsburgh Pirates has shown his potential for more since arriving in Perth.
He further showcased that against the Giants as he delivered a near flawless five innings of pitching. The Giants bats just couldn’t find a way to land bat on his throwing and managed just two hits.
Sulser threw three strikeouts along the way and delivered a scoreless performance to set the Heat up nicely.
However, it was a scoreless game through five innings before the Heat delivered a dominant top of the sixth which proved plenty to set up the victory.
The inning got off to a good start with a single to captain Tim Kennelly before Grant Witherspoon, Robbie Glendinning and Ford Proctor were all walked. That led to Kennelly scoring and the Giants replaced Luke Wilkins at the mound with Todd Van Steensel.
Tampa Bay Rays prospect Abiezel Ramirez then stepped up for a single to drive in another run and when Alex Hall did the same, suddenly it was a 4-0 ball game.
Sam Kennelly hit a high ball to allow Ramirez to score too and the Heat got out of the inning up 5-0 which remained the final score when another Rays pitching prospect Jacob Lopez closed the deal over the last two innings having replaced Sulser.
As has been the case in most games this ABL season to date, the Heat's pitching was outstanding while the batting also gave themselves more opportunities than their opposition.
The Heat had five hits to just two from the Giants on the way to the 5-0 victory with Ramirez continuing to show encouraging signs as the only multiple hitter in the game. He had two hits from his three at bats while also driving in one run.
Hall, Ulrich Bojarski and Tim Kennelly were the others to produce a hit while Texan Ford Proctor got on base four times and fellow Tampa Bay prospect Shane Sasaki twice, where he continued to be a dynamic base runner.
The Heat now do it all again in Adelaide on Friday morning this time against the Brisbane Bandits before a double-header on Saturday against both the Giants and Bandits.
By Chris Pike.
ABL REGULAR SEASON, ADELAIDE HUB GAME 1
PERTH HEAT 5 (T Kennelly, Witherspoon, Glendinning, Proctor, Ramirez)
ADELAIDE GIANTS 0
W – Beau Sulser; L – Luke Wilkins
Thursday January 14, Dicolor Australia Stadium