Bandits take series


Maestri earns first save as Bandits edge closer to playoffs

Alex Maestri was lights out for Brisbane.

Alex Maestri was lights out for Brisbane.

It was a game of home runs on Sunday afternoon as the Brisbane Bandits took down the ‘Jet Courier’ Melbourne Aces by a score of 5-2 at the RNA Showgrounds in the fifth game of the five-game set in Round 10 of Australian Baseball League action.
Three different Bandits homered as the home team saw a new player take the team lead in long balls for the year and two more launch their first homers of the season. Josh Roberts added his first multi-home run game in the tale of the long ball.

Roberts opened the scoring in the first inning with his fifth home run of the season, a solo shot giving him more than any of his teammates. He added another in the sixth when he led off to start the frame, increasing his team lead.

Melbourne (18-22) came back in the top of the second with two runs, courtesy of Elliot Biddle’s 10th long ball, a two-run home run to put the Aces up 2-1. But another home run for the Bandits tied up the game in the bottom of the second frame, as Steven Greer went yard for the first time.

Ryan Battaglia got in on the home run fun in the fifth inning, also sending his first ball over the fence this season. Battaglia’s long ball scored two and brought Brisbane up 4-2 before Roberts hit his second of the afternoon.

Josh Warner made the start on the mound for the Bandits (17-23). The 19-year-old right-hander went four innings, giving up two earned runs on just two hits, walking one and striking out five. He was taken out of the game in favour of Simon Morriss to start the fifth. Morris went one frame, giving up just one hit.

Brisbane’s Italian ace, Alex Maestri, came out of the bullpen in relief to finish out the game. After an uncharacteristically short outing in his start on Wednesday, the right-hander had plenty left in the tank for the afternoon matchup. The Italian Stallion completed four innings, allowing three hits and striking out five. He also earned his first save of the season.

Jeff Jamnik got the start for Melbourne. Jamnik went 4 1/3 innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits with a walk and a strikeout. Adam Blackley came out of the bullpen first for the Aces, and he threw 1 1/3 frames, giving up an earned run on two hits. Andrew Russell and Travis Blackley rounded out the Aces relief corps on Sunday.

With the final regular-season win at home, the Bandits remain in sixth place, needing to do further damage in the remaining five games in order to move beyond the regular season. Elsewhere in the playoff race, Sydney (19-21) took sole possession of the second position in the standings. Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra are all tied for third.

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