BANDITS WIN WILD ONE IN NINTH
In what’s fast becoming a trend, the Bandits win a nail-biter in Melbourne
After slight delay due to a quick moving thunderstorm in Melbourne, the Bandits continued to cement themselves as cardiac kids, winning a back and forth battle by a score of 4-3 Friday night in ABL Round Three action versus the Jet Courier Melbourne Aces.
The Bandits sent their stud Italian import Alex Maestri to the mound hoping to win his third straight decision in only his third ABL start. Meanwhile, former Rockies, Indians and Yankees prospect Shane Lindsay took the hill for the home team Aces.
The Bandits got the action started early in the first inning when right fielder Josh Roberts hit a rocket shot to right field chasing home shortstop Taisei Makihara to give the Bandits a 1-0 edge.
The Aces were quick to respond. In the bottom of the frame, after a lead off hit by pitch by Dominic Ramos, Elliot Biddle came to the plate and blasted a homerun to left field, putting the score at 2-1 Aces. Brisbane then took back the lead in the second after a pair of 2-out RBI hits by Makihara and the Bandits surging left fielder Matthew Roxburgh to make it a 3-2 ball game.
The score stayed 3-2 until the fourth inning when Aces DH Hayden Dingle lead off with a homerun over the left field fence, effectively knotting the game at 3 runs a piece.
Maestri settled down after that and didn’t allow any more damage, finishing his night with pitching 7 innings, giving up 3 earned runs and striking out 8 Aces.
Blake Cunningham came in for Lindsay in the top of the 6th inning and was lights out, totaling 4 innings without giving up a run on 2 hits.
In typical Bandits fashion this year, the game was tied heading into the ninth inning. After the first two Bandits batters were retired in the top of the frame, Matt Roxburgh reached base on an in-field single. A fly ball off the bat of Roberts was then misplayed by Aces right fielder John Edwards and allowed Roxburgh to cross the home, plating the eventual winning run for the Bandits.
Andrew Marck came in to close the 4-3 game in the bottom of the ninth and made quick work of the Aces to cap a thrilling night for the Bandits.
“Tonight it came down to our production with two outs,” said head coach Kevin Jordan. “Aside from giving up two long balls, Maestri was dominate again tonight, but we got the hits when they counted and we’re walking out of here with a victory.”
The young Bandits have taken four out of their last five games to push their record to six and four on the young season. They will be back at the Melbourne Showgrounds tomorrow at 6 p.m.