BAKER, WEBB HELP HEAT DROP BANDITS
Perth rebound from three losses with second straight win
BRISBANE, 8 December – The Brisbane Bandits dropped the first game of their four-game series in Round Six of the Australian Baseball League against the ‘Alcohol Think Again’ Perth Heat, losing 3-2 at the RNA Showgrounds Thursday night.
Aaron Baker and Brendan Webb both hit towering solo home runs for Perth in what would ultimately be the deciding runs in the Heat victory
Brisbane sent their newfound ace Alex Maestri to the hill to combat the potent Heat lineup, however the Italian import ran into trouble early and didn’t have the bats behind him to get out of it.
After Perth centre fielder and last season’s ABL MVP James McOwen opened the game with a double, Maestri surrendered a one-out RBI single to Heat second baseman Alex Burg to open up a 1-0 Perth lead.
Maestri then allowed a solo home run to first baseman Aaron Baker in the second and another solo shot to left fielder Brendan Webb to put the Heat up 3-0.
Maestri finished the night surrendering three earned runs despite nine strikeouts in his 6 1/3 frames.
After being held hitless through the first four innings, the Bandits mustered an offensive charge in the fifth. Continuing his strong start from the series in Sydney, new Bandits shortstop Kenta Imamiya got the Bandits on the board by singling home fellow Japanese import Keiji Nakahara, who had reached on an infield error. With two outs, right fielder Josh Roberts hit a rocket shot to left field which chased home Imamiya to cut the Perth lead to 3-2. Unfortunately for the Bandits, Roberts was gunned down trying to turn the single into a double which effectively ended the Bandits rally.
The Heat then turned the game over to young righty Cameron Lamb who didn’t allow a baserunner the rest of the game.
One highlight for the Bandits came from newly acquired right-hander hurler Sean Jarrett. After inheriting a bases-loaded one-out jam, the mammoth US import ended the threat and ended the inning with back-to-back strikeouts. He pitched two more perfect frames to end the night.
‘We battled tonight,’ said Bandits head coach Kevin Jordan. ‘We were down one run, we had a couple opportunities to tie the ball game and we couldn’t finish. But they’re the defending champions for a reason. I think we proved tonight that we’re not afraid to go toe-to-toe with them though.’
Maestri (2-1) earned his first loss in the ABL and effectively dropped the Bandits record to 7-11 on the season.
Prior to the game Thursday, the Bandits announced that due to adverse weather predictions the scheduled game for 2pm Saturday 10 December will be moved to 6pm Friday 9 December.
Due to the start time of the game; both games of the double header will be rescheduled to be 7 inning games.