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Have mercy: Auty, Sox roll to 3-0
Sydney thrash Canberra pitching in 13-3 rout
11/13/2010 10:49 PM ET
Tim Auty's early season average sits at .455 after Saturday's win.
Tim Auty's early season average sits at .455 after Saturday's win. (Nathan Atkins/ABL)
SYDNEY - If the Sydney Blue Sox continue the game-to-game offensive progression they've shown so far this year, it's going to be a tough 2010/11 season for opposing pitchers.

After combining for just five runs in their first two games, the Sox offense exploded for eight in one inning alone on Saturday evening and invoked the Australian Baseball League's mercy rule with a 13-3, seven-inning victory over the Canberra Cavalry at Blacktown Olympic Park.

With his offense humming along at a good early clip, Sydney manager Glenn Williams was elated after the win. "It's still early in the season, and everyone's been excited about the season starting," said Williams. "To be able to come out and play as well as we have in the first three games has been great. We're not trying to get ahead of ourselves. It's a long, long season, but I'm really happy with the way the guys are playing so far."

Just like Friday, Sydney played from behind early with a second-inning tally for the Cavalry coming on an RBI groundout by Ian Choy that scored Michael Collins from third base for a 1-0 Canberra advantage.

The Sydney side didn't wait long before unleashing its potent offense. With Canberra starting pitcher Steve Kent out of the game after three innings, the Blue Sox jumped on reliever Phil Brassington (0-1) in the bottom of the fourth. The first three Blue Sox hitters reached base in the inning with David Kandilas scoring on a Tim Auty RBI single and Trent D'Antonio coming home on a passed ball charged to Collins. Before the inning was out, two more Sox scored to give Sydney the lead for good.

"The guys have been hitting the ball pretty well, and we started to find some gaps tonight," Williams said. "We ran the bases pretty aggressively. We gave them a few chances that we probably regretted a little bit early in the game but made up for it late in the game."

The offensive support put Sydney starter Wayne Lundgren's mind to rest. The tall right-hander worked five smooth innings, allowing just one Cavalry run on three hits with four strikeouts countering two walks. Lundgren (2-0) gave way to reliever Shane Benson who polished off the win, surrendering two runs on five hits in two innings of relief.

"It was good because we didn't need to use our bullpen," said Auty of the outburst at the plate. "The boys came out and swung the bats really well, and we played good defense again. After a while, when things click, you get a few runs up on a team, and you can relax a little bit."

Sydney blew the game open in a lengthy bottom of the sixth inning that put them over the ten-run differential threshold. In all, 13 men went to the plate for the Blue Sox, and Sydney posted the odd stat line of eight runs on three hits. Aided by three Canberra errors in the sixth, the Sox got the decisive blow on a bases-clearing, two-out Mark Holland double that made it 11-2 at the time. Sydney added two more in the frame and worked around a pair of leadoff singles to close out the game in the seventh.

Hot-hitting outfielder Auty's average sits at an eye-popping .455 after three games with a two-RBI performance Saturday night helping to lift his club to a 3-0 record. "I'm finally starting to get things to be comfortable at the plate," Auty said after the win. "Getting good pitches to hit is the other thing and putting the middle of the bat on the middle of the ball is the key."

The Blue Sox got an additional bit of good news during the evening's contest when Sydney Executive Officer Terry O'Toole welcomed his second grandchild into the world with the birth of young Vivian May.

This series concludes Sunday afternoon with the first day game of the year at Blacktown Olympic Park. The Blue Sox will send left-hander David Welch for his first start of the year against Myung-Ho Jin with first pitch scheduled for 1:30.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.