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Early Onslaught Doesn't Deter Aces
01/06/2011 10:30 PM ET
 
Game one of the much anticipated series between Melbourne Aces and Adelaide Bite took place at the Melbourne Showgrounds tonight. The Showgrounds has been somewhat of a fortress for the Aces this season where they hold an ABL best home record of 10-2.

Taking the mound for their respective sides were Greg Wiltshire for the Aces and Mark Brackman for Adelaide. Wiltshire has a 4-0 record this season and is coming off a last start win against Brisbane. Brackman on the other hand was recorded with a loss in his last start against Canberra.

The Aces welcomed back Andrew Russell and included Australian short-stop James Beresford for his first start.

After a three up, three down first inning from Wiltshire which included two Ks, Beresford reached base on his first at bat for the Aces. Unfortunately Melbourne were unable to convert Beresford's lead-off hit on the scoreboard.

The top of the second saw the Bite take a 2-0 lead with back to back homers to right centre field through Tom Brice and Yong Sup Kwak. The Aces were unable to make any inroads in the bottom of the frame.

Wiltshire appeared to lose his rhythm and loaded the bases via a walk and two batters being hit. With bases loaded, Brice delivered his second HR, this one scoring four more runs for Adelaide; 6-0 to the Bite. Aces' DH Brett Tamburrino led off the 3rd inning with a solo homer to right field to have his team on the board at 6-1 after three.

After a lead off hit to Russell, Josh Davies brought about an error from the Bite's outfielders to bring home Russell and make the score 6-2. Brackman was able to get out of a bases loaded jam without further addition.

The 6-2 scoreline didn't last long with Adelaide short-stop Jeremy Cresswell scoring on a lead off solo homer to left field. For the first time this season Wiltshire struggled with his command and after putting two on base with walks in the fifth, Manager Phil Dale pulled him from the mound after 4.1 innings and replaced him with Blake Cunningham. Despite loading the bases with the first batter he faced, Cunningham achieved the last out with the score at 7-2.

The HRs continued at the bottom of the fifth with Aces' second baseman Scott Wearne sending one over the right field monster to bring the margin back to four.

After allowing back to back hits to Elliot Biddle and Tamburrino to begin the Aces' sixth, Manager Tony Harris removed Brackman from the game after 5.0 innings; replaced by Darren Fidge. Fidge proceeded to commit a throwing error to second base allowing Biddle to score. This was followed by an RBI single to Beresford scoring Tamburrino to make the score 7-5 after six.

Following an injury to Quincy Latimore, Brendan Pett took his place in the lineup and immediately found himself on first base after being hit by Cunningham. Following the next out, Cunningham was replaced by Adam Bright after two solid innings of relief. Bite DH Scott Gladstone delivered an RBI sac fly to score Pett and leave the score at 8-5 during the seventh inning stretch.

The start to the eighth couldn't have started better with series returning batter Russell going deep to right centre for a solo, Justin Huber drawing a walk off Fidge and Davies hitting a double to centre field. Biddle's next at bat allowed the Aces to bring home run number seven with Huber scoring on a throwing error from Adelaide's third baseman, Stefan Welch. Arguably the player of the game in Tamburrino then provided a sac bunt to move the runners to second and third with one out.

Dale then made the call to replace catcher Grant Karlsen with Tristen McDonald who singled to right field to bring home Davies and tie the ballgame away at 8-8. Harris had seen enough and replaced Fidge with Reed Brown after Fidge relieved for 1.1 innings. Brown got the outs of Beresford and Wearne to complete seven innings.

The bottom of the eighth saw the Aces benefit from Adelaide's errors. Brown walked lead off hitter in Russell. Huber reached first base and Russell second following a catching error from right fielder Tom Brice. Davies then reached first with an error from Bite catcher, Brandon Bantz. This error also allowed Russell to score. The drama did not end there with Huber and Davies scoring after a throwing error by Cresswell.

The final score in the Aces' favour was 11-8 to extend their home record to 11-2 and re-claim second spot on the table.

The win goes to Bright who now has a 2-2 record for the season and the loss goes against Brown, his first for the season.

The downside for the Aces is that it appears as though Tamburrino suffered a serious arm injury.

See you tomorrow for Ladies Night!

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