Skip to main content
  • Adelaide Bite
  • Auckland Tuatara
  • Brisbane Bandits
  • Canberra Cavalry
  • Geelong-Korea
  • Melbourne Aces
  • Perth Heat
  • Sydney Blue Sox
Below is an advertisement.
HEAT return fire in Blacktown
Caughey coughs up only one-run while going five strong.
01/07/2011 12:49 AM ET
Widlansky drove in two of the Heat's runs.
Widlansky drove in two of the Heat's runs. (TEAM Image)
SYDNEY - Needing a win to snap both their own longest losing streak in the league and their opponents' league-best winning surge, the Perth Heat showed their mettle in their series opener of four with the Sydney Blue Sox.

Even with major leaguers Trent Oeltjen in the home team's lineup and Rich Thompson in the bullpen, the Heat forced Sydney to go 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and Perth put together enough offense of their own to snap concurrent five-game streaks and earn a 3-1 victory before 1,252 at Blacktown Olympic Park.

"We just were a bit unlucky and didn't get the big hit when we needed to with people on base," Oeltjen said of his first Australian Baseball League game. "That happens, and we'll come back tomorrow and hopefully put up a win"

Starting pitchers Chris Oxspring and Trevor Caughey matched wits through the game's first five scoreless innings until each team got on the board in the sixth.

A two-out, two-run single by Baltimore Orioles farmhand Robbie Widlansky broke the scoreless duel and put Perth on top first at 2-0.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sydney got one back in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut the lead in half when hot-hitting Boss Moanaroa doubled to the right-centre gap to score Mitch Dening all the way from first and make it 2-1.

With Blue Sox starter Oxspring (4-1) out of the game, Oeltjen's fellow big league returnee Rich Thompson got into the action in his first appearance of the year in his native New South Wales blue.

After being plunked by a Thompson offering, however, Perth's Ryne Price stole second and third and scored an insurance run when Blue Sox catcher Andy Graham's throw sailed into left field trying to nab Price on his second swiped bag.

In the ninth, Sydney loaded the bases with two outs, but Alex Johnson's sinking liner to center field settled in the glove of Perth's Ronnie Welty to end the affair.

Caughey (1-0) picked up the win with five and one-third innings of one-run ball, and Brendan Wise (S, 1) closed out the victory.

"The guys were maybe pressing a little bit and seemed a little flat coming off a really good series in Perth," Blue Sox manager Glenn Williams said of his club which was coming off a four-game sweep of the Heat at Barbagallo Ballpark.

"They were a little bit disappointed at the end of the game, but we brought the tying and winning run to the plate a bunch of times and just lacked that big hit late in the game."

Despite the loss, Oeltjen was impressed with his first ABL action. "It was a lot of fun," the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder said. "It was great to see all the people and families out there, and I think they had a lot of fun. I'm glad the way the league's going."

FRIDAY'S PITCHING PROBABLES: LHP Daniel Schmidt (4-3, 2.84) v LHP David Welch (4-0, 0.97)

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