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Adelaide Takes Series Lead 2-1
01/08/2011 9:53 PM ET
 
Never thought there would be an opportunity to say this but 'Elvis was in the House' tonight! Arriving at the ground, there he was having his photo taken with fans and mixing with the Aces' players in left field.

The 1300 fans at the ballpark were in for a treat with festivities dedicated to 'The King'; after all, he would have been 76 today. Dance offs, burger eating competitions and look-a-likes to name a few.

On the field, two very evenly matched teams have produced two closely fought games on Thursday and Friday which has seen the trailing team come from behind late in the game to snatch the win. Further, the two results have seen second and third spots on the competition table exchanged between the two teams in 24 hours.

With competition leader Sydney losing their last two, tonight's game was an opportunity for the Aces or Bite to make up more ground on the BlueSox.

Starting tonight for Adelaide was Brandon Maurer and for Melbourne, Adam Blackley. Both Maurer and Blackley are looking for their third straight win.

Following the ceremonial pitch by SEN radio personality Francis Leach, game three of this intriguing series got underway with a lead off single to Bite's Jamie McOwen. Blackley then proceeded to finish off the first without Adelaide troubling the scorers. Maurer then retired the Aces' batters in order at the bottom of the frame to maintain the 0-0 scoreline.

After getting the first two outs at the top of the second, Blackley walked Ben Wigmore and Scott Gladstone delivered a single to centrefield to advance Wigmore to second. With two on and two out, Brendon Pett sent a drive into centre which resulted in Wigmore being thrown out at home by Elliot Biddle to end the inning.

The Aces' second started with first baseman Justin Huber getting a lead off double to deep centre. Following Josh Davies' strikeout, Paul Rutgers went deep over the right field monster for a two run homer. Matt Lawman and Tristen McDonald were retired by Maurer to have the Aces up 2-0 after two.

Bite looked to hit straight back with a no out single to centre from Josh Cakebread and a double to short-stop Jeremy Cresswell. Under pressure, Blackley was able to get out of the inning with good pitching and great defense from Beresford for the final out. The bottom of third saw no addition to the score despite Beresford's double to deep centre with one out.

With Tom Brice leading off the fourth, he reached on an infield single. Blackley then had Wigmore pop out to Huber at first base, Gladstone fly out to right field and Brice forced out at second to maintain the Aces' 2-0 lead. Aces' fourth started the same as the Bite's with Andrew Russell reaching first on a single to centre. The Aces were unable to capatilise as Huber grounded into a double play followed by Davies who struck out for the second time in the game.

With one out in the fifth, McOwen homered to deep centre to register Adelaide's first run. The next two up in Cresswell and Stefan Welch drew walks from Blackley to leave runners on first and second with one out. Catcher Brandon Bantz then stepped to the plate and delivered a three run dinger to right field to give the Bite the lead 4-2. Following a next up double to Brice, Manager Phil Dale hooked Blackley and replaced him with Shane Lindsay. Lindsay had Wigmore fly out to right and Gladstone ground out to first to end Adelaide's four run inning.

Following Rutger's ground out Lawman drew a walk from Maurer before he finished the fourth with the Bite still holding a two run advantage.

Adelaide continued to start well at the top of the frames with Lindsay putting runners on first and second with no outs. Following a strikeout to McOwen, Lindsay walked Cresswell to load the bases with one out. Lindsay struckout Welch but hit Bantz to bring McOwen home. Dale left Lindsay on the mound and he hit Brice to bring home another run. Lindsay's night was now over with Blake Cunningham replacing him on the mound. Cunningham had Wigmore fly out to right to end the inning but not before the Bite added two more runs to lead 6-2 in the middle of the sixth.

Immediate pressure was put straight back on Melbourne's pitchers with Maurer pitching a three up, three down inning.

Unfortunately for the Aces they could not stop the runs coming in the seventh. With two outs, Adelaide plated two more with Pett and McOwen coming home. The seventh inning stretch saw the Bite leading 8-2. The bottom of the frame didn't fare better for Melbourne with Maurer retiring the Aces' batters in order for the second innings in a row.

Cunningham's night was done with Brad Hertzler replacing him. With one out, Brice singled to right. Next up, Wigmore reached first and Brice second on a throwing error from Hertzler. Hertzler got out of a one out jam without further addition to the scoreboard.

After a quality start from Maurer, Manager Tony Harris replaced him with Darren Fidge at the bottom of the eighth. Fidge delivered a solid inning with the Aces' bats again unable to add to their two runs.

Following a scoreless eighth for the Bite, Cresswell homered to right with one out to leave the score at 9-2 in the middle of the last. Fidge delivered his second strong innings to give the Bite a 9-2 victory and a series lead of 2-1, consolidating second spot on the table.

The win goes to Maurer, with the loss recorded against Blackley.

See you tomorrow at the game for a 3pm start!

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