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4/2-Welch's Historic No-No Launches Sydney to Win
02/05/2011 12:10 AM ET


4 February 2011

Sydney Blue Sox starting pitcher David Welch has earned the Australian Baseball League's first no-hitter and his team a crucial victory after they defeated the Adelaide 'ETSA' Bite 8-0 in Round 2 of the Delta Air Lines ABL Playoffs on Friday.

Welch, who finished the regular season with the ABL's lowest ERA at just 1.44, threw nine complete innings and did not allow a single hit while striking out ten Adelaide batters on the way to his historic feat.

A delighted Welch, who threw 121 pitches and 78 strikes, said the atmosphere at the end of the game was one he will never forget.

"Just unbelievable. The crowd, with two outs (in the final inning) ... I almost had to step off the mound as I was getting goosebumps," Welch said, adding that he was delighted for his team-mates more than himself.

"You just want to do it for them. You want to do it for yourself, but as an athlete, you just want to win the game. You hear them, and you think, 'They just want it so bad.' All the guys in the dugout wanted it so bad, almost more than you do."

"You want it, but you're tired, and you just want to get the game over with a win. But obviously it's amazing for me. You want to do it for the crowd and do it for everyone."

Welch's brilliance laid the foundation for Sydney's underrated batting line-up to show they too could perform under pressure, scoring seven of their eight runs in the first three stanzas while forcing Adelaide starting pitcher Mark Brackman off the mound after just 2.1 innings.

Sydney chalked up their first runs of the game in the first inning when Mitch Dening's double to left field brought home team-mates David Kandilas and Trent D'Antonio, before a ground out to shortstop by Joshua Dean allowed Dening to cross home plate for the Blue Sox' third run.

After losing both of their Playoff games in Round 1, Sydney was not about to let their opponents back into the match and a home run blast over right field by D'Antonio also allowed Michael Lysaught to score to give the Blue Sox a 5-0 lead.

Two more runs in the third inning, and one more in the eighth, gave the Blue Sox their final scoreline and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. The two teams clash again on Saturday night at Blacktown Olympic Park from 7.30pm EDST, and if Game 3 is required, it will be played on Sunday 6 February from 1.30pm EDST.

The winner of the series will progress to the Delta Air Lines ABL Championship Series against the 'Alcohol Think Again' Perth Heat from 11 February.