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Season ends in 15-inning heartbreaker
Bite break 4-4 tie with three in the 15th, move on to ABLCS
02/06/2011 8:24 PM ET
Dae-Sung Koo threw a remarkable 6.2 innings in relief but took the loss.
Dae-Sung Koo threw a remarkable 6.2 innings in relief but took the loss. (SMP Images/ABL)
SYDNEY - If the nationally televised Delta Air Lines ABL Championship Series is anything like the final game of the Postseason's Round 2, baseball fans in Australia better get ready for a slew of instant classics.

In an epic thriller that had the spirit of October baseball, the Adelaide "ETSA" Bite snapped a 4-4 deadlock with three runs in the top of the 15th inning and captured a spot in the Delta Air Lines ABL Championship Series next weekend at Perth with a 7-4 victory over the Blue Sox Sunday at Blacktown Olympic Park.

Long before the contest elapsed into the marathon it became, it nevertheless appeared Game 3 would be a nailbiter. The Blue Sox countered one Adelaide run in the top of the fifth with two of their own. The Bite responded in the sixth with three tallies to take a 4-2 advantage.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Sox brought home a run on an error and another on a Trent Schmutter RBI single to draw even. The deadlock was set.

It would remain.

The Blue Sox and Bite played seven scoreless innings beginning in the eighth, and both teams missed out on key opportunities. Sydney loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth and tenth and put the potential game-winning run in scoring position again in the 11th, 13th, and 14th. Adelaide's defense came up huge in the final of those chances when right fielder Daniel Wilson threw out Moko Moanaroa at the plate trying to score the game-winning run on a Michael Lysaught single for the second out. To finish the inning, and extinguish the Sox' hopes, left fielder Brendon Pett made one of the most amazing catches a baseball fan will ever see, diving to a full extension to pull in Josh Dean's sinking line drive down the left-field line, preventing Pat Maat from scoring the decisive tally. Sydney went 5-for-16 with runners in scoring position but left 17 men on base as a team. The Bite went 6-for-24 and left the same amount.

Adelaide didn't miss their chance to seize Pett's moment. Against Blue Sox relievers Dae-Sung Koo (0-1), who threw a remarkable six and two-thirds innings of relief, and Todd Grattan, Adelaide plated three runs. Game one Bite starter Mark Brackman (2-1) pitched an inning and two-thirds out of the bullpen and closed the door in the bottom of the 15th for the win.

The Bite open the Delta Air Lines ABL Championship Series Friday at Perth's Barbagallo Ballpark.

"It's a real credit to those guys, and all we can ask for is what they can give us," Blue Sox manager Glenn Williams said after the defeat. "Some days it's going to be good enough, and some days it isn't. Today it wasn't, but for them to finish in first place after the regular season and then take a real good Adelaide ballclub to three games here in the second round of the playoffs is a credit to them.

"I'm really, really proud to manage those guys."

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