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13/2 - Brave Bite Go Down
Perth comes back in series to win Championship
02/14/2011 5:40 AM ET
Perth celebrates after winning ABL Championship
Perth celebrates after winning ABL Championship (SMP Images)
PERTH - Adelaide ETSA Bite lost the deciding game of the inaugural Australian Baseball League championship series, going down 1-7 to the Perth Heat at Barbagallo Ballpark on Sunday.

The Bite managed a tight 4-3 win to open the series on Friday and then lost Saturday's second match-up 2-9, before going down in the final game of the season.

With Adelaide starter Paul Mildren on the mound, the Bite looked in trouble early, when Perth collected a couple of hits in the bottom of the first frame, but an early deficit was avoided.

Mildren then found his groove and retired every batter he faced up to the end of the fourth inning.

In the mean time, Perth hurler Ben Moore was also well on top, with the game entering the fifth inning scoreless.

After Adelaide failed to score in the top of the fifth, the Heat made their charge in the bottom of the frame, with Mitch Graham hitting a two-out, two-run double, which was followed by Tim Kennelly's run-scoring single.

Mildren was forced from the mound, with Dushan Ruzic coming in to close the innings, and throw two further three-up, three-down frames.

Adelaide could still not penetrate Moore and company's defences, with the score remaining 3-0 to the bottom of the eighth, when Darren Fidge came on to pitch for the Bite.

Allowing four runners, including a Robbie Widlansky two-run home run, with just one out - who all scored, it saw Fidge leave the game, with Tom Becker closing out, as the score blew out to 7-0.

Stefan Welch managed a solo home run in the ninth to see Adelaide avoid the shutout, but it wasn't enough, as Perth claimed the championship.

Moore was outstanding on the mound for the Heat, throwing a complete game, giving up four hits and no walks, while striking out 10 batters, which earned him MVP honours for the championship series.

"The kid Moore pitched a good game, and you've got to score runs to win," Adelaide manager Tony Harris said. "These guys [Perth] are a pretty strong offensive club, as we are. We just didn't produce anything offensively.

"Some days you tip your hat to the pitcher, and this was one of those days.

"I told the guys before the game, win or lose, we've been with these guys [Perth] all year, and it's been a real dogfight. They clearly are the champions this year, but we are proud of our guys, because we got here.

"And no matter what happened, in my mind, we are still a champion team. Credit to those guys for the way we got here, through the play-off system, which has been a tough three weeks, and we are a tough ball team.

"Right now a week in Bali sounds good. But in reality some will go back and play club ball, the Americans will go home in a couple of days, so we really will dis-assemble. But soon we will start planning for next season."

Adelaide 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 - 1
Perth 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 4 x - 7
Hits: Adelaide - Gladstone, Brice, Welch (hr), McOwen; Perth - T. Kennelly 3, Hughes 2, Welty, Graham, Widlansky (hr),
WP: B. Moore; LP: P. Mildren.

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