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Sydney Blue Sox vs. 'Jet Courier' Melbourne Aces
11/03/2011 3:12 PM ET
 
(2010-11 Season Records)
Sydney Blue Sox: 24-15 / finished regular season in 1st place / lost in playoffs.
Melbourne Aces: 18-21 / finished regular season in 4th place / lost in playoffs.

This Friday's season opening series between the Sydney Blue Sox and 'Jet Couriers' Melbourne Aces at BlueSox Stadium Blacktown International Sportspark will feature two dangerously talented teams who have set high expectations amongst fans on the back of their performances last season.

Originating from what have traditionally proven to be the two of the most successful states in Australian Baseball, both teams return with impressive rosters.

The Blue Sox pitching rotation was the ABL's best last season and they're deep with dominant arms this year too, headlined by ace Chris Oxspring, ABL Reliever of the Year Dae-Sung Koo and 2010 Helm's Award winner Wayne Lundgren.

Sydney's strong arms will take them far, but new manager Kevin Boles from the Boston Red Sox organisation knows they'll need dominant offensive production to go all the way. Sydney had stars at nearly every position last year and 2011/12 is no different. The Blue Sox will be counting on last year's ABL Rookie of the Year Trent Schmutter to build upon a terrific first season.

They've also fortified their offense with the additions of import and Detroit Tigers prospect outfielder Tyler Collins, and the hot hitting Moanaroa brothers, Boss and Moko, have looked potent in pre-season games.

The Aces return a core group of seasoned veterans and are equally as efficient at the plate as they are the mound; making them a contender to be reckoned with this ABL season.

This season their infield will feature two former Major League players in Aces hit machine Justin Huber, and newly acquired Brad Harman; an electric defensive player who brings a World Series championship ring to the team when he joins Sydney in the next couple of weeks.

On the mound, the Aces will feature one of the ABL's strongest pitching staffs, including flamethrower Shane Lindsay, who made his debut with the Chicago White Sox this season, Andrew Russell, who is already drawing comparisons to Major Leaguer Peter Moylan, and 17-year old Daniel McGrath, who manager Phil Dale (an Australian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee) believes has an eventual future in the Major Leagues.

Both teams will be seeking a strong start to the season with some of their best players yet to arrive. Melbourne claimed an edge in last year's meetings winning four games to Sydney's three victories and they tied on one occasion.

ROUND 1 SERIES SCHEDULE
(Home team listed first, all times local, all series are four games)

Friday 4 November
G1: Sydney Blue Sox vs. Melbourne Aces @ Blacktown International Sportspark - 7:30PM

Saturday 5 November
G2: Sydney Blue Sox vs. Melbourne Aces @ Blacktown International Sportspark - 3:00PM
G3: Sydney Blue Sox vs. Melbourne Aces @ Blacktown International Sportspark - 7:30PM

Sunday 6 November
G4: Sydney Blue Sox vs. Melbourne Aces @ Blacktown International Sportspark - 1:00PM

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