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HEAT Sweep Doubleheader and Series
11/06/2011 4:06 PM ET
Alex Burg congratulates Mitch Graham on his home run.
Alex Burg congratulates Mitch Graham on his home run. (SMP Images)

The Alcohol Think Again Perth Heat won both games of their doubleheader against the Adelaide ETSA Bite today, crushing four home runs and winning the second game in dramatic walk-off fashion. Big power, excellent pitching, and timely hitting helped Perth move to an undefeated 3-0 on the season.

Adelaide started the scoring in the 1st inning as left fielder James Jones reached first on an error, advancing to second on a wild pitch. After Scott Gladstone singled to right to get Jones to third, catcher Ben Lodge hit a sacrifice fly to bring him in and the Bite took a 1-0 lead.

Perth tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd, though they threatened to do more than that. With the bases loaded Heat third baseman Alex Burg was hit by a pitch, bringing Aaron Bonomi in to score. Matt Kennelly came to the plate with two outs and the bases still loaded, but left the score tied 1-1 as he popped out.

The top of the 4th inning got away from the Heat, starting with a bizarre play. Jones hit a double to right centre that rolled to the wall, but the throw back to the infield by Kennelly missed the cutoff man and sailed into left, allowing Jones to turn on the burners and hustle all the way home. Adelaide then poured it on, as Tom Brice followed with a double. Lodge singled him in and advanced to second on a throw to home, then Mathew Smith singled Lodge in despite another close play at the plate. Both runnners beat the throws, resulting in a three-run 4th inning for the Bite and a 4-1 lead.

Now halfway through the short game, the Heat retaliated in the bottom of the 4th. With Aaron Baker on second and Mitch Graham on first, a wild pitch caused some mayhem on the basepaths. Both runners attempted to advance and Lodge made an errant throw that sailed into centre, scoring Baker. Allan de San Miguel promptly moved Graham to third on a single, allowing him to score on an Aaron Bonomi ground out and make it a one-run game again, 4-3 in favor of the Bite.

Starters Daniel Schmidt for the Heat and Jandy Sena for the Bite both lasted four innings. Schmidt gave up six hits and four runs (three earned) while striking out two and walking none, while Sena gave up five hits and three runs, striking out two of his own and allowing a single walk.

The Heat showed their power in the bottom of the 5th thanks to two of their imports. Burg hit a solo home run over the left field wall, the first for the Heat this season, tying the game at 4. Three batters later, with Kennelly on base, Baker hit his own home run to deep centre field putting Perth on top 6-4. Perth padded their lead in the bottom of the 6th thanks to a de San Miguel leadoff double and another double by James McOwen to bring him in.

Benn Grice shut the door on Adelaide, striking out the side in the 7th inning and securing a 7-4 win for the Perth Heat in the first game of the doubleheader.

Thirty minutes later the two teams faced off again for another seven-inning game. Warwick Saupold took the hill for the Heat, facing off against Paul Mildren of Adelaide.

Perth wasted no time in getting on the board as the shortstop Graham hit a ball over the left field wall in the bottom of the 1st inning to give his team a 1-0 lead. Adelaide took it back in the top of the 2nd thanks to a Brice base hit followed by a Scott Gladstone RBI double. Burg, now behind the plate in game two, was not content with a tie game and in the top of the 3rd he smashed his second home run of the day, this time to centre field.

Mildren went five innings allowing just the two runs on five hits, striking out five while walking two. Saupold threw six, allowing only the one run on five hits, striking out six and walking two.

Benn Grice came in in the top of the 7th inning for his second save opportunity of the day, looking to protect a 2-1 lead for the Perth Heat. Adelaide right fielder Brice had other ideas, and in a battle of Grice vs Brice to lead off the inning, Brice came out on top with a stunning game-tying home run to deep centre field.

The Heat had other ideas, and Graham was the hero for the day. After a Graeme Scorer leadoff single, Elliott Hargreaves pinch-ran and was sacrified over to second base. Graham, already with a home run earlier in the game, came to the plate and hit a single to center field, scoring Hargreaves and capturing the second win of the day for Perth.

"We got out and we got to play two big games today," said Burg, who threw out two runners stealing and picked one off as well as hitting two home runs. "We got a big sweep and it was a lot of fun to be out there."

"It's great for the guys, it's nice to get started 3-0," said manager Brooke Knight. "We have what, 42 left? We got some bats going today, Warwick gave us a great effort in game 2, Schmitty was pretty darn good in game 1, and we strung some hits together. That's what you have to do."

Mitch Graham also chimed in about the great start to the season, adding "I think right through the order, especially over the weekend, I think we've done well from 1 to 9. It's good to be a part of that, for sure."

The Heat go to Melbourne next weekend, starting a four-game series on Friday at 4pm.

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