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Heat fall to home side as Lotte grab opener win
Perth drop first Asia Series game before boisterous crowd
11/09/2012 1:26 AM ET
Virgil Vasquez and the Heat were overwhelmed Thursday night.
Virgil Vasquez and the Heat were overwhelmed Thursday night. (Scott Powick / SMP Images)
BUSAN, 9 November - The Lotte Giants sang and danced their way to a 6-1 victory against the Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat side at Sajik Stadium on Thursday evening's game one the 2012 Asia Series.

The stadium comprised of vocal Busan fans, the Heat competed well early with Virgil Vasquez showing good form and the offense connecting but unable to hit the gaps. It was the fundamentals that eluded the Heat as the Giants put on a flawless defensive display. The Heat appeared nervous on the big stage and unnerved by the festive atmosphere. Early errors put the Heat in a 3-0 deficit and despite handling the Giants' offense well, Vasquez saw his pitch count mount against an unrelenting line-up.

Hitless through the first four innings, the Heat broke through in the fifth inning thanks to back-to-back hits from Carter Bell and Josh McGee. During a crucial at-bat that drew 10 pitches from starter Seung-Jun Song, Allan de San Miguel drew an all-important walk to load the bases with one out. In only his second at-bat in a Heat uniform, Steve Bumbry drove in Bell with a single to right. The opportunity was lost when an eager McGee attempted to secure Bumbry's second RBI but was called out at home.

By adding three more runs to an already healthy lead in the top of the sixth, the Giants continued their dominance at the plate and caused Vasquez to retire the mound to Dan Schmidt. Despite Schmidt's steady relief appearance without allowing a run through 3.2 innings, the margin proved too great for the Heat who would not see another opportunity to overtake the Giants and settle for the lopsided game one loss in the 2012 Asia Series.

"I thought we were prepared well enough coming into this series and knew what to expect." said Steve Fish at the post-game conference. "We just didn't make the plays tonight and the defense let us down which probably cost us four runs in the end. If we could match the fundamentals of Lotte it's a 2-1 ballgame and it's something we will look at improving for tomorrow."

The Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat need to win and win big against the NPB Champions Yomiuri Giants if they are to get to the final starting at 11am WST tomorrow. Anthony Claggett will be on the mound and will go up against Yuki Koyama, a 23 year old pitcher who had a 2-2 record for the Giants this season.

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