SYDNEY, 10 November - Missed opportunities by the Sydney Blue Sox and an extra innings home run allowed the Brisbane Bandits to edge past the home side en route to their first win of the season, defeating the Blue Sox in 11 innings at Blacktown International Sportspark Saturday night, 3-1.
With a runner on first and no outs in the 11th inning, Brisbane outfielder Josh Roberts delivered a two-run home run over the right field wall to give Brisbane the lead after the Blue Sox failed the convert with the bases loaded the previous inning.
Blue Sox manager Jason Popishil said his team's lack of execution down the stretch cost them the game, "I think we pitched well again tonight which put our offence in a good position but we were unable to convert and supply the necessary run support to win the game."
The Bandits struck first behind a leadoff double from centre fielder Hirotoshi Onaka, who would eventually come around to score on an RBI-groundout by designated hitter Cody Clark to give Brisbane their first lead of the series, 1-0.
The Blue Sox threatened in the fifth with back-to-back walks from Brisbane starter James Albury to Alessio Angelucci and Jacob Younis, who were advanced by a well-placed sacrifice bunt from Lysaught. However, two close plays at home plate suddenly halted the Sox chance of a mid-innings rally.
Sydney tied the score at one in the top of the seventh with an RBI-double from Younis after Angelucci reached on an infield pop-up that found its way between three Bandits players.
Brisbane reliever Justin Erasmus (1-0) was lights out and earned the win as he held the Blue Sox scoreless through three innings of work and maintained the Bandits lead in the extra frames.
Sydney pitcher Todd Van Steensel (1-1) took the loss, allowing two runs on two hits including the home run to Roberts. Starting pitcher Craig Anderson gave up just the one run (unearned) in six innings of work and relief pitchers Wayne Lundgren and Tim Cox also saw scoreless time on the mound.
Brisbane starting pitcher James Albury pitched five scoreless innings, striking out six and was backed-up by an effective bullpen with Chuck Lofgren allowing just one run (unearned) in three innings and Erasmus, who blanked the Sox on three innings of work.
The Blue Sox and Bandits return to action tomorrow afternoon for the final game of their three-game series. Right-hander Vaughan Harris is the probable starting pitcher for Sydney while righty Chris Smith gets the ball for Brisbane. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.