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Vasquez dazzles in complete-game shutout
Perth improve to 4-0 behind righty's brilliance
11/17/2012 1:29 AM ET
Virgil Vasquez dominated the Aces in a rematch of 2012's ABLCS.
Virgil Vasquez dominated the Aces in a rematch of 2012's ABLCS. (Scott Powick / SMP Images)
PERTH - In the lead up to the Championship Series rematch, the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces spoke of going after their self-described "nemesis" in Virgil Vasquez. No matter what the Aces had planned for the Heat starter, the Melbourne lineup couldn't break through in a complete game shutout performance from Vasquez in the Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat's 3-0 victory at Barbagallo Ballpark this evening.

What was a beautiful night for baseball, 1507 Heat fans flocked into Barbagallo Ballpark to witness the awarding of Championship Rings to the members of the Heat's 2011/2012 squad. The fans were treated to a masterful performance from Vasquez whose nine shutout innings moved him to a 2-0 record for the season with a minuscule 0.56 ERA while striking out nine Aces batters. It would be Vasquez' second straight complete game at Barbagallo Ballpark coming off a one-run effort in the 2012 Championship Series also against the Aces.

The Heat were silenced early by a strong performance from the Aces Starter Kevin Reese, but a two-run RBI double in the bottom of the fourth from Allan de San Miguel would be the difference in the game. Some impressive small ball fundamentals from Luke Hughes started of the fourth for the Heat, getting on with a bunt to third baseman Darryl George. Hughes continued to put pressure on the Aces infield, narrowly beating catcher Liam Bedford's throw to steal second base. Carter Bell would walk and de San Miguel would capitalise driving a ball to the centrefield wall for a two-out, two-run double. Michael Ohlman nearly drove in de San Miguel on his second hit of the night, but de San Miguel was thrown out at the plate thanks to an outstanding throw from right fielder Carlo Tesla.

Vasquez was full of praise for Allan De San Miguel who was calling the shots all night from behind the plate. "The first pitch strikes worked really well for me today. With de San back there I really don't have to think as a pitcher. He's a great hitter and he really understood what the Aces were thinking. He called the game all night as I only shook him off twice but even then I was questioning myself!"

"The Aces are a tough team." Continued Vasquez. "They have a strong lineup of Aussie bats but we have a strong team as well and we really went out there to win tonight and the three runs would be all we would need thankfully."

Heat manager Steve Fish was full of praise for the Heat battery that played such a big contribution to the win tonight. With his starting pitcher throwing a no hitter into the sixth inning, Fish was dreaming big for opening night in Perth. "I was really hoping we could have a dog pile on Vasquez if he could throw a no hitter. Although he gave up that hit in the sixth inning he came back and he was the same Zen Master as he's always been."

"de San knows these guys really well across the league." Continued Fish. "He goes out there and can call a great game as he knows every single one of these hitters inside out"

de San Miguel echoed his manager's sentiment while signing autographs for Heat fans after the game. "Yeah I have a pretty good idea of these guys, I've seen them a lot over the years and been around this league a long time, so I'm pretty familiar the Australians, especially players such as Harman and Huber."

"I was just looking for a ball up in the zone" said de San Miguel on his RBI Double. "Reese made a mistake which I shot into the gap and I'm glad we were able to score on it."

The Heat look to continue their perfect start to the season tomorrow night with Anthony Claggett on the mound going against the Aces Japanese import Hirotaka Koishi. Tickets for the game are available through perthheat.com.au/tickets

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