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Perfect no more: Aces end Heat's unbeaten start
Testa's big night helps Melbourne hand Perth first loss
11/18/2012 10:53 PM ET
Carlo Testa's big night powered Melbourne to a Sunday win.
Carlo Testa's big night powered Melbourne to a Sunday win. (Theron Kirkman / SMP Images)
PERTH, 18 November - Three hits and four RBIs from Carlos Testa capped off a big victory for the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces, winning 12-2 to avoid being swept by the Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat at Barbagallo Ballpark Sunday.

With a five run second and another six in the sixth inning, the Aces were able to capitalise on the Heat's three errors, who allowed seven unearned runs for the day. Trading runs in the first, the Aces got on the board with a leadoff home run from Elliot Biddle to left field. Corey Adamson squared the ledger in the bottom of the inning, walking then stealing his way to third base and scoring on a wild pitch from Sam Gibbons.

Gibbons would show great form from there as the Aces bats gave him plenty of support. Carlos Testa homered in the top of the second to left to score Aaron Sayers and Elliot Biddle as Sayers and Josh Hendriks also picked up RBIs in the inning to put the Aces up 6-1 early.

Initially it seemed nothing would keep the reigning champions down, picking up back to back singles in the bottom of the second. As a rally looked imminent, a deflating double play for Allan De San Miguel ended the threat. An Adam Melker RBI single in the fifth reduced the deficit to four, but the Aces continued to beat up on the Heat's pitching, scoring six runs all from singles and throwing errors from the Heat. Testa and the tail of the Aces order did most of the damage in the end, with Hendriks, Sayers and Shota Nakata having multiple hit games.

After a rough start to the series, Aces manager Phil Dale was happy to be able to get on a plane with a morale boosting win ahead of their clash with the Cavalry next week. "Coming Perth it's great if you can win two games,so if you win one it's almost what you expect. We're 3-3 now and ready to do business next week. We'll only get better this season, when we get to the four game series I think our pitching will come to the fore."

Aces starter Gibbons will play a part in the Aces rotation after today's strong performance. "I felt a little shaky to start. It was good to have I got a few runs in support to back me up," said Gibbons. "It was a big win for the club, especially with what happened here last year. We wanted to make a statement coming to Perth, while one win from three isn't what we were after, today's win was big for us heading into the Canberra series."

With three hits and a home run to his name, Carlos Testa was surprisingly concentrating on a one-in-a-million hit that bounced off a lip in the grass in foul territory that rolled fair and scored Aaron Sayers. "It was great to get three hits today even if one of them was clearly lucky! I don't think I've ever seen one of my hits going clearly foul and end up fair." Said Testa. "I don't know what it hit but it jetted right back. I think there's a plastic thing that outlines the infield - everyone in our dugout, coaches, managers, people who have been in the game for a long time haven't seen anything like that before."

Testa preferred to remain philosophical on his hit, saying he'll use it to help him if he's a little less fortunate later in the season. "I was kind of lucky on that one, but I'll take it though. That's one of those times when it worked out for me so when I line out later this season I'll be able to look back and laugh about it."

After the tough loss, Heat manager Steve Fish was still happy to come out with the series win, preferring that the Heat made all the bad plays in the same game than stretched over the weekend. "I think at some point I think everyone made a mistake during the day, but I think we knocked them all out in one game thankfully."

"I'm really happy with where we are right now." Continued Fish. "The good thing is we have a four game series next week, I think that pitching's a big strength for us and I'm really excited with the four guys we have going out there. Hopefully we can get those four wins when we go to Sydney".

The Heat spends the next two weeks over in the eastern states, with back to back away series in Sydney and Melbourne. In a similar road trip last year, the Heat were able to take eight wins from eight games.

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