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Clark's big night continues Bandits' strong start
Catcher drives Brisbane offence in opener win at Adelaide
11/22/2012 11:20 PM ET
Hirotoshi Onaka had two hits and a run scored on Thursday.
Hirotoshi Onaka had two hits and a run scored on Thursday. (Joosep Martinson / SMP Images)
ADELAIDE, 22 November - Cody Clark drove in four runs on a three-hit night, Justin Staatz pitched a solid five innings in his start, and the Brisbane Bandits continued their strong beginning 2012/13 with a 6-2 series-opening win over the Adelaide Bite at Norwood Oval on Thursday night.

Clark and the Bandits struck their decisive charge in a four-run third inning that proved to be the difference early. Against Adelaide starter Dushan Ruzic, Brisbane sent eight men to the plate in their big dig with Brad Dutton driving home the night's first run on an RBI groundout to give his team a 1-0 lead. After an error by Bite shortstop Jeremy Cresswell kept the inning alive and brought home another Brisbane run, Clark singled to right with runners at second and third, scoring both and opening up a 4-0 Bandits lead.

Brisbane built the margin to 6-0 with two more RBI off the bat of Clark in the fifth. The catcher, who spent this season in Triple-A with the Kansas City Royals organisation in the States, drove a double to center, bringing in Hirotoshi Onaka and Josh Roberts to cap the Bandits' scoring. Ruzic (0-1) yielded all six runs, though just three went as earned, on five hits over five innings.

Staatz (1-2) earned his first victory of the season by pitching effectively through into the sixth, the last three full innings of his day with the lead. Brisbane's right-hander ran into trouble in his final frame, during which the first four Bite batters reached and Nathan Melendres scored on a Ethan Paquette single to get Adelaide onto the board. Staatz exited in favour of his bullpen, and though one more run went charged to his account in the inning to make it 6-1, Brisbane's relievers closed the door.

Steven Chambers (H, 1) and Rhys Niit combined to allow just one hit and no runs over the game's final four innings, combining to walk one and strike out one. On the Adelaide side, Indian-born left-handed reliever Rinku Singh continued his dominant start to the season, tossing two scoreless frames out of the bullpen to keep his ERA at a perfect 0.00 through three outings.

The Bandits turn to their 2012/13 ace Chris Smith in Friday's second game of this four-game set before a Saturday doubleheader. Smith (2-0, 0.69) will oppose Adelaide's Pittsburgh Pirates import Zac Fuesser who was brilliant in Round Three, tossing six scoreless innings at Melbourne in his first win of the year. First pitch for Friday night at Norwood Oval is set for 7pm CT.

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