SYDNEY, 23 November - An impressive offensive onslaught of eight hits and a dominant Sydney Blue Sox bullpen gave Sydney (5-3) their second consecutive win against the two-time defending league champions 'Alcohol. Think Again' Perth Heat (5-3) Friday night at Blacktown International Sportspark, 4-2.
The Blue Sox broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning when James Robbins tripled to lead off the inning and Shane Benson followed with an RBI-single. Later in the inning, J.D. Williams beat out an infield single to shortstop at first base to score Michael Lysaught all the way from second base, as he never stopped running with two outs to give the Sox a 4-2 advantage.
The Heat wasted no time as they took the lead in the first inning when leadoff hitter Steve Bumbry took Blue Sox starter Craig Anderson deep over the right-field wall for his first home run of the season to give the visitors the lead 1-0.
The Blue Sox took the lead in the fourth inning when a Mitch Dening triple scored Zach Penprase to tie the score at one, which allowed Sox catcher Geoff Klein to give the home side a 2-1 lead with an RBI-single to left field.
The lead was short-lived for Sydney as the Heat tied the score in the very next inning after two fatal mistakes from the Blue Sox defence allowed Heat left-fielder Elliot Hargreaves to reach third and then score after an error from outfielder Trent Schmutter and missed play at first base to score the tying run.
The Sox then handed the ball over to their bullpen to seal the win as the Sydney relievers pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings, with Tim Atherton (1-0) earning the win in his season debut and Matt Williams getting his third save, allowing just one hit in the ninth inning.
"We played another good game," Blue Sox manager Jason Pospishil said. "Anderson pitched really well again, and after giving up the leadoff home run he settled in well." Anderson went 6 1/3 innings, allowing only two runs (one earned) on nine hits while striking out two.
Perth starter Anthony Claggett (2-1) suffered the loss giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and striking out eight.
The two teams will be back in action at 7:30 p.m. at Blacktown International Sportspark Saturday night for game three of the four-game weekend series. Right-hander Vaughan Harris (1-1, 6.00 ERA) will start for Sydney, while righty Scott Mitchinson (0-1, 4.50 ERA) gets the ball for Perth.