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Adelaide bats roar to twinbill sweep of Aces
Bite put up 18 hits in Saturday nightcap
12/09/2012 3:04 AM ET
Nathan Melendres cranked a walk-off homer in Game One on Saturday.
Nathan Melendres cranked a walk-off homer in Game One on Saturday. (Ryan Schembri / SMP Images)
ADELAIDE, 8 December - Nathan Melendres blasted a three-run walk-off home run in the ninth, and the Adelaide Bite roared from behind to take a 5-3 win over the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces in extra innings of their regularly scheduled seven-inning doubleheader opener Saturday evening at Norwood Oval.

The finish to Saturday's first contest was a wild one that followed a stirring conclusion to regulation. Trailing 2-0 heading to the bottom of the seventh, the Bite got their initial heroics from Ben Lodge whose second home run in as many days knotted the score to send the game to extras.

There, in the ninth, Adelaide were down to their last bats again, trailing 3-2 after Shota Nakata doubled in the go-ahead run in the visitors' half of that dig. Following a leadoff strikeout, though, Jeremy Cresswell singled and Lodge walked to set up Melendres.

Adelaide's second baseman made his only hit of the opener count in a big way, lifting the game-winning longball to left field off Melbourne reliever Adam Blackley (1-2), brother of major leaguer Travis.

Andrew Kittredge (1-0) vultured the win, picking up his first victory of the season despite being in line for the loss after allowing Melbourne's run in the top of the ninth.

The Aces started quickly in this contest, with Elliot Biddle's two-run first-inning homer staking them to a 2-0 lead. Biddle was Melbourne's only performer with multiple hits in the game, going 2-for-4 in the loss.

It appears the Adelaide Bite are coming alive. One night after setting a season-high with a 10-run outburst, Adelaide exploded at the bat in Saturday's nightcap, recording 18 runs on 21 hits to crush the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces 18-1 and set up a shot at a series sweep come Sunday.

After needing late-inning heroics in the first game of their twinbill, the Bite wasted little time taking control of Saturday's nightcap. Adelaide raced out to a 3-0 lead in the second on a three-run homer by reigning Delta Air Lines Player of the Week Angus Roeger. Having added another run in the fourth, the Bite put the game away in the fifth.

Ten players batted and six scored as part of Adelaide's monster inning. Saturday's opener hero Nathan Melendres crushed his second home run of the day, a two-run shot, as the second man to the plate to begin the charge. Roeger, Chris Adamson, and Mathew Smith each contributed RBI hits in the inning, as well, as the rout was on at 10-0 after five.

Melbourne were powerless against Adelaide veteran Paul Mildren (1-3). The former Florida Marlins prospect held the Aces scoreless through his six innings, working around four walks and three hits to keep Melbourne off the board.

Aces starter Sam Gibbons was not as fortunate. Gibbons (2-2) yielded nine runs-all earned-on 10 hits through 4.1 innings pitched in the defeat. Yuta Nakazaki followed suit, surrendering eight tallies on nine hits in 2.2 innings of relief. The rout turned so strongly against Melbourne that outfielder Elliot Biddle finished the game on the mound for the Aces, who didn't want to burn another pitcher in a game so out of hand.

Adelaide scored four times in the seventh and four more in the eighth for the game's final margin. The Bite saw every starter record at least one hit and got seven multi-hit performances from their lineup. Jeremy Cresswell, Ji-Man Choi, Justin Howard, and Smith each had a game-high three hits, and Roeger led the way with four runs batted in. The home team combined to go a jaw-dropping 10-for-24 with runners in scoring position. All but one starter drove in at least one run, as well.

The resurgent Bite moved out of the ABL cellar with their Saturday victories, and they go for a full sweep of this four-game series on Sunday. Adelaide will give the ball to starting pitcher Dushan Ruzic (0-2, 3.63) who will oppose former major leaguer Shane Lindsay (0-0, -.--) making his first start of the season. Sunday's finale is set from 1pm CT.

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