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Heat exit Round Eight in unfamilar place: second
Series split knocks Perth from top spot in ABL
12/23/2012 6:24 PM ET
Josh Cakebread (6), Stefan Welch (22), and the Bite celebrate.
Josh Cakebread (6), Stefan Welch (22), and the Bite celebrate. (Ryan Schembri / SMP Images)
ADELAIDE, 23 December - In a seesawing affair, the Adelaide Bite committed the Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat to second place for the first time in over a year, winning the series finale 5-4 to set up a tantalising first-versus-second clash between Perth and Canberra next weekend.

With an injury to Scott Mitchinson, Adam Millson (0-1, 6.52) got the nod from Steve Fish to start game four. Millson got through the first two innings easily as the Heat raced out of the blocks in the second inning, but despite four singles from the Heat, only one run would score. Carter Bell drove in Michael Ohlman but the Heat wasted their other opportunity with Josh McGee being thrown out at the plate on an Aaron Bonomi single.

The Bite were relentless against the Heat's pitching, scoring in four straight innings between the 3rd and 6th inning. With two runs in the third, the Bite took the lead behind Ji Man Choi's two run single that scored Cakebread and Cresswell. The Heat were able to square the ledger twice with runs in the 4th and 5th inning, however the Bite never allowed the Heat to get comfortable with Choi doing the damage again with a solo shot in the fifth.

Trailing by two runs in the ninth, the Heat knew they had to rally to remain in first over Christmas. A single to Bonomi and a David Amberson walk put the Heat in a good position with only one out, and de San Miguel came through with the goods to score Bonomi on a single to right. Michael Olhman managed some good cuts on the ball with some long foul balls, however Andrew Kittredge composed himself and got Ohlman swinging at strike three to secure the split for the home side.

Dushan Ruzic (2-2, 3.99) did enough for the win with a decent five innings, however the Bite bullpen can claim plenty of the credit allowing only one run through the final four innings as Jason Daniels and Richard Olson picked up a Hold each and Kittredge collected his fifth save of the season.

Heading into Christmas, the league standings have never been so evenly poised, with the Cavalry and Heat trading places and the Sydney Blue Sox doing enough against Melbourne to remain within 2.5 games of top spot. All eyes will turn to Barbagallo Ballpark this weekend as the Heat host the first of the back to back series between the top two sides. With the Cavalry winning eight of their last ten games, they will be fired up heading back to the ground where they upset the Heat with a 3-1 series win last year.

Tickets will be hard to come by for the matchup, so log in to the Perth Heat Tickets page to snare up a last minute Christmas present for what will be an action packed weekend at Barbagallo Ballpark!

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