SYDNEY, 27 December - The Adelaide Bite proudly supported by SA Power Networks (13-14) used a 16-hit attack to defeat the Sydney Blue Sox (14-13) by a score of 9-7 on Thursday night at Blacktown International Sportspark in game one of a four-game series.
In a game that featured 16 runs, 10 unearned runs, 25 hits, 20 strikeouts and six errors, the Bite scored eight of their nine runs by the fifth inning, mounting a lead too large for a Sox comeback.
"Tonight was definitely not the way we wanted to start the series," Blue Sox manager Jason Pospishil said. "Ox didn't have his best stuff and we didn't play great defensively, but Adelaide came out and swung the bats really well."
Round Eight Delta Air Lines Player of the Week Ji-Man Choi continued his hot streak for Adelaide, blasting a two-run home run to right field in the top of the first inning for a 2-0 Adelaide advantage. However, in the bottom of the second, Sydney came back for a two-run lead of its own. After Boss Moanaroa drove in the first run on a groundout, Trent D'Antonio launched a three-run home run just inside the right field foul pole to put the home side on top 4-2.
Adelaide bounced back with three runs in the top of the third for a 5-4 lead, but Sydney evened the game in the bottom half of the frame when Geoff Klein ripped a double to right field, scoring Mitch Dening.
After trading runs in the fourth inning for a 6-6 ballgame, Adelaide squeaked ahead in the fifth inning with two runs. Dening countered with his fourth home run of the season for Sydney, a solo shot, in the bottom of the sixth to keep the deficit at one run at 8-7.
Adelaide tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning, closing the scoring at 9-7 as the Sox went quietly over the final four innings.
Andrew Kittredge (3-0) picked up the win for the Bite, tossing two innings in relief and surrendering just one hit. Richard Olson earned his first save of the campaign with a perfect ninth. Brad Thomas (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing two runs (none earned) on seven hits in three innings of relief. Neither starting pitcher fared well, as Chris Oxspring allowed a season-high six runs (three earned) over four innings, striking out eight for Sydney. For the Bite, Zach Fuesser gave up seven runs (three earned) on four walks and six hits in four innings.
Six Bite players tallied multi-hit games, with Melendres and Choi driving in two runs apiece. For the Blue Sox, D'Antonio, Dening and Klein all finished with two hits.
The Blue Sox and Bite return to action tomorrow night for game two of their four-game series. Left-hander Craig Anderson (4-1, 1.90 ERA) will be the starting pitcher for Sydney, while righty Seon-Gi Kim (1-0, 4.15 ERA) starts for Adelaide. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Blacktown International Sportspark.