There are going to be a couple close games between the Bite and the Blue Sox over the next two weeks, as Adelaide and Sydney started their home-and-home series that concludes in the New Year.
The Bite were met with a tall task early in this series, as they were opposed by Sydney starter Chris Oxspring - owner of two Delta Player of the Week awards and a sub 2.00 ERA. However, Adelaide didn't waste any time going after the right-hander as Ben Lodge's double in the first inning was followed by Ji-Man Choi's fifth homerun of the season and second in as many games.
The two run-cushion quickly flipped into Sydney's hands as a Josh Cakebread throwing error prolonged the bottom of the second inning - allowing Trent D'Antonio to smack a three-run homerun to put the Blue Sox on top. Normally, any sort of lead is enough for the veteran Oxspring, yet Adelaide kept chipping away as two triples and double in the top of the next inning helped the Bite regain the lead in this seesaw battle.
The two teams would trade runs for the next inning and a half, until Adelaide was able to knock Oxspring out of the match in the top of the fifth inning - his shortest stint this season. Yet, Oxspring's departure opened the door for another former Major League hurler in the form of lefty Brad Thomas. Oxpring, who pitched for the San Diego Padres, and Thomas, a reliever for the Detroit Tigers, are just two Blue Sox with MLB pedigree.
Show experience or not, Angus Roeger welcomed Thomas to the game with a lead-off single to left. With two outs in the inning, an errant throw by Thomas on a bunt attempt by Cakebread allowed Roeger to score and give the Bite a one-run lead. Jeremy Cresswell subsequently followed with a single to score Cakebread.
A Mitch Dening homerun in the bottom of the fifth helped to knock out Bite starter Zac Fuesser who left after four innings. Fuesser was charged with seven runs against, yet only three of them were earned, as errors helped run up the scoreline. The lefty starter gave way to right-hander Dushan Ruzic, who pitched two innings of two-hit ball.
Bite reliever Andrew Kittredge would follow Ruzic with two scoreless innings of his own, while another Sydney throwing error in the top of the eighth inning gave Adelaide another insurance run. With a two-run lead, Adelaide called Richard Olson to close the door on Game One. Olson's perfect ninth was good for his first save of the season - coincidentally coming against his former team.
All in all it was an extremely productive day offensively for the Bite as six of the Bite's nine starters recorded multi-hit games, including three hits by Cakebread and outfielder Nathan Melendres - who returned to the Bite's lineup after a two-series absence nursing a knee injury.
The Bite will send out right-hander Seon-Gi Kim (1-0, 4.15 ERA) to oppose Blue Sox left-hander Craig Anderson (4-1, 1.90 ERA) in tomorrow night's Game Two matchup. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Blacktown International Sportspark.