SYDNEY, 28 December - James Robbins starred as the Sydney Blue Sox (15-13) defeated the Adelaide Bite proudly supported by SA Power Networks (13-15) on Friday night at Blacktown International Sportspark, 3-2.
Sydney's designated hitter went 2-for-4, driving in a run on both hits, each with two out. The lefty delivered the winning run, pounding a double to left field in the bottom of the eighth.
Robbins performance was built on the fantastic work of the Blue Sox pitching staff. Starter Craig Anderson (5-1) picked up the win giving up only five hits and two runs (one earned) over eight innings. Closer Matt Williams defended the Sox lead in the ninth, collecting his league-leading 10th save.
"Robbins two clutch RBIs were critical," Blue Sox manager Jason Pospishil said "Ando showed great command of all four pitches tonight, and allowed our offence to fire."
The Bite opened the scoring in the second inning, as Angus Roeger scored on a double play. Sydney retaliated in the fifth, when catcher Geoff Klein blasted his first home run in Australia over the left field fence.
Both teams added runs in the sixth, with Ben Lodge scoring for the South Australians on a sacrifice fly from Roeger. In the bottom of the frame, after stealing second base, Sydney's Zach Penprase was driven in by Robbins to tie the game 2-2.
After a scoreless eighth inning, Sydney broke the deadlock to lead 3-2. Adelaide's Jason Daniels walked Trent D'Antonio, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. The Bite then brought in Wilson Lee, who intentionally walked Mitch Dening to set up the force play with two out. Robbins then crushed an RBI-double to chalk up the go-ahead run for Sydney.
Adelaide's Jason Daniels (0-1) was tagged with the loss, giving up two runs and a walk in 1 2/3 innings pitched.
The Sydney Blue Sox and the Adelaide Bite do battle again tomorrow in game three at Blacktown International Sportspark. Tim Cox (1-2, 4.40 ERA) gets the start for Sydney while Paul Mildren (1-4, 4.85 ERA) starts for Perth. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m.