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Aces silence big Brisbane crowd in victory
Wearne blasts two-run homer to snap tie
12/30/2012 10:23 AM ET
Scott Wearne hit Melbourne's game-winning home run Friday night.
Scott Wearne hit Melbourne's game-winning home run Friday night. (Scott Powick / SMP Images)
BRISBANE, 29 December - The Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces showed a glimpse on Saturday night of what they need to dig their way out of the ABL standings basement: strong pitching, finishing off offensive opportunities, and at last, a little bit of luck.

In a tight game dominated by pitching, starters Adam Blackley for Melbourne and Ryan Searle for the Brisbane Bandits butted heads in a pitching duel, each throwing five shutout innings then each giving up three earned runs in the sixth, and neither featuring in the result.

The record RNA crowd of 2056 saw the Aces break through first in the 6th, stringing together singles, including RBIs from Josh Davies and Scott Wearne, to take a three-run lead.

Brisbane equalised in the bottom of the 6th, all with two outs: Josh Roberts was hit by a pitch, then Cody Clark's first base hit of the series advanced him, and C.J. Beatty walked to load the bases. Relief pitcher Andrew Russell then hit Ryan Battaglia to gift Brisbane their first run. A broken-bat single to short from Carlos Alonso scored Clark and a hustling Beatty.

Alonso was the only Bandit to touch a base again on the night, with a single in the 9th before a game-ending double play.

The winning runs came in the 8th inning, courtesy of a two-run rocket over the right field fence by Wearne (2 for 4, 4RBI) off reliever Kouhei Maso who wore the loss in his first appearance for the Bandits. Other Ace bats to come alive were Carlo Testa (3 for 5) and Davies (2 for 4, 1 RBI).

Cameron Forbes took the win with his three shutout innings (one hit and four strikeouts) to close out the match.

Three Brisbane fielding errors did not lead to Melbourne runs but helped keep the momentum in the Aces' favour.

Brisbane lead the series 2-1. The final game is at 1pm Sunday Brisbane time.

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