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Home sweet home: Sox return with blowout
Oxspring sets new strikeout mark in victory
01/11/2013 5:39 AM ET
Sydney's Jason Pospishil (l) greets Mitch Dening after Dening's HR.
Sydney's Jason Pospishil (l) greets Mitch Dening after Dening's HR. (Joe Vella / SMP Images)
SYDNEY, 10 January - Scoring 13 runs on 13 hits, the Sydney Blue Sox (19-16) rode an eight-run sixth inning to a 13-3 win over the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces (13-22) in the first game of a four-game series Thursday night at Blacktown International Sportspark.

Lost in all of Sydney's runs was the performance of Chris Oxspring (4-1) who earned the win, allowing three runs on seven hits in seven innings. The former Major Leaguer struck out six, and in the process set the league's single-season record for strikeouts in a season. The right-hander broke his old record of 71, finishing the night with 75.

Trailing 3-2 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, Sydney sent 13 men to the plate in the eight-run frame. Mitch Dening tied the game with an RBI-single and then three batters later with the bases loaded, Boss Moanaroa singled home a pair of runs for Sydney's first lead of the game at 5-3. Two batters after that, Trent D'Antonio crushed a pitch over the right field wall for a three-run dinger and an 8-3 lead. The scoring didn't stop there for Sydney, as James Robbins singled with the bases loaded, scoring two more and ending the inning at 10-3.

"I thought it was nice to see some guys come through who had been scuffling a bit," Blue Sox manager Jason Pospishil said. "Boss came up with a big hit, I thought Kleiner swung the bat well and it was nice to see the guys back Ox with run support."

The teams each scored a single run in the third and the fifth innings, before Melbourne took their final lead of the game with a single run in the top of the sixth inning. After their breakout frame, the Sox tacked on another three runs in the eighth. David Kandilas ripped a double to left field, scoring D'Antonio. Later in the frame, Dening continued the onslaught with a two-run homer to right field, closing the scoring at 13-3.

Dening led the way with a 3-for-5 night and three RBIs, while Kandilas and Geoff Klein each finished with two hits. Every Blue Sox starter registered at least one hit, and D'Antonio contributed four RBIs. Wayne Lundgren and Caleb Cuevas each turned in a scoreless inning in relief for Sydney.

Mitch Hodge (1-1) suffered the loss for Melbourne, allowing six runs in 2/3 of an inning. Kevin Reese started for the Aces, allowing three runs on four hits in five innings of work.

The Blue Sox and Aces return for game two of their four-game series tomorrow when lefty Craig Anderson (5-2, 1.94 ERA) gets the ball for Sydney opposing right-hander John Hussey (2-1, 3.08 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:30pm at Blacktown International Sportspark.

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