Skip to main content
  • Adelaide Bite
  • Brisbane Bandits
  • Canberra Cavalry
  • Melbourne Aces
  • Perth Heat
  • Sydney Blue Sox
Below is an advertisement.
Bite close Round 11 with series split at Perth
Adelaide get after Heat bullpen to stay in hunt
01/14/2013 1:50 AM ET
Ben Lodge and the Bite stayed in the playoff race on Sunday.
Ben Lodge and the Bite stayed in the playoff race on Sunday. (Theron Kirkman / SMP Images)
PERTH, 13 January - The Adelaide Bite had a great day out on the plate, taking advantage of an unusually off night for the Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat bullpen. Running out 9-4 winners, the Adelaide Bite managed to stay within reach of a playoff spot with an 18-20 record, two games behind the third place Perth Heat.

The game saw the debut of former Chicago White Sox pitcher Sean Tracey, whose first start in Australia had some very promising signs for the Heat. Despite struggling to find the zone early, Tracey settled as his Major League experience showed. With five strikeouts through his five innings, Tracey can be expected to build from a no-decision that allowed three earned runs.

Despite some errors hurting Dushan Ruzic's start, he managed to come out with his third win of the season giving up three earned runs through 5.1 innings. The Heat were aggressive on the basepaths stealing five bases, however Ruzic was able to remain composed with the Heat going 2-12 with runners in scoring position.

Quincy Latimore and Stefan Welch picked up three RBIs each and Jeremy Cresswell went 3-5 in the Bite's win, while Josh McGee continued his good season with two hits and two RBIs for the Heat.

Arriving in Australia only four days prior to his start, Sean Tracey was satisfied with his starting performance today.

"I felt ok. Obviously it wasn't the best of outings but it wasn't terrible either. To get out there for the first time in a couple years and be competitive I can't ask for anything more."

With Perth coming off a hot spell earlier in the week, Tracey was thrown a curve ball of sorts when the weather conditions turned cool and humid for today's game.

"I was acclimated to the warmer weather and then a new weather pattern comes in with more humidity, the breaking ball is breaking more. You're tying to battle the jetlag, no excuses aside, but I felt alright but not at my best. At the end of the day it's something to work on and build off."

With a split, the series result ended in disappointment for both teams. Adelaide failed to gain ground on a playoff spot, while falling back to Brisbane who swept Canberra at home. With the league leaders faltering, the Heat missed a crucial opportunity to capitalise, sitting two games back of the Blue Sox and the Cavalry, who are now tied for first place.

The Heat's defensive woes continued, giving up four in today's game and 12 for the series. With their pitching and offence in good form, Manager Steve Fish couldn't help but wonder what might have been if the Heat could manage their fundamentals.

"It was disappointing. I thought we had a really good chance to win today. We need to do a better job of protecting the baseball as we have made quite a few errors in the last several games. If we play clean baseball we win this game. We just have to keep on working hard and come out tomorrow and learn from the mistakes we made."

The Heat faces the onerous task of heading to Brisbane with the Bandits flying high after a sweep of the seemingly unstoppable Cavalry. Fish is looking forward to continue what was a feisty clash between the two sides in Perth in December.

"It's getting tight now. There's five teams right in it and we control our destiny so we're looking forward to getting on the plane and heading over to Brisbane."

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