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Heat on outside looking in after series finale loss
Bandits control own destiny for postseason
01/20/2013 6:04 PM ET
Josh Roberts and the Bandits kept racing up the ABL ladder with Sunday's win.
Josh Roberts and the Bandits kept racing up the ABL ladder with Sunday's win. (SMP Images)
BRISBANE, 20 January - Six strong innings from Rhys Niit and runs batted in from six different players lifted the Brisbane Bandits to an 8-2 Sunday victory and a series win over the battered Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat, putting Brisbane in control of their own destiny as the ABL's 2012/13 regular season comes down to the wire.

Much like their counterparts from Adelaide, the Bandits rarely looked over their shoulders on Sunday. Brisbane scored twice in the bottom of the first inning and four more times in the fourth to seize an early 6-1 upper hand. Logan Wade doubled in a pair of runs as part of Brisbane's big fourth, and the Bandits were on their way.

Niit (2-0) worked effectively with the lead, turning in a quality start of six innings, two runs on three hits, and six strikeouts against two walks. Perth starter Sean Tracey, on the other hand, wasn't so fortunate. The former major leaguer departed after just three completed innings, having allowed six Bandits runs on seven hits. Tracey (0-1) walked four without issuing a strikeout.

The Bandits were never seriously threatened on Sunday. Save for a brief 2-1 score when Perth touched home in the top of the fourth, the Heat never got to within a tight margin.

After Perth scored twice in the sixth, Brisbane clinched the afternoon affair with a two-spot in the bottom of the eighth. James Albury and Justin Erasmus combined for three scoreless innings of relief.

Brisbane are in search of their first postseason berth in the reborn ABL, and they can clinch that with a good Round 12. The Bandits travel to Sydney, though, where they'll take on a Blue Sox team out for blood after a tough loss to conclude Round 11. The Sox will enter the final season of the year in a tie for first place with Canberra. The Heat return home to Barbagallo Ballpark to take on the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces who are the lone ABL team out of postseason contention as the season winds to its close.

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