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'Ando', efficient offence pace Blue Sox by Bandits
Sydney inch closer to hosting ABLCS
01/25/2013 1:46 AM ET
James Robbins had two doubles and two RBI for the Sox Thursday.
James Robbins had two doubles and two RBI for the Sox Thursday. (Joe Vella / SMP Images)
SYDNEY, 24 January - Behind seven solid innings from Craig Anderson and four players with multi-hit games the Sydney Blue Sox (25-18) defeated the Brisbane Bandits (22-21) by a 6-2 score in the opener of a four-game series Thursday night at Blacktown International Sportspark.

Anderson (8-2) continued his record-breaking season with his eighth win of the campaign, allowing two runs (one earned) in seven innings of work. In 19 2/3 innings against the Bandits this season, the left-hander allowed just two earned runs, picking up two wins. The Sox scored five runs in the third inning, which was more than enough for the veteran pitcher.

"Tonight was vintage Ando," Blue Sox manager Jason Pospishil said. "He kept them off-balance, kept the ball down and, as usual, gave us a great chance to win. For the most part we were clean defensively and the big third inning certainly helped us out."

In the third, the Blue Sox sent 10 men to plate, scoring five runs. With two men aboard, Zach Penprase opened the scoring with a double that short-hopped the right-field wall, scoring both runners. Two batters later, James Robbins recorded a double of his own scoring Penprase. Later in the frame, Geoff Klein and Shane Benson each knocked in a run with a single, propelling the Sox to a 5-0 lead.

The Bandits scored a single run in the fifth and then again in the seventh, but Sydney answered right back in the seventh when Robbins doubled once again, this time scoring Mitch Dening, closing the scoring at 7-2.

With the win and Canberra Cavalry driven by Rolfe Renault loss, Sydney moves back into sole possession of first place with three regular season games remaining. The Blue Sox need just one more win over the course of the weekend to solidify a spot hosting a playoff series.

Penprase, Dening, Robbins and Klein all finished with two hits, combining to go 8-for-16 with five RBIs and four runs scored. Chuck Lofgren (4-3) suffered the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits in five innings. The five runs were the most he had surrendered since 30 November, which came against the Blue Sox.

The Blue Sox and Bandits do battle again Friday when former Major Leaguer Brad Thomas (2-2, 3.13 ERA) takes the ball for Sydney against righty Ryan Searle (3-1, 2.43 ERA) for Brisbane. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Blacktown International Sportspark.

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