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Sox top Champs in Season Opener
Kandilas and Oeltjen lead offensive explosion
10/31/2014 6:27 PM ET
Sydney outfielder David Kandilas had 4 RBI in his return to the Blue Sox
Sydney outfielder David Kandilas had 4 RBI in his return to the Blue Sox (SMP Images)

PERTH, 31 October - The Sydney Blue Sox got their 2014-15 ABL season off to a great start in Western Australia, beating the defending champion Alcohol Think Again Perth Heat 9-4 Friday night. Craig Anderson put in six strong innings on the mound for the win and outfielders David Kandilas and Trent Oeltjen combined for seven RBI to pace the Blue Sox attack.

Perth starter Shawn Sanford got into trouble in the second inning when a one out walk to Will Swanner was compounded by a fumbled flip to first base allowing Zach Shepherd to reach base. Josh Dean then opened the Blue Sox 2014-15 account with a RBI double to left. Guy Edmonds beat out an infield single to bring home Shepherd before Trent D'Antonio was was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Trent Oeltjen cleared the bases, ripping a three RBI double down the right field line and giving Sydney an early 5-0 lead.

In the fourth inning the Sox loaded the bases again with back-to-back two out walks to Trent D'Antonio and Tyler Bortnick and a single by Trent Oeltjen. Kandilas capitalised on the opportunity, lining a triple to the right field wall giving the Blue Sox a 8-0 lead.

Meanwhile starter Craig Anderson put in his typical fantastic performance that made him a former ABL pitcher of the year, allowing just three runs on five hits while striking out five over six innings and picking up his first win of the season. The only blip on a fine outing came in the bottom of the fourth as the reigning champs got on the scoreboard thanks to a Home Run from Tim Kennelly and a two RBI double to Jordan McDonald.

 Despite being outhit 10-7 by the Heat, the Blue Sox showed great patience at the plate, picking up a whopping nine walks including a bases loaded walk to David Kandilas leading to Sydney's ninth run in the eighth inning. Aaron Sookee, Dae Sung Koo and Wayne Lundgren all had good performances out of the bullpen and secured a 9-4 Sydney victory.

The series continues Saturday with a double header at Barbagallo Ballpark. Game 2 will see German import Markus Solbach make his Blue Sox debut against Brian Baker at 4:05 AWST. Game 3 will pit Luke Wilkins move into the Sydney rotation against Cameron Lamb.

The Blue Sox Home opener is on Thursday the 13th of November against the Canberra Elite Cavalry, go to www.sydneybluesox.com.au/tickets or call (02) 9675 6872 to get your tickets now!

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