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Lefty Schmidt leads Heat to opener win
Veteran allows one run, Perth offence comes to life late
10/30/2015 2:22 PM ET
Daniel Schmidt lowered his ERA to 2.25 in Friday's win.
Daniel Schmidt lowered his ERA to 2.25 in Friday's win. (Joe Vella/SMP Images/ABL Media)

SYDNEY -- As the ABL's only two teams to make the Postseason in all five years of league history, the matchup always feels big when the Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat and Sydney Blue Sox battle. In Friday night's series opener, the league's reigning champions proved once more up to the challenge.

Veteran Perth left-hander Daniel Schmidt allowed just one run across six innings, and his offence came to his aid late as the Heat rallied to win their series opener over the Blue Sox, 4-1, at Blue Sox Stadium.

The Sox scratched across the game's first run on Friday when Matthew Smith lifted a two-out RBI single to right field to plate Michael Quesada and give his team the early lead. Sydney were unable to get more off of Schmidt (W, 1-0) who struck out two, walked one, and scattered five hits over the course of his outing.

Sydney starter Wayne Lundgren pitched shutout ball into the sixth when he ran into trouble. Lundgren (L, 0-2) walked Colorado Rockies import Michael Benjamin before allowing a double to Benjamin's Rockies teammate Correlle Prime to put runners at second and third. Allan de San Miguel followed with a two-run single to give the Heat the lead and bring a close to Lundgren's day.

With the lead, Perth added breathing room in the eighth against Sydney reliever Gyoung-Wan Lim. Prime ripped his third double of the day to get the Heat started, and Luke Hughes and Matt Kennelly followed with RBIs later in the inning. Perth batted 15 times with runners in scoring position and registered four hits. The Heat piled up 12 total hits on the night.

Behind Schmidt, the Heat bullpen was flawless. Edgar Valle walked a man but matched it with a strikeout in a hitless seventh inning. Matt Taylor followed with three strikeouts over two hitless frames to earn his first save of the season.

The victory kept Perth in a tie atop the table with Canberra through the first five games of the season. The Heat and Blue Sox hook up for a double dip on Saturday with two games beginning from 3:30 p.m. AET at Blue Sox Stadium.

Perth's Jon Jones (0-1, 12.00) clashes with Sydney's Alex Balog (0-0, 3.00) in the opener with Nick Veale (1-0, 0.00) set to take on Blue Sox veteran Craig Anderson (0-0, -.--) in his season debut in the nightcap. Tickets are on sale now.

Tyler Maun is an ABL staff writer. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun. This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.