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Bandits Glide Past Canberra in Game 2
The Brisbane Bandits cruise past Canberra Cavalry, 8-3
11/18/2016 1:20 AM ET
 

An action packed bottom-of-the-seventh provided all of the ammo necessary for the Brisbane Bandits, proudly presented by WellDog, to secure Game 2 of the Opening Series over the Canberra Elite Cavalry.

Due to a number of crucial defensive mistakes by the Cavalry, including a fielding error, wild pitch and a balk, the Bandits capitalized on their opportunities by plating three runs over two Cavalry pitchers. Canberra totaled an astounding five errors on the night.

Aaron Whitefield ignited the flames in the bottom-of-the-seventh, scoring Logan Wade and Mitch Nilsson on a ground ball to center field. Then, on a crucial balk call on Brodie Vassalakis, Canberra walked in another run for the Bandits, edging the gap, 5-2.

Mitch Nilsson continues his hot start in his seventh season with the Bandits. The second-baseman went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, three runs and two walks.

Nilsson's production at the plate comes at no surprise to Head Coach David Nilsson.

"He's on the upscale, had a great offseason in Czech and he's been playing really well in club baseball. His swing is getting better every year and he feels like he's a big part of this team and is playing really well right now," Nilsson said.

Nilsson led an offensively jam-packed bottom-of-the-fourth. He connected for a leadoff homerun and Kevin Padlo quickly followed with a single to right field.

The Tampa Bay Rays prospect is proving to be a crucial bat in the Bandits' lineup. The third baseman went 2-for-5 with a run.

The middle of the lineup continued to drive momentum as David Sutherland followed suit with a double to advance Padlo to third base. With an infield hit by Aaron Whitefield, the bases were loaded and a costly error by Canberra's Scott Kelly dealt Brisbane a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning.

Whitefield hasn't missed a beat since the U23 World Cup in Mexico. The left-fielder went 2-for-5 with three RBIs tonight.

"He's had a good 12 months. He grew up a lot playing here last year, being a role player and had a successful first year with the Twins. A great Under 23 campaign, so he's living in the clouds right now and we're just feeding off his energy," Nilsson said.

Justin Erasmus is a prime example of someone who is feeding off of Whitefield's energy. In his 2016 debut, the right-hander worked fast and looked comfortable, dealing four strikeouts over five innings. It's a look tha's all too familiar to Nilsson.

"It was a lot like Teasley's outing, he threw really good, got to that fifth inning and got a little tired, but that's a part of the start of the season. He worked hard and they just put a good swing on a pitch for a two-run home run. But he threw really well, I couldn't ask for more," Nilsson said.

It didn't take long for Canberra to respond in the top-of-the-fifth. Kyle Perkins found his pitch and sent it flying to right-center field scoring Robbie Perkins and tying the game at two.

It took the Cavalry three more innings to generate some production at the dish. With the bases loaded in the top-of-the-eighth, Nilsson called for Ryan Searle to replace Matt Timms on the mound.

Searle allowed one run off an Aaron Sloan RBI single to center field, but silenced the Canberra dugout with two strikeouts to end the inning.

The Bandits continued to grind in the bottom-of-the-eighth. Tommy Milone's leadoff triple put Brisbane in scoring position yet again. With contributions from Logan Wade, Mitch Nilsson and Aaron Whitefield, the Bandits extended their lead, 8-3.

All it took was three strikeouts from Ryan Searle to dea the veteran closer his second straight save. Rhys Niit also claimed his first win of the season.

The Bandits and Cavalry are back in action Saturday, the 19th of November, for Game 3 of the Opening Series. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at AFA Stadium at Holloway Field.

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