A Roman Collins walk-off sacrifice fly in the ninth inning lifted the Jet Courier Melbourne Aces to an unlikely 5-4 come from behind win.
The Blue Sox looked threatening in the seventh inning, plating three to take a 4-1 lead but a three-run rally in the eighth inning from the Aces tied the ballgame at four runs apiece, keeping Mark Hamburger perfect record intact
We were locked in a pitching duel for the early parts of the game, with Mark Hamburger and Trevor Foss on the mound for Melbourne and Sydney respectively. Despite both sides being able to reach base consistently throughout, both starters managed to get out of trouble on a number of occasions.
The Aces bats comfortably outhit the Blue Sox during the early stages of the game. However, their inability to string multiple hits together when it counts left them with just the one run on the scoreboard for the better part of the ballgame.
In the first, a single from Roman Collins and a Mike Walker walk had the Aces with baserunners on first and second with two away. Though an Allan de San Miguel fly out left the baserunners stranded and the home side without a run on the scoreboard.
Liam Bedford hit his first home run of the season (second of his career), giving the Aces an early 1-0 lead in the second inning. Following the home run, the Aces left one stranded after Jared Cruz singled with none out.
After retiring the first seven Blue Sox batters in order, Hamburger allowed his first hit and earned run of the night with a home run to Guy Edmonds, with Edmonds turning on an inside fastball.
Hamburger escaped the fourth inning without conceding a run, leaving two Blue Sox baserunners stranded. While in the fifth the Aces bats were unable to drive Ronald Acuna home, after he singled and stole second only to advance to third on an error from Sydney catcher Trent D'Antonio.
Despite escaping a jam in the fourth, Hamburger was unable to do the same in the seventh. Singles to Tucker Neuhaus, Zac Shepherd and Alex Howe had the Blue Sox with bases loaded and none away. Jacob Younis drove one run home with a sac fly to right field, while a double with two out from D'Antonio had the away side jump to a 4-1 lead.
Shogo Noda entered in relief in the eighth inning, walking Alex Howe to load the bases with two away but a line out from Guy Edmonds brought the inning to a close without the Blue Sox registering a run.
The Aces were able to mount a three-run rally in the eighth inning to tie things up four a piece. With Liam Bedford driving in a run on a single and Jared Cruz recording two RBIs on a triple to center field.
Back-to-back infield singles from Cody Jones and Ronald Acuna brought Roman Collins to the plat who would drive in Jones on a walk-off sac fly to claim game one of the series 5-4.
Mark Hamburger was excellent on the mound for the Aces, though a home run and a three-run seventh inning left the Ace with four earned runs on the night. He allowed eight hits and three walks while striking out eleven batters in 7.2 innings. The eleven strike outs leaves Hamburger five strike outs shy of the five-oh, he currently sits at 45 strike outs following today's start.
Blue Sox starter Trevor Foss pitched seven innings, his longest outing of the season. During which he allowed nine hits, a walk and one earned run while striking out five.
The Aces will back up tomorrow in a double-header against the red hot Blue Sox. First game starts at 5PM with Keisuke Honda set for his last start as an Ace.