The CompassMarkets.com Sydney Blue Sox (10-12) have broken their six-game losing streak, defeating the Jet Courier Melbourne Aces (16-6) by a score of 9-2 in a competitive encounter at Blue Sox Stadium.
Runs were again scored early for Sydney, with the offense kick-started through a three-run first, courtesy of doubles to Stone Garrett and Tucker Neuhaus, the latter going 3-for-4 with two doubles.
The Sox lead was later extended to 8-1 as Trent D'Antonio brought home Jacob Younis in the fifth, after being hit by a pitch in a bases-loaded situation, his second RBI of the night and seventh of the season. Pitcher Matt Wilson managed to prevent the inning escalating, as Malik Collymore popped out to catcher Allan de San Miguel.
Blue Sox Starter Craig Anderson (W, 4-1) was at his clinical best, going 5.0 strong innings, only conceding one run, with three strikeouts.
Just over a week after featuring for Team Australia at the ABL All-Star Game, Anderson was pleased with how the team approached the game and executed accordingly.
"Tonight was exactly what we needed, it was a great overall performance," Anderson said.
"To swing the bats the way we did against that calibre of pitcher was definitely a big plus."
"We can now use that momentum to keep things going."
Vaughan Harris and Todd Grattan pitched well across three innings of relief, allowing just a sole run in the seventh. Back in Blue for the first time this season, Todd Van Steensel found his groove, pitching 1.0 inning with two strikeouts.
Former MLB pitcher, Jeremy Guthrie (L, 0-1) lasted four innings for the Aces in his ABL debut. Guthrie allowed six runs on six hits, whilst striking out one in his outing.
The Blue Sox will send Luke Wilkins (2-2) to the mound for Saturday's New Year's Eve clash. First pitch 6:30pm.
Sydney Blue Sox vs. Melbourne Aces | Blue Sox Stadium
Game 3 - Saturday December 31st 2016 - 6:30pm
Game 4 - Sunday January 1st 2017 - 1:00pm