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Bandits Rally for a New Years Series Split
Bite and Bandits tally 18 home runs in the final series of 2016
12/31/2016 4:48 AM ET

Game 3

AFA Stadium at Holloway Field continues to shine as one of the more hit-friendly ballparks in the Australian Baseball League.

The Brisbane Bandits, proudly presented by WellDog, tallied 16 hits in route to their 13-10 win over the SA Power Networks Adelaide Bite in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader.

The Bandits' bats were hot right out of the gate. Sporting his new Nova Bat, Aaron Whitefield drove a leadoff solo shot over the center field wall, giving the Bandits a quick 1-0 lead.

Whitefield was 2-for-4 with two home runs and a walk Saturday afternoon.

Three batters later, Donald Lutz stepped into the box and delivered a two run home run, extending the lead, 3-0.

Lutz was 3-for-3 with two RBI's and a walk in Game 3, skyrocketing his batting average to an impressive .382.

Brisbane tacked on four more runs into the fourth-inning, taking a 7-3 lead.

Adelaide refused to let Brisbane get comfortable. The brutal combination of Josh Altmann, Stefan Welch, Marcus Greene Jr. and LeDarious Clark generated five runs in the top-of-the-fifth, leveling the game at seven runs apiece.

Brisbane answered the threat in fashion, with a David Rodriguez single in the bottom-of-the-sixth to score Logan Wade and Donald Lutz. Wade Dutton followed suit on an RBI line drive to left field and David Sutherland finished the job, doubling to center field and scoring Rodriguez and Dutton to extend the lead, 13-7.

Sutherland has found a groove in this Adelaide series, going 3-for-4 with three RBI's and a run in Game 3.

The Bite's final shot in the seven-inning game was kept alive by Jordan McArdle. The first baseman's three run home run in the top-of-the-seventh was the final glimmer of hope in Game 3.

Ryan Searle secures his first win of the season and maintains an impressive 0.73 ERA.


Game 4

The final game of 2016 carried the story of the series, delivering more hits and more runs.

Over the four-game homestand at AFA Stadium at Holloway Field, 18 home runs, 102 hits and 75 runs were recorded.

In the Bandits Game 4 win over the Adelaide Bite, 13-5, the Bandits tallied 17 hits, a statistic that Head Coach David Nilsson couldn't help but acknowledge.

"They swung the bats all weekend and again, just shows their character and it just keeps moving things forward for us which is what we really needed," Nilsson said.

The home squad put on a flurry of entertainment in the bottom-of-the-first, recording five runs for an early 5-0 lead over the Bite.

Donald Lutz reached first base on a throwing error and ignited the storm in the first, scoring Aaron Whitefield and moving Mitch Nilsson to second base.

Whitefield went out in 2016 with a bang. On top of his two hits including two home runs in Game 3, the center fielder went 4-for-5 with three RBI's, three runs, including a home run.

A trio of singles from Thomas Milone, David Rodriguez and Wade Dutton added three more runs to the Bandits' side, before Connor MacDonald's sacrifice fly added the fifth and final run of the inning.

MacDonald's offencive production Saturday mirrors the performance baseball fans saw in the U23 Baseball World Cup. The first baseman was 3-for-4 with two RBI's and a run in Game 4.

Just one inning later, Adelaide responded. Connor O'Gorman drove a three run home run over the right center field wall off of Brisbane's Daniel Nilsson to tighten the game to a one run margin. The ensuing inning, Stefan Welch tied the game at five with an RBI single to center field.

The success at the dish was far from over for the Bandits, as Brisbane tallied six more runs in the third and fifth innings. The Bandits extended the lead in the bottom-of-the-seventh, 13-5, with Logan Wade's single to right field, scoring Ryan Battaglia and Aaron Whitefield. The continued offencive production did not extend over to Adelaide's side, as Rick Teasley came in from the bullpen and silenced all production at the plate; a blueprint that was perfected in the eyes of David Nilsson.

"That was what we planned. He was always going to be coming in Game 4 for us and giving us some extended innings and it worked out perfect. We gave him a bit of a rest from these last few weeks to try and fresh him up and I think we saw the benefit of that tonight," Nilsson said.

Teasley dealt nine strikeouts and allowed just five hits and one walk over 5.1 innings pitched.

The Bandits will enjoy a few days of rest before heading to Melbourne next week. The Aces open a four game homestand against the Bandits on Thursday, the 5th of January, at 6:00 p.m. AEST.

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