A walk-off single from Mike Walker sees the Jet Courier Melbourne Aces win game one over the Brisbane Bandits 4-3 in an instant classic.
It was closer v closer in the ninth inning, with Peter Moylan allowing two straight hits before shutting down the Bandits bats to escape the jam unharmed. While Ryan Searle entered the game in the ninth for the Bandits, allowing a hit to James Beresford before intentionally walking Roman Collins to get to Mike Walker, who was having a dirty night at the plate (0-4 with four strike outs). Though things were different this time around, with Walker hitting the walk-off single, scoring Beresford to secure the win.
The Bandits were the first to hit the scoreboard, capitalising on a shaky first inning from Mark Hamburger to drive in two early runs off four straight hits and a defensive error. Despite being roughed up early by the Bandits bats, Hamburger recovered to finish the night with a season high thirteen strike outs in eight innings of work.
A wild pitch from Bandits starter Jake Ezell in the first inning saw Cody Jones reach home for the Aces first run of the night. While Brisbane managed to add another run in the third inning, with Kevin Padlo scoring on an error from James Beresford.
Ezell conceded a hit and two walks in the second inning but escaped unscathed as the Aces failed to drive in baserunners, leaving the bases loaded. The Aces tied things up in the sixth inning, with Kelii Zablan driving in two runs on a single in his Aces debut.
Mark Hamburger lookalike Zac Treece entered in relief for the Bandits in the third inning, allowing four hits, two walks and two earned runs in five innings of work. Justin Erasmus also made an appearance on the mound, pitching in the eighth before he starts the last game of the series for the Bandits on Sunday.
Aaron Whitefield was impressive in the leadoff spot for Brisbane, one of the young guns of Australian baseball finishing his night 3-5 with a run.
James Beresford and Matthew Zablan both made their season debuts for the Aces, with Beresford finishing 1-4 with a walk. Zablan had a solid debut, walking twice and tying the game up three apiece after driving in two on his only hit of the night.
For the Bandits, Trent Oeltjen finished 1-2 with an RBI and a walk in his season debut.
If Game One was anything to go by we're in for an absolute classic series this weekend against the defending Champions. Jeremy Guthrie is slated to make his first home start when Game Two kicks-off at 7PM tomorrow night.