ADELAIDE, JANUARY 6 - It was a warm night and the Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks, kept the heat on the Canberra ELITE Cavalry with an 8-3 win to draw level in second place on the ABL standings.
A five-run first inning at the Adelaide Shores Baseball Complex set up a thrilling game as the Bite rebounded from an early deficit to power ahead on two big innings.
Angus Roeger was one of the stars with two hits and two RBIs while 16-year-old Jack O'Loughlin (3-2, 3.16) pitched another winning performance in his impressive rookie season.
Meanwhile, stand-in manager, Chris Adamson, was at the helm for his third win in five games and is thrilled to have several wins under his belt already under some testing conditions.
"Ït's been an awesome experience and there's obviously still a lot to learn but it's great to have a bit of experience at the top," Adamson said.
"I thought the guys swung their bats really well and they have for pretty much the majority of the year."
"We just haven't had a whole lot of luck when we've been playing here with different weather elements which has made it difficult."
Earlier, Mike Reeves drove in one of his two RBIs to open the scoring in the first inning, but it was Adelaide who bounced back emphatically and capitalised on a series of Canberra errors.
Boss Moanaroa let a ball sneak through his legs at first which saw Josh Altmann score Jordan Cowan to level the game, before Stefan Welch kept the momentum going with a deep centre field double.
Now leading 3-1, Welch scored to increase the margin through Marcus Greene Jr's RBI, and O'Loughlin supported the offense with nine straight strikeouts to keep the score at 4-1.
The early onslaught was pleasing for Adamson as it also dug into Canberra's bullpen early in the series.
"To get into their bullpen in night one was pretty important," he said.
"Tacking on runs when we can is really good and the weather has been a factor which has skewed the way we score runs but we were really aggressive and swung the bats hard."
Some Aussie domination, and specifically Mitch Dening domination, saw Adelaide push further ahead with a RBI double in the seventh kicking off another scoring spree.
Up 5-2, Josh Altmann reached on a hit pitch to double the pressure on Canberra's bullpen and the runs kept coming when Angus Roeger's double beat the outstretched glove of Josh Almonte in right field to put Adelaide further ahead at 7-2.
A sacrifice fly by Cowan was erased by a DJ Davis solo home run as Canberra added a late highlight, but at 8-3 Matt Williams (Hold, 3) and Hei-Chun Lee struck out four in three innings to secure the opening win ahead of a 40 degree doubleheader.
"If we can be efficient when we're on defense and when we're pitching so we're not spending too much time on the field, that would be the perfect scenario," Adamson said.
Both teams at 13-12, and 6.5 games behind leaders Melbourne, heading into Saturday's doubleheader which sees Zach Cooper start against Sean Guinard at 4PM, and Steven Chambers against Louis Cohen at 7PM, live on ABLtv.com.