ADELAIDE, JANUARY 8 - In the hunt for second place, the Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks, lost its way as the Canberra ELITE Cavalry won 6-1 to claim a 3-1 series win at Adelaide Shores Baseball Complex.
Home ground advantage proved to be no help as the Canberra offence smashed Adelaide with 39 hits to 28 over the four games, and a strong start for returning starter pitcher, Sean Callegari, did not last as they collected eight hits against the Canadian.
Callegari (L, 0-2, 9.72) pitched eight hits, four runs (two earned) and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings, and while the game was tight at 2-1 after four innings, while Nathan van der Linden closed out the game with two strikeouts in three scoreless innings.
Van der Linden said it is always tough when the opposition get clean hits, and pitching does not go to plan.
"We need to hit our spots and just make them swing and hopefully they miss it and just get bad hits," he said.
"If there's a lot of bad hits then there's outs but if they get a good barrel to it it's tough."
The opening run of the game came in the third inning when Scott Kelly singled to reach first, before a pair of stolen bases and a wild throw helped David Kandilas advance Kelly to score.
Hits kept coming for Canberra and by the fifth they had seven on the board and a second run was added as a result with Kandilas blasting a sacrifice fly into foul territory.
A pair of hits to Stefan Welch and Marcus Greene Jr throughout the game could not get the Adelaide offence going for long, but Jordan McArdle's sacrifive fly gave the Bite some hope through five innings.
If there was any momentum for Adelaide it was gone the next inning as Robbie Perkins and River Stevens hit two two-run doubles with perfect placement not giving the fielder's any hope of taking a catch.
Despite loading the bases on three walks by Tyler Herr (W, 1-0, 6.62), a late charge for Adelaide was ended emphatically by Andrew Case, while van der Linden did his best to keep the Bite in the game with a strong performance, but now the focus is on next series.
"Yeah I felt pretty good, just had to keep throwing strikes and luckily I could," van der Linden said.
"We just need to get that game one win on Thursday and get the ball rolling and hopeffuly get some wins, play as team, keep the errors to a minimum and just throw strikes."
With Canberra (16-12) now three games ahead of Adelaide (13-15) a series win against Perth (10-17) will be crucial if they are to have any hope of snatching second, or maintaining third ahead of Brisbane and Sydney.