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Bite beat league-leading Aces, again
01/19/2017 5:37 AM ET
Max MacNabb, pictured here from last week's start against Perth, pitches five strikeouts in an away win over Melbourne.
Max MacNabb, pictured here from last week's start against Perth, pitches five strikeouts in an away win over Melbourne. (Ryan Schembri / SMP Images / ABL Media)

MELBOURNE, JANUARY 19 - The Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks, stunned the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces, taking a 4-1 win in their series opener at Melbourne Ballpark.

With Mark Hamburger dominating for the home side, it looked like the Aces would take the win in a tight affair, however a dogged performance from starter Max MacNabb and Jordan Cowan caused the late upset.

The Aces scored first as Brad Harman blasted a solo home run as Melbourne peppered the field with some early hits in the opening innings.

Adelaide, meanwhile, struggled early on against former Texas Rangers pitcher, Mark Hamburger, who kept the Bite hitless until the fourth inning, while striking out eight across nine full innings for the night.

Finding his groove, Mitch Dening had three of Adelaide's first four hits, and while he ultimately did not get a run or RBI on the board, his consistency kept the Bite feeling positive.

Momentum finally swung Adelaide's way in the top of the ninth as Jordan Cowan plucked a lead-off single, before Dening followed suit with a base hit.

With Josh Altmann making a connection, all three players survived an attempted double play with Cowan scoring as Altmann collected the RBI, while Dening escaped a tag on a Harman throwing error. A double play followed soon after, though, and Dening was stranded at third with the game tied 1-1.

With the late run on the board, Matt Williams (W, 4-2, 4.80) kept the Aces quiet as he backed up Max MacNabb's stirring start. Pitching seven innings, MacNabb threw five hits and one run with five strikeouts, while he did not give up a single walk to hold his own against Hamburger.

As the game went into extra innings, the Aces sent in Kansas City Royals pitcher, Peter Moylan, to keep the Bite at bay and while Marcus Greene Jr collected a single, the Bite could not press their advantage in the 10th.

Williams, meanwhile, pitched three scoreless innings and his national team experience showed, before the Bite offense backed up their star pitchers.

The 11th inning saw international speed up rules brought in, with Karl Hoschke starting at second base and Connar O'Gorman first, and Cowan crushed a RBI double to right field to give Adelaide the lead for the first time.

Against former Bite pitcher, Josh Tols (L, 3-2, 2.29), Jordan McArdle put another two runs to Adelaide's lead with the 18-year-old rookie smacking his sixth double of the season with a blast through centre field.

Leading 4-1, Loek van Mil was brought in to complete the comeback and the closer did just that, pitching his seventh save of the season in a flawless finish.

The win was Adelaide's (17-16) fourth against league-leaders Melbourne (24-9) this season and it gives them a 1-0 series lead ahead of Friday's clash.

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