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Bite one win from playoffs!
01/27/2017 2:38 AM ET
Karl Hoschke drove in three of Adelaide's five runs against Sydney with a timely hit.
Karl Hoschke drove in three of Adelaide's five runs against Sydney with a timely hit. (Ryan Schembri / SMP Images / ABL Media)

ADELAIDE, JANUARY 27 - A strong start has the Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks, one win away from playoffs for a third straight season after a 5-2 win over the CompassMarkets.com Sydney Blue Sox.

Sean Callegari (W, 1-2, 5.87) pitched his best game yet with six hits, one run and seven strikeouts to keep Adelaide well on top, with two superb innings in the first and fifth which saw him strikeout all three Sydney hitters.

Backing up his great form, Adelaide's bats fired early and their defence held firm as the likes of Mitch Dening and LeDarious Clark made thrilling catches at crucial times.

A lead-off walk to Stefan Welch in the second inning started a flurry of hits by Angus Roeger, Marcus Greene Jr. and Jordan McArdle which loaded the bases, with McArdle's hit driving in Adelaide's first run.

With three runners on base, Karl Hoschke, who joined Adelaide during the middle of the 2015/16 season from Brisbane, clubbed in a deep three-run double to make it 4-0 for the Bite.

"Those guys did their job, they got on base so I was just lucky to get a good pitch and hit where I did," he said.

Shortly after, the game was delayed for 22 minutes as home plate umpire Andrew Bell was forced to leave the game after taking a foul ball to the wrist. When play resumed, Sydney loaded the bases but they could only score one run against a top Bite defense.

The game entered a long stretch as both teams found it hard to score, but Mitch Dening pulled out another top class highlight with a RBI double along the left field foul line which saw Jordan Cowan score from first base.

Adelaide's outfield pulled off a great night with some late run-saving catches, including a pair of leaping grabs by Clark in left field - one which saved a home run to Malik Collymore.

Late nerves saw Sydney rattle off several hits to cut the lead to three, and down 5-2 they nearly had a three-run homer but Josh Dean's hit fell just short and Dening was able to take the catch in centre-right.

Speaking after the game, Hoschke praised the inclusive and supportive nature of the team which has helped him settle into the starting line-up.

"It's awesome, I'm super relaxed now," Hoschke said, "You're pretty nervous when you come in halfway through a season and haven't been playing very consistently so my consistent playing makes me feel pretty relaxed."

"It's a good bunch of guys, they've helped me settle in and I'm super comfortable with the team so that makes it easier after each game and at-bat."

Tomorrow sees Adelaide (21-17) hunt down a finals clinching win against Sydney (15-22) which will ensure they finish ahead of Canberra and Brisbane.

Hoschke is confident the Bite can do just that.

 

 

"Given our team and their line-up I think we got them and hopefully we'll just get out there tomorrow and get that win to secure that playoffs spot."

The game is streamed live on ABLtv.com with first pitch at 7PM.

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