SYDNEY, NSW -- The 2016/17 Australian Baseball League regular season is over, with the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces clinching the Minor Premiership and the SA Power Networks Adelaide Bite taking second place. The Brisbane Bandits, proudly presented by WellDog, finished third, followed by the Canberra Elite Cavalry in fourth and the CompassMarkets.com Sydney Blue Sox in fifth. The Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat round up the ladder in sixth.
Now this, this is where the real baseball magic happens. Before the playoffs start later this week, here's a look back at what happened in Round 10.
BRISBANE (21-18) def. CANBERRA (20-20)
The reigning Claxton Shield champion Bandits earned the right to defend their title this year, defeating the Cavalry 3-1 to clinch a date with Adelaide in the Preliminary Final. Brisbane took the series opener 8-5, scoring all eight of its runs in the second half of the ballgame and boosted by a three-run home run off the bat of former Major Leaguer Trent Oeltjen. The Cavalry fought back in the second game, winning 4-1 thanks to another stellar pitching performance from Louis Cohen (4-0, 2.61), who allowed one run on five hits over seven innings on the mound.
However, the Bandits fought hard to take the third game 5-4 in extra innings. Tampa Bay Rays prospect David Rodriguez drove in the game-winning run on an RBI double in the top of the 11th frame. With the series and the postseason on the line, Brisbane dominated in the finale, beating Canberra 11-2 to clinch their second-straight playoff berth.
ADELAIDE (23-17) def. SYDNEY (15-24)
The Bite entered the weekend needing two wins to make the playoffs for the third-straight year. They accomplished that, beating the Blue Sox 3-1 at home. Sydney took the series opener 5-4, behind a three-hit night from Jacob Younis. But Adelaide starter Sean Callegari (1-2, 5.87) dominated the next night, leading the Bite to a series-evening 5-2 win.
Adelaide dominated on Saturday night, beating the Blue Sox 15-3 to clinch that coveted postseason spot. Jordan McArdle had five RBIs, including a grand slam, in the victory. Rookie pitcher Ky Hampton (1-0, 1.35) allowed just one run on three hits in five innings to earn his first professional win in the series finale, leading the Bite to a 4-3 win.
MELBOURNE (26-14) split with PERTH (14-26)
Melbourne entered the weekend on the cusp of playoff security, and exited with the 2016/17 Minor Premiership. Perth began the series on a high note, winning 2-1. Baltimore Orioles farmhand Derek Peterson went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to pace Perth at the plate. But the Aces fought back, taking the second game of the series 7-1.
Former Major Leaguer Brad Harman went 2-for-4, driving in both of the Aces' runs in Melbourne's 2-1 win in Game 3. The Heat ended their season on a high note with a dominant win in the Sunday finale, besting the Aces 8-2. John Riley went 2-for-4 with a three-run home run in the victory.