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Bite bats shutdown by Cavalry
Adelaide suffers fifth shutout defeat of the season
01/12/2018 2:36 AM ET
Stephen Lohr had a pair of late hits but Adelaide's offence struggled in Canberra.
Stephen Lohr had a pair of late hits but Adelaide's offence struggled in Canberra. (Ben Southall/SMP Images/ABL Media)

Tonight was not the night for the Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks, as Canberra pulled off a 6-0 shutout on the back of a dominant start from Frank Gailey.

Defeat means the Bite are 2-0 down in the series and staring down a tough finish over the weekend in the nation's capital. Here's our three takeaways.

Swinging for the stars

Frank Gailey pitched a brilliant game for Canberra with 11 strikeouts and two hits. Sometimes pitchers have unbeatable games and that is worth acknowledging. Being on the receiving end of that performance, though, has its problems. 

A day after going 4-for-5, and falling short of the cycle by one home run, Rodrigo Ayarza hit a single to start the game but his hit was the only one that went the way of Adelaide until the seventh inning when Stephen Lohr doubled. Jordan McArdle was unlucky not to have a hit before then with a classy 5-to-3 groundout keeping him at bay, but with players striking out there was not a lot for Chris Adamson to get excited about in the dugout.

Adamson also knows this is not a new problem and when it looked like progress was being made, some players reverted back to striking out and throwing away plate appearances. 

Hutchings bounces back

Nick Hutchings, 21, has had a mixed bag of results this season but tonight's was up there with his best. In relief he pitched two scoreless innings with two hits, one walk and two strikeouts. It's the fourth time this season he's pitched at least two innings (most is 2 1/3) and with the pitcher stepping into a full-time role in the bullpen this is the progress he needs.

It shows when Hutchings is in-form he can put together composed performances and keep runs off the board. On a statistical note, it brings his ERA back below 10.00 and even if it's on paper, that's a stat which looks a lot better and will give him more confidence on the back of a scoreless outing.

Under-18s leaving a gap

With the Australian Youth Championships on at the moment, all teams are missing some young players but it looks like the gap in the Bite is really hurting - which says a lot given two of the players only made their debut before Christmas. Curtis Mead stepped in to be an instant ABL player at second base and with a youthful aggression (and composure) he was on fire from the start. But his loss alongside Mason Clavell and Jack O'Loughlin is hurting.

While O'Loughlin has been up-and-down, his presence in the bullpen has provided a talented arm, if needed. Likewise with Clavell, he made a fast start with Mead and there would have been a strong chance both would be on this week's roster. All Under-18s will be welcomed back next week without a second thought, and after good form at the AYC, they will bring back excitement.

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