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Heat sweep double-header to clinch playoff spot
The Perth Heat are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2014/15
01/13/2018 10:43 AM ET
Ulrich Bojarski had a day, going 7-9 at the plate on Saturday
Ulrich Bojarski had a day, going 7-9 at the plate on Saturday (James Worsfold)

The Perth Heat have swept their double-header with the Sydney Blue Sox 15-6 & 10-9 to clinch a playoff berth for the first time since the 2014/15 season.

With the results, the Heat have now won nine of their last 10 games, while the Blue Sox have lost eight straight.

In Game One, The Blue Sox got off to the worst possible start when Michael Suchy had to leave the game after being hit by a flying bat from his own teammate.

Suchy was standing in the on-deck circle when he was struck by Chih-Hsein Chiang's bat.

With Sydney missing a key piece, Ulrich Bojarski's solo home run gave the Heat first blood before speedster Jake Fraley scored on a wild pitch to double the advantage.

Garrett Whitley's RBI single and Fraley's league-leading 10th home run padded the Heat's lead either side of a throwing error which allowed Sydney to get on the board.

The fifth-placed Blue Sox didn't let up, working their way back into the contest with a two-run shot off Heat starter Nick Veale.

Veale, appearing in his eighth game of the season struck out three batters in five innings as he was given plenty of run support to record the win.

Bojarski's RBI double gave Perth a two-run cushion before Whitley's second and third RBIs of the day plated a couple of runners as Perth's league-leading offence took over.

RBIs to Robbie Glendinning, Bojarski, Jess Williams (2) and Adam Courcha blew the game out for the Heat as they sealed their playoff spot.

Courcha, making his first start in over three years picked up his first RBI in 2191 days.

Luke Hughes' 9th home run of the season and Ryan Kift's two-run double rounded out the scoring to clinch the Heat's playoff berth.

In Game Two, Whitley's strong day continued - mashing a two-run shot to put the Heat on the board in the first inning.

The 13th pick from the 2015 MLB Draft went 3-8 on the night with 5 RBIs in an impressive showing.

Perth, sniffing an opportunity to inflict further damage on the Blue Sox then exploded offensively. Fraley's RBI single was followed by Hughes' bases-clearing double and Bojarski's second homer of the night to give Heat starter Matt Kennelly a seven-run lead.

Kennelly, making his first career start on the mound was dominant - striking out five batters in seven scoreless innings of work.

The 28-year-old now has 13 scoreless frames to start his ABL pitching career.

"It went well, I just came out and gave an effort to help the team," Kennelly said.

Mike Hart and Bojarksi chipped in with RBIs to further pad the lead in a seemingly one-sided contest.

Bojarski shone at the plate - going 7-9 with 5 RBIs.

"It was one of those days where you see the ball like a watermelon and it's easy to hit," Bojarski said.

Then the unthinkable happened. Jake Bowey came into the game and conceded eight late runs (six unearned after some poor defence) before Nick Kennedy gave up the game-tying run.

With the game spiralling out of control, the Heat hit back - loading the bases for Hart to plate the winning run and record his team's 22nd win of the season.

The series concludes Sunday where the Heat will look to pick up the five-game sweep.

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