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Heat and Bandits split double-header
Luke Hughes and Nick Veale had standout days as the Heat earned the series split
01/20/2018 7:12 AM ET
Michael Hart (Perth Heat) - Photo SMPIMAGES.COM / ABL Media. Action from the Australian Baseball League (ABL) Round 9 clash between the Brisbane Bandits v Perth Heat at Holloway Field, Brisbane.
Michael Hart (Perth Heat) - Photo SMPIMAGES.COM / ABL Media. Action from the Australian Baseball League (ABL) Round 9 clash between the Brisbane Bandits v Perth Heat at Holloway Field, Brisbane. (SMP Images / ABL Media)

Luke Hughes hit two home runs and had four RBIs, while Nick Veale pitched a no-hitter through six innings as the Perth Heat split their ABL double-header with the Brisbane Bandits 5-9 and 5-0 on Saturday.

Having tasted defeat for the first time in 11 games on Friday, the Bandits came out with a point to prove - scoring three runs in the first inning of Game One.

Not to be outdone and keen to inflict a rare series loss on the Bandits, Jess Willams' 33rd RBI of the season put the Heat on the board as he overtook the injured Mike Brosseau for team leader in that category.

A couple of solo shots padded Brisbane's lead as the home side took advantage of a low home run fence over right field to take a 5-1 lead.

The Bandits have now hit a league-high 55 homers - more than they hit in their title-winning season a year ago.

Jake Fraley's fielder's choice kept the Heat in the game before consecutive sacrifice flies put the home side firmly in control.

Former MLB infielder Luke Hughes, enjoying a career year hit back with his 11th home run of the season to join an exclusive club.

Having seen teammate Fraley notch his 11th homer of the season, Hughes did the same to become the second Heat player to reach that landmark in a season.

Fraley then went one better - his 12th long ball of the season giving the Heat a sniff before the Bandits' fourth home run of the day wrapped up a 9-5 win and handed Heat starter Dan Schmidt his second loss of the season.

Schmidt, who has found success out of the bullpen this season had another rough start - tagged with seven earned runs in 4.1 innings.

In Game Two, Milwaukee Brewers prospect Alex Hall celebrated his 50th ABL game for Perth as his team looked to tie up the series.

After threatening early, the Heat offence came alive in the third inning - Hughes' three-run shot followed by Garrett Whitley's solo home run as the visitors raced out to an early lead.

It was a lead they would maintain behind the strong arm of Nick Veale.

Veale made his best start of the season, pitching 6.1 scoreless innings, striking out seven.

It is the third time in the 24-year-old's career he has failed to give up a run in an ABL start.

"I'm just trying to get a win. That's the biggest thing for us right now," Veale said.

"I started thinking about the no-hitter in the fourth, but you've just got to keep on delivering your pitches."

The third-year starter was given some extra run support when Whitley's second RBI of the night gave the Heat a 5-0 lead.

The 2015 first round pick now has 29 RBIs on the season and is riding a seven-game hitting streak heading towards the playoffs.

Joe Van Meter and Brad Williams came out of the Heat bullpen and continued to starve the Bandits offence before Cameron Lamb closed out the game in his 100th game.

The Heat return home next week to round out the home-and-away regular season against the Melbourne Aces at the Perth Harley-Davidson Ballpark.

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