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Aces down Heat on Tols dominance
Melbourne starter Josh Tols tosses seven scoreless frames
01/25/2018 8:13 AM ET
Melbourne starter Josh Tols struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings of work (C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA
Melbourne starter Josh Tols struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings of work (C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA 

Melbourne starter Josh Tols threw seven scoreless innings as the Aces moved a step closer to sealing their spot in the ABL playoffs on Thursday night.

Tols struck out 11 and carried a no-hitter into the seventh as Melbourne overcame Perth 9-2 at Perth Harley-Davidson Ballpark in the opening game of their round 10 series.

The left-hander baffled the Heat bats, not allowing a hit until Jake Fraley singled with none out in the seventh.

Tols allowed just two baserunners in seven innings, walking Fraley in the first before picking him off ahead of the single to break up his no-hitter.

The Aces made a fast start, capitalising on Perth errors, as they chased the first of two wins to confirm their return to the playoffs.

Tyler Neslony scored on a Michael Crouse groundball in the first after reaching on a Robbie Glendinning fielding error and Craig Maddox's RBI-single put Melbourne up 2-0.

Delmon Young extended the lead to three runs with a solo home run to centre field in the third.

Young took his season tally to 11 home runs with the blast, his 10th away from Melbourne Ballpark this season.

With the lead, Tols controlled proceedings and at one stage punched out six-straight Heat hitters.

He was replaced by Daniel McGrath in the eighth and Perth pounced.

Fraley's two-run single put the Heat's first runs on the board, but they left the bases loaded to stay five runs down.

Allan de San Miguel added a two-run homer in the top of the ninth for the Aces.

Young and Maddox both had three-hit games for Melbourne while Tampa Bay prospect Fraley went 2-for-3.

The series continues at 1pm local time on Friday.

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