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Heat clinch home semi on Team Spencer Night
The Perth Heat have clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2014/15 after splitting their series with the Aces
01/27/2018 9:23 AM ET
Matt Kennelly (Perth Heat). Photo: SMP Images / ABL Media - Action from Australian Baseball League, Perth Heat vs Melbourne Aces, Perth Harley Davidson Ball Park, Perth Western Australia.
Matt Kennelly (Perth Heat). Photo: SMP Images / ABL Media - Action from Australian Baseball League, Perth Heat vs Melbourne Aces, Perth Harley Davidson Ball Park, Perth Western Australia. 

The Perth Heat have clinched a home ABL semi-final after splitting their Team Spencer double-header with the Melbourne Aces at the Perth Harley-Davidson Ballpark on Saturday.

Needing just one win to secure a home semi-final, the Heat ran out 7-5 winners in Game One before dropping Game Two 6-3.

In doing so, the Heat wrapped up second spot on the ladder and will host their first playoff game since 2014/15.

For the second time in as many nights, the Aces hit the front with a leadoff home run from Daryl George in Game One.

Ulrich Bojarski's 5th home run of the season tied the game up for the Heat, as the 19-year-old's hot streak continued.

Having seen rivals Canberra win earlier in the day, the Heat put a stranglehold on a home semi-final behind a five-run third inning.

On the mound, Nick Veale pitched well for the Heat - recording three strikeouts in 4.1 innings to pick up his third win of the season.

After being named ABL Pitcher of the Week for his dominant display in Brisbane last time out, Veale has now conceded two runs or fewer in his last four outings.

"I just came out and threw everything hard, just letting it go and not babying stuff in," he said.

Two more George home runs and some poor Perth fielding allowed the visitors back into the contest as Veale left the game.

Heat relievers Nick Kennedy and Scott Mitchinson steadied the ship before Cameron Lamb collected his league-leading sixth save of the season.

Jake Fraley's 13th homer of the season rounded out the Heat's 7-5 win and secured a home semi-final.

In Game Two, Fraley stole his 39th base of the season and scored his 50th run to give the Heat a first-inning lead.

The 22-year-old Tampa Bay Rays prospect has broken the ABL stolen base, runs scored and Heat single-season home run records in a standout year.

"I didn't know I broke the record - that's awesome," Fraley said.

Behind a strong start from Matt Kennelly, the Heat took control of the game - Jake Bowey's second ABL home run putting them up by two runs.

Having waited 47 games for his first ABL home run, Bowey now has two in his last three at-bats.

Despite throwing 16 consecutive scoreless innings to start his ABL pitching career, Kennelly conceded his first run in the fourth inning, before four more Aces batters came around to score as the visitors took charge.

Tim Kennelly's infield single RBI made it 5-3, but the Aces held firm, adding another run to record the win and reclaim the Team Spencer Cup.

The Heat will be back in action next week, when they host the Canberra Cavalry in a best of three-game series starting February 2.

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