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Port takes opener with walk-off
Magpies claim win in 11th after Goodwood led twice
03/23/2018 8:46 PM ET
Port Adelaide's one win away from a premiership after an extra innings victory on Friday night.
Port Adelaide's one win away from a premiership after an extra innings victory on Friday night. (Baseball SA)

Port Adelaide is one win from glory after earning a hard fought 5-4 walk-off win against Goodwood in extra innings on Friday night at Diamond Sports.

The SABL Division 1 Grand Final, presented by VIVA Global, lived up to expectations as Goodwood twice took the lead, only for Port Adelaide to charge back into the game and eventually claim the win in the 11th inning.

Just days after winning his second Capps Medal, Dylan Brammer struck out 13 hitters for the Magpies while young gun Brodie Arriola proved the eventual hero as he drew the walk to bring home the winning run on loaded bases.

The opening stages saw a pitcher's duel between Brammer and the evergreen Darren Fidge and it was easy to see why they have a combined five Capps Medals as the duo dictated the flow of the game.

For Fidge, he finished with four strikeouts in four innings, helping Goodwood take an early lead off the back of Ben Wigmore's bat.

Two outs down in the fourth, Goodwood turned the tide on Brammer through a hit to Joe Deroche-Duffin before Stefan Welch and Simon Galpin earned walks to load the bases.

With plenty to play for, Wigmore singled to shallow centre, bringing home Deroche-Duffin and Welch, although he was caught out going for second and was run down by Brammer on the dash back to first.

The two run lead did not last for long as top 10 Capps finisher Alex Carter mashed a left field home run and Patrick Inglis a RBI double that split the gap perfectly through left and centrefield.

Tiring arms soon saw Chris Horne replace Fidge and while he had a wayward start, Horne quickly struck out Brammer to headline his four K's in four frames.

Brammer stepped off the mound for the eighth, handing over the reins to Dushan Ruzic in a 2-2 ballgame. It was not smooth sailing for Ruzic as his former Bite teammates Josh Cakebread and Jeremy Cresswell got on base.

With a top 10 finish in the Capps to his name, Deroche-Duffin backed up a great week with a cracking two-run single up the centre to again restore a buffer for a 4-2 lead.

Just like before Port Adelaide responded in the blink of an eye as Todd Langman's two-run double off the right field fence ensured it would be level heading into the ninth inning.

Ruzic continued to do his damage against Goodwood with his curveball leaving hitters motionless, while Matt Watkins proved a worthy counterpart with a pair of strikeouts.

As the game moved past the 10th Watkins finally folded through a double to Brammer and single to Duncan Izaaks in the bottom of the 11th.

An intentional walk set up the opportunity for a game saving double play, but it was not to be as Arriola held his nerve to draw a walk. It was a bitter finish for Goodwood after twice holding the lead, while the Magpies were ecstatic to take the advantage into game two.

Tonight's clash will see first pitch at 7PM at Diamond Sports with a special pre-game Capps Medal presentation recognising past winners. It will be a game you do not want to miss!

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