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Doubleheader defeat ruins playoff hopes
01/12/2019 7:31 AM ET
 

Melbourne claimed a doubleheader sweep over Adelaide on Saturday in a result which has all but ended the Bite's playoff hopes.

The Bite dropped Saturday's seven-inning clash 4-2 before an early lead in the late game provided a glimpse of hope, and a turn of fortune in Melbourne.

Boosted by a home crows the Aces launched a stirring comeback amidst player and coach ejections, and a bench clearing argument, to win 6-5 and leave Adelaide one loss away from being eliminated from finals contention.

Sunday's series finale is a must-win if there is any hope ahead of next week's meeting with league-leaders Sydney at West Beach.

Melbourne set the tone in the afternoon game with rapid fire hits against Markus Solbach in what was arguable his toughest start.

He conceded eight hits and four runs, including a game defining two-run home run to Jake Romanski.

One positive from a season-low return of two strikeouts saw Solbach equal Dushan Ruzic's Club single-season record 70 strikeouts with one start left in.

Ruzic set the record in the 2012/13 season with Adelaide's star pitcher a sure fire chance to break it against Sydney.

Despite defeat Adelaide entered the evening game with high hopes of a series split and finals baseball.

The eventful battle saw them jump out to a 4-1 lead on the back of repeat RBI singles from Kuan-Jen Chen, Nick Shumpert scoring on both occasions.

Shumpert, from the Atlanta Braves, enjoyed a hot performance with two hits, two runs and three walks in the lead-off position.

Another young talent in top form was local first baseman Jordan McArdle.

He finished with three hits and in his only start of the series so far he justified his position.

Any good form was overshadowed by another disappointing effort to score runs, across both games 21 runners were left stranded, compared to 10 for Melbourne.

On multiple occasions Adelaide could not get a hit with loaded bases and as Melbourne made their chances count they finally claimed the lead in the eighth inning on a Luke Hughes RBI double.

If things were not bad enough, both manager Chris Adamson and pitching coach Luke Prokopec were ejected during the game while arguing with the home plate umpire, while outfielder Michael Gettys was also tossed.

The final inning saw a resilient desire to win, McArdle and Mikey Reynolds won their at-bats with back-to-back singles.

Reynolds was arguably the most impressive in a potentially game changing 10-pitch plate appearance.

But in an all-too familiar outcome, both players were left on base as the Aces secured the final out and series win.

Sunday's game is at 2pm local time.

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