Skip to main content
  • Adelaide Bite
  • Auckland Tuatara
  • Brisbane Bandits
  • Canberra Cavalry
  • Geelong-Korea
  • Melbourne Aces
  • Perth Heat
  • Sydney Blue Sox
Below is an advertisement.
Blue Sox clinch playoff berth
Gift Ngoepe drives in four runs in Sydney win
01/12/2019 11:17 PM ET
Michael Campbell drove in two runs for Sydney (C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA
Michael Campbell drove in two runs for Sydney (C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA 

Sydney has secured its first trip to the playoffs since 2015, holding off fast-finishing Auckland 9-6 in their Brut Australian Baseball League clash at Blacktown International Sportspark on Sunday.

The Blue Sox claimed a series win, completing a vital form reversal after being swept by Canberra in round eight and dropping game one 6-0 against the Tuatara on Thursday night.

Auckland were the first to score in Sunday's game, with Eric Jenkins scoring off a Zach Clark groundout after reaching third on an error and balk.


Determined to seal its spot in the playoffs, Sydney hit straight back in the second with two runs.

Late-season recruit Jason Rogers hit a single before Jack Murphy was walked to first.

And the pair both scored moments later courtesy of a double from Michael Campbell to put Sydney in front.

The Sox went on to add another two runs in the third after Jacob Younis was walked before advancing to second off a Dwayne Kemp single.

It prompted a mound visit between Jimmy Boyce and the Tuatara's pitching staff. 

Unfortunately for Auckland, it made little difference as Gift Ngoepe later hit a double to drive both Younis and Kemp home.

Boyce had a mixed afternoon on the mound, striking out two while giving up four runs and making just as many errors from five innings.

Tuatara relief pitcher Mitchell Hughson walked Zac Shepherd, Trent D'Antonio and Kemp in the seventh to load the bases.

Sydney took full advantage plating another two runs after Ngoepe hit his second two-RBI double, bringing Shepherd and D'Antonio home.

In a pleasing sign for Sox manager Tony Harris, his side continued to charge on in the closing stages of Sunday's game, plating another three runs in the eighth.

The late runs proved vital as Auckland rallied in the top of the ninth.

Eric Jenkins blasted the Tuatara's first-ever grand slam to cut Sydney's lead to three runs.

Todd Van Steensel closed the door to confirm the Sox playoff spot.

Earlier, Josh Guyer recovered after allowing the first run to produce yet another impressive performance, punching out three to record his sixth win of the season.

Having sealed their spot in the playoffs, Sydney will look to keep their momentum going when they travel to Adelaide in round 10.

Meanwhile, Auckland have pride on the line when they aim to end their first season in the ABL on a high note against Melbourne.



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