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Perth battles Brisbane for ABL supremacy
11/22/2017 3:32 AM ET

Perth, WA -- Fresh off a redemptive opening series victory in which the Perth Heat traveled to Melbourne and defeated the Aces three games to one, the club's focus shifts to this weekend's series against the two-time defending champion Brisbane Bandits.

While the Perth offense scored 32 runs in their opening series, they will have their work cut out for them against the Brisbane Bandits formidable pitching staff. Bandits hurlers have yielded just six earned runs in 25 innings thus far, good for a league-low 2.16 staff ERA. Despite throwing the second lowest inning total in the league so far due to a rain-shortened opening series, Bandits pitchers have struck out 42 batters, which is only five short of the league lead in that category.

Manager Andy Kyle spoke to the strength of the Brisbane pitching staff when interviewed on Wednesday.

"The Brisbane pitching staff is one of the all-around best staffs in the league. They have solid starters and a lot of depth in their bullpen."

Despite enjoying a dominant first series of the season, manager Andy Kyle is cognizant of the fact that his team will need to continue to improve if they are going to defeat the defending champions.

"There are always things we need to work on. We have high expectations for our club and in order to meet those expectations we will need to clean a few things up."

The Heat also have made a few roster additions heading into this weekend's series. The most noteworthy additions will be last year's home run leader Tim Kennelly as well as Talking Baseball Australia's rookie of the year Ulrich Bojarski. The Heat will also welcome left-handers Bo Hellquist and Travis McDonald to give them added depth to their bullpen.

Manager Andy Kyle spoke about the recent additions to the offense.

 "We got a couple of great hitters coming back, which means more competition, and that's always a good thing."

The Heat will hand the ball to right-hander Alex Boshers again for the opening game of the series. Boshers will be followed by Kyle Simon, Nicholas Veale, and Tom Bailey in game two through four.

Opposing Alex Boshers in game one will be Ryan Bollinger. Following Bollinger in the Brisbane rotation will be veterans Travis Blackley and Tim Atherton, with Justin Erasmus starting the final game of the four-game set.

The Heat will host the Bandits at Harley Davidson Ballpark at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night. As always, the games will be broadcasted on the Talking Baseball Australia channel on Mixlr. On Friday night, the game will be on ABLtv. 

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