Print  Print © MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.


Bite v Cavalry: Time to make a stand
11/29/2017 6:47 PM ET

The next two weeks will be incredibly important in shaping the season for the Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks. Even with 32 games remaining, a series win against the Canberra Cavalry is a must with the Bite six wins from .500.

Canberra arrives in town after defeating Sydney 3-1, and after the Bite suffered a sweep against the Blue Sox it raises one big question - is Canberra that much better than Adelaide?

What the manager says - That winning feeling

Saturday night saw the breakthrough we all needed - a win. Pre-game Chris Adamson brought the team together for a pep talk where they put a disappointing start behind them.

"It was just a way to lighten the mood. Obviously everyone was disappointed with the way things were going so it was just a way to try and turn the page and instil in them that baseball's a fun game and we need to look forward as opposed to looking back," he said.

During the game the difference could be felt in the dugout with players laughing and from the start the mood was improved.

"There was just people smiling and laughing which is a huge part of what we do. The frustration took that away a little bit but it was good to just enjoy the game.

"Tonight we did some little things that we just haven't been doing amazingly well. That was really encouraging and just showed that we have learned from some of the stuff that hasn't gone well in the past."

ROSTER

Headlining four changes, Josh Cakebread and Jeremy Cresswell return after last playing an ABL game in January, 2014. The veterans are local favourites who are still amongst the best at SABL level and they bring much needed consistency.

Matt Williams will start Game 4 after pitching six strikeouts in four scoreless relief innings last series. He is a straight swap for Max Beatty who may be better suited to the mid-inning role. Tim Day and Will Kortekaas come into the squad also with 29-year-old Day an experienced reliever from Glenelg while 16-year-old Kortekaas is another bright prospect who has represented Australia at junior levels.

Pitchers: Powell, O'Loughlin, Mosel, Williams, Hutchings, van Mil, Chappell, Brebner-Russ, Lee, Beatty, T. Day, Duncan (Development), McKee (Development), Kortekaas (Development)

Hitters: Ayarza, Quiroz, D. Day, Lohr, Tai-Shan, Roeger, McArdle, van der Linden, Nooij, Cakebread, Cresswell, Ridding (Development), Mead (Development), Clavell (Development)

Tank turns to Aussie experience

Cresswell and Cakebread bring in over 300 games worth of ABL experience. Add to that the history of Angus Roeger and Matt Williams and suddenly we have an Australian quartet with nearly 600 ABL appearances. Added power at the bottom of the hitting order will be the main goal for Chris Adamson this series, and with an increased Adelaide presence there is more familiarity in the side as well. While it may not have to be a long term fix it is hopefully a step in the right direction which will inspire some out of form players.

Against a side bringing in top-tier Australian talent such as David Kandilas, the Perkins' brothers and Boss Moanaroa (he's been here long enough to be a local), it also makes sense for Adamson to match their depth.

Pitch me if you can

With one of the best names here this season, Lake Bachar's 0.90 ERA is by far the best from any pitcher with two starts. Starting his most recent game, Frank Gailey carries a 1.13 ERA for Canberra and both are going to be challenging. The fact both have conceded just one run each is a testament to Canberra's defence.

The biggest boost for Adelaide is Canberra is not a strikeout team - they have the fewest this season at 58. With Adelaide hitters striking out 89 times already this is the time to turn it around and win those two-strike battles.

Who wins?

Early scoring has been one of Adelaide's strengths while Canberra either spreads its runs or scores in a burst. Easy to predict, right? In good conditions the Bite can grab an early lead and that will bring out the confidence.

Just like last week, small goals are needed and winning the series opener should be the main focus. If Adelaide can take it day by day then they will take the series, but once again a conservative prediction is always best.

Split series.



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