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Kennelly can take Heat back to ABLCS
02/03/2018 12:44 AM ET

A year ago Matt Kennelly had just completed his rookie campaign as Perth manager.

Tonight, in just his third ABL start, the catcher-cum-pitcher can help the Heat secure a return to the ABL Championship Series for the first time since downing Adelaide in 2015.

Kennelly is slated to start against Canberra as Perth looks to wrap up its best-of-three semi-final series in straight-sets following a 6-3 victory at Perth Harley-Davidson Ballpark last night.

The right-hander - who has split time between pitching and hitting this season - enters the contest with a 0.47 ERA in four appearances on the mound.

In his two starts he has allowed one earned run in 13 innings, striking out eight and giving up 12 hits.

With the weight of management lifted from his shoulders, Kennelly has excelled for Perth.

And his emergence as a starting option for current manager Andy Kyle has been a blessing with Tom Bailey out injured.

Kennelly, who went 1-for-4 in game one as designated hitter, is slated to go up against Cavs' right-hander Lake Bachar.

Bachar, a San Diego prospect, was 5-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 10 regular-season appearances.

The 22-year-old has been particularly effective against right-handed hitters, who have averaged just .198 against him.

Bachar allowed five runs on four hits and four walks on his last visit to Perth.

He worked 6 1/3 scoreless innings in his other start against the Heat.

Game two starts at 7pm local time.

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