AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE
2017 SEASON - PRELIMINARY FINAL

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  5 FEB 2017 - BRISBANE BANDITS PREVAIL IN PRELIMINARY FINAL 2-1!

OVERVIEW:   BITE - 11R  25H  3E  v  BANDITS - 25R  39H  4E. The overall totals for this best-of-three series would have been fairly even if not for the crazy offensive outbreak by Brisbane in Game 3. In the end the only total that mattered was Brisbane's two wins that secured for them a chance to defend their Championship title. Adelaide will feel sick about the way that the series ended for them after they finished in second place, yet found themselves playing two games on the road. It was rough justice for them and a sour taste!

 
 

WEEK 11 - Preliminary Final - Game 1 - 3 FEB 2017 - Adelaide Shores, West Beach

 

Team

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

BRISBANE

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 8 0

ADELAIDE

0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 1
REPORT:  Our game of baseball can administer some very nasty medicine at times and the man to take a most unpalatable dose tonight was Adelaide's gallant import starter Max MacNabb. Through seven brilliant innings of control pitching MacNabb was riding a magnificent shutout and home fans at West Beach were in a buoyant mood. In a mild surprise, for me at least, veteran Justin Erasmus was chosen to take the ball first in this Preliminary Final series by Brisbane manager Dave Nilsson and he responded to the responsibility extremely well. He and MacNabb traded nothing but zeroes through five rapidly disappearing frames as neither team looked remotely likely to break the deadlock.
Erasmus was getting close to his endurance limit in the sixth inning and the Bite grasped the opportunity to pounce. Jordan McArdle singled to lead off the inning before Erasmus claimed two outs as his parting gesture in what was a mighty effort on his part. Major league pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith was summoned from the bullpen, but the move didn't get the desired result when dangerous Adelaide import Jordan Cowan blasted a RBI triple that curled away from the fielder at left field before heading toward the corner foul pole. In the context of such a low-scoring affair, that one run looked like gold. That was until Max MacNabb departed for the top of the eighth and the Bite shuffled a couple of defensive changes on the right side of the infield. Experienced reliever Matt Williams took the ball and the Bandits suddenly found some offensive traction. Successive singles from Brisbane stalwarts David Sutherland and Wade Dutton to lead off the inning were compounded when Williams fielded Aaron Whitefield's sacrifice bunt and his wayward throw to first enabled the tying run to cross the plate.
It would be hard to blame Williams for being distracted by that event and a mistake pitch to former major leaguer Trent Oeltjen saw the game snatched away with his two RBI double, his second double for the game. With a late lead in the pivotal game, Nilsson didn't hesitate to call for his closer Ryan Searle to lock down the save and he didn't disappoint his manager. Searle allowed a couple of hits in the bottom of the eighth but, as he does so often, he turned to one of his three punch outs to douse the smouldering embers of a rally.
You had to feel sympathy for Max MacNabb who was so close to a heroic victory, yet it is hard to make much of a case for the hosts who cobbled just four hits for the night. A 1-0 lead in a best-of-three final is most often a forerunner to success as Brisbane will hope.

ADELAIDE BITE

BRISBANE BANDITS

PITCHING:

Max MacNABB  7.0ip 5h 0r 0er 0bb 6k;
Matt WILLIAMS (BS,1)(L,0-1)  2.0ip 3h 3r 2er 1bb 1k

OFFENCE:

Jordan McARDLE 1-2; A.C CARTER 1-1; Jordan COWAN 1-4 (T-RBI);
LeDarious CLARK 1-4

 

PITCHING:

Justin ERASMUS  5.2ip 1h 1r 1er 1bb 5k;
Ryan ROWLAND-SMITH  1.0ip 1h 0r 0er 0bb 0k;
Zac TREECE (W,1-0)  0.1ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 1k;
Ryan SEARLE (S,1)  2.0ip 2h 0r 0er 0bb 3k

OFFENCE:

Trent OELTJEN 2-4 (2D-2RBI); Wade DUTTON 2-3;
David SUTHERLAND 1-3; David RODRIGUEZ 1-4 (D);
Logan WADE 1-4 (D); Thomas MILONE 1-4

 
 

WEEK 11 - Preliminary Final - Game 2 - 4 FEB 2017 - Holloway Field, Brisbane

 

Team

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E

ADELAIDE

3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 8 15 2

BRISBANE

1 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 8 1
REPORT:  Local Brisbane fans who attended Holloway Field tonight for Game 2 of this Preliminary Final series definitely got their money's worth, and then some! Twelve long innings of tense baseball action unfortunately did not deliver the clinching victory for the Bandits as the Bite survived a "must win game" to force a decider back at the same venue tomorrow afternoon. Adelaide didn't waste any time getting on top of Brisbane starter Kramer Champlin as an immediate confidence boost for them. A leadoff walk was promptly banked by the prolific Jordan Cowan who ripped a RBI double as the first of his four hits for the big occasion. Marcus Greene Jr followed with a two run homer over left field and in a trice the Bite were ahead 3-0.
Adelaide youngster Jack O'Loughlin might have suffered a few big game butterflies as he gave a run back in the bottom of the first when a leadoff walk and a couple of singles with nobody out had the Bandits on the board. Home fans were then aroused when Wade Dutton and Aaron Whitefield mashed back-to-back, two out, long balls in the bottom of the second to square it all up at 3-3. O'Loughlin handed the ball to Greg Mosel for the bottom of the fifth and the mood of the crowd rose even higher when an error allowed the leadoff batter to reach and later score a go-ahead run on a ground ball out. With Champlin also out of the game Adelaide found an equaliser against Zac Treece in the top of the seventh when LeDarious Clark delivered a two out RBI single and the tension was about to ramp up from there.
Four more scoreless innings rolled by as the game remained deadlocked into the twelfth frame and the time clock neared four hours of play.
In normal circumstances, I'm sure that Brisbane manager David Nilsson would have preferred to stay away from his closer, Ryan Searle, after he had thrown 32 pitches last night, but these were not normal circumstances and you could hardly blame him for trusting his "big dog" with the ball. Searle had already toiled through the top of the tenth and eleventh and, although he can handle extended duty, it was a lot to ask of him to throw another fifty-plus pitches tonight. Ultimately the price was paid when Cowan singled for his fourth hit and 'Mighty Mitch' Dening came through with a game-breaking two run bomb over right centre field. With none of those funky tie-breaker rules in effect, a four run frame for the visitors was not likely to be matched in the bottom of the twelfth when Zach Cooper closed out the win for the Bite.
Cooper was strong with two conclusive innings at the death, but special mention must go to Adelaide's giant reliever Loek van Mil who posted four terrific scoreless innings when the game was delicately balanced toward the ultimate crescendo at Holloway.
We can hardly wait to find out who will travel to Melbourne next weekend... high stakes in an understatement for the game tomorrow!

BRISBANE BANDITS

ADELAIDE BITE

PITCHING:

Kramer CHAMPLIN  4.2ip 6h 3r 3er 2bb 4k;
Ryan ROWLAND-SMITH  0.1ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 0k;
Zac TREECE (BS,1)  2.0ip 2h 1r 1er 0bb 3k;
Sam HOLLAND  1.0ip 0h 0r 0er 1bb 2k;
Matt TIMMS  1.0ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 1k;
Ryan SEARLE (L,0-1)  2.1ip 7h 4r 4er 2bb 3k;
Simon MORRISS  0.2ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 0k

OFFENCE:

Aaron WHITEFIELD 2-5 (D-HR-RBI); Mitch NILSSON 2-5 (2RBI);
Wade DUTTON 1-5 (HR-RBI); Thomas MILONE 1-5;
Trent OELTJEN 1-5; David RODRIGUEZ 1-5

PITCHING:

Jack O'LOUGHLIN  4.0ip 4h 3r 3er 2bb 4k;
Greg MOSEL  1.2ip 1h 1r 0er 0bb 1k;
Hei Chun LEE  0.1ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 0k;
Loek van MIL  4.0ip 3h 0r 0er 0bb 3k;
Zach COOPER (W,1-0) 2.0ip 0h 0r 0er 1bb 3k

OFFENCE:

Jordan COWAN 4-6 (D-RBI); Marcus GREENE JR 3-6 (HR-2RBI);
Josh ALTMANN 3-6 (RBI); Mitch DENING 2-5 (HR-2RBI);
Angus ROEGER 1-4; Stefan WELCH 1-4; LeDarious CLARK 1-6 (RBI);
A.C CARTER 0-5 (RBI)

 
 

WEEK 11 - Preliminary Final - Game 3 - 5 FEB 2017 - Holloway Field, Brisbane

 

Team

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

ADELAIDE

0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 6 0

BRISBANE

0 0 0 1 1 2 6 8 X 18 23 3
REPORT:  The 2016/17 season ended in rather sad, pretty much humiliating, fashion for the Adelaide Bite who died a horrible death on the road in the deciding Preliminary Final game on a sultry afternoon at Holloway Field today. For three scoreless innings, Game 3 looked very much like a normal, pitching dominated, playoff game as rival starters Rick Teasley and Steven Chambers squared off to keep it tight.
Few at that stage could have imagined in their wildest dreams the barrage of hits that the Bandits would rain down on a hapless Adelaide bullpen that clearly ran out of arms as the game progressed. Trent Oeltjen got the party started for Brisbane with a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth, while Chambers was hurling his last inning of the contest. Stefan Welch answered with a long ball to lead off the top of the next, but the momentary parity provided only false hope for the visitors. The Bandits went ahead again on the first of Ryan Battaglia's two home runs in the bottom of the fifth before they raced off into the distance over their next three batting innings that yielded two, six and eight runs in a complete annihilation. Every Brisbane batter enjoyed at least two hits and four players boasted three or more.
Mitch Nilsson was a "brute" with 4-6, that included two home runs to lead the way from Logan Wade, Tommy Milone and David Rodriguez who each hit safely three times. The Home Run Derby once again made Holloway look like a junior playing field with no fewer than nine balls clearing the outfield extremity. Nilsson and Battaglia "went yard" twice each, while Wade, Rodriguez and Oeltjen also touched 'em all.
Local stars Stefan Welch and Jordan McArdle both homered to provide some muffled joy for the shell-shocked Adelaide faithful.
Although the offensive explosion gave this game a rather anticlimactic ending, we must not overlook the splendid starting performance of Brisbane's second year import Rick Teasley who would have been tough to beat regardless of the massive run support he received. Teasley struck out nine Adelaide hitters across seven high quality innings while allowing just the one run via Welch's solo homer. In one respect it is a pity that his MVP performance was rendered somewhat invisible when the Bandits' offence went berserk.
There is a time honoured saying in boxing that you can't become the champion until you've knocked out the reigning champion. The Brisbane Bandits remain ABL Champions and it will be up to the Melbourne Aces to dethrone them in the Championship Series next weekend!

BRISBANE BANDITS

ADELAIDE BITE

PITCHING:

Rick TEASLEY (W,1-0)  7.0ip 3h 1r 1er 0bb 9k;
Sam HOLLAND  1.0ip 2h 1r 1er 0bb 0k;
Matt TIMMS  1.0ip 1h 0r 0er 1bb 1k

OFFENCE:

Mitch NILSSON 4-6 (2HR-4RBI); Logan WADE 3-5 (HR-3RBI);
Thomas MILONE 3-5; David RODRIGUEZ 3-6 (D-HR-RBI);
Ryan BATTAGLIA 2-4 (2HR-5RBI); David SUTHERLAND 2-4 (D-RBI);
Aaron WHITEFIELD 2-5; Kevin PADLO 2-5 (RBI);
Trent OELTJEN 2-6 (HR-3RBI)

PITCHING:

Steven CHAMBERS  4.0ip 3h 1r 1er 0bb 3k;
Hei Chun LEE (L,0-1)  1.0ip 2h 1r 1er 1bb 1k;
Matt WILLIAMS  0.1ip 5h 2r 2er 0bb 0k;
Tyler CHAPPELL  0.2ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 2k;
Greg MOSEL  0.2ip 4h 4r 4er 0bb 1k;
Nathan VanDerLINDEN  0.2ip 6h 6r 6er 1bb 0k;
A.C CARTER  0.2ip 3h 4r 4er 1bb 0k

OFFENCE:

Marcus GREENE JR 2-4 (D); Stefan WELCH 1-3 (HR-RBI);
Jordan McARDLE 1-4 (HR-RBI); LeDarious CLARK 1-4;
Jordan COWAN 1-4

SERIES STARS:  The embarrassing blowout in Game 3 added some big numbers to the hitting statistics of Brisbane players, but none were better in this series than Mitch Nilsson who had six hits with two homers and six big RBIs. Trent Oeltjen and David Rodriguez hit safely five times each while Oeltjen and Ryan Battaglia, who homered twice in Game 3, both drove in five. Jordan Cowan led Adelaide's hit parade with six, just one more than fellow import Marcus Greene Jr. The pitching honours for the series were probably shared between Brisbane's Game 3 winner Rick Teasley and Adelaide's luckless Game 1 starter Max MacNabb who both supplied seven sterling innings.