ABL 2018 - WEEK 11
SEMI-FINALS

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  4 FEB 2018 - BRISBANE SNIPS MELBOURNE TO REACH ANOTHER FINAL!

OVERVIEW:   BANDITS 9R 10H 1E v ACES 8R 12H 2E --  With just the one game available to decide this semi-final series there is not much more to say than the Brisbane Bandits survived a scare to reach another Championship round.

 
 

WEEK 11 - SEMI-FINAL - Games 1&2 - 2-3 FEB 2018 - Holloway Field - Postponed

 

Team

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

MELBOURNE

                  PPD    

BRISBANE

                  PPD    
REPORT:  Scheduled Friday and Saturday night games both postponed due to rain.
 
 

WEEK 11 - SEMI-FINAL - Game 3 - 4 FEB 2018 - Holloway Field

 

Team

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

MELBOURNE

0 0 1 1 3 0 1 0 2 8 12 2

BRISBANE

1 0 3 0 0 4 0 0 1 9 10 1
REPORT:  With the first two games of this semi-final series washed out by persistent Brisbane rain, it was a high stakes, winner takes all, contest this afternoon at Holloway. To be fair, the fourth placed Melbourne Aces were playing with the house's money with one free swing at the top ranked Bandits. Brisbane entrusted the ball to national team starter Tim Atherton who ultimately left with his team trailing in the top of the fifth after a somewhat rocky start where he could not preserve an early lead. Josh Tols was on the bump for the Aces and, although he struck out ten, he was also in line for the loss as Brisbane's offence presented plenty of challenges, as usual.
Chih-Sheng Lin gave them a first inning lead with his home run over right centre as Holloway was giving up the long ball with regularity once again. Tyler Neslony tagged the first of Melbourne's five home runs to tie it in the top of the third before star import T.J Bennett smashed his three-run bomb over left in the bottom of the same stanza. The Aces kept coming with a run in the fourth, then claimed the lead in the fifth when Ryan Dale "went yard" and major league veteran Delmon Young followed with a two-run blast. However, the game continued to ebb and flow and Melbourne's 5-4 lead vanished quickly in the bottom of the sixth. With Tols running into the "red zone" with his pitch count, the Bandits rallied with two singles and a hit batter to load the bags with nobody out and the Aces had the bullpen active. Young pro Daniel McGrath quickly claimed the second out before eventual hero David Sutherland came through with a two RBI single in a four-run frame that gave Brisbane what felt like a winning advantage late in the game. After five home runs in his previous three games, Melbourne's Darryl George continued to run scalding hot with two more dingers in the seventh and ninth innings. The latter two-run blast in the top of the ninth silenced festive home fans as George took Ryan Searle deep to tie the game right at the death.
Melbourne's reprieve was to be very short lived when the dangerous Sutherland led off the bottom of the last with a walk-off long ball over right centre to put the Brisbane Bandits into a third successive Grand FInal with a chance for a Three-Peat. The man to take the loss was Altanta pro Jon Kennedy who was working into his second inning when Sutherland pounced. For a high-scoring affair, it was a "feast or famine" for the batters who enjoyed 22 hits, 17 runs and eight homers, while they also struck out no less than 25 times!
Winners are always grinners, yet the Melbourne Aces wore their uniform with pride today and they gave themselves a puncher's chance of a tremendous upset with their resilient effort. The Bandits may have dodged a bullet here but, let's be honest about this, they did finish 11.5 games ahead of the Aces after the regular season and it would have been a travesty for them to fall in one game.

BRISBANE BANDITS

MELBOURNE ACES

PITCHING:

Tim ATHERTON  4.2ip 8h 5r 4er 1bb 6k;
Ryan BOLLINGER  3.1ip 2h 1r 1er 0bb 5k;
Ryan SEARLE (BS,1)(W,1-0)  1.0ip 2h 2r 2er 1bb 0k

OFFENCE:

David SUTHERLAND 2-2 (HR-3RBI); Andrew CAMPBELL 2-4 (D);
Chih-Sheng LIN 2-4 (HR-RBI); Adam WEISENBURGER 2-3 (D-RBI);
T.J BENNETT 1-3 (HR-3RBI); Logan WADE 1-4 (RBI);

PITCHING:

Josh TOLS  5.1ip 7h 7r 7er 0bb 10k;
Daniel McGRATH  0.1ip 1h 1r 0er 0bb 1k;
Sam STREET 0.1ip 1h 0r 0er 1bb 0k;
Jon KENNEDY (L,0-1)  2.0ip 1h 1r 1er 0bb 3k

OFFENCE:

Darryl GEORGE 3-5 (2HR-3RBI); Tyler NESLONY 3-5 (HR-RBI);
Ryan DALE 2-4 (HR-RBI); Delmon YOUNG 1-4 (HR-RBI);
Jarryd DALE 1-4 (D); Craig MADDOX 1-4; Matthew ZABLAN 1-4 (RBI)

SERIES STARS:  Not much point sifting through the one game report above. You can digest the batting statistics yourself with another final mention of Aces' star Darryl George who concluded his season with SEVEN homers over his last four games - REMARKABLE!

  4 FEB 2018 - CANBERRA TAKES DECIDER IN PERTH TO ADVANCE!

OVERVIEW:   HEAT 10R 18H 3E v CAVALRY 12R 28H 3E --  Canberra had just the better of the statistics across this best-of-three semi-final series, especially the one that really counted... 2-1 in the wins column! With just two teams left to battle for the Championship, the Cavalry will fancy their chances as minor underdogs when they head to Brisbane next weekend to play for all the marbles!

 
 

WEEK 11 - SEMI-FINAL - Game 1 - 2 FEB 2018 - Baseball Park, Thornlie

 

Team

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

CANBERRA

0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 9 1

PERTH

0 4 0 0 1 0 1 0 X 6 7 0
REPORT:  In the wash-up, it looked like a rather routine victory for the Perth Heat at home in this ABL semi-final game tonight.
The Heat backed starter Alex Boshers with an early uprising and then handed the ball to a tough and experienced bullpen to make sure that a resilient Canberra lineup could not reel them in. A leadoff walk and a Robbie Glendinning RBI double in the bottom of the second had Cavalry coaching staff and physio cluttered around the mound as their starter Brian Grening seemed to be feeling some discomfort with an undisclosed physical issue. The problem could not have been too serious because Grening went on to pitch six decent frames, but he could not avoid the damage in that big second inning as Perth went ahead decisively 4-0. The Heat produced some two out noise when Jesse Williams drove in a run and Tim Kennelly smacked a two RBI double. The elder Kennelly doubled and homered as an offensive star in this game, as was Canberra's mighty import Jay Baum who also doubled and homered. His two run homer in the top of the fourth breathed some life into the visiting camp after their centrefielder Travis Witherspoon had robbed Luke Hughes of a homer in the previous inning with his leaping catch just above the level of the right-centre fence. Tim Kennelly's long ball in the bottom of the fifth had Perth ahead 5-2 and, as it turned out, the Cavs could not narrow that gap as both teams scored one more each. Joe Van Meter and Warwick Saupold took holds while Cameron Lamb closed out the save that ensured Perth a most valuable 1-0 lead in this semi-final series. One to go for them!

PERTH HEAT

CANBERRA CAVALRY

PITCHING:

Alex BOSHERS (W,1-0)  5.1ip 6h 3r 3er 1bb 3k;
Joe Van METER (H,1)  1.2ip 1h 0r 0er 0bb 4k;
Warwick SAUPOLD (H,1)  1.0ip 2h 0r 0er 0bb 1k;
Cameron LAMB (S,1)  1.0ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 3k

OFFENCE:

Tim KENNELLY 2-4 (D-HR-2RBI); Jesse WILLIAMS 2-3 (2RBI);
Robbie GLENDINNING 1-4 (D-RBI); Garrett WHITLEY 1-3;
Matt KENNELLY 1-4

PITCHING:

Brian GRENING (L,0-1)  6.0ip 6h 5r 5er 1bb 5k;
Tyler HERR  2.0ip 1h 1r 1er 1bb 4k

OFFENCE:

Jay BAUM 2-4 (D-HR-2RBI); David KANDILAS 2-4;
Robbie PERKINS 2-4; Boss MOANAROA 1-4 (D-RBI);
Kyle PERKINS 1-4; Moko MOANAROA 1-4

 
 

WEEK 11 - SEMI-FINAL - Game 2 - 3 FEB 2018 - Baseball Park, Thornlie

 

Team

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

CANBERRA

0 0 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 6 11 1

PERTH

0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 7 1
REPORT:  If anyone though for a moment that the Canberra Cavalry would simply roll over and let Perth tickle their tummy tonight, they had better think again. Much like Game 1 last night the Cavalry turned the tables on their hosts by striking hard early, then riding their lead all the way to to the finish line. In the top of the third Canberra's Cameron Warner led off a four-run frame with a double as the first of a three hit night for him. He was driven in by Travis Witherspoon, Casey McElroy doubled and David Kandilas delivered a two run single. In the bottom of the same inning Jesse Williams and Tim Kennelly both doubled to pull one back for the Heat, but it did not kindle a revival.
Robbie Perkins led off the next with his big fly over right centre and Lee Mills drove in another to stake the visitors to a decisive 6-1 lead after four. That inning saw the last of Perth starter Matt Kennelly who took a hard hit loss, while Lake Bachar enjoyed the healthy run support to claim the win with ten punch outs from his five and two thirds. Perth scrapped back two more runs just before Bachar was done in the sixth as he made way for Steve Kent. If there was any hope of the Heat staging one of their trademark comebacks, this notion was completely snuffed out by Kent who was at his nastiest best with a most impressive save comprising three-plus innings at Thornlie tonight.
With the final scores exactly reversed from Game 1 it is fair to conclude that these teams are evenly matched and we'll look forward to a real scrap in the decider tomorrow. Such occasions usually favour the home club, but it's a tough one to call!

PERTH HEAT

CANBERRA CAVALRY

PITCHING:

Matt KENNELLY (L,0-1)  3.2ip 8h 6r 6er 2bb 2k;
Nick VEALE  3.1ip 1h 0r 0er 0bb 3k;
Daniel SCHMIDT  0.1ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 0k;
Nick KENNEDY  1.2ip 2h 0r 0er 0bb 2k

OFFENCE:

Tim KENNELLY 2-4 (2D-RBI); Robbie GLENDINNING 2-4 (D-RBI);
Jesse WILLIAMS 1-4 (D); Jake BOWEY 1-4 (RBI); Luke HUGHES 1-4

PITCHING:

Lake BACHAR (W,1-0)  5.2ip 6h 3r 3er 1bb 10k;
Steve KENT (S,1)  3.1ip 1h 0r 0er 0bb 5k

OFFENCE:

Cameron WARNER 3-4 (D); Casey McELROY 2-5 (D-RBI);
Lee MILLS 2-4 (RBI); David KANDILAS 1-4 (2RBI);
Travis WITHERSPOON 1-4 (RBI); Robbie PERKINS 1-4 (HR-RBI);
Kyle PERKINS 1-4

 
 

WEEK 11 - SEMI-FINAL - Game 3 - 4 FEB 2018 - Baseball Park, Thornlie

 

Team

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

CANBERRA

1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 3 8 1

PERTH

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 2
REPORT:  After owning a splendid 4-0, 1.80 ERA record from the regular season, Canberra's import starter Frank Gailey was always going to be a tough assignment for Perth batters in this deciding semi-final game, but they didn't figure that he'd be quite this tough!
The 32yo former Phillies' 'AAA' professional gave the Heat barely a breath of oxygen this afternoon at Thornlie when he fanned twelve across 7.1 innings of high quality baseball pitching. Perth's offence was off balance all day with just four hits for the game, and even five walks didn't do anything to get their scoreboard moving. Alex Hall's leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth was to be their only score of the game as Canberra came from a game down to prevail in the best-of-three series. On most occasions Perth's pitching was also strong enough to earn them a positive result, yet they were second best today. The Cavalry gratefully accepted an unearned run in the top of the first and they manufactured another in the top of the fourth to see the back of Heat starter Kyle Simon who was saddled with the loss.
Back-to-back doubles from Casey McElroy and David Kandilas posted a third run for the visitors in the top of the seventh and it proved to be too many for Perth to overcome on this day.
It may be a stretch to suggest that the unfortunate recent departure of Perth's star import Jake Fraley may have changed the outcome of this series, but he was certainly a "difference maker" at the top of the lineup card with a .361 batting average and 39 stolen bags.
The harsh reality is that there is no room for excuses in elimination games, no matter how plausible, and you can only credit Canberra's superior pitching today, led by Frank Gailey and finished by Michael Click who closed out the save.

PERTH HEAT

CANBERRA CAVALRY

PITCHING:

Kyle SIMON (L,0-1)  3.2ip 3h 2r 1er 3bb 3k;
Dylan THOMPSON  2.1ip 1h 0r 0er 0bb 2k;
Joe Van METER  1.0ip 2h 1r 1er 0bb 0k;
Warwick SAUPOLD  1.0ip 2h 0r 0er 0bb 0k;
Cameron LAMB  1.0ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 1k

OFFENCE:

Tim KENNELLY 2-2; Alex HALL 1-4 (HR-RBI); Luke HUGHES 1-4

PITCHING:

Frank GAILEY (W,1-0)  7.1ip 3h 0r 0er 5bb 12k;
Michael CLICK (S,1)  1.2ip 1h 1r 1er 0bb 4k

OFFENCE:

David KANDILAS 2-4 (D-RBI); Casey McELROY 2-5 (D);
Jay Baum 1-3; Kyle PERKINS 1-3; Robbie PERKINS 1-4 (D);
Cameron WARNER 1-4; Lee MILLS 0-4 (RBI)

SERIES STARS:  In a losing cause, Perth stalwart star Tim Kennelly really stood tall with six hits, including three doubles, a home run and three runs batted in. Consistent producer David Kandilas was the main man for Canberra with five hits and three RBIs as they shared the offensive load in this three-game series. It wasn't hard to nominate brilliant Game 3 starter Frank Gailey as the pitching star of this semi-final.