Perth Heat 9, Adelaide Bite 2
The Perth Heat came roaring back to win the second game of the Australian Baseball League’s championship series on Saturday (early hours for US time zones), forcing a winner-take-all final game on Sunday. Bite starter Brandon Maurer had the Heat under his thumb for the first four innings. He struck out the side in the 1st, and went on to allow only two base runners over the next three innings — a batter reached on an error in the 2nd and a single in the 4th. But Perth came out swinging in the top of the 5th, starting with a lead-off homer. A walk and two singles loaded the bases, then after a line out to short, two singles drove in three runs. Maurer got a strikeout, but then gave up a walk to load the bases, and he was relieved by Reed Brown. The first batter Brown faced, Heat CF Ronnie Welty, smashed a grand slam over the right field wall to give Perth an 8-run inning. The Heat added an extra run in the 8th on a double, a wild pitch, and a single.
The Bite scratched out their first run in the 3rd inning, on a double by 1B Ben Wigmore, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI ground out. 3B Stefan Welch led off the 8th inning with another double. Like the Heat in the top of the inning, a wild pitch moved the runner to third base, and an RBI ground out drove in the run. LF Quincy Latimore beat out a grounder to second for a single to open the 4th inning, but he was left on base.
Adelaide Bite 4, Perth Heat 3
The Bite opened the Australian League’s championship series with a win over the Perth Heat on Friday. Perth began the scoring with a run in the bottom of the 1st, on a single and an RBI double from the first two batters in their lineup. The Bite tied the score in the top of the 3rd. After a pair of lead-off singles by 1B Ben Wigmore and 2B Josh Cakebread, a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position. 3B Stefan Welch drove in the tying run with a ground out to first base. Adelaide took the lead in the top of the 5th, with more firepower from Welch. Wigmore and Cakebread again opened the inning with a pair of singles, and again a sacrifice bunt moved them into scoring position. Welch lined a double in to right field, scoring both Wigmore and Cakebread. Another single drove in Welch, and LF Quincy Latimore also singled, moving another runner into scoring position. A double play ended the rally. The Heat rallied in the bottom of the 6th, with three singles, a walk, and an RBI ground out producing 2 runs, but that still left them one run behind the Bite. The Bite had only one runner reach base over the last three innings of the game, but they held off rallies by the Heat in each of the last two innings. In the 8th, a two-out double and a single had the Perth pinch-runner rounding third and heading for the plate, but a perfect throw from CF James McOwen let C Brandon Bantz tag the runner out at the plate to end the inning. Another two-out double and a hit batter put two runners on base for the Heat in the bottom of the 9th. Adelaide reliever Adrian Burnside came in to make the final out with a grounder to third base, ending the game. Latimore also singled in the 4th inning, but was left on base.
Former Pirate C Carlos Maldonado has signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Caribbean Series:
Mexico 6, Dominican Republic 3 — The Dominicans were leading 3-1 going into the 8th inning, but Mexico rallied for 2 runs in the top of the inning to tie the score. A single, a wild pitch, and a single brought in the first run before an out was recorded. Then with two outs (from two different relief pitchers), a walk and a single scored the tying run. The Dominicans went down in order in the bottom of the 8th, and the Mexicans came right back to break the tie in the top of the 9th with a 3-run homer. The Dominican Republic put two runners on in the bottom of the 9th, but could not score, and Mexico had the win.
Puerto Rico 4, Venezuela 2 – Two runs in the top of the 10th gave Puerto Rico this win. The Puerto Ricans began the scoring when a throwing error contributed to an unearned run in the 2nd inning. They scored again in the 3rd on a single, a walk by SS LuisFigueroa, a bunt that turned into a ground out at second (but they weren’t fast enough to turn two), and a sacrifice fly. Venezuela got onto the scoreboard in the 5th with a bases-loaded RBI ground out, then tied the score with the help of an error in the 7th inning. Puerto Rico threatened in the top of the 9th, but did not score until the top of the 10th. Figueroa walked, then moved to third on a bunt complicated by a throwing error. A hit batter loaded the bases, and Figueroa crossed the plate on a walk. The next batter also walked, forcing in an insurance run.
Mexico now leads the series with a 3-1 record. Venezuela is last with a 1-3 record, and both the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are tied at 2-2.
A few signing notes for some former Pirates. Of course the biggest news is that OF Lastings Milledge has signed a minor league deal with the White Sox. Inf/Of Alfredo Amezaga (Indy Indians 2005) signed with the Rockies for 2011. Inf Ramon Vazquez has signed with the Cardinals.
The Caribbean Series began play today with each of the for teams holding a 1-1 record.
Mexico 7, Venezuela 3 — The Venezuelans scored a single run in three consecutive innings — a pair of doubles in the 5th, a fielding error with the bases loaded in the 6th, and a single, a walk, and a sacrifice fly in the 7th. But Mexico’s 4-run 5th inning was enough to overcome all of that. Two singles and an error on a sacrifice bunt loaded the bases for the Mexicans. A double cleared the bases for 3 runs, and a single with an error by LF Jose Castillo added the fourth run. An RBI double and an RBI single gave Mexico 2 runs in the 3rd inning. Two walks and a throwing error added an unearned run to the Mexico total in the 6th.
Dominican Republic 4, Puerto Rico 3 — A 9th inning rally by the Dominicans upended Puerto Rico on their home turf. Puerto
Rico took the early lead with one run in the 3rd inning on a walk, a wild pitch, and an RBI double. Another wild pitch plus a fielding error in left field contributed to Puerto Rico’s run in the 5th inning. The Puerto Rican pitching staff made 2 wild pitches in the top of the 6th, to give Dean Treanor’s Dominican team their first run of the game. Puerto Rico kept ahead with another single run in the 7th inning, on a walk, a sacrifice bunt by SS Luis Figueroa, and an RBI single. The 9th inning began with Puerto Rico leading 3-1, but with one out, back-to-back walks and a triple drove in 2 runs for the Dominicans to tie the score. An intentional walk put runners on the corners, then a grounder to first allowed the runner from third to score the go-ahead run before the final out was made. Puerto Rico tried for a comeback with a single to lead off the 9th, but a double play got the Dominicans out of the inning with the win.
The Australian League
Adelaide Bite 4, Sydney Blue Sox 0 — The Bite got their revenge for being no-hit in Game One by shutting out the Blue Sox in the second game of the semifinal series. Starter Brandon Maurer allowed the Blue Sox only 4 hits in his 7 innings of work. He worked around runners on base in 6 of those 7 innings, and walked a batter in each of the first 5 innings, but did not let anyone come around to score. Reliever Adrian Burnside finished things up for Maurer with two perfect innings. On the offensive side, DH Quincy Latimore was responsible for 3 of the Bite’s 4 RBI. The run he did not drive in came in the 4th, on a double and a single. Latimore had the third of three singles in the 5th inning, and he drove in both of the runners on base. A single, a bunt, and a wild pitch put a runner on third for the Bite in the 7th inning, and Latimore drove that runner in with another RBI single. Latimore also reached base on an error in the 2nd inning, and made it as far as third base, but a double play ended that inning. The Bite and the Blue Sox have now each won a game in this 3-game series. The rubber match will be played on Sunday (early, of course), and the winner will face the Perth Heat in the championship series next weekend.
Day Two of the Caribbean series:
Dominican Republic 6, Venezuela 5 — Two runs in the top of the 9th were not enough for Venezuela to catch up to Dean Treanor’s Dominican team. Each team scored a run in the 2nd inning, with a solo homer for the Venezuelans and a walk and a triple for the Dominicans. A 2-run double by DH Kevin Barker gave the Dominican Republic a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 3rd. The Venezuelan team came right back with a 2-run homer in the top of the 4th to tie the score again. Then the Dominicans took the lead with single runs in three different innings. A walk and two singles plated a run in the bottom of the 4th. A sacrifice fly brought in an insurance run in the 6th, and Barker homered in the 7th. The Venezuelan team made 2 outs to begin the top of the 9th, then kept the game alive with a single and a 2-run homer, but that was all they could get, as a ground out ended the game.
Check out a story about Dean Treanor here. He used to be a police officer.
Puerto Rico 7, Mexico 3 — Puerto Rico began the game with their first six batters reaching base safely: a single, a double by SS Luis Figueroa, a fielding error, two singles, and another error, accounting for 4 runs. After a double play, a double drove in the 5th run of the inning. Mexico got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning with a walk and two singles. Two more singles and an error added 2 more runs for Mexico in the 2nd inning. That was as far as the Mexicans would get, despite posting 12 hits. Puerto Rico scored again in the 5th with two singles and a double play. Figueroa had another RBI single in the 6th for Puerto Rico’s final run.
Sydney Blue Sox 8, Adelaide Bite 0 — Sydney pitcher David Welch opened the semi-final round of the Australian League playoffs by pitching a no-hitter against the Adelaide Bite. Welch walked the first batter he faced, but left him on base. He also walked the lead-off batter in the 2nd inning, but picked him off first. After striking out the side in the 3rd, Welch worked around a missed catch error in the 4th and his third walk in the 5th. He also had a batter reach base against him in the 8th on another error, but erased that runner with a double play. DH Quincy Latimore went 0-for-4, and had one of Welch’s 10 strikeouts. Meanwhile, Welch’s teammates were providing him with plenty of run support. They scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st, knocked a 2-run homer in the 2nd, and added 2 more runs in the 3rd. One more run scored in the bottom of the 8th.