Saturday, 11 February 2012
Melbourne Aces forced the Australian Baseball League championship series into a third and deciding game with a dramatic 3-2 win over Perth Heat in a 13-innings marathon at Barbagallo Ballpark on Saturday.
Melbourne first baseman Josh Davies broke a 2-2 deadlock when he came home on a fly ball single to centrefield from second baseman Brad Harman.
The championship will be settled on Sunday at the same venue in Perth.
"We're just happy to come away with the win and we'll come out tomorrow and see how we go," Harman told Fox Sports.
Davies set up the winning run with a ground ball single to left field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from shortstop Dominic Ramos
Shortstop Mitchell Graham, Perth's outstanding batter on the night with four hits, hit a ground ball single to centrefield in the bottom of the 13th to keep alive the Heat's dream of a straight games victory and a second successive title.
He advanced to third on a ground ball single to right field by centre-fielder James McOwen, but the Heat couldn't find the equalising run.
Aces relief pitcher Kevin Reese contained the powerful Perth batting lineup, conceding just three hits in the last three innings.
Starting pitchers Warwick Saupoid of Perth and Nic Ungs of Melbourne held sway early, with the game scoreless through the first four innings.
Perth scored two in the bottom of the fifth and Melbourne levelled with two in the top of the sixth.
Ramos, Davies, Harrman and catcher Kevin David all tallied two hits for the Aces.