Perth Heat have capped off an entertaining two nights of baseball to open the summer of live action in Western Australia with a 9-1 victory on Saturday against the Brisbane Bandits Futures team at Empire Ballpark.
The two teams came together to put on the two exhibition matches when the Heat's originally scheduled Round 1 Australian Baseball League opponent the Canberra Cavalry were unable to fly to Perth on Friday.
Rather than have that stop the show going on at Empire Ballpark to mark the return of professional baseball to Perth for the first time since January, the Bandits Futures team was able to fly in at late notice from Brisbane and the result was two entertaining evenings of ball.
Saturday night saw a second big win for the Heat with Robbie Glendinning and Ulrich Bojarski hitting the first homeruns of the summer in WA while the pitching was impressive all-round.
Friday night saw the Heat come away with the 11-3 victory against the young Bandits team, but then it was Brisbane quick out of the blocks on Saturday scoring in their first inning through Dermot Fritsch who made it to home on a Heat throwing error.
However, the Bandits wouldn’t manage another run the rest of the game with the Heat pitchers especially impressive.
Nathan Wiles was credited with the win on the back of the two innings he pitched where he delivered four strikeouts without conceding a hit. Beau Sulser opened things up for the home side and gave up just the one hit in two completed innings.
Fellow Californian signing Nathan Gercken looked good in the time he spent on the mound before Tampa Bay Rays product Alan Strong also came on and kept things tight impressively.
Nick Alexiou and Tom Bailey then closed out proceedings for the Heat while the batters kept the scoreboard ticking over.
In the bottom of the first, the Heat levelled scores on a single from Robbie Glendinning that allowed captain Tim Kennelly to score.
The Heat then blew the game open in the third inning starting with the first homerun of the summer at Empire Ballpark. Ulrich Bojarski was the successful hitter and it also drove in Glendinning and Ford Proctor to put the home side up 4-1.
It became 5-1 by the end of the inning with Shane Sasaki showing his base running capability to score on a Jess Williams fly ball double.
Proctor and Bojarski both hit singles in the fourth inning to drive in Grant Witherspoon to score to make it 6-1 before the Heat put a further gap between them and the Bandits in the eighth.
Sam Kennelly opened with a double which ended up seeing him score after a single from brother Tim. Glendinning then opened his homerun account for the summer and gave the Heat a second for the night when he cleared the fence to drive in Tim Kennelly to make it 9-1.
That's where the score stayed for the Heat and now they take a break over Christmas ahead of heading to Melbourne to take on the defending champion Aces from New Year's Eve.
ABL EXHIBITION GAME 2
PERTH HEAT 9 (Glendinning 2, T Kennelly 2, S Kennelly, Sasaki, Bojarski, Proctor, Witherspoon)
BRISBANE BANDITS FUTURES 1 (Fritsch)
W – Nathan Wiles; L – Sam Beattie
Saturday December 19, Empire Ballpark