Blue Sox Win Game Three, Now One Victory From Eliminating Aces
On Friday night, the Sydney Blue Sox defeated the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces 6-2 in Game Three of the ConocoPhillips ABL Postseason Round Two series at Melbourne Showgrounds. The Blue Sox now lead the best-of-five series 2-1, with Game Four to be played Sunday afternoon at 3:05PM. Game Five, if necessary, will commence half an hour following the completion of Game Four on Sunday.
The Blue Sox dominated throughout Game Three of their ConocoPhillips ABL Postseason Round Two series against the Aces, leading the entire game on their way to a 6-2 victory. Brad Thomas was outstanding on the mound, allowing just five men to reach base in seven innings, striking out six. Mitch Dening led the offensive charge for Sydney, connecting for a pair of home runs and four RBI.
The Blue Sox got on the board first when Tyler Collins crushed a solo home run off Melbourne starter Nic Ungs in the second inning. They added two more in the third when Dening hit the first of his two blasts, a two-run shot that cleared the right field wall.
Other than those costly homers, Ungs pitched a good game for Melbourne. He ended up being charged with five earned runs when two of his men inherited by Bubbie Buzachero scored following his seventh inning departure, but he struck out ten and didn’t walk a batter.
Unfortunately for Ungs and the Aces, this was a night when they needed near-flawless pitching to succeed. Thomas had his longest start of the year for Sydney, going seven strong innings and surrendering just four hits, three of which came off the bat of Elliot Biddle. His final inning was the only frame in which two hitters reached base, but he got out of it by forcing a Ben Knuth groundout, leaving his team with a five-run lead. He needed just 69 pitches to get through his seven innings, throwing 52 of them for strikes.
The Blue Sox added their final three runs in the seventh on Dening’s second home run, another two-run blast. Sydney’s top two batters, David Kandilas and Dening, combined for three runs scored and five RBI in the game.
Melbourne’s Justin Huber continued his outstanding Postseason performance, picking up two more base hits and homering for the second straight game. He now has 10 RBI in seven Postseason contests. Biddle broke out of his recent funk with three hits of his own, and the five hits between these two were the only ones the Aces got on this night.
Sydney now has a 2-1 advantage in this best-of-five series and sits just one win away from a trip to Perth for the 2012 ConocoPhillips ABL Championship Series. Game Four at Melbourne Showgrounds will begin Sunday afternoon at 3:05PM. If the Aces win to force a deciding fifth game, it will begin half an hour following the conclusion of Game Four.
Sydney 012 000 300 6r 9h 0e
Melbourne 000 000 101 2r 5h 1e
W: Thomas (1-0) L: Ungs (0-2)
HR: SYD: Collins (1), Dening 2 (2); MEL: Huber (2)
Sydney Hits: Dening (2), Collins (2), Kandilas, Maat, D’Antonio, Younis, Graham
Sydney RBI: Collins (6), Dening 4 (5), Kandilas (7)
Melbourne Hits: Biddle (3), Huber (2)
Melbourne RBI: David (3), Huber (10)