Heat bows out of cham­pi­onship

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - SPORT -

AF­TER mak­ing five con­sec­u­tive ABL Cham­pi­onships, the Perth Heat bowed out of sea­son 2015/16 with a 6-1 loss to the Bris­bane Ban­dits at Hol­loway Field in Bris­bane on Sun­day.

The loss meant the Heat dropped all four games in the se­ries to fin­ish the sea­son with a record of 23-33 losses, the most losses for the fran­chise in the “re­born” ABL and through­out the en­tirety of the Perth Heat’s his­tory.

Game four was like a bro­ken record on re­peat as the pitch­ing was solid ear­lier, yet the bats strug­gled to man­u­fac­ture any­thing to sup­port their starter.

Tom Bai­ley was once again the Sun­day starter for the Heat and the young pitcher looked solid early, as he has done all year. In a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son for the Heat, a bright spot has cer­tainly been the emer­gence of this young West Aussie.

Bai­ley cruised through the first four in­nings giv­ing up no runs, but found trou­ble in the fifth, giv­ing up a crush­ing three-run home­run to for­mer big lea­guer (Cincin­nati Reds), Don­ald Lutz.

With Maxx Tis­senbaum cross­ing the plate ear­lier in the in­ning, Lutz’s home run gave Bris­bane a 4-0 lead.

Prior to giv­ing up the home run, it ap­peared Bai­ley strained his left pec­toral mus­cle, seek­ing at­ten­tion from Heat train­ers.

Af­ter Lutz’s long ball, Bai­ley would come out of the game to be re­placed with War­wick Saupold.

Af­ter be­ing shut out by an­other big-lea­guer on Sat- ur­day night (Travis Blackly) and only man­u­fac­tur­ing two runs in game two, fi­nally af­ter 22 straight in­nings with­out a run, Perth would score their lone run in the eighth cour­tesy of a Derek Peter­son sin­gle to cen­tre bring­ing home Tad Gold.

Bris­bane would tack on sin­gle runs in the sev­enth and one in the eighth to ce­ment them­selves as mi­nor cham­pi­ons and firm as favourites to win this year’s Clax­ton Shield.

Three teams re­main in the pur­suit of the ul­ti­mate prize. Ade­laide Bite will take on Can­berra Cavalry in a three-game se­ries, with the win­ner head­ing to Bris­bane to take on the Ban­dits at Hol­loway field in the 2015/16 ABL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries start­ing Fe­bru­ary 5.

Paul Mor­gan

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