Historic series sweep
PERTH Heat started their Australian Baseball League season with a bang, completing a 4-0 series sweep of Auckland Tuatara at Perth Ballpark.
The sweep marks the first time the Heat have won their first four home games of a season since the rebirth of the league in 2010.
Perth started off proceedings on the right foot, winning game 1 8-4 on Friday night in the Auckland side’s first ever competitive game.
Auckland were thwarted by Perth’s starting pitcher Robert Garcia, as the Mexican retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced before leaving the game in the fourth inning.
On the offensive end, a three-run first-inning put the Heat in control early, but Auckland hit back with their first-ever run in the fourth inning.
Solid pitching by both teams kept the contest scoreless over the next three innings until Tristan Gray padded the Heat’s lead with a two-run double off the wall to make it 5-1.
Auckland rallied in the eighth inning to send a scare through the Perth camp, before pitcher Cameron Lamb came up clutch with a double play and strikeout to get his side out of trouble.
The visitors started strongly in the first half of the double-header on Saturday, racing out to a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
However, Perth rallied and Jake Bowey’s walk-off home run with the hosts down 4-2 in the ninth inning broke Auckland’s hearts.
Auckland started game 3 strongly, racing out to a 2-0 lead, before a five-run fourth inning from Perth proved the catalyst for a strong 11-3 victory.
The Heat completed the sweep with an 8-2 win on Sunday, fuelled by an aggressive start from their batsmen, who took a 6-0 lead into the fourth inning.
Robert Garcia made his first start for the Heat on Friday night.