His­toric se­ries sweep

Canning Times - - SPORT -

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.

Pic­ture: James Wors­fold

Robert Gar­cia made his first start for the Heat on Fri­day night.

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