After enjoying a week off it was back to business against two time ABL Champions, the Perth Heat. During the week the Perth Heat website published an article titled "Can anyone beat the Heat?". Needless to say an article posted this early on in the season with that title would cause a stir amongst the opposing clubs. We were out there to prove the Heat can be beaten.
In a pitching matchup that was built up to be the best the season had to offer, former Major Leaguers Chris Oxspring and Virgil Vasquez both pitched brilliantly, as neither allowed a run in their outings. Oxspring went 6 1/3 innings, allowing just 4 hits and striking out 10. In the end we won 1-0 on a walk off single by Zach Penprase in the bottom of the 9th inning. We had many opportunities to score earlier in the game but were unable to capitalize. Just like Vin Diesel says in The Fast and the Furious, "It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winnings winning". We'll gladly take take the win. This win marked the first time we've beaten Perth in Sydney since the ABL started.
The Heat wasted no time taking the lead in the first inning when leadoff hitter Steve Bumbry took Blue Sox starter Craig Anderson deep over the right field wall to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. It wasn't a lead that Perth held for long as we took the lead in the 4th inning when Mitch Dening tripled to score Zach Penprase. Geoff Klein then hit a single to drive Dening in from 3rd to give us a 2-1 lead. The lead didn't last for long as the Heat scored the very next inning to tie the game up at 2-2. We didn't scored again until the 7th inning when James Robbins hit a lead off triple which was followed by a single by Shane Benson. We scored another run in the inning thanks do an infield single from JD Williams which scored Michael Lysaught all the way from 2nd. We ran out winners 4-2 and handed Perth their 3rd consecutive defeat.
We had our chances with runners in scoring position but we just weren't able to capitalize on our opportunities. Vaughan Harris started off strongly and was able to battle through 4 innings but ran into trouble in the 5th inning allowing 5 runs. The inning was highlighted by a 2 run home run by Alan De San Miguel. We were able to get within 1 run, but Perth added an insurance run in the 8th and we were unable to mount a comeback. Perth winning their first game of the series 6-4. I threw 1 inning in this game and was able to get a strikeout, groundout and a fly ball. A positive from this outing is that people were saying my velo was 90-92mph. So I'm glad my arm strength is coming back.
We sent Tim Cox to start his first game of the season. It wasn't the return he would have hoped for as he allowed 10 hits and 4 runs in 3 2/3 innings. Once again we had plenty of chances with runners in scoring position but were just unable to get it done. A special mention to Josh Guyer, who at only 18 years old made his debut with the Blue Sox throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief. The first of many appearances for the young Minnesota Twins prospect.
After 4 weeks of competition we are 5-5. This week we head up north to play the Brisbane Bandits at two different locations as a part of their community series. We play 3 games in Lismore before playing the last game of the series on the Gold Coast. Should be interesting