THE Australian Baseball League has finally got underway with three games to open the season on Friday night.
There was action in Canberra, Melbourne and Perth.
We recap each game, with highlights from ABLtv.com, ahead of three doubleheaders today.
Bandits 1, Cavalry 2
A couple of home runs powered the Canberra Cavalry to a 2-1 victory in its home opener against the Brisbane Bandits.
Import Ryan Miller homered with two out in the first innings and returning Jeremy Barnes restored the Cavalry lead in the fourth inning after the Bandits responded through Mitch Nilsson’s double.
Miller was the only batter to pick up multiple hits and the sides both tallied seven hits.
Brian Grening pitched 6.1 innings for one run off seven hits in his fourth Opening Day start for Canberra.
Michael Click picked up the save with a tidy ninth-inning.
Rick Teasley allowed the two runs, off the two homers, in his Bandits’ debut. The 24-year-old went five innings, giving up six hits and striking out five hitters.
Blue Sox 0, Aces 3
Life under new manager Joe Vavra started sweetly for the Melbourne Aces, shutting out the Sydney Blue Sox in a 3-0 home win to open the ABL season.
Matthew Larkins lasted eight innings and allowed just the four hits, while striking out only two hitters and walking three.
Darryl George’s fourth-inning single broke a 0-0 deadlock and Brad Harman stole home in the eighth to extend the lead to 3-0.
The Blue Sox could muster only four hits, with Joshua Dean picking up two.
Sydney starter Wayne Lundgren pitched six innings and allowed two runs from seven hits, while striking out six hitters.
The win was Melbourne’s second victory in six season openers.
Bite 4, Heat 5
Perth Heat walked off with a three-run shot in its ABL Championship Series rematch with the Adelaide Bite at home.
The Heat trailed 4-2 entering the ninth but loaded the bases off Bite closer Kevin Comer before Derek Peterson tripled to clear the bases and give Perth a season-opening win.
Earlier a Michael Benjamin sacrifice fly handed the Heat a 1-0 lead in the third before Adelaide took the lead with a two-run sixth.
Landon Hernandez’s sacrifice bunt and Ben Lodge’s RBI-single restored Adelaide’s lead in the eighth after Peterson batted in the first of four runs in the seventh.
Steven Chambers was strong in his Adelaide debut, lasting six innings and allowing one run on three hits.
Daniel Schmidt pitched six innings and allowed two runners to score on four hits.
Adelaide lead-off man Jordan Cowan had an Opening Night high three hits.
The Bite has lost 15 of 20 regular season match-ups away to the Heat.