Norwood Oval: Gone but not forgotten

NORWOOD Oval is a noticeable absentee from the Australian Baseball League “ballpark starting rotation” this season following Adelaide’s move to West Beach.

The home of baseball in SA since the 1950s has served up a number of gripping contests and fantastic plays in six seasons of the ABL and will forever hold a soft spot for many Bite fans.

Ahead of Adelaide’s opener at its new home, here are five of our favourite ABL moments at Norwood:

1. Back-to-back-to-back

2015 ABL Championship Series: Adelaide 3, Perth 2

Trailing the Perth Heat 2-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh in game one of the 2014/15 ABL Championship Series Adelaide needed some heroics.

They got just that.

Leading off the seventh, Stefan Welch homered off Heat starter Mike McClendon to give the Bite a pulse.

Moments later it was a tied-game after Tom Brice hit a home run to right field.

Then the comeback was complete when Mitch Dening gave Adelaide back-to-back-to-back home runs and a game-winning advantage.

 

2. Brice magic

December 2015: Adelaide 1, Perth 0

The Perth Heat have caused Adelaide plenty of trouble in the current version of the ABL, twice coming from one-game down to beat the Bite in ABL Championship Series and at one stage rattling off 10-straight wins.

Perth’s dominance meant Adelaide had not won a series against the Heat through five seasons of the ABL.

In December 2015 the Bite entered game four at Norwood Oval in a position to wrap up a historic series win.

Pitching was on top for eight scoreless innings – as starters Tom Bailey and Matthew Williams both lasted seven innings – before veteran Tom Brice delivered a decisive shot.

Brice homered to right-centre field off reliever Edgar Valle to complete a stunning walk-off victory before aptly celebrating with fans in the Shark Tank.

 

3. Big Cal caps off big comeback

November 2011: Adelaide 8, Sydney 6

Adelaide pulled off one of the more remarkable comeback wins at Norwood Oval against Sydney in November 2011.

The Bite trailed 6-3 with two outs and none on in the ninth and were facing ace closer Dae-Sun Koo.

Import Chin-lung Hu hit a two-run blast after Josh Cakebread singled to give Adelaide a glimmer of hope.

Koo then walked Jeremy Cresswell before Denny Almonte singled.

First baseman Calvin Anderson completed the comeback with a huge three-run shot to right field as Adelaide scored five two-out runs in the ninth.

 

 

4. Fold the Aces

December 2012: Adelaide 18, Melbourne 1

It does not get much bigger than Adelaide against Melbourne, South Australia versus Victoria.

In six years of the rivalry at Norwood there were plenty of memories – some good, some great.

The Bite completed a series-sweep over the Aces in the first round of the inaugural season and later won their playoff series 2-0.

And don’t forget that brawl.

But our favourite moment was when the Bite rammed home a Norwood Oval record 18 runs in an 18-1 win in December 2012.

A six-run fifth was the highlight in a night Adelaide hit eight doubles.

 

5. Long day (and night) at the office

November 2015: Melbourne 5, Adelaide 4

It was meant to be a seven-inning contest on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Adelaide.

Five hours and 17 minutes later it was a 15-inning arm-wrestle that caused game two of a doubleheader to be postponed a day.

The Aces ultimately edged the Bite in the longest game in league history.

Both teams scored two runs in the 11th to prolong the contest before Darryl George scored the go-ahead run the the 15th.

 

 

Have we missed one of your favourite ABL moments at Norwood Oval? Let us know in the comments section.

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