On Friday the Claxton Shield in Australia entered its final stretch with the beginning of the best-of-three championship series between the Victoria Aces and South Australia. Since several of the players have been or will be again in Europe, Mister-Baseball.com will take a look at the series.
Claxton Shield Finals Game 1: Victoria Aces – South Australia 5-3
SA 200 100 000 3 5 2 VIC 011 300 00X 5 7 2
A wild fourth inning decided the first game of the championship series. Victoria scored three run in the bottom of the frame en route to a 5-3 win over South Australia. Trailing 2-3, the Aces tied the game through a RBI single by Elliott Biddle. A throwing error by second baseman Mathew Smith after a ground ball by Scott Wearne and a hit by pitch with the bases loaded for Andrew Russell forced in the game winning runs later in the period.
South Australia started strong into the contest, taking a fast 2-0 lead in the opening frame thanks to a bases loaded walk by 2009 Dutch Hoofdklasse MVP Ryan Murphy and a wild pitch. Victoria answered with a solo homerun by Brad Harman and a RBI double by Russell to even the score after three innings. South Australia shortly regained the lead in the top of the fourth on a RBI double by Scott Gladstone before losing the game in the bottom of the inning.
On the mound Amsterdam’s Adam Blackley (VIC) received the starting nod for Victoria. He struck out seven in 3 1/3 innings, but also conceded four hits, three runs (1 ER) and three walks. Montpellier’s Matthew Blackmore (W 1-0) replaced him in the fourth and shut the door. He struck out four in five brilliant innings of one-hit relief to pick up the win. Pittsburgh Pirate and Australian National Teamer Paul Mildren (L 0-1) suffered the loss, issuing seven hits, five runs (4 ER) and two base on balls in 3 1/3 innings. Dushan Ruzic (SA) of DOOR Neptunus struck out four in two scoreless innings of relief, walking one.