After having the best record in the Australian Baseball League, the Melbourne Aces were swept at home in the best-of-three finals by Brisbane. The Bandits won their second straight ABL title.
Maybe the Aces were hurt by having a week off, while the Bandits beat Adelaide last weekend.
In Game 1, the Aces lost 6-2 as ace Mark Hamburger allowed four home runs over eight innings (six total runs).
Centerfielder Cody Jones was back in the leadoff spot after missing the last six games of the regular season for the Aces. He went 3-for-4 with an RBI. He also stole a base.
Roman Collins was in right field, batting third. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. Catcher Allan de San Miguel (who will be the predominant catcher on the Aussies’ World Baseball Classic team) went 1-for-4 with a strikeout from the cleanup spot in the Aces order.
In Game 2, the Aces lost 3-1. The Bandits broke the 1-1 tie with two runs in the top of the sixth. The first run scored on a de San Miguel passed ball, while the final run scored on a ground out.
The Aces lone run came on a game-tying solo homer from Jones in the fourth (he went 1-for-4). That was the team’s first hit of the game (and only hit for a while). Jones also picked up an outfield assist.
Collins moved into the cleanup spot, but went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Dropping to the sixth spot in the order, de San Miguel went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
Ryan Dale pinch-hit in the eighth and delivered a single, one of only four hits for the Aces. Actually in the bottom of the eighth, the Aces picked up three singles to load the bases with one out, but two straight strikeouts ended the threat (Jones struck out to end the inning).
Free agent reliever Peter Moylan threw three scoreless innings for the Aces. He allowed two hits while striking out three. Moylan induced five ground outs and threw 19 of his 26 pitches for strikes.