2016/17 ABL R9 – Melbourne v Adelaide
22 Jan 2017 15:00 AEDT
Round 9 of the 2016/17 Australian Baseball League season features Brisbane v Perth.
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ADELAIDE (16-16) at MELBOURNE (24-8)
After last weekend’s series win in Canberra, the Aces’ magic number to clinch the Minor Premiership sits at just one game. However, the team standing in Melbourne’s path is none other than Adelaide, the only club to win a series over the Aces this season, back in Round 2 in Adelaide. Both teams enter the round after winning their respective Round 8 series.
The series was all about the Bite, whose batters dominated Aces’ pitching like no other team this season. They hit .322 against a Melbourne pitching staff that has a 3.27 team ERA, and scored 16 runs over the course of the four-game series. Bite pitcher postd a 1.50 ERA against the Aces’ lineup, striking out 32 batters in 36 innings while walking just seven batters. It was a recipe for success that proved perfectly effective.
Despite Melbourne’s struggles against the Bite in Round 2, the Aces have been the best team at home this season, with a 13-3 record at Melbourne Ballpark. If the Aces clinch at home, fans will feel the joy of a dominant state returning to glory, since the last time Victoria raised the Claxton Shield in 2010, the [Victoria] Aces won the regular season, hosted the finals and won on home state soil.
Players to watch: Max MacNabb (ADE), Mitch Dening (ADE), Mark Hamburger (MEL), Ryan Dale (MEL)
Series prediction: Series split, 2-2
Reason: The Aces are wild but the Bite have the ladder-leaders’ number this year.