2017/18 ABL R10 – Adelaide v Sydney
26 Jan 2018 19:30 AEDT
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GAME 1: Thursday, 7.00pm ACDT
GAME 2: Friday, 7.00pm ACDT
GAME 3: Saturday, 4.00pm ACDT
GAME 4: Saturday, 7.00pm ACDT
Adelaide will attempt to end Sydney’s faint playoff hopes when the teams clash in a bottom-of-the-table series at Adelaide Shores.
The Blue Sox travel to the city of churches needing at least three wins – combined with Melbourne losses – to sneak into the four ahead of the Aces.
If Melbourne wins a game in Perth, Sydney would then need its second sweep of the Bite this season to get in.
Adelaide, on the other hand, has a sneaky chance to avoid the wooden spoon with a sweep of its own.
The Bite and Sox have been the big strugglers to start 2018.
Adelaide has won two of 12 while Sydney has put together a 2-11 record, failing to make ground on the fourth-ranked Aces.
Pitching has been the big problem for both teams.
The Bite’s ERA in January sits at 8.47, while the Sox have compiled a 9.65 ERA in their 13 games.
Sydney’s pitching has received a big boost with Trevor Foss back to spearhead the starting rotation after tossing two innings out of the bullpen last round.
The right-hander has not started since December 8 and was lights out in round one against Adelaide, giving up one run in six innings while striking out seven.
Sydney will need Foss to fire in the all-important opening game of the series.
Michael Suchy (7-for-14 with two homers in round nine) and Lars Anderson (6-for-15 with a home run) will also need to continue to swing a hot bat after solid displays in last weekend’s series loss to Canberra.
The Bite have nothing to lose and will no doubt give their young prospects a chance to shine.
Curtis Mead, 8-for-15 with his first ABL homer against Melbourne last weekend, has impressed while Mason Clavell has also gained more playing time.
Jack O’Loughlin, 17, returns to the starting rotation against Sydney and teenager Ky Hampton has retained his spot on the roster.
Development players Brodie Arriola, Ryan Duncan, Harrison Knuckey, Sean Maple, Tyson McKee and Griffin Weber could also see action against the Sox.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
BLUE SOX – Trevor Foss: Foss returns to the starting rotation after making his comeback from injury against Canberra. In four appearances as a starter, the 28-year-old has put together an ERA 5.09 and gone 1-2. His sole win was against the Bite on Opening Night as he struck out seven in six one-run innings.
BITE – Jack O’Loughlin: After representing SA at the Australian Youth Championships and missing last weekend’s series against Melbourne, O’Loughlin will return to the Bite roster. He looks set to make his first start since November 24 in his last appearance for Adelaide before his first Spring Training with Detroit. After a challenging season, the left-hander will be keen to put in a solid performance.
Split. Adelaide will do enough to end Sydney’s season at home. The Bite took it up to the Aces last round despite winning just one of four games. Adelaide’s bats have shown more life in recent weeks and the Bite will be keen to finish on a high. The Sox hopes are pinned on the early games. If they win game one, and Melbourne loses in Perth, their momentum will start to build.