2017/18 ABL R6 – Brisbane v Adelaide
29 Dec 2017 19:30 AEDT
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Game 1 – Friday, 7:30pm
Game 2 – Saturday, 4:30pm
Game 2 – Saturday, 7:30pm
Game 4 – Sunday, 2:30pm
Brisbane can keep its perfect home record intact when it hosts last-placed Adelaide at Holloway Field starting Friday night. The Bandits are 7-0 at home this season and lead the league overall entering the second half of the season. Brisbane took three of four against the Bite in Adelaide ahead of the All-Star Game break, shutting out the hosts in two of the contests.
The Bandits’ pitching receives a boost ahead of the return series between the sides, with Tim Atherton set to make his return from injury. Atherton has not pitched since December 3 against Melbourne. The right-hander holds a 2.31 ERA and recorded a win in his opening two appearances for Brisbane, striking out 19.
Pat Young has also been added to the bullpen with Chiu Pin-Jui out. The Bandits will be without Donald Lutz and Aaron Whitefield but Kenshi Sugiya will make his ABL debut. Brisbane will still prove to be a tough assignment for Adelaide, winners on just four occasions through the opening half of the season.
Offence has been a huge problem for the Bite. Adelaide tallied just 24 hits and nine runs in its four-game series with Brisbane in round five. The Bite have started to look to the future with Mason Clavell and Curtis Mead getting opportunity. The pair will travel to Brisbane as Adelaide seeks a huge upset to close out 2017.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
BITE – Curtis Mead: Mead, 17, is one of the beneficiaries of Adelaide’s lean season. The infielder made his debut as a pinch-runner against Melbourne on November 23 and after a three-hit game against Brisbane in round five will travel with the Bite for its round six series.
BANDITS – Tim Atherton: Atherton returns to Brisbane’s roster for the first time since round three and gives the best pitching staff in the ABL an even bigger edge. The right-hander recorded a 2.31 ERA to start the season and racked up 19 strikeouts in his first two appearances.
Bandits 3-1. Even with a few key offensive pieces missing Brisbane looks a formidable outfit, especially at home where its line-up is tailor-made for. With Atherton returning to the rotation, the Bandits’ pitching staff looks even stronger than the one that twice shut out Adelaide in round five. It is hard to see the Bite mustering the runs needed to win multiple games in the series.