It might be so cold that your cats are volunteering to be scarves, but there is no reason to despair. A sizzling hot ’13-’14 Australian Baseball League season has a scorcher of a playoff race taking shape. After action last night, the Adelaide Bite, Melbourne Aces and Sydney Blue Sox are all tied for third place. The defending ABL champion Canberra Cavalry are alone in second, but only one game ahead of the pack. The Perth Heat are in first place with a four game lead that is much too small to start coasting toward the finish.
So, while fans in the northern latitudes are suffering through varying degrees of frigid and damp, there’s a whole other world of baseball thriving out in the warm sunshine. Games are streamed live over a series of tubes. A few have had really friendly start times like say, 6:00 in the evening Pacific Standard. After whipping up a batch of hotdogs and potato salad, and cracking open a favorite frosty beverage, you can almost forget the season outside. At least until the relentless wind finds a loose shutter to slam against the house.
ABL Scoreboard: January 9
In a game that saw three comebacks for ties, the Sydney Blue Sox defeated the Canberra Cavalry 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th inning. A walk-off single by Mitch Dening brought Zach Shepard home and the Blacktown crowd to their feet.
Joe Burns pitched a heck of an outing for the Melbourne Aces. Kyle Brueggemann pitched a heck of an outing for the Adelaide Bite. In the end, a little bit of luck and poor fielding set the table for the Bite in a 2-0 shutout victory at Norwood Oval.
Perth Heat seemed like polite hosts when the Brisbane Bandits arrived, but there was nothing genteel about a 6-0 lead after two innings. Heat delighted the fans at Barbagallo Ballpark with rallies and dingers on their way to a 10-3 win.
ABL Action: January 10
Battle for the Hume Highway Cup continues in Sydney when the Blue Sox host the Canberra Cavalry in game two of a four game home stand at Blacktown. Game starts at 12:30 a.m. PST or 3:30 a.m. EST.
Two teams in the playoff hunt stay toe to toe when the Melbourne Aces face the Adelaide Bite in game two of a crucial late season series at Norwood Oval. Game starts at 12:30 a.m. PST or 3:30 a.m. EST.
Perth Heat will try to extend their lead against a Brisbane Bandits team that would like nothing more than to exact a bit of revenge at Barbagallo Ballpark.
Game starts at 3:20 a.m. PST or 6:20 a.m. EST.
Streams for the games can be found at the Australian Baseball League website. Click on the tab that says “Watch Live” and feel the ice leaving your soul.