The Brisbane Bandits, presented by WellDog, started the playoffs exactly according to plan, taking down the SA Power Networks Adelaide Bite 7-4 on Friday night at AFA Stadium at Holloway Field.
The home team got ahead early in the first matchup of the Australian Baseball League Championship Series presented by Boral with a solo home run in the opening frame of the game from Tampa Bay Rays prospect Bralin Jackson. Brisbane added four in the third before plating an insurance run in each of the sixth and eighth frames, and allowing the ABL's best bullpen to shut it down in the late innings.
TJ Bennett led the offensive charge for Brisbane with two hits – including a solo shot of his own – and three runs driven in. Adelaide left eight runners on base in the matchup, stranding at least one in each of the first seven frames and going 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position on the night, keeping constant pressure on the minor premiers.
Jason Jarvis took the hill for the host squad and the 28-year-old righty earned the first win of the playoffs for the Bandits after five innings of work, allowing four runs on nine hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. The big blow from Adelaide came in the fifth, left fielder Angus Roeger hitting a two-out, three-run long ball to get his team within one.
Brisbane will look to follow a similar successful formula for the second game of the Championship Series with big-league southpaw Traveis Blackley on the hill against former Bandits hurler Steven Chambers. Frst pitch is set for six o’clock local time and the game is broadcast on ESPN Australia, Fox Sports Asia and MLB Network.