Former Arizona Diamondback and Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Trent Oeltjen helped the Brisbane Bandits to steal Game 1 of the ABL Playoffs from the Adelaide Bite.
The Bite led 1-0 after the 6th inning on a Jordan Cowan two out triple to score Jordan McArdle. Bite starter Max MacNabb tossed 7.0 solid innings. The former draft pick of the San Diego Padres who played for the Senart Templiers in the French Division 1 League last summer didn’t allow a run while striking out 6.
But Brisbane would come back with a strong 8th inning to pull off the win.
Matthew Williams came in to start the 8th for MacNabb and he immediately gave up a lead off single to David Sutherland. Wade Dutton followed Sutherland with a bunt single of his own to put two men on with no outs. Aaron Whitefield tried to sacrifice the two runners over, but a throwing error by Bite pitcher Williams allowed the tying run to score and left two Bandits’ runners still on base. Then still with no outs, Oeltjen tripled to put the Bandits up 3-1 to secure the win.
Ryan Searle pitched the final two innings for Brisbane to pick up the save. The former Chicago Cubs farmhand pitched in both Taiwan (Lamigo Monkeys) and Italy (Unipol Bologna) in 2016.
The two teams will face off once again on Saturday with Brisbane a single win away from a return to the ABL Championship.
The two teams travel to Brisbane for Game 2. On the hill for the defending champion Bandits will be Kramer Champlin a former Toronto Blue Jays farmhand who has pitched in the Frontier League the past few summers. For Adelaide will be 16-year old Jack O’Loughlin who went 3-3 in 9 games (8 starts) with a 3.02 ERA this season.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.