The Brisbane Bandits repeated as Australian Baseball League champions this weekend winning their second straight Claxton Shield. The Bandits swept the Melbourne Aces to claim the title.
Game 1 Brisbane 6, Melbourne 2
The Bandits blasted former Texas Ranger Mark Hamburger for 6 runs in Game 1. Hamburger tossed 8 innings in the loss. He gave up 10 hits but struck out 10. However, the Bandits used the long ball to propel themselves to victory hitting 4 home runs off of Hamburger.
Trent Oeltjen, another former big leaguer, got Brisbane off to a quick start with a 2-run homer in the top of the first inning. The Bandits would never trail. After picking up another run in the top of the 2nd, Bandits starter Justin Erasmus gave up 2, 2-out hits making the score 3-2. Erasmus would not factor into the decision going only 2.1 innings. The Bandits pitching staff, including former big leaguer Ryan Rowland-Smith, shut down the Aces bats for the final 7 innings.
David Rodriguez would add a solo shot in the 3rd inning giving Brisbane a 4-2 lead. Then in the top of the 8th, the Bandits added back-to-back solo shots from Logan Wade and Kevin Padlo to finish off the Aces in Game 1.
Game 2 Brisbane 3, Melbourne 1
In the final game of the season, Kramer Champlin pitched Brisbane to its second straight Claxton Shield. Champlin tossed 7.0 innings giving up just 1 run on 1 hit. He struck out 6 picking up the win. The lone run for the Aces off of Champlin came in the 4th inning on a solo home run by Cody Jones.
Aces starter Josh Tols pitched well too matching Champlin for 5 innings. However, after Tols was pulled in the 6th reliever Jon Kennedy gave up 2 runs in 0.1 innings to take the loss. It took 3 Aces relievers to get out of the 6th inning with no further damage. Former big leaguer Peter Moylan finished off the game throwing 3 shutout innings for Melbourne, but the bats never came alive.
Brisbane took an early 1-0 lead on a Wade Dutton RBI single to drive in Liam Bedford. But the lead was short lived as two innings later Jones would homer to tie the game at 1. In the 6th, with runners at the corners Allan de San Miguel allowed a past ball letting Kevin Padlo to score from 3rd base. A few batters later, Aaron Whitefield grounded out to 2nd baseman James Beresford driving in David Sutherland from 3rd base for the final run of the game.
Ryan Searle pitched the final 2.0 innings striking out 4 to pick up his second save of the playoffs.