ADELAIDE, JANUARY 7 - After a promising start the Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks, struggled to get bat-to-ball and a firing Canberra ELITE Cavalry pitched its way to a 5-3 win at Adelaide Shores Baseball Complex.
The loss leaves Adelaide (13-14) in third place, two games behind Canberra (15-12) and just ahead of Brisbane (12-15) and Sydney (11-15).
Josh Altmann's opening RBI gave Adelaide a strong start with his 29th hit of the season, but Canberra responded to draw level and charge ahead with four hits, a walk and a sacrifice bunt in the third inning.
That inning left Adelaide reeling and Steven Chambers (L, 1-3, 6.52) was unable to take control with eight hits, five runs and three strikeouts in four innings.
An Adelaide rally saw the Bite draw level after Seattle Mariners prosect Jordan Cowan drove home Nathan van der Linden, before he stole third with a clean take.
Stefan Welch tied up the game with perfectly placed RBI single and after three innings it was looking promising, but a sudden drop in form cut off any win.
Clinical pitching from Louis Cohen (W, 2-0, 1.85) and Tim Atherton saw the Cavalry wipe out 15 consecutive Bite hitters and while Adelaide's bullpen responded well the offense could not get a hit.
Mitch Dening ended the streak with a late hit in the eighth, but there was no hope after Canberra had already added another two runs in the fifth.
Impressive performances by pitchers James Snelgrove, another Adelaide product making his debut, and Tyler Chappell kept the game alive but a lack of hits plagued the home team.
A single by Marcus Greene Jr. in the ninth provided a late chance which was cut off in a double play, to leave Adelaide needing a win to keep a tight grip on third on Sunday.
Their series finale against Canberra starts at 11.30AM with Sean Callegari starting on the mound as Adelaide puts on a show with its 'Bring your dog to the baseball' game.