The Brisbane Bandits have claimed back-to-back Australian Baseball League Championships with a 3-1 win over the Melbourne Aces, sweeping the home side two games to none.
Kramer Champlin was the Game 2 hero for the Bandits, receiving the win after a dominant outing for the Bandits. He allowed just the one hit (a solo home run from Cody Jones) in the fourth, while striking out four batters and not conceding a walk in seven innings of work.
An RBI single from Wade Dutton in the second inning gave the Bandits an early lead which they'd never relinquish.
Cody Jones had his best series of the season with the bat for the Aces, tying things up one apiece in the fourth inning with that solo home run to right field following a three hit performance in game one.
A productive sixth inning from the Bandits offense proved pivotal, scoring two runs to retake the lead that included Kevin Padlo scoring on a wild pitch from Aces reliever Jon Kennedy.
Peter Moylan entered in relief in the seventh inning to prevent the Bandits offense from inflicting further damage and extending their lead. Moylan struck out three and allowed two hits in three innings of work.
The Aces had the opportunity to mount a late rally in the eighth inning, but were left empty handed after loading the bases with one out. Ryan Rowland-Smith gave up a lead-off hit to Mike Walker, forcing the Bandits to turn to closer Ryan Searle to shut down the Aces offense.
Searle struck out one before allowing two straight hits to load the bases, but strike outs from Kelii Zablan and Cody Jones brought the inning to an end without the Aces scoring a run. Searle pitched two innings, allowing two hits and struck out four.
The Aces struggled to get anything going offensively in game two, being outhit by the Bandits 8-4 which was the story of the entire Championship Series.
For the Aces, Josh Tols made his second straight start in an ABL Championship Series, having previously started for the Adelaide Bite in game one of the 2016 ABLCS against the Brisbane Bandits. Tols pitched five innings, allowing five hits, one earned run and three walks while striking out six.
The Game 2 loss marks the end of another Australian Baseball League season and for Aces fans, while it wasn't the finish we were all hoping for, we can all be proud of the season our boys put together and we'll be back for another crack at it next season.