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Week Three Review
After sweeping the Blue Sox in a rain-shortened three game series, the Heat now sit tied atop the ABL standings with a 7-4 record
12/05/2017 12:31 AM ET
 

Perth, WA -- The Heat took out the brooms this weekend, sweeping the Sydney Blue Sox in a rain-shortened three-game set.

 

After taking the opening game of the series in a 5 to 4 thriller on Friday night, the two teams were rained out when downpours hit Eastern Australia on Saturday.

 

On Sunday the clouds would part, allowing the two clubs to take part in two abbreviated contests, with the first lasting seven innings and the latter finishing after eight frames. The Heat would win both contests by scores of 7 to 4 and 8 to 4 respectively, completing their three-game sweep of the Blue Sox and catapulting them to the top of the ABL standings.

 

The Heat offense continued their torrid start by averaging nearly seven runs across the three games. Once again leading the charge for the Heat was import third baseman Michael Brosseau who went 5 for 12 with two runs and two RBIs against the Blue Sox. The Tampa Bay Rays farmhand is now second in the league with a .442 batting average and ranks third in OPS with a 1.198 mark.

 

While Heat imports have been key to their early offensive success, Heat veterans Tim Kennelly and Luke Hughes have once again been offensive cornerstones. Kennelly and Hughes both came up with clutch home runs in game three of their series which proved critical in the Heat victory. On the season, Hughes leads the league in walks, while ranking fourth in OPS, while Kennelly ranks fourth in slugging percentage and sixth in OPS.

 

Integral to the Heat's success this weekend was the much-improved performance of the bullpen. A week removed from yielding 25 runs in just 16.1 innings, the relief corps bounced back in a big way as the group posted a 2.70 ERA across 13.1 innings against the Blue Sox. With no starting pitcher lasting more than 4.1 innings on the weekend, the success of the Heat bullpen came at the perfect time.

 

Especially noteworthy thus far has been the performance of right-handed reliever Scott Mitchison, who in 6.1 innings has struck out eleven and has yet to give up a run. Mitchison has been the first pitcher to throw out of the pen in most of his appearances this season, but will likely be thrust into a more high leverage role if his dominating performance continues.

 

In the absence of closer Benn Grice, Cameron Lamb has also stepped nicely into the closer role, converting saves in both opportunities he has been given. Through 8.1 innings, Lamb has a 2.16 ERA and 0.60 WHIP to anchor the back end of the Heat bullpen.

 

Luke Hughes spoke about bouncing back after a tough series against Brisbane the weekend prior.

 

"It's awesome to bounce back after having a tough weekend last series. We threw a lot of runs up on the board and our pitching staff is starting to click, so we are going to have an exciting team going forward."

 

After Brisbane got swept this past weekend, the Heat are now tied for the league lead with the Melbourne Aces at 7-4.

 

The Heat will host the Adelaide Bite next weekend, who currently sit in last place at 2-10 and are coming off a series in which they lost three games to one against the Canberra Cavalry.

 

The series will get underway this Thursday at 4:00 p.m. AWST at Harley Davidson Ballpark.

 

As always, Dan Vaughan and Paul Morgan will be broadcasting the Heat games on the Talking Baseball Australia channel on MixLR or on the TuneIn app.  

 

To purchase tickets quickly and easily, download the Baseball Live app.Tickets to Heat games can be found online at the link provided below: http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?agency=HEAT&orgid=52162&schedule=list

 

For further inquiries about tickets to Perth Heat games, call 0406-839-259.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.