This post first appeared on BaseballDigest.com
The South Australian baseball club has a chance to win the coveted Claxton Shield Championship for the first time in thirty years after defeating the New South Wales Patriots 1-0 in game 3 of the semi-finals on Sunday evening.
The player of the game was unquestionably Ryan Murphy for South Australia. Making his first start of the season, Murphy dominated the NSW lineup to the tune of a complete game shutout, only allowing one runner to advance to second base. In addition to outstanding pitching, Murphy provided his own offensive support by cranking the only home run in the semi-finals to give his team a 1-0 lead in the second inning. For a full recap of all the games, photos, and video of an outstanding catch by Dan Wilson that robbed NSW’s second baseman of a home run, click here for South Australia’s website.
In order to win the Claxton Championship, the South Australians will have to go through the best team in the league. A quick look at the batting and pitching league leaders for the season shows the Victoria Aces have their fair share of players representing the best of the league. It also comes as no surprise that the Aces lost just 7 games during the tournament.
The South Australian’s have the best offensive player of the year in their lineup with Michael Collins, but the Victoria Aces’ own Matthew Lawman is capable of changing any game with a single at bat. Josh Davies and Scott Wearne provide Lawman with lineup protection, and 4 of the top 5 ERA league leaders belong to the Victoria Aces.
It appears on paper that the South Australian’s have an uphill battle when they face the Aces on February 5th for game 1 of the grand finals. However, as the semi-finals showed, it takes a single player to change the course of the game. It is uncertain whether the South Australian baseball club will provide live coverage of the series, but if it is carried you will find it at their website.(click here for the link to the live feed)
Game 1 between South Australia and the Victoria Aces will take place at 7:05PM on Friday, February 5th in Melbourne, Australia, which is 3:05AM in Eastern Standard Time.