The Auckland Tuatara have beaten the Perth Heat 5-2 in the third game of their opening series at QBE Stadium last night. The win is their first in the new Australian Baseball League season.
After the first two games only yielded one run for the home side, LA Dodgers prospect Jared Walker got the crowd on their feet with a solo home run over the right field fence in the bottom of the second innings.
Robbie Glendinning then hit back for the Heat with a two-run homer in the next innings, so it became crucial that Walker’s run wasn’t a one-off. Thankfully, the Tuatara put together their most productive period of the season so far in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs through a Josh Morgan RBI and then a double to Walker.
Hansel Moreno then added on another run in the fourth, driving in Andrew Marck. The Heat had no answer to the pitching rotation of the Tuatara, who used five men on the mound. Yujo Kitagata was impressive in his one innings, recording three strike outs before Hever Bueno finished the game off in the seventh with three straight strike outs of his own.
Most importantly, it gets the Tuatara’s season off the mark with a win after a tough week of preperation. Manager Steve Mintz was all smiles post match.
“It was fun just to see the guys having fun out there…Walker got us started with that first home run, I think that was the shot in the arm we needed. We had a lead, and then the boys played well” he said.
The two sides have one final game in their series, which is today at 1pm at QBE Stadium.