Tuatara starting pitcher Jared Koenig (Photo SMPIMAGES/Baseball Australia)
It was a low-scoring game in Adelaide last night, as the Giants edged the division-leading Auckland Tuatara 1-0.
The classic pitcher’s duel saw Jared Koenig play what will be his last game for the Tuatara, as he is due to join the Oakland Athletics in Major League Baseball next season. He gave up the one earned run and seven hits, while recording two strike outs. That effort should have been enough to secure victory, but the offensive woes that dogged the Tuatara in their difficult opening to the season returned at the worst possible time.
The batting lineup combined for only four hits, with Giants starting pitcher Chase Cunningham in fine form. He sent the first seven Tuatara batters back into the dugout before he conceded his first base hit.
The Giants had a runner reach base in each of the first six innings, but had three runners picked off, two runners thrown out extending hits and also hit into a double play. They finally broke through in the fourth inning, when Mitch Edwards scored Jordan McArdle with a single to right field.
That was as good as it got in terms of runs, with both lineups struggling to convert any opportunities.
Andrew Marck singled in the ninth for the Tuatara to give them a chance to score the tying run but they couldn’t bring him home.
Tuatara relief pitcher Elliot Johnstone was impressive in his three innings – striking out five and allowing no runs on three hits to continue his strong run of form out of the bullpen.
Newcomer Isac Franklin, Josh Morgan and Josh McAdams joined Marck in getting a hit on the night.
The two sides – who currently lead their respective divisions – will meet in a double header today. Despite the loss, the Tuatara still hang on to first place in the Northeast Division, while the Giants are top of the Southwest.