Melbourne Aces win their first-ever Australian Baseball League title

Melbourne Aces win their first-ever Australian Baseball League title
10/02/2020
The championship club was managed by Jon Deeble, who led Australia to an Olympic silver medal in 2004.

The Melbourne Aces secured their first Australian Baseball League (ABL) title. Melbourne made the best-of-three championship series as short as two games, sweeping the Adelaide Giants 4-3, 6-2. Jon Deeble, who managed Australia to an Olympic silver medal in 2004 in Athens, was the skipper of the Aces.

Game 1 turned out to be a real baseball drama. Melbourne entered the ninth and final frame leading 2-1. Adelaide scored two in the top of the inning, but Melbourne came back and walked it off with a couple of runs in the bottom half. Veteran catcher Allan de San Miguel, who will retire after this season, scored the go-ahead run. Reliever Jon Kennedy earned the win.

The Aces won the title clincher, 6-2, backing with 11 hits a strong start by left-hander Wes Helsabeck. A two-run home run by Shane Robinson off David Holmberg opened the score in the third inning. Reliever Jon Kennedy closed it off.

The Melbourne Aces earned their first Claxton Shield, the trophy awarded to the winners of the top baseball competition in Australia since 1934.

The trophy is the legacy of Norman Claxton (1877-1951), a prominent figure in cricket, Australian football, baseball and cycling, who donated it. Claxton was inducted into the Baseball Australia Hall of Fame in 2005.

Cover picture courtesy of the Australian Baseball League, a WBSC Associate Member