By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The Adelaide Giants won the 2022-23 Australian Baseball League championship this past Sunday, snapping South Australia’ 43-year Claxton Shield drought.
The Giants took the best-of-three series against the Perth Heat Sunday, winning game three by the score of 5-2. Giants manager Chris Adamson has helped the Adelaide franchise win their first title in franchise history since the the Australian Baseball League was restarted in the late 2000’s and the first year of the Adelaide Giants made its inaugural season in 2010-2011.
In the top of the second inning, former St. Louis Cardinal Pete Kozma got Perth on the board first with a ground ball to second base, scoring Josh Reddick.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Giants’ Jordan McArdle launched a two run home run to left center field, scoring Quincy Latimore to tie the game up at two apiece.
“Guys like Quincy and Dylan Unsworth play a massive role for our team,” Adelaide catcher Jared Carr, a top Philadelphia Phillies prospect, told World Baseball Network in December. “This is kinda one of the first teams I’ve played on with a big age difference in some of the players. Quincy is a position player who has played a lot of baseball in his life, seen a lot, played in a lot of different leagues, and I think that’s a great way to help out younger players and to let them know how the game works and teach them the game.”
Giants starting pitcher Jack O’Loughlin was pulled in the middle of the top of the third inning as he just went 2.2 innings pitched allowing two hits, walking two batters, one earned run, and striking out three as relief pitcher Adam McKillican entered the game.
In the bottom of bottom of the fourth inning the Giants looked to take the lead as Philadelphia Phillies prospect Jared Carr ripped a double to right field scoring McArdle to put Perth up 3-2.
During the bottom of the eighth, the Giants added more insurance runs as Rixon Wingrove doubled to right field scoring Anthony Quirion to go up 4-2.
Relief pitcher Todd Van Steensel came in to the top of the ninth inning to shut the door for the Giants, striking out Connor Owings for the final out of the championship as Adeliede won their first Claxton Shield in the history of their franchise.
The Giants bullpen went 6.1 innings, allowing two hits, no earned runs, walking four batters, and striking out 11 to win the Claxton Shield.
Jordan McArdle won the Australian Baseball League Championship Series MVP Award with a home run in the deciding game three, two hits in game one of the series with a run batted in and overall three home runs in the best-of-three series.