Perth notches fourth ABL title in five seasons

Perth notches fourth ABL title in five seasons

The Perth Heat wrapped up back-to-back Australian Baseball League titles Sunday, downing the Adelaide Bite, 12-5, in the third game of the ABL Championship Series.

It marked the fourth time in the past five seasons the Heat has taken home the Claxton Shield. Perth began the season with a 10-13 record but went 19-7 to finish the year.

"These guys have battled back from so much," Perth manager Steve Fish said. "It's an incredible feeling."

Adelaide won Game 1, 3-2, on three straight solo home runs in the seventh inning. Perth bounced back with an extra-innings win in Game 2 to even the series. The Heat turned the winner-take-all game into a rout, quickly jumping out to a 6-0 lead.

Right fielder Tim Kennelly, designated hitter Tim Smith and second baseman Luke Hughes each homered for the Heat, and right-hander Mike McCarthy picked up the win after allowing four hits and striking out seven in 3 1/3 scoreless innings.

Catcher Allan de San Miguel, who had the game-winning hit in Game 2, was named the series' Most Valuable Player.

"It's a pretty special moment for my career out here in Australia," de San Miguel said. "It's been a [tremendous] year. We've had our ups and downs and adversity, and to come through with that clutch hit last night and win tonight, it's a special moment."

Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.