Aces face the Heat to recieve championship rings

Things don't always work out in professional sport, as the Melbourne Aces learnt the hard way on February 12 this year, when a wild pitch by Andrew Russell allowed James McOwen to score the run that won the Perth Heat their second straight Australian Baseball League Championship.

Fast forward nine months and the Aces will tonight stand opposite the Heat as they receive their championship rings, with the fires fuelled for another great series between the two sides.

Both sides have had successful starts to the season with the Aces taking two of three games from the Adelaide Bite, while the Heat are undefeated in ABL play and made a strong appearance at the Asia Series last weekend, despite coming away with nothing to show.

There are many positives for the Aces as they head into what could be a landmark series, with one of the biggest being that the majority of the side who felt the agony of last season have returned for another shot at glory.

Brad Harman joined the squad last Sunday afternoon and came in with a bang blasting two home runs, after leading the league in home runs last year.

The former Philadelphia Phillies player and 2008 World Series winner is more than just a hot bat for the Aces, with his solid defensive play helping the Aces force a deciding game last season.

It doesn't stop there however, with Elliot Biddle and Justin Huber also expected to play a large role for the Aces this weekend after strong starts to the season.

The pair couldn't find their groove in February, going a combined 3-28 (batting average of .107) across the three game championship series.

Last weekend Biddle and Huber showed they are back to their best combining to go 7-22 (.318 batting average) with 2 home runs and 6 runs batted in.

Speaking to the Aces website earlier in the week, general manager Windsor Knox described it as a great chance for both sides to re-evaluate after an off-season where both organisations have reloaded with new talent.

The Aces roster has been bolstered with the inclusion of major league prospects Carlo Testa (Kansas City Royals) and Zachary Arneson (New York Yankees).

Not to be forgotten is some of the young talent which the Aces have coming through, with Ryan Dale, Ben Leslie and Lewis Thorpe all signing professional deals in America throughout 2012.

While it is still early days in the ABL season, this series has the hallmarks of not only an instant classic, but a three-game set that could change the course of the season for one or both teams.

When the Heat returned from the Asia Series last season they were 11-0 and the Canberra Cavalry handed them the first losses of the season at home, while the Aces have never won a series away from home.

Add in the fact that Perth are receiving their championship rings and you've got a matchup made in heaven.

The game will be available to watch via streaming :: http://freezone.iinet.net.au/vod/freezone/sport/perth-heat/games

Game times are as follows.

Friday, 16 November – 10.20pm AEST

Saturday, 17 November – 10.20pm AEST

Sunday, 18 November – 7.05pm AEST

It has also been announced that the Melbourne Ballpark will host the ABL All-Star game on December 16. Tickets are on sale from Monday, 19 November.

The story Aces face the Heat to recieve championship rings first appeared on WA Today.

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