The in-form Melbourne Aces have secured a berth in the Australian Baseball League Championship Series.
The Jon Deeble-coached Aces will face Adelaide Giants in a three-game season decider in a bid to claim their first title in franchise history.
It will be the third time the Aces have featured on the ABLCS weekend with both other times ending in the bitter taste of defeat.
The Aces’ first foray to the ABLCS came back in 2011-12 when they went down two games to one to Perth Heat.
Three years ago, the Aces found their way back to the final weekend of the season, only to be swept by the Brisbane Bandits.
The Bandits have won the past four ABL titles, but there will be a new winner this season because neither Melbourne or Adelaide have won titles in the current formation of the ABL.
Of course, in the old ABL, Melbourne-based teams Waverley Reds, Melbourne Monarchs and Melbourne Reds all won titles.
Melbourne Aces earned a passage through to this summer’s ABLCS with a 2-0 series sweep over Auckland Tuatara at the weekend.
The Aces took game one 5-4 on home soil at the Melbourne Ballpark on Thursday night.
Darin Downs started on the mound for the Aces and picked up the win.
Downs had the Aces in front when he left the field after 5.2 innings.
Jon Kennedy and Scott Mitchinson worked efficiently middle relief, while Cody Mincey closed out the game. Nate Samson hit the only home run for the Melbourne Aces.
Knowing a win would clinch the series on Saturday night at Auckland’s North Harbour Stadium, Melbourne Aces were keen to get the job done and avoid a sudden death game three.
The Aces stuck to their end of the bargain, winning 6-2 win.
Melbourne Aces can go into ABLCS with confidence, having beaten the Adelaide Giants three times in a four-game series last month.
The Aces will host game one of the ABLCS at Melbourne Ballpark on Friday at 7pm.