Luke Hansen produced a clutch extra innings hit and then made a diving play to help the Auckland Tuatara beat the Brisbane Bandits 3-2 in the Australian Baseball League (ABL) on Friday night.
Hansen drove in the eventual game-winning runs in the first tie-breaker inning, doubling on a ground ball to left field, allowing Te Wera Bishop and Guiyuan Xu to score, putting the Tuatara ahead.
He then made a spectacular diving catch at third to deny any Bandits momentum, as the Tuatara picked up their first win of the series at OneHub Stadium in Brisbane.
Reliever Brandon Marklund held his nerve to get the win and got some help from his defence when outfielder Zach Clark threw out a would-be tying run at the plate. Catcher Te Wera Bishop did exceptionally well to withstand the impact of Riley Unroe in a collision at the plate in the process, and it meant the visitors stayed in front.
Marklund struck out Logan Wade to secure the win over the three-time reigning ABL champs.
Auckland's starter Josh Collmenter contributed heavily to the visitor's success tonight, striking out seven Bandits players over the course of seven stellar innings.
The win was Auckland's 10th this season.
The two sides meet in a double-header on Saturday to complete the series.