GREENWELL Point’s Tim Atherton and his Brisbane Bandits have completed their quest for a historic three-peat of Australian Baseball League crowns.
Atherton, a pitcher who was named series MVP, and his Bandits downed Canberra 4-2 in the deciding contest of their best-of-three ABL Championship Series at Wild Moose Stadium on Sunday night.
Former big leaguer Travis Blackley starred on the mound for Brisbane, while Adam Weisenburger and Mitch Nilsson provided the offence.
Blackley tossed six scoreless innings, allowing one hit, issuing just one walk and striking out two.
Back-to-back singles by Logan Wade and Nilsson paved the way for Brisbane to score first.
Adam Weisenburger took Cavs' starter Frank Gailey deep with two out following the singles to open up a 3-nil lead.
Nilsson's sixth-inning homer extended the Bandits' advantage to 4-nil.
Game three was not without some drama as Brisbane manager David Nilsson and first base coach Adrian Lamb were ejected as the benches cleared twice.
Play also stopped for more than an hour as a storm tore across Brisbane.
The first bench-clearing brawl came as Gailey hit Andrew Campbell with a pitch after giving up the solo shot to Nilsson.
They cleared a second time after tempers flared when Campbell was caught stealing second base.
Gailey left the game after the first bench-clearing scuffle and was replaced by Steven Kent.
Left-hander Gailey allowed four runs on five hits, walking two and striking out nine in 5 2/3 innings.
The Bandits showed plenty of patience against one of the league's best pitchers.
Gailey threw 116 pitches to navigate 5 2/3 innings.
Canberra cut a run off Brisbane's lead in the seventh when Jay Baum singled and then scored on a throwing error by David Sutherland.
Kyle Perkins hit a solo homer off reliever Matt Timms when play resumed following the rain delay to make it 4-2.
But it was too little, too late, as the Bandits claimed their third-straight Claxton Shield following triumphs over Melbourne and Adelaide in the past two seasons.
Closer Ryan Searle secured the final five outs to complete the come-from-behind series win.