Welch back on deck for Bite in ABL
Russell Jackson
17:27 AEST Wed Dec 28 2011

The timing couldn't be better for star Adelaide Bite infielder Stefan Welch to make his first appearance of the Australian Baseball League season.

Adelaide begins a six-game series against champions Perth Heat at home on Thursday night in a replay of last year's Championship Series.

The 23-year-old Welch, who was born in Alice Springs and played in the recent ABL All Star game for Australia against the World All Stars, has been itching to get back on board for Adelaide.

Welch recently finished his contract with the New York Mets and has signed to play Minor Leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates organisation.

"I can't wait to get back out there," he said.

"It's always good playing against Perth, they're a great team.

"It should be a good few days. Hopefully we come away with a series win.

"The guys have been on fire lately, they're swinging the bats really well and the pitching has been very strong too."

The Bite made a slow start to the season but currently sit in second place behind Perth after winning 14 of their past 20 matches.

Perth on the other hand have lost six of their past 13 matches after starting with a perfect 11-0 record but Welch expects nothing but the best from the Heat.

"You really need to be on your game in all areas, against Perth. They are a very good all-round team and I'm expecting a very tough series," he said.

Welch, a tall left-handed batter, hit seven home runs for Adelaide last season and will return to the US in March to begin spring training.

He hopes to be playing Double-A baseball when the season commences in April.

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