12 February 2018

Canberra Cavalry fall short in Championship series decider

| Lachlan Roberts
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Canberra Cavalry pitcher Frank Gailey in action during game three of Championship Series against the Brisbane Bandits. Photo: Supplied by SMPIMAGES.COM/ABL Media.

Canberra Cavalry has fallen just short in their quest for a second Claxton Shield after Brisbane completed a historic three-peat of ABL crowns.

The Bandits defeated the Cavalry 4-2 in the deciding contest of their best-of-three ABL Championship Series at Wild Moose Stadium on Sunday night.

Travis Blackley starred on the mound for the Bandits, with Adam Weisenburger and Mitch Nilsson showcasing their offensive talents to bring the shield back to Brisbane.

The series decider was filled with drama, with a two-hour rain delay and both teams’ benches clearing twice in a fiery affair.

With the Bandits up 4-0, one of Frank Gailey’s pitches hit Bandits outfielder Andrew Campbell in the back at the bottom of the sixth inning. The benches cleared and some push-and-shove ensued.

The benches cleared again after Cavalry catcher Robbie Parkins caught Campbell trying to steal second base. Brisbane manager David Nilsson and first base coach Adrian Lamb were ejected.

Gailey left the game after the first bench-clearing scuffle and was replaced by Steven Kent. The left-handed Gailey allowed four runs on five hits, walking two and striking out nine.

The Bandits showed plenty of patience against one of the league’s best pitchers as Gailey threw 116 pitches to keep the Cavalry in the game.

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, after victories over Melbourne and Adelaide in the past two seasons.

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