9 February 2021

Cav's comeback helps crack a spot in ABL playoffs

| Michael Weaver
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Zach Wilson

Zach Wilson facing the Brisbane Bandits at Narrabundah Ballpark last Saturday. Photo: Peter Norton.

The Canberra Cavalry has kept alive its hopes of winning the Australian Baseball League’s Claxton Shield despite going down 2-1 in the three-game series against the Brisbane Bandits.

After losing the first two games of the series in Brisbane, the Cavs won a nail-biting third game at home in front of a strong crowd at Narrabundah Ballpark on Saturday night (6 February). The win at home secured a fourth-place finish and means the Cavs will host the fifth-placed Sydney Blue Sox in an ABL Wild Card Game at Narrabundah tonight (9 February).

The Cavs lost the first of the four-game series against Brisbane, in Brisbane, last Thursday night (4 February), going down 12-5.

Game two was a nail-biting 4-3 loss that required an extra inning to decide the result after the scores were locked at 3-3 after the ninth.

Brisbane’s Sam Holland was good enough to shutout the Cavs and give his side a perfect opportunity to win the ball game in the bottom of the 10th.

Steve Kent

Cavs pitcher Steve Kent in action against Brisbane at Narrabundah Ballpark. Photo: Peter Norton.

The two teams then moved to Canberra to complete the series, where the Cavs only needed to win one of the two games to keep their season alive.

Again, only one run decided the result but two extra innings were needed to separate the teams.

This time, the Cavs were on the winning side of the ledger when Mikey Reynolds drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th to lift the Cavalry to a 12-11 win and end the Bandits’ hopes of making the wild card game.

Both teams had earlier crossed the home base seven times after six innings, and no further runs were scored after the regulation nine innings.

READ ALSO Canberra Cavalry’s night of pride

Canberra needed a 10th-inning grand slam from Boss Moanaroa to force an 11th after Brisbane scored four runs in the top half of the first extra inning. Reynolds then hit the winner for a walk-off win in the 11th.

In the fourth game of the series, a much simpler 4-0 win to the Cavs helped secure the home ground advantage in the wild card game on Tuesday night.

Cam Warner drove in three runs and the Cavalry stole a single-game franchise record of six bases during the 4-0 win.

The Canberra Cavalry celebrate

The Canberra Cavalry celebrate after winning game three of the series against the Brisbane Bandits at Narrabundah Ballpark on Saturday night. Photo: Peter Norton.

Canberra will face Sydney in the sudden-death encounter at Narrabundah tonight. The winner will advance to Melbourne to join the top-three teams in a modified double-elimination bracket from Thursday.

First pitch is set for 7:00 pm. Ticketing information is available through the Australian Baseball League.

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