CANBERRA, Australia – The Canberra Cavalry took advantage of two Perth Heat errors and a late inning home run to win the 2013 Australian Baseball League Championship.
The Cavalry got down early as Perth jumped out in the top of the first with a pair of runs. In its half of the inning, Kody Hightower (1-for-5) cut the lead to one with a lead off solo home run.
An inning later, Canberra would take the lead with a four run second. The big play came with one out and a runner at first. Antonio Callaway (0-for-4/2 runs) reached on a fielding error by Perth second baseman Luke Hughes who mishandled a throw on a force play. That error opened the door for Canberra, and they walked right through. After a passed ball that allowed the runners to move up, Ryan Stovall (2-for-4/3 RBI) came up with a big single to drive in a pair of runs. His at bat was followed up by a walk and two more singles and before Perth could get out of the inning it had given up four unearned runs and the lead.
An inning later, Canberra would get a fifth unearned run after a throwing error by Heat third baseman Carter Bell allowed the inning to continue. Once again it was Stovall who came through with the hit after the error driving in another run.
Down 6-2 heading into the fifth inning, Perth battled back to tie it. With one out, Heat designated hitter Aaron Bonomi (1-for-4) got the rally going with a single. The next hitter, Ryan Khoury (1-for-3) followed suit with a single of his won. After a ground out put runners at the corners, Tim Kennelly (2-for-3) singled to cut the lead to three.
The next hitter atoned for his earlier error as Luke Hughes (1-for-4) tripled driving in a pair of runs. Allan de San Miguel (1-for-4) singled to knock in Hughes and the game was once again tied.
Canberra took the lead for good on a seventh inning solo home run by Michael Wells (1-for-4).
Perth would just manage one more hit over the game as the Cavalry bullpen shut them down. Brodie Downs (W, 1-0) picked up the win pitching 1.1 innings of relief, and Sean Toler (S, 2) got the save pitching the ninth.
Neither starter fared too well. Perth starter Warwick Saupold lasted just three innings giving up nine hits and six runs (one earned). Canberra starter John Holdzkom lasted a little longer but didn’t do much better. He pitched 4.2 innings giving up seven hits allowing six runs.
Jack Murphy (3-for-4 / 1 RBI) and Aaron Sloan (3-for-4) led the Cavalry offense with three hits apiece.
Michael Ohlman (2-for-3) drove in a pair of runs in the loss for Perth.
The win is Canberra’s first ever ABL Championship and ends Perth’s two year run as champion.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.