Canberra, ACT: In front of a record breaking sell-out crowd of 1,812 at "The Fort" at Narrabundah the Canberra Cavalry, driven by Rolfe Renault, ran out on the field for the first time as a team. The atmosphere was electric and did not waiver all night, even into extra innings. In the opening game of the The ABL, brought to you by Be the Infuence: Tackle Binge Drinking, Season the Canberra Cavalry suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Sydney Blue Sox 3-2 in 10.
In the bottom of the first it looked like returning pitcher Brian Grening didn't miss a beat since leaving Canberra. Grening struck out the first batter then went on to retire the side in order.
Canberra jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the 2nd when KC Hobson smashed an opposite field homerun on a 2-0 pitch to put Canberra on the board 1-0. Greening kept the Blue Sox bats quiet early, pitching a perfect no hit game for 4 1/3 innings until Shane Benson singled over second base. Sydney then evened the score in the top of the 6th on a Zach Penprase double to score JD Willams.
Grening went on to pitch a solid 6 innings giving up only one run on four hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
His counterpart for the Blue Sox Chris Oxspring pitched and impressive 7 1/3 innings giving up 1 run on 6 hits with 7 strikeouts.
In the top of the 10th the Sydney bats came out hot. Penprase started the attack with a 1 out single to score Angelucci. Then Mitch Denning singled to score JD Willams to put the Blue Sox on top 3-1.
In the bottom of the tenth the Cavalry tried to rally when Jonathan Jones singled then reached second on an error then was driven in by a Kody Hightower single to close the gap to 3-2. However, the game ended on a flyout to right.
"It's a tough loss," Cavalry assistant coach Clayton McCullough said. "We liked what we saw out there and we think we will bounce back and win a lot of game."
The Cavalry will finish up the series with Sydney with a double header Saturday 3 November. Game one is slated to start at 4pm and is sponsored by Alive Health and Fitness.