The Sydney Blue Sox split Saturday's doubleheader against the Canberra Cavalry driven by Rolfe Renault and clinched a series win in the opening round off the ABL brought to you by "Be the Influence: Tackling Binge Drinking". Zach Penprase, Mitch Dening and Shane Benson all collected 3 hits on the day as both teams picked up 2-1 victories at Narrabundah Ballpark in Canberra.
Penprase got things started in the first inning of game one with a one-out triple and scored on a Dening single. Sydney looked poised to do more damage after a single by Shane Benson and an error by Canberra shortstop Kody Hightower allowed Alessio Angelucci to reach and load the bases, but Cavalry starting pitcher Robert Dickman got Trent D'Antonio to pop up and end the threat.
Canberra's Jeremy Barnes led off the bottom of the fourth with a walk and advanced to third on a K.C Hobson single to right and came in to score on a ground out by Adam Buschini and tie the game at one.
The Blue Sox fought back in the bottom of the sixth as Cavalry relief pitcher Kyle Perkins struggled with his command. After a leadoff walk to Benson, import James Robbins picked up his first hit as a Blue Sox, and D'Antonio walked to load the bases. Perkins then hit Jacob Younis with a pitch to force in a run and give Sydney a 2-1 lead that they would never surrender.
Vaughan Harris started in game one and turned in a strong performance for the win, allowing just one run and five hits in 5.2 innings. Matt Williams pitched a perfect seventh inning for his second save of the young season. Kyle Perkins took the loss allowing one run on one hit, with two walks in an inning pitched.
In game two, Canberra's James Jones greeted Sydney starter Craig Anderson with a home run on just his second pitch of the game.
Sydney struck back in the fourth as Penprase continued his hot start with a single to shortstop and then promptly stole second base. A Geoff Klein groundout moved Penprase over to third before a broken-bat single from Benson got through the left side of the infield to score Penprase and level the scores.Anderson settled down after the first inning homer and looked to be cruising in the seventh until K.C Hobson hit his second home run of the season and take a 2-1 lead. Anderson pitched well but took the loss in game 2 despite only 3 hits in seven innings. Dustin Loggins picked up the win and Sean Toler got the save in Canberra's first win of the season.
The Blue Sox are back in action tomorrow, Sunday November 4th at Blue Sox Stadium @ Blacktown International Sportspark against Team New Zealand. First Pitch is at 4pm and tickets are still available at sydneybluesox.com.au/tickets or by calling (02) 8006 1423. Round 2 of the ABL brought to you by "Be the Influence: Tackling Binge Drinking" starts on Friday November 9th at 7:30pm when Sydney plays host to the Brisbane Bandits.