Canberra, ACT: In game one of a two game exhibition series against the New Zealand National team, the Canberra Cavalry, driven by Rolfe Renault, behind solid pitching and explosive offence, won by a score of 8-3. Team New Zealand, the DiamondBlacks, are headed for their 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier in Taipei City, Taiwan on November 15 and are looking to get a few innings of competition in beforehand.
Cavalry pitcher Brian Grening started out strong, retiring the side in order in the first inning while striking out the first two batters, and did not waiver through five solid innings. In those five innings Grening struck out six and only gave up two runs off of three hits. Chris Motta came in to relieve in the sixth inning and pitched the final four innings giving up one run on four hits.
The Cavalry had an explosive first inning scoring three runs on only one hit. After walking, Jonathan Jones got home on what should have been a routine double play off the bat of KC Hobson but was missed and went into the outfield. Then Marcus Knecht drove in two more runs when a line drive that was missed played by the second baseman turned into a double.
The bottom of the second started with back to back triples off the bats of Jonathan Jones and Ryan Stovall to move the score to 4-0. Then Kody Hightower drove in a run with a single making it 5-0 after two innings. The Cavalry then scored again in the bottom of the third when Robbie Perkins hit into a double play but advanced the runner from third making the score 6-0 after three.
The DiamondBlacks got their first runs on the board in the top of the fourth off a long bomb from Boss Moanaroa. Canberra answered back when, in the bottom of the fourth, Michael Wells drove in two more runs with a double to deep right making it 8-2.
"While it was just an exhibition game it was good to get a win. We are starting to gel as a team and it was good to see some of the other players get some hits and drive in some runs and just build some confidence," said Cavalry head coach Michael Collins. "New Zealand came out to play and I am sure that tomorrow will be a great game as well"
The Cavalry and DiamondBlacks continue their two-game exhibition series tomorrow night at Narrabundah Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.