Canberra: In the final game of the four game series in blistering heat the Canberra Cavalry driven by Rolfe Renault drop a close one to the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces by a score of 8-7.
The game was not short of hits and runs, but defensive errors once again proved to be costly and defined the ball game.
The first three outs of the ball game were strikeouts by John Holdzkom. However a single a walk and an error by Kody Hightower in between would drive in an unearned run making it 1-0 .
The Cavalry answered back quickly in the bottom of the first. Aces starter Sam Gibbons walked Ryan Stovall to start the inning. Stovall then stole second and was driven home off a double by Adam Buschini evening the score at 1-1. Then KC Hobson hit into a fielders choice to drive another run in, putting the Cavalry ahead 2-1 after one.
The third inning proved to be troublesome for the Cavalry. After loading the bases with one out, the Aces scored on a single to third and two more off a second error by Hightower making the score 4-2. Darryl George then singled to drive in another run making it 5-2 after three.
The Aces tacked on two more runs in the fourth when Shota Nakata hit one over the right field fence to notch a home run. Then a single from Justin Huber plated the second run of the inning.
Holdzkom's day was done in the fourth after walking back-to-back batters. Pitching in his debut for the Cavalry and the Australian Baseball League, Holdzkom threw a total of three and one third innings giving up six runs on five hits while striking out seven. The first six outs the Cavalry recorded in the ballgame were strikeouts from John Holdzkom.
A Melbourne error in the bottom of the fifth allowed the Cavalry to score two runs closing the gap 7-4. Michael Wells reached first on and error then Marcus Knecht singled, making runners on first and second. The next batter, Jack Murphy, hit a line drive single to center to drive Wells in. Josh Matavesi brought another home on a single that bounced over third base. Hightower then singled to left to load the bases for Ryan Stovall, making it the second inning in a row with bases loaded with two outs. Unfortunately this inning resulted in the same outcome as the one before; both innings ending with three men left on base.
The Cavalry inched back in the bottom of the eighth added a run. But the Aces answered back scoring one of their own in the top of the ninth making it 8-5.
The Cavalry rallied in the bottom of the ninth after a walk, single, and a fly out advanced runners to second and third for Kody Hightower. Hightower doubled to drive in two runs closing the gap to 8-7. Unfortunately that is where the game would end.
The bullpen came up big for the Cavalry limiting the damage. Eric Massingham came in to relieve in the fourth and pitched a great two and two thirds innings giving up no runs on two hits while striking out two. Then Kyle Perkins entered the game in the sixth and pitched two effective innings. Steven Kent came in for the eighth and finished up the game for the Cavalry. Holdzkom was given the loss.
Cavalry return to action next weekend as they host the Adelaide Bite in a four game series starting Friday night at 7pm. The double header on Saturday 1 December is the first charity game of the season. The Cavalry will sport camouflage jerseys in support of the Legacy.