Melbourne: The Canberra Cavalry, driven by Rolfe Renault, shut out the Jet Courier Melbourne Aces in the final game of the four game series 5-0. The win gives the Cavalry their third series win in a row. At the halfway point in the season the Cavalry now stand in second place on the ladder with a chance to charge to the top, and depending on the score of the Perth - Sydney game later on today could end the first half in first place.
The Cavalry offence played a key role in the three games to one win over the Aces. Kody Hightower had his best series thus far, going 11-17 and moving his season batting average to .415. The addition of the hot bat of Adam Buschini has added a huge threat in the top part of the Cavalry batting order.
"For the first part of the season we relied on our pitching and defence and they carried us," said head coach Michael Collins. "Now our offence has caught up and that is huge going into the second half of the season"
The Cavalry wasted no time getting on the board, picking up two runs in the top of the first thanks to back-to-back doubles Adam Buschini and KC Hobson. The boys added two more in the second to take an early 4-0 lead over the Aces. In the second after two walks left runners on first and second; Kohei Shibata hit a line drive double to score one. The other run of the inning was sacrificed in by Adam Buschini giving him his second RBI of the game, his seventh in the series.
In the top of the sixth Adam Buschini drove in another run for the Cavalry making the score 5-0. The inning started out with back-to-back singles from Kody Hightower and Koehi Shibata.
The Cavalry took advantage of Aces starter Sam Gibbons, who only went three and a third innings throwing 95 pitches and giving up four runs on six hits.
John Holdzkom had a solid outing for the Cavalry on the bump and earned his first win of the season. He would go a total of seven shutout innings giving up only three hits, walking five and striking out six. The strong Cavalry bullpen came in to finish out the game. Steven Kent would enter the game for the eighth giving up only one hit. Then Eric Massingham would come in for the ninth and close out the game giving up one hit and striking out one.
"We needed to leave this series with a win," said head coach Michael Collins. "The boys are playing great ball, and it shows in the standings."
The 2012 ConocoPhillips ABL All-Star Game presented by Be the Influence: Tackling Binge Drinking will take place tomorrow Sunday 16 December and will feature seven Cavalry All-Stars. Playing for Team Australia will be Steven Kent. Cavalry taking the field for the World All-Stars are KC Hobson, Brian Grening, Jonathan Jones, Jack Murphy, Jeremy Barnes, and Kody Hightower. Cavalry assistant coach Clayton McCullough has also been named the Manager of the World All-Stars. The game will be aired on 22 December from 1:30pm-4pm AEST on Fox Sports 3.
After the All-Star game the Cavalry head back home to Narrabundah for a four game series from the 20th-23rd of December against the Brisbane Bandits.