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Cavalry charge into first place with series win
Canberra gearing up for back-to-back series versus Perth
12/23/2012 3:49 PM ET
Kohei Shibata had three hits, two runs, and two RBI on Sunday.
Kohei Shibata had three hits, two runs, and two RBI on Sunday. (Ben Southall / SMP Images)
CANBERRA, 23 December - In the final game of their Round Eight four-game series, the Canberra Cavalry, driven by Rolfe Renault, blew past the Brisbane Bandits 9-2, giving Canberra their fourth series win in a row. The victory, coupled with Perth's Sunday loss at Adelaide, put the Cavalry in first place in the ABL standings for the first time in franchise history. The capital city's team will need to keep the momentum going as they head into an eight-game match up against Perth.

"We are proving that we are consistent and a team to watch out for," said manager Michael Collins. "(Today) we were able to string hits together to maximize the runs."

John Holdzkom started out the game with a quick 1-2-3 first inning including two strikeouts, and sent the Bandits a message that he was out for the win.

The Cavalry offence got going quickly in the first inning putting up a three spot thanks to a home run from Jack Murphy, his second of the series. The long ball drove in Koehi Shibata and Jeremy Barnes.

The Bandits added a run of their own in the third with help from a throwing error from the Cavalry.

The Cavalry widened the gap in the fifth. After two walks to Aaron Sloan and Kody Hightower, Shibata singled to drive in Sloan and put runners on the corners. Adam Buschini then hit a line drive sacrifice fly to bring another across the plate making the score 5-1.

The Cavalry offence continued its charge in the seventh, adding on three runs. With the bases loaded Jeremy Barnes delivered with a single to plate two runs. Adam Buschini then scores the third run of the inning thanks to a fielding error on a routine double play from Brisbane making the score 8-1 after seven.

In the eighth Shibata doubled to drive home another to move the score to 9-1 and give him his second RBI of the game.

The Cavalry give up a run in the ninth to make the final score 9-2, giving them the win and the series. The Bandits seemed to be scared of ABL batting average leader Kody Hightower, pitching around him in four of his five at bats. Hightower finished the game with a single and four walks.

Starting pitcher John Holdzkom looked confident after earning his first win last series. Holdzkom would earn his second win of the season going six innings giving up only one run on three hits while striking out six.

Next up, the Cavalry head on the road for a battle for the top spot in Perth. Canberra and Perth will face off in a four game series starting on Friday. The Cavalry and Heat then return to the Fort in the New Year for another four game series from 3 January.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.