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Cavalry complete charge to top with Claxton Shield
Canberra end Perth's reign, seal first ACT title
02/10/2013 1:28 AM ET
Canberra players celebrate their side's first Claxton Shield.
Canberra players celebrate their side's first Claxton Shield. (Scott Powick / SMP Images)
CANBERRA, 9 February - History has been made. The Canberra Cavalry, driven by Rolfe Renault, knocked off the two-time reigning champions the Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat by a score of 7-6 to take Game Two and the Australian Baseball League Championship Series on Saturday. In front of a record 2,043 people at the Fort at Narrabundah, the Cavalry brought the Claxton Shield to the nation's capital for the first time ever.

Nineteen-year-old Canberran Aaron Sloan was awarded the Most Valuable player for his amazing contribution to the weekend series. In Saturday night's game, Sloan went 3-4 and was a solid wall on first base. Sloan was also a key player in game one going 2-4 with a home run.

The game took a rocky start for Cavalry pitcher John Holdzkom with a lead-off walk followed up by a hit-by-pitch. Those two runners would cross home on a single from Michael Ohlman to give the Heat a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom half of the inning, Kody Hightower's hot hitting continued as he rocketed one over the wall to bring the Cavalry within one 2-1. Holdzkom then calmed down to pitch three scoreless innings as the Cavalry did what they do best by stringing hits together to take a 6-2 lead.

The second inning was huge for the Cavalry, who added four runs. With runners on second and third, Ryan Stovall hit a line drive single to right to drive home two. After a walk put two runners on once again, Jeremy Barnes singled to bring another home. Then Jack Murphy followed up with a single of his own to bring the final run of the inning home and gave the Cavalry a 5-2 lead. In the third, Stovall added another RBI to his night with another single, this time to left, to give the Cavalry a four-run lead after three.

However, Perth had a big inning of their own in the fifth, adding four runs to even the score at six all. With runners on second and third, Tim Kennelly singled to bring home the first run. Then, with two outs, Luke Hughes knocked a triple to deep center to bring home two more. The final run of the inning was a single by Allen de San Miguel to end John Holdzkom's night.

Michael Wells broke the tie in the seventh inning with a huge home run to regain the lead for the Cavalry. Wells' home run would be the game decider as the Cavalry claimed their first ever ABL championship on the coattails of their valued veteran.

Holdzkom had a decent outing, going four and two-thirds innings allowing six runs on seven hits while striking out seven. The combination of Kyle Perkins, Steve Kent, and Brodie Downs held off the opposition, only allowing one hit without surrendering a run. Sean Toler came in to record the final outs of the game as history was made in the nation's capital.

Cavalry head coach Michael Collins thanked the players and the fans when he was awarded the Claxton Shield. "We have the best fans in Australia," Collins said. "This is amazing."

The Championship is the icing on the cake of a long journey for the 2012/13 Canberra Cavalry, and there will be more great baseball to come in the ACT.