Canberra, ACT: The 2012-2013 Canberra Cavalry season has been an amazing year, finishing on the highest stage in front of the world as the Australian Baseball League Champions, a feat that has never been accomplished in ACT history. In the end the Canberra Cavalry are the Champions, and the Claxton Shield has found its home in the Capital.
As a result many of the players will leave as champions, and use this opportunity to propel themselves into the next level in baseball, and management could not be prouder of the boys.
This season saw the Cavalry at the top of the ladder trying to fight off the chasers, as well as being on the bottom chasing teams to the top. It also saw six Cavalry players take Delta Airlines Pitcher and Player of the Week honours, more than any other team in the league. This season was a season for the record books, with the first ever playoff berth, first ABL Triple Crown, and of course the first ever championship win in Canberra.
So let's take a look back to all the highs and lows in recap of the 2012-2013 season:
Week one: Canberra Cavalry vs Sydney Blue Sox (Nov 2-3)
Canberra entered the season on a low note, dropping the first two games, but earned their first win of the year in Game 3. The highlight of the weekend was that Cavalry first baseman KC Hobson was named player of the week going 6-10 with two homeruns.
Week 2: Canberra Cavalry @ Brisbane Bandits (Nov 16-17)
Canberra took game one of the series but dropped game two and game three was delayed because of rain, which would be finished later in the season and resulted in a loss for the Cavalry, leaving the Cavalry on the bottom of the ladder.
Week 3: Canberra Cavalry vs Melbourne Aces (Nov 23-25)
The Cavalry continued to come together as a team but split the series with the Aces, to remain toward the bottom of the ladder.
Week 4: Canberra Cavalry vs Adelaide Bite (Nov 30- Dec 2)
Week four was a big series for the Cavalry earning their first series win of the year. The Cavalry took the series 3-1 over the Bite. The win would be a turning point and the start of the momentum for the climb of the season.
Week 5: Canberra Cavalry @ Sydney Blue Sox (Dec 6-9)
After gaining momentum Canberra charged into Sydney and earned their second series win of the year over the rival Blue Sox 3-1. The series win moved them into second place on the ladder coming into the halfway point on the season. Game one saw the Cavalry and Blue Sox in a stalemate most of the game forcing extra innings. The Cavalry pulled away with a 2-1 win in thirteen innings. The boys took the loss in game two but bounced back for a 6-2 win in game three. However the final game of the series would prove to be the most exciting. Canberra rallied back to score five runs in the ninth to tie the ballgame, and outlasted the Blue Sox in extras to earn the win. After round six Sean Toler was named Pitcher of the Week, the first time this season the award had been given to a non-starter.
Week 6: Canberra Cavalry @Melbourne Aces (Dec 13-15)
The Cavalry earned their third series win in a row 3-1 over the Melbourne Aces that moved them to just a half game out of first place.
The series marked the offensive return of Kody Hightower, who was named round seven Delta Airlines Player of the Week. Hightower had a standout weekend going 11-17 with four doubles, two homeruns, and six RBIs in the four game series.
The series concluded with the All-Star game featuring nine Cavalry talents named to the teams. Playing for Team Australia was Steven Kent and Kyle Perkins. And for the World All-Stars KC Hobson, Brian Grening, Jonathan Jones, Jack Murphy, Jeremy Barnes, Ryan Stovall and Kody Hightower took the field.
Week 7: Canberra Cavalry vs Brisbane Bandits (Dec 20-23)
The Cavalry moved forward to earn their fourth series win in a row against the Brisbane Bandits. The Cavalry dropped a tough loss in game one of the series but battled back to win the last three and move to the top of the leader board for the first time in Cavalry history.
Week 8: Canberra Cavalry @ Perth Heat (Dec 28-31)
One of the most exciting series of the year that saw the Cavalry take the series 3-1 for their fifth series win in a row. In game one the Cavalry outlasted the Heat in a twelve innings pitching duel for a 3-2 win. Game two saw the Cavalry comeback for a big win. After being down four runs in the eighth the Cavalry rallied back in the eighth and ninth to get the win 8-6. In game three the Cavalry bats scored ten runs on fifteen hits, nine in the first five innings giving them a 10-7 win. In the final game of the series proved to be the most disappointing with a 19-12 loss.
After the series, Ryan Stovall was named player of the week going 9-20 with two homeruns, two doubles, and a triple to drive in seven runs.
Week 9: Canberra Cavalry vs Perth Heat (Jan 3-6)
After taking three of the four games on Perth's territory the boys returned home to continue the stomping of the Heat and once again took the series 3-1. The win moved the Cavalry atop the ladder four and half games ahead of the Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat and the Sydney Blue Sox.
After the weekend Adam Buschini was named player of the week with an outstanding weekend leading the team to victory, going 8-17 with three homeruns and nine runs driven home.
Week 10: Canberra Cavalry @ Brisbane Bandits (Jan 11-12)
The Brisbane series was the lowest point for the Cavalry of the 2012-2013 season. After being up so high claiming five series in a row and winning 18 of 24 games, the Cavalry dropped all four games, which resulted in being swept by the Bandits.
Week 11: Canberra Cavalry vs Sydney Blue Sox (Jan 17-20)
In the penultimate week the regular season the Cavalry rebounded back after a tough series in Brisbane to take a series split with Sydney Blue Sox, leaving the two teams in a tie for the top spot on the ladder entering the final series. Both wins for Canberra came in dramatic walk off style, taking games two and four in late inning rallies.
Week 12: Canberra Cavalry @ Adelaide Bite (Jan 24-27)
The Cavalry finished off the season strong with a series win over the Bite to claim not only a place in the post season but also the top spot on the ladder. After dropping game one the Cavalry came back to win game two, securing a spot in the playoffs. They then took game two and three, which resulted in the Cavalry finishing on top of the ladder after the regular season and granted Canberra the right to host the Championship Series.
Adam Buschini took Player of the week honors for the second time after going 9-15 with four homeruns and nine RBIs. With his impressive numbers all season, Buschini also secured the Triple Crown for the first time in ABL history.
Post Season: Canberra Cavalry vs Perth Heat (8-9 Feb)
And the rest, as you know, is history. Canberra defeated Perth in two games to claim the Claxton Shield. Canberra locals Aaron Sloan and Michael Wells were monumental in both wins. Sloan awarded the MVP of the series making him the youngest player to win the MVP.
The Championship T-Shirts have been ordered. If you want to get a free t-shirt, all you have to do is renew your membership or join the Cavalry. Get your membership HERE, or contact the office with any questions HERE.
After not even making the playoffs in the first two seasons, the Capital is the city of Champions, and how sweet it feels. It's what junior players dream of, it's what fans demand, and it's the result of a three year long quest for the Calvary. Only nine months until opening day 2013!