SYDNEY - This season's Be the Influence 2014 Australian Baseball League Championship Series presented by ConocoPhillips will be carried live in Australia and New Zealand on ESPN. The Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat will host the Canberra Cavalry, driven by Rolfe Renault, from 7-9 February in the first ABL games ever broadcast live on ESPN.
Today's announcement marks the next step in the ABL's relationship with ESPN after the network carried the league's All-Star Game in December. Launched in Australia and New Zealand in 2002, ESPN reaches over 2.5 million households, carrying the network's wide range of major worldwide sporting events as well as the local version of "Sportscenter", "Pardon the Interruption Australia", "Aussies Abroad", and more.
The Cavalry will travel to Perth for the best-of-three Championship Series beginning Friday in a rematch of last season's ABLCS with the Claxton Shield on the line. ESPN's coverage of Games 1, 2, and (if necessary) 3 will commence from 7 PM AWST with first pitch for each of the first two contests slated from 7:05. Should the series require a decisive Game 3, first pitch for the finale is scheduled from 3:35 PM AWST.
Having clinched the league's minor premiership, the Heat are aiming for their third ABL title in four seasons at Barbagallo Ballpark. Perth finished the 2013/14 ABL regular season with a record of 32-14, nine games clear of second-placed Sydney on the ABL ladder.
The Heat have played in every Championship Series installment in ABL history since the league was reborn for the 2010/11 season. After wins over Adelaide (2010/11) and Melbourne (2011/12) in Perth, the Heat fell in last year's Championship Series at Canberra as the Cavalry captured ACT's first Claxton Shield.