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Canberra fight back, but drop opener
Aaron Sloan's homerun not enough against reigning champs
11/17/2016 6:22 PM ET

CAVALRY first baseman Aaron Sloan's first homerun of the ABL season just wasn't enough on the opening night as the Canberra Elite Cavalry went down to the Brisbane Bandits, proudly presented by WellDog, 2-3 during game one of the 2016/17 ABL season.

With the Cavalry down 2-0 leading into the fifth inning, Aaron's two run homerun made it a tough battle for the Bandits.

"I didn't know it was a homerun straight off the bat, I just sprinted hard out of the box," Aaron said.

"It feels great knowing I hit the first homerun in the league and my first for the season, I have put a lot of time into practice back in Canberra."

"The Bandits are out to retain their 15/16 Championship and we did what we could."

"In the end, we need a few more hits and runs and we should get over the top of them."

Aaron's homerun wasn't the only highlight with a great play early in the game from catcher Robbie Perkins and second baseman Scott Kelly who tagged Bandits Thomas Milone trying to steal second.

The opening night game showed a lot of positives signs and Cavalry coach, Michael Collins was pleased with the team's performance

"It's always frustrating when you lose one run games, it's tough but in the end it was a good performance," Michael said

"It was nice to see all those pitchers in the game, get there first taste of ABL pitching."

"I wanted to run the affiliated pitchers, and returning Cavalry pitcher Tim Atherton, before giving them a rest and getting them back out on the mound for the remaining games over the weekend."

With signs of bigger things to come for the Cavalry, Michael says there is always room for improvement.

"Offensively, we probably missed a few fastballs at the plate. It's the first time the team have faced quality pitching in a while but the offense will pick up moving forward," Michael said.

On the mound, the Cavalry offensive was led by independent prospect Lee Sosa who showed strong command against the Bandits.

"It felt great. I was excited to lead-off and just wanted to do well and give us a chance to win," Lee said.

"I felt I kept us in the game and gave us chance to win but unfortunately it just wasn't enough."

"Moving forward, I want to throw more innings and keep those runs down."   

The Cavalry and Bandits will face off again during three more games as part of the Opening Weekend in Brisbane. Game 2 starts at 7:30 pm AEDT on Saturday 18 November at AFA Stadium at Holloway Field.

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