BRISBANE -- The Canberra Elite Cavalry may have let Game 2 in the opening weekend slip away, losing 8-3 against the Brisbane Bandits, proudly presented by WellDog, but it was a huge night for rising Australian baseball talent.
At only 15 years of age, Cavalry Pitcher Brodie Vassalakis demonstrated that he has what it takes to play ball with the best the Australian Baseball League has to offer.
Brodie entered the game in the middle of the 7th inning and admitted he was nervous getting out there.
"I felt I got into a rhythm and when I got ahead it was good but when I got behind it hit me hard," Brodie said.
"The first strike out was a big moment for me, I got an adrenalin rush."
With his first debut away game out of the way, Brodie feels like he is a part of the team.
"It was good to get the rust off, I definitely feel like I belong here now," he said.
Brodie's not sure what's installed for him next but after his performance during Game 2, we can only imagine great things.
"I love competing and getting to that next level," he said. "I want to keep climbing. This is a great experience."
At such a young age, Cavalry's Manager Michael Collins believes this experience is huge for Brodie and Canberra is doing everything it can to help the young player develop.
"We spoke through the week once we decided to put him on the roster," Michael said.
"We talked about however things turned out through the season, enjoy the ride, enjoy the experience and learn from it."
"If the results on the field don't always go his way that's part of baseball and part of being a young player at this level and those experiences will serve well in the future."
"I think he pitched well tonight. Unfortunately it was probably not the start he was looking for with the balk but the experience he has, despite how tough it can be, will serve him well as he grows as a player."
"I don't know the age of the youngest ever player to debut in the ABL but I am sure that he has to be the youngest in the Leagues recent history."
With five errors defensively that didn't help the Cavalry loss, they did look stronger offensively with a Kyle Perkins homerun that tied the game at 2-2 in the 5th inning and another Aaron Sloan big RBI hit in the 8th inning.
Cavalry Manager, Michael Collins said it unfortunately got away from us at the end.
"We got a little sloppy on defence but for the most part again, another ballgame that we were in against a good team like the Bandits," he said. "There were positive signs from the pitching with Hayden Beard getting us started, couple of zeros was great."
"Tyler Herr had to battle but again the positives signs were there. He was able to get out of some big situations which is a great thing for us," Collins continued. "These are all positives and hopefully it starts to catch on to some of the other guys and becomes contagious."
The Cavalry are looking to come back and even the series with the last two games against the Bandits still to come as part of the Opening Weekend in Brisbane. Game 3 starts at 7:30 pm AEDT on Saturday 20 November at AFA Stadium at Holloway Field.