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Hillier Hammers Homer as Cavs take Game 1
01/22/2015 7:16 AM ET

Canberra, 22 January - The Canberra Elite Cavalry (21-22) have kept their season alive with a nail-biting 3-2 win over the Sydney Blue Sox (20-23) at Blacktown International Sportspark on Thursday night. Now in their final series of the season, the Cavalry need to take at least three of the four games to give themselves a shot at qualifying for the postseason and jumped out to the perfect start with a Game 1 win.

Scott Hillier was the star for the Cavs, nailing the first two of their three runs with a long bomb over the right field wall in the fifth inning. Sydney managed to rally and level the score before Jack Murphy scored the go-ahead run in the eighth and gave Dustin Crenshaw the chance to record his eighth save for the year.

On a very strong night for the starting pitchers, both Canberra's Brian Grening and Sydney's Craig Anderson gave up only two runs from their seven innings on the mound. Grening was especially impressive, conceding only four hits and striking out seven.

Hillier broke the previously scoreless game open with his two-run shot in the top of the fifth. Perkins started the inning with a single to left field but looked like he would go no further with the next two Cavalry bats striking out and flying out respectively. Not known for his power, Hillier stepped into the box in a tough situation but managed to have a look at a few pitches before connecting with his first homer of the season.

The Blue Sox squared the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth with a Trent Oeltjen triple scoring both Tyler Bortnick and David Kandilas.

The Cavalry regained their lead in the eighth with what would turn out to be the game-winning run. As they have done all season, Murphy and Jason Sloan managed to get themselves on base and put the defense under pressure. Murphy reached on a double before Sloan was struck by yet another pitch. Despite both of the first two bats getting on base, the Cavs needed all three outs with Kieren Bradford's RBI double not coming until Mitch Walding and Kieren Perkins had failed to advance the runners. The lead could have very easily been greater with Sloan tagged out at home plate.

Both relievers did their job perfectly for the Cavalry with Jake Brown going untouched in the eighth and Dustin Crenshaw closing out the ninth. The win leaves the Cavs with a very real possibility of making the playoffs. They will be eager to further increase their chances when they meet the Blue Sox for Game 2 on Friday night. First pitch at Blacktown International Sportspark is scheduled for 7.30PM 



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