The Australian Baseball League didn’t sort out their final playoff slot until the very last out of the season when the first place Perth Heat finally shut the door on the Adelaide Bite. The Sydney Blue Sox clinched their second place finish on Saturday leaving the Melbourne Aces, Canberra Cavalry and Adelaide Bite locked in a three way tie for third going into action on Sunday.
While all three clubs would have been worthy adversaries in the playoffs, a Cavalry win over the Bandits meant the end for the Aces. After finishing their season with a victory at Holloway Field, the Cavalry anxiously waited for results from Barbagallo Ballpark. David Polkinghorne described the scene in the Canberra Times, “Huddled around laptops and iPads at Brisbane Airport, the Canberra Cavalry have never been happier to see a Perth Heat grand slam.”
ABL Scoreboard: January 26
The Canberra Cavalry had to defeat the Brisbane Bandits to still have a chance to defend their crown. Going into the seventh inning trailing 3-1 at Holloway Field, it seemed like the late season swoon was going to finish them off. 3 runs in the 7th, another in the 8th, and a Sean Toler save was all it took to keep the Cavs hopes alive in a 5-3 win.
Freddy Flores pitched a dandy and the defense came to play as the Melbourne Aces blanked the Sydney Blue Sox 2-0 in the final game of the regular season at Blacktown. The victory was bittersweet for the visiting club. The Aces had given it their best, but were eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the day. The results of Thursday were upheld by the league.
The postseason came down to the Perth Heat and Adelaide Bite in the last game of the ’13-’14 campaign. The Heat looked pretty solid early, building a tidy 3-0 lead through 4 innings. The Bite made it 3-1 in the 5th and added 4 more runs in the 7th to take a 5-3 lead. In their own half of the frame, the Heat answered loudly with a Brandon Tripp grand slam. A final score of 7-5 broke hearts in Adelaide.
ABL Action: Postseason
The Perth Heat get to enjoy a bye week before hosting the ABLCS at Barbagallo Ballpark. Meanwhile, the Sydney Blue Sox and Canberra Cavalry will battle each other in a three game playoff. The Blue Sox won the Hume Highway Cup during the regular season, but that doesn’t guarantee them success in this postseason rematch. The Fort at Narrabundah Ballpark will host the first game. The second and third (if necessary) will be at Blacktown.
Streams for the games can be found at the Australian Baseball League website. Click on the tab that says “Watch Live” for all the playoff action this weekend.
Topics: Australian Baseball League