ABL Scoreboard: February 7
It began well for the Canberra Cavalry. Brian Grening kept the Heat bats relatively quiet while the Cavs put 3 runs on the board. The Perth defense was inconsistent behind Jack Frawley and the visiting club took advantage of a few extra chances. After the early innings were in the books, the tide slowly shifted toward the Perth Heat. The hometown nine made it 3-2 in the 6th, then rallied for another in the 8th to tie it all up at 3-3.
Both starting arms were probably content to take a no decision, so long as the final out found their club with the lead. Grening was on the hill for 5 2/3 innings. Frawley lasted 7 frames. When they relinquished control of the pill to a quintet of relievers, it was a close game. It stayed that way late into the night. Two evenly matched clubs built the tension to a rolling boil before a walk-off ended it in the 14th inning.
In spite of the marathon nature of the game, it was dramatic playoff baseball with twists, turns and subplots. There were chances with the bases loaded. There were long fly balls that would have or could have, but did not. It was a nervously quiet crowd one moment and a roaring mass of excitement the next. The adventures of the brothers Kennelly filled the score book. Wong committed a costly error, then came through with a game winning knock that sent Barber across the dish.
It could have ended as a 4-3 win for either club, but luck was with the Perth Heat.
ABL Action: February 8
The Perth Heat are one victory away from another ABL championship. Although they are heavily favored to take the crown, the first game demonstrated how close these two clubs are at this moment of the year. In order to avoid a deciding third game, they will need to play sparkling clean baseball and take nothing for granted.
The Canberra Cavalry need a win to have another chance to keep the Claxton Shield. After losing game one of the ABLPF in a blowout, the Cavs took the final two games against the Sydney Blue Sox. Coming from behind to stun a team is familiar territory, but the only question is how many bunnies they can pull out of their magic caps.
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Topics: Australian Baseball League