CANBERRA, ACT - The Canberra Elite Cavalry secured a 4-1 Game 2 win following some wild throws from the Brisbane Bandits proudly presented by WellDog pitchers and solid hitting from the Cavalry at MIT Ballpark, in Canberra.
It was a slow start with the bat for the Cavalry and fans were kept silent when the Bandits bolted from the gate early taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a leadoff double by Trent Oeltjen that was driven in by David Rodriguez.
The Cavalry tried to break the Bandits when Boss Moanaroa thumped the ball back to Bandits opening pitcher Kramer Champlin but it wasn't hard enough as Champlin miraculously fielded the ball with his spare hand to make the out at first base.
The Cavalry and Bandits battled for each inning and despite some long bombs by Cavalry hitters Boss Moanaroa and Aaron Sayers the Cavalry couldn't go far enough to disrupt the Bandits defence early in the game.
In the end, it came down to the pitchers. Cavalry starting pitcher Louis Cohen (2.61 ERA) continued his season long strong performance going 7 innings, giving up only 1 single run and had 4 strikeouts.
Cohen said he was just focused on throwing the ball across the plate but praised his team for the support.
"It felt great, after a repeat from last week nothing feels better than going out there and throwing really well for the boys," Cohen said.
"I had a great defence behind me tonight and they made some really good plays."
"We than watched the fireworks go with the bats, the guys can really hit the ball and they showed it tonight."
"It was a great feel in the dugout and we knew that we were ready to spark even after giving up that one run."
Bandits pitcher Champlin kept the Cavalry scoreless for 5.1 innings but following a leadoff single by DJ Davis, Josh Almonte drove him home with a stand up double to left field in the sixth inning to tie the game 1-1.
This forced the Bandits to go to their bullpen and call on right hand pitcher Zac Treece (5.67 ERA). Fortunately for the Cavalry, an attempted pickoff at second base went wild and the Cavalry scored to take the lead 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning. It wasn't Treece's night lasting less than an inning but he didn't give up a run during his time on the mound.
As a result, the Bandits went back to the bullpen as they scrambled to find someone who could stop the Cavalry's late game charge.
The Bandits settled on Justin Erusmis (5.13 ERA) but he still couldn't save them. The Cavalry scored 2 more runs in the seventh inning following some hot hitting from the Sloan brothers (Jason and Aaron), Aaron Sayers and Josh Almonte.
Almonte hit 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and a RBI, Aaron Sloan and Aaron Sayers went 1 for 3 with an RBI each.
In the end, Cavalry pitcher's Tim Atherton (1.41 ERA), in the eighth inning, and Zech Lemond (1.00 ERA), in the ninth inning, slammed the door shut on the Bandits.
Leading into the next game against the Bandits, Cohen said the team is focused on making one pitch at a time.
"It's an important series and we will be back tomorrow hopefully with another great home crowd behind us," Cohen said.
The Cavalry will face the Bandits again for Game 3 on Saturday 28 January from 7 pm AEDT at MIT Ballpark.