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Vale: Ben Shorto
Former Perth Heat pitcher's funeral set for Thursday
09/09/2018 11:40 PM ET

The funeral service for former Perth Heat pitcher Ben Shorto will be held on Thursday.

Shorto, 23, lost a five-year battle with cancer last Wednesday.

The former underage Australian representative was a popular figure in the Heat organisation.

Baseball WA chief executive Lachlan Dale said Shorto would be dearly missed.

"Ben was a promising young baseball player and a friend to everyone in the baseball community," Dale told

"He fought hard on the field and even more so off it.

"It's a tragic loss - our thoughts are with his family."

Shorto signed with the Cleveland Indians as a 16-year-old in 2012 before being diagnosed with leukaemia.

He was able to beat the cancer and make his MiLB debut before being released and returning to Perth.

Shorto made the switch from infielder to pitcher during the 2014/15 season.

He recorded a 3.71 career ERA in the Australian Baseball League.

But in 2016 he was again diagnosed with cancer and last week lost his battle.

Shorto's funeral will be in the West Chapel at Fremantle Cemetery from 11am on Thursday.

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