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Friday, May 14, 2021

Canberra Cavalry advance to finals, end Blue Sox season

The Lifeline Canberra Cavalry are through to the 2020/21 ABL Play-Off series, thanks to a hotly-contested 3-2 victory over the Sydney Blue Sox in the ABL Wildcard Game at MIT Ballpark in Narrabundah last night.

Cavalry pitcher, Frank Gailey, who’s started the previous two Wildcard games the Cavalry have played in (wins in both season 2018/19 and season 2019/20), once again proved to be the star of the show, giving up no runs during his time on the mound. The lefty struck out seven in six one-run innings.

He allowed five hits, issued one walk and hit a batter with a pitch.

Justin Erasmus, Rhys Niit and Shawn Morimando combined to close out the win for the Cavs and ensure they get at least two more games this season.

But it was not without a scare.

Sydney got a pair of runners on in the top of the ninth and plated a run.

Morimando was able to finish the job.

Canberra took the lead with a two-run third.

Tucker Nathans led off the inning with a single and stole second.

He advanced to third on a Samad Taylor ground ball ahead of scoring the first run of the game on a single by Mikey Reynolds.

Reynolds stole second and scored on a two-out single from Cam Warner as the Cavs made it 2-0.

Sydney cut the margin in half in the fifth with a two-out rally.

Frank Gailey struck out Jacob Robson and Trent D’Antonio to start the inning.

Michael Campbell (single) and Travis Bazzana (walk) reached to keep the half-inning alive.

Jacob Younis took advantage with an RBI-single.

Lachlan Wells allowed one run in four relief innings for the Sox, striking out three.

Sydney starter Adam Oller punched out seven in four innings, giving up two runs in the second.

Tuesday’s win was Canberra’s third in as many Wild Card Games.

The Cavs downed Melbourne on the road two seasons ago and overcame Perth at MIT Ballpark to keep their season alive a year ago.

The Cavalry will start their finals campaign against the Aces from 7pm local time on Thursday at Melbourne Ballpark.

Second seeded Perth takes on Adelaide from 1pm. Both games will be broadcast on FOX SPORTS and streamed on Kayo Sports in Australia.

The Cavalry will travel to Melbourne today in preparation for their opening game of the 2020/21 ABL Play-Offs against the top seed in the Melbourne Aces.

The Cavalry will be all too familiar with their surroundings in Melbourne, having already played two series at Melbourne Ballpark this season. Both previous series were played with impacts to the Cavalry squad, with border restrictions wreaking havoc with the team’s ability to field its strongest side. It will be a different story this time around, with the Cavalry at full strength going into the final week of the ABL Season.

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