In a fourteen inning thriller last night at Barbagallo Park, the Perth Heat were victorious 4-3 in 14 innings over the Canberra Cavalry on Friday night. It was a night that was a missed opportunity for the Cavalry who lead through 7 innings. The Heat bats lit up in the eighth and took the game into extra innings where Joey Wong sent the home fans home happy with a walk-off single.
Things did not look good for the home team early with Canberra snatching a 2-0 lead early in the second inning due to Jason Sloan getting a bunt down with the bases loaded which was immediately followed by Aaron Sloan hitting a sacrifice fly to give the Cavalry the lead off Perth front line starter Jack Frawley. Frawley in this game did not look like the same pitcher early that his 7 win season and 2.07 ERA would indicate.
Canberra extended their lead in the fourth inning off the bat of Aaron Sloan when hit a ball that took a bad hop beating Joey Wong, charged as an error, causing Canberra to add to their lead. At this point, the home fans were almost in a state of shock, the best team in the regular season was down 3-0, at home where they had amassed an almost perfect 18-5 record. However, there is a reason that this team is the best in league and began to fight back.
The Heat scored two and began chasing Canberra starter Brian Grening who went 5.2 innings and looked very commanding over the Heat line-up during his period on the mound. Matt Kennelly hit a single to make it 3-1 and then one of the biggest plays of the game, a hit by pitch by Cavalry reliever Client Everts on Sam Kennelly cut the deficit to a 3-2 Cavalry lead. In the space of a couple of pitches the Heat were back in the game and the fans could sense it. There was now a restored confidence in the Perth dugout and despite being down by a run, there was a sense that with the heart of the line-up about to come up, Perth would have plenty of opportunities to score to at least level the game.
The Heat would complete the rally in the eighth inning when first baseman Allan de San Miguel singled as Brandon Tripp rounded the bases and scored from first on a hit into centre field. This is not the first time de San Miguel has come up big for the Heat this season, and continues to prove why he has been signed by the Colorado Rockies. No other runs were scored and this game would be heading into extras.
What proceeded was a lot of free baseball for fans of the game as both bullpens were stout with game being levelled right up until the 14th inning where the Heat would finally have success. Corey Adamson worked a walk with one out off Cavalry closer Sean Toler who came in the game with a league leading 11 saves this season. Toler had been forced to work into his third inning when American import Joey Wong delivered the game winning RBI double scoring on Adamson, who like Tripp previously scored from first base.
For the Heat it was Cameron Lamb picking up the win and Toler the loss for the Cavalry. The series continues today, kicking off at 7:05pm at Barbagallo Park. The Heat have the chance to wrap up this series tonight and return the Claxton Shield out to the west, whilst Canberra will be looking to send this game into the final game of the season. For the Cavalry tonight it will be Ethan Cole going up against Brian Baker for the Heat.