After having lost game one of the semi-finals, the Perth Heat beat the Sydney Blue Sox 3-1 in game two and the Canberra Cavalry beat the Brisbane Bandits 8-6. Both teams forced a decisive third game in the semis.
The game between the Cavalry and the Bandits was one that went back and forth until the eighth inning. Canberra took a 2-0 lead but Brisbane got back in the game as it scored a run in the fourth inning. One inning later the Bandits took a one-run lead as they scored two runs on two two-out singles and a double.
But Canberra tied it all in the sixth on a solo home run by David Candilas.
After the Bandits took another one-run lead in the seventh, the Cavalry turned the game around completely.
In the eighth inning, the Cavalry scored five runs, enough to clinch the win despite the two runs Perth scored in the bottom of the eighth. Back-to-back-to-back-to-back singles drove in two runs to give Canberra a one-run lead. But there their offense did not stop. Zach Wilson then homered to drive in three more to give the Cavalry that decisive lead for the win. Best hitter for the Cavalry was David Candilas as he went 2 for 3 with a home run and two runs scored. Winning pitcher was Zech Lemond, who pitched 2.1 innings in relief and allowed two runs on three hits and two walks and struck out two.
The Sydney Blue Sox could not get a grip on the pitches of Conor Loury and his reliever Brooks Hall. The hits only came late in the game but by then Sydney trailed by three runs already. Josh Guyer pitched four solid innings but eventually had to surrender two runs in the fifth and one run in the sixth. Perth scored its runs on a two-run shot in the fifth by Carl Chester and on a double by Pete Kozma, who tried to stretch that double into a triple and was thrown out at third.
Sydney had a golden opportunity in the eighth inning to do something back as it had runners in scoring position with no outs. But a line drive by Gift Ngoepe was caught by right fielder Tim Kennelly, who made a catch that was in between a shoestring catch and a sliding catch. Thanks to a baserunning boner by Dwayne Kemp, this spectacular play ended into a double play as he pulled too much away from second base and was bowled off on the throw from right field. Jacob Younis could score on the “sacrifice” fly by Gift Ngoepe. Best hitter for Perth was Carl Chester, who went 2 for 3 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored.
Both Brisbane and Perth will host the opponent for the third time this weekend, tomorrow. The winners of tomorrow’s games will advance to the ABL Championship Series.