Sport

Canberra Cavalry-Adelaide Bite suspended as ABL prelim final thunderstruck

It was an omen of biblical proportions. A peal of thunder crashed around Narrabundah Ballpark in the brief silence before the national anthem.

Just seven pitches into game two of the Australian Baseball League preliminary final on Saturday night, a hail storm worthy of the Old Testament sent both the Canberra Cavalry and the Adelaide Bite scurrying for shelter.

Canberra Cavalry players line up during a moment of respite from the weather.
Canberra Cavalry players line up during a moment of respite from the weather. Photo: Rohan Thomson

The winner of the series — which the Bite leads 1-0 after winning 6-4 in Adelaide on Friday night — will meet the Brisbane Bandits in the championship series in Brisbane, where this sort of weather is normally more commonplace.

With the hail gone, the torrential rain followed and inevitably the game was suspended, set to resume at the Fort on Sunday at 12pm - weather permitting.

While the downpour ended any chance of play, the big crowd of 1800 remained — huddled under umbrellas or any bit of shelter they could find.

Even online the fans remained, with 500 viewers watching the online stream — which mostly consisted of a tarp getting wetter and wetter.

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Cavalry chief executive Donn McMichael was amazed.

"It's diabolical, this is almost tropical weather, isn't it? Queensland's moved down to Canberra," he said.

"It was great [how long everyone stayed for]. It shows what the Canberra baseball community is. Honestly, it's just extraordinary that they stayed around in weather like this hoping to get a game.

"It's bloody brilliant. It's why we are where we are."

Despite Cavalry starter Steven Kent only throwing seven pitches, because the game started it will resume where it left off, with Bite outfielder John Schultz on second and no outs in the top of the first inning with the score locked at nil-all.

Tickets from Saturday night will be accepted for the 12pm game on Sunday.

If the Cavs win and a third game is needed to decide the series, then game three will be played about 30 minutes after the conclusion of game two.

"If it's one-all then they'll have to stay over and play on Monday and if we don't get a game in on Monday then we'll progress [as the higher-placed team]," McMichael said.

"But we have to win another game otherwise Adelaide will go through. If there's no more games Adelaide will go through [because they lead the series 1-0]."

Kent will be back on the mound, which wouldn't have been the case if play was able to resume on Saturday night after his throwing arm had cooled down.

"If it had gone ahead tonight, Kenty was out because he couldn't have come back in," McMichael said.

"We would've used [Scott] Cone [to replace him], which is fine, he's a good pitcher, but you're going into the second you want your best pitcher pitching to try and get you through to the third."

In some bright news, the Cavalry are close to re-signing utility Aaron Sayers for next season.