Sport

Canberra Cavalry beats Perth Heat despite depleted playing stocks

The absence of Canberra Cavalry's Sloan brothers for the Perth Heat series has drastically depleted the Cavs' Australian playing stocks and only the versatility of utility Sam Thornton has allowed them to field a legal team in Perth this weekend.

Aaron Sloan has a foot injury, while brother Jason had a prior commitment – neither travelling with the team to WA.

It meant Canberra had only four Australian positional players – one short of the five needed, which includes the pitcher.

The Adelaide Bite is having similar problems in its series against Brisbane.

While Thornton has been training as a pitcher this season, he has previously been used as an outfielder and shortstop in the Australian Baseball League.

His ability to quickly adapt was a key component of the Cavs' competitiveness against the reigning ABL champions, driving in a run in Friday night's 9-4 thumping of the Heat.

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Canberra flew out of the blocks, driving in five runs in the opening inning and it was never headed from there.

"We came to Perth with only four Australian position players, but fortunately for us Sam Thornton's got experience pitching and playing in the field ... luckily for us he can play second base a little bit and can step in and be the fifth guy," Cavalry manager Michael Collins said.

"Not the ideal spot for him ... pitching was his primary position, but everyone's been clicking and hopefully that'll keep rolling."

Both Robbie Perkins and Adam Silva starred in Friday night's win with four RBIs between them.

It is their first series for the Cavalry this season after missing the first two because of international duty with the Australian under-21 team at the World Cup in Taiwan.

The Cavalry picked up Silva through the inaugural Australian draft.

"They've hit the ground running and it's been great for them to get off to a good start ... hopefully good signs for two young Australian players," Collins said.

"If [Silva's] successful, of course we'd love to keep him ... hopefully he likes his time here and we can both be happy."

The Cavalry won the first game of Saturday's double header against the Heat 5-4, with the second game played overnight.

FRIDAY NIGHT

Canberra  500 130 000 - 9R 13H 3E                           

Perth 100 001 200 - 4R 8H 0E              

Canberra best: P Tim Atherton (5.0IP, 5H, 1R, 2BB, 8K), RF Adam Silva (2-5, 2RBI), LF-C Robbie Perkins (1-3, 2RBI, 2BB), P Wayne Ough (3.0IP, 3H, 1ER, 4K).

Win:  Atherton (3-0, 1.69ERA). Loss: D Schmidt (0-1, 10.61ERA)

SATURDAY

Canberra  100 101 2  - 5R 11H 0E

Perth 020 200 0  - 4R 7H 2E

Canberra best: CF-LF Alex Hudak (2-4, 2RBI), DH Kieran Bradford (2-2, 2RBI, 1BB), P Dustin Crenshaw (1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 2K)

Win: AJ Holland (1-0, 6.55ERA). Save: Crenshaw (2).   Loss: Chad Robinson (0-2, 5.79ERA)

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