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Canberra Cavalry miss chance to go top of ABL with loss to Perth Heat

The Canberra Cavalry blew a chance to draw level with the Brisbane Bandits at the top of the Australian Baseball League ladder with a 12-7 loss to the Perth Heat at Narrabundah Ballpark on Saturday night.

Canberra starting pitcher Steven Kent gave up seven runs in the top of the second inning, although only two of them were earned following third-base Bryan Pounds error.

The loss was in stark contrast to Friday night's thrilling win.

It was a night Louis Cohen was never going to forget, but Canberra Cavalry cult hero Jack Murphy put the "icing on the cake" in the pitcher's starting debut.

The Cavalry plucked Cohen out of Canberra Baseball first grade and he made his debut out of the bullpen in the away series against the Adelaide Bite.

They then promoted him to the starting rotation and he pitched Friday night's game against Perth, which turned into a thriller. He got through six innings of work, giving up seven hits and just two runs, while striking out seven and walking three.


When he exited the game he left Canberra holding a comfortable 5-2 lead, but a Heat rally meant the Cavalry  trailed 7-6 going into the bottom of the ninth.

First Jason Leblebijian hit a solo home run  to level the scores and then Murphy followed that up with a walk-off two-run homer.

"New Year's, first day of the year, going out there and getting a throw for the guys is great," Cohen said.

"Having them behind me, pushing me to do well, it was perfect and exactly what I needed and then the way it ended is just like the icing on the cake. Perfect.

"I had no doubt [we would win], we had the heart of our line-up coming up, they were hungry, they were willing to go out there and hit."

After playing college baseball, Cohen had the choice between going to the independent leagues or playing international baseball.

He chose the latter and came Down Under to play for the Belconnen Bandits, but with the local league going into a break until the end of January Cohen was looking for somewhere to pitch.

Cavalry pitching coach Hayden Beard's brother also plays for the Bandits and Cohen was invited out to throw a bullpen for Cavs manager Michael Collins.

"Just being able to have that little connection and being able to put two and two together," Cohen said.

"When I first came out I was just [going to play] Bandits and once I got here it was still Bandits, [but] we had that month off. It was probably a good thing to keep in shape and the Cavs were like, 'do you want to come pitch'?"

The Cavs will wrap up their series against Perth on Sunday at 12pm, with Scott Cone starting for Canberra.


Perth 070 021 200 - 12R 16H 0E

Canberra 010 031 011 - 7R 14H 1E

Win: Nick Veale (5-3, 4.15); Loss: Steven Kent (6-2, 3.00); Cavs best: C-Ryan Miller (2-3, 1HR, 1RBI), LF-3B-Aaron Sayers (3-5, 1HR, 2RBI), RF-Cord Sandberg (2-4, 1RBI).