Cavalry continues climb towards top
Canberra Cavalry pitcher John Holdzkom won his first game for the club on Saturday. Photo: Melissa Adams
The considerably long pitching arm of John Holdzkom put the Canberra Cavalry within reach of top spot in the Australian Baseball League.
Holdzkom, who is 2.06 metres tall, brought up his first win with the Cavalry, guiding them to a 5-0 victory over the Melbourne Aces in Melbourne in the fourth and final game of the series on Saturday.
His seven innings, which included six strike-outs and just three hits, gave the Cavs a 3-1 series win and put them top of the ABL - although reigning champions Perth Heat had the chance to return to first place if it beat the Sydney Blue Sox late on Saturday night.
''He's got that power pitching stuff where sometimes he walks some guys, and sometimes he strikes out some guys,'' Cavalry manager Michael Collins said.
''Today he seemed to have a lot more consistency.
''He got in a bit of trouble in his last inning in the seventh. A little mound visit [by myself] and he told me he had this guy, so we left him in there … and he got the last out.''
The Cavs have built their season on their miserly defence and their bats are starting to swing to the same tune.
They blasted in 23 runs over the four-game series, with Kody Hightower producing his brilliant best.
Hightower burst into the Cavalry line-up last season, but had a slow start to 2012-13.
After his first eight games he was averaging just .192 with three runs and one run batted-in.
But he produced a batting masterclass in the last four games against Melbourne - averaging .647, scoring seven runs, two homers and six runs batted-in.
Collins put it down to a renewed focus.
''Big weekend, he might've just put in his bid for player of the week, I think,'' he said.
''Thursday night he came out and hit a home run with his first at-bat and it was all go from there.
''He just seems more focused on everything he's done, even on his defence, practice, warm-ups, games, everything.''
Hightower is one of seven Cavalrymen - along with Steven Kent, Brian Grening, Jack Murphy, Jeremy Barnes, K. C. Hobson and Jonathan Jones - who will play in the ABL All Star game in Melbourne on Sunday.
Then the Cavs have a four-game home series against the Brisbane Bandits starting on Thursday.
AT A GLANCE
CANBERRA 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 - 5
MELBOURNE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0
Runs - Canberra: Hightower 2, Shibata, Buschini, Knecht.