Perth Heat 2 bt Canberra Cavalry 0
Canberra Cavalry pitcher Steven Chambers in action on Sunday. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Canberra Cavalry's offensive revival was just a blip on Saturday night's radar and the defending Australian Baseball League champions need to win all four games against Brisbane this weekend to ensure they play finals.
Once again the Perth Heat pitching subdued Canberra's bats, winning the final game of the series 2-0 at Narrabundah Ballpark on Sunday.
The Heat claimed the series 3-1, and the minor premiership in the process, while the Cavs slipped to equal fourth on the ladder with Melbourne - one game behind both Sydney and Adelaide.
It makes for a nail-biting final series, with four teams pushing for two ABL play-off spots.
The Bite travel to Perth, the Blue Sox host the Aces and Canberra visits the bottom-placed Bandits.
Due to their poor records against Adelaide and Sydney, the Cavs need to win at least three, if not all four of their matches, and hope the other results go their way.
A Heat sweep of the Bite would give the Cavs the best chance of sneaking in.
''At least we've got a chance,'' Canberra pitching coach Hayden Beard said.
''Our guys will put in a good hard week this week and do the right things, and put ourselves in a situation to potentially go up there and have some success, hopefully take four from Brisbane.''
Beard said his pitchers had a brilliant series and gave them every chance to win.
Sunday was a pitching duel, with both starters scattering the hits.
Canberra's Steven Chambers managed to get through six innings, giving up just the two runs. The first was due to a wild pitch that allowed Brandon Tripp to scamper home from third base. Then Tripp smashed him over the fence for a solo home run that doubled the lead in the top of the sixth.
But it was Perth starter Daniel Schmidt who was calling the tune. He gave up just three hits in seven innings.
Canberra fans hoped for a repeat of Saturday night's eighth-inning heroics, when their hitters suddenly came to life to score four runs to pinch a 5-4 victory at the death.
Scott Mitchinson replaced Schmidt and Canberra almost took advantage.
After Mitchinson walked Casey Frawley, Jack Murphy came close to reproducing some of his Asia Series heroics. He smashed the Heat reliever deep into right field, only for Perth outfielder Jesse Barron to take the catch against the fence.
Cavs reliever Aaron Thompson produced three excellent innings out of the bullpen, but Perth closer Warwick Saupold went three-up, three-down to get the save.
Cavalry's best: P-Thompson (3IP, 1H, 0ER, 1BB), P-Chambers (6IP, 5H, 2ER, 3K).