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Stovall hits home his Cavalry charge

HE CAME to Canberra with a plan and Ryan Stovall might have played his way into making that plan a reality.

Stovall dominated in the Cavalry's 17-0 thrashing of the New Zealand DiamondBlacks at Narrabundah Ballpark on Saturday night.

His efforts for the Tuggeranong Vikings caught the eye of Cavalry coach Michael Collins and he was given a chance in the friendlies against New Zealand this weekend. It was an opportunity the Florida-born shortstop took with both his bat and glove.

He had a reasonable first game on Friday night with one hit from his four at-bats, but he went to another level on Saturday.

Stovall hit three from three, including a two-run home run and three runs batted in.

Normally an infielder, he also showed his versatility by making a great play at centre field.


With Kiwi bases loaded, he took a catch in the outfield and got his throw away in time to prevent a run from being scored, helping starting pitcher Robert Dickmann out of a hole in the top of the fifth. It was a rare chance for the DiamondBlacks, who were totally outclassed.

But Stovall appeared to fit in and is a chance of making the trip to Brisbane for the series against the Bandits next weekend.

''I had all intentions of playing with Cavalry, maybe a little bit later [in the season] with them, but things turned out where I got the opportunity to come out early,'' he said.

''I want to help them out, that's for sure.''

After letting that chance slip, things got really ugly for the Kiwis in the bottom of the fifth, with the Cavs smashing in eight runs.

The DiamondBlacks needed three pitchers to finally get the side away.

While Collins wasn't sure if Stovall would make the roster, he certainly liked what he saw.

Collins got to try a few things, get some work into his main players and he unearthed a new player.

Dickmann got through five innings with six strike outs, while first base K.C. Hobson took a great diving catch and smashed a big homer over the left-field fence.

The Kiwis used the series to warm up for their World Baseball Classic qualifiers in Taiwan.

Eventually they want a team in the ABL.

''Anything that expands the game is great, the more teams the merrier,'' Collins said.


NZ DiamondBlacks 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0

Canberra Cavalry 2 0 3 1 8 3 0 0 x - 17

Runs - Cavalry: Buschini 3, Stovall (home run) 2, Hightower 2, Barnes 2, Murphy 2, Callaway 2, Hobson (home run), Wells, Knecht, Sloan. Saturday at Narrabundah Ballpark.