Wedding bells to take their toll on Cavalrymen
Hirokazu Shiranita, Kohei Shibata and Masanori Fujihara at Narrabundah Ballpark. Photo: Melissa Adams
The sound of wedding bells will end Canberra Cavalry recruit Masanori Fujihara's stay in the ACT.
After less than a month in Canberra, the left-handed pitcher will return to Japan before flying to Hawaii for his wedding and honeymoon.
But Fujihara said his impending vows won't distract him from the job at hand.
He is one of three Hanshin Tigers who have joined the Cavalry this week and will travel to Brisbane for the three-game series against the Bandits on Friday.
Pitcher Hirokazu Shiranita and outfielder Kohei Shibata will also make the trip.
Fujihara has come to practise pitching to right-handers, using his ''cutters'' to bring the ''spirit of the Samurai'' to Narrabundah Ballpark.
''[The wedding is] not a distraction because it's a very good experience, a really good opportunity, I might never have this kind of opportunity again,'' Fujihara said. ''[My future bride is also] pleased I'll become a better player to earn more money.''
While Fujihara will leave in early December, the other two will remain until Christmas.
Shibata has played with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Norichika Aoki and wants to bring a similar style to the Cavs.
''I played in the same league [as Aoki] and went to dinner with him a bunch of times, and we're just friends,'' Shibata said.
Similarly to Fujihara, Shiranita will work out of the bullpen as a reliever.
He calls himself an ''orthodox'' pitcher that relies on his fastball, but he wants to develop his change-up while he's in Canberra. The Cavalry have also added Steve Kent and Ryan Stovall to the 21-man roster travelling to Brisbane. Kent will slot back into the bullpen he became such an important part of last season. After converting from a starter, he became one of the best closer's in the league.
Stovall joined Tuggeranong Vikings with the view to making the Cavalry roster. His three games against New Zealand in a series of friendlies were so impressive he's reached his goal already.
ABL ROUND THREE
Canberra Cavalry (1-2) v Brisbane Bandits (2-1), at Brisbane Showgrounds, Friday 8pm, Saturday 5pm and 8pm. Cavalry roster: Jack Murphy, Jeremy Barnes, Adam Buschini, Josh Matavesi, KC Hobson, Ryan Stovall, Michael Wells, Marcus Knecht, Jonathan Jones, Steve Kent, Masanori Fujihara, Kody Hightower, Robert Dickmann, Brian Grening, Kohei Shibata, Dustin Loggins, Hirokazu Shiranita, Kyle Perkins, Sean Toler, Robbie Perkins, Chris Motta.