Brisbane Bandits beat Canberra Cavalry in fiery ABL decider for Claxton Shield threepeat
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Brisbane Bandits beat Canberra Cavalry in fiery ABL decider for Claxton Shield threepeat

They bared their teeth, but the Canberra Cavalry couldn't produce the final bite to win their second Claxton Shield.

Instead, they'll have to wait another year to add to their 2012-13 Australian Baseball League title as the Brisbane Bandits made it an historic threepeat - the first team to do it in the modern ABL.

Game three of the ABL championship series was a fiery affair.

Game three of the ABL championship series was a fiery affair.

Photo: SMPMAGES.COM

They won the game-three pitching duel 4-2 to claim the series 2-1 in Brisbane on Sunday night.

Cavalry acting manager Keith Ward said they'd be back next season looking to end Brisbane's reign.

Bandits starter Travis Blackley  was almost unhittable in their game-three victory.

Bandits starter Travis Blackley was almost unhittable in their game-three victory.

Photo: SMPMAGES.COM
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"I just wanted to congratulate my guys on a fantastic season. Obviously we didn't get the chocolates this year, but we'll come back bigger and stronger next year and see if we can take the Shield off these guys," he said.

But the win wasn't without drama, and a two-hour rain delay, with both teams' benches clearing twice in a fiery affair.

Ward called his starting pitcher Frank Gailey a "bulldog" for a reason.

With the Bandits up 4-0, one of his pitches hit Bandits outfielder Andrew Campbell in the back in the bottom of the sixth inning.

That was first time the benches cleared and some push-and-shove ensued.

When the dust finally settled, Ward opted to take Gailey out of the game, the 32-year-old stirring the crowd as he showed them the Cavalry hat he's come to love this season.

Not surprisingly, it wasn't long before the benches cleared again.

Cavalry catcher Robbie Parkins caught Campbell trying to steal second base and this time the argie bargie seemed to be between the Bandits and the umpires.

Bandits assistant coach Adrian Lamb came charging needlessly in and was ejected, before Brisbane manager Dave Nilsson followed him to the sheds.

The Cavalry seemed to deal with the disruption better as they finally got on the board thanks to some clever base-running from Jay Baum, scampering home from first base after Boss Moanaroa grounded out.

But the fireworks on the field turned into thunder and lightning off it, with the ensuing storm stopping play for two hours.

It didn't seem to effect Cavalry pitcher Steve Kent, who struck out six consecutive Bandits batters to give his bats every chance to catch fire.

They'd struggled against former Major Leaguer Travis Blackley, who got through six innings giving up just one hit, no runs, one walk and two strikeouts.

With him gone, Cavalry outfielder Kyle Perkins smashed reliever Matt Timms over the left-field fence in the top of the eighth to give the visitors a slight chance of a late rally.

But Bandits closer Ryan Searle came out of the bullpen to snuff those hopes out.

Their offence got off to a good start as it looked like the home-run derby from Saturday night was going to carryover, before the pitchers hit the mute button.

Bandits catcher Adam Weisenburger started it off, his three-run shot in the bottom of the second inning proving the difference in the end courtesy of his two base runners.

That was one of only two opportunities a fired-up Gailey allowed Brisbane - the second not coming until the bottom of the sixth.

This time it was Bandits designated-hitter Mitch Nilsson who took advantage, his solo home run making it 4-0 with time running out for the visitors.

Then tempers flared before some torrential Queensland rain put them out.

AT A GLANCE

Canberra 000 000 110 - 2R 5H 0E

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Brisbane 030 001 00x - 4R 5H 2E

Cavalry best: Steve Kent (2.1IP, 0R, 0H, 0W, 6K), Kyle Perkins (1-3, 1HR, 1RBI), Frank Gailey (5.2IP, 4R, 5H, 2W, 9K, 2HR).

David Polkinghorne

David Polkinghorne covers the Canberra Raiders, local rugby league, Canberra Cavalry, racing and cycling, along with every other sport, for The Canberra Times.

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