The Blue Jays’ three remaining minor leaguers who are toiling in the oppressive heat of the Australian Baseball League didn’t have a good weekend as the Canberra Cavalry limp down the stretch, falling out of playoff contention for the first time in a long time this season.
The Cavalry went 1-3, losing at home to the first-place Perth Heat with three of the four games decided by two runs or fewer. In the opener of the series on Thursday, the Cavalry lost 3-1 despite a pair of singles and a stolen base from Jon Berti and a single from Jack Murphy who drove in a run with a sac fly.
Game two was the only blowout of the series with the Cavalry getting shut out 6-0 and getting only two hits in the entire game. Playing third base, Jack Murphy made an error (that didn’t cost the team any runs) and Jon Berti contributed one of the team’s two hits and stole a base.
Game three was the only Canberra win, a 5-4 victory that featured the young Blue Jays farmhands sparking a rally in the bottom of the eighth inning to win the game. Jack Murphy led off the inning with his second double of the day and Mike Crouse moved him over to third base. A single scored Murphy and Crouse moved to third on a sac bunt and scored on a throwing error by the Perth third baseman. Jon Berti reached later in the inning on a walk but was stranded as Jack Murphy grounded out to end the inning. Berti didn’t get a hit in the game and Murphy was a big contributor, going two for four with the two doubles, a walk, a run scored and an RBI. Crouse’s single was his only hit of the day.
In the final game of the series, Canberra was blanked again, losing 2-0 with Berti getting one of the Cavalry’s three hits.
The weekend wasn’t pretty for the Blue Jays’ boys. Berti had the best results, going four for 15 with a walk and two stolen bases. He’s hitting .298/.418/.422 with 28 stolen bases and eight caught stealing through 42 games. Crouse went one for 14 with four strikeouts and one walk dropping his line to .281/.379/.488. Murphy went three for 13 with two doubles, two RBI and two walks (with no strikeouts) and is hitting .322/.377/.427 with nine doubles and two home runs in 38 games.
There’s just one more weekend left and the Cavalry are going to have to beat up on the Brisbane Bandits, the ABL’s last-place team. They’re in a decent place, just one game behind both Adelaide and Sydney for the last playoff spot and just need to overtake one team to get in to the post season. Make sure to go their website Wednesday through Saturday nights (in North America) in order to follow along and watch for free online!