Australian Update

Myworld has returned from our cross country travels and now it is time to go through each of the winter leagues to update their progress.  The first report will be the Australian league since last year’s champions, the Canberra Cavalry have returned from Taiwan as champions of the Asian Series.  They have created a little controversy with their back up catcher making allegations of receiving a $30,000 offer at a bar to lose the semi-final game by seven runs against the Korean team the Samsung Lions.  They beat the Korean lions as well as the Taiwan Uni-President Lions to win the championship.  They have also started the new year in first place, winning their first three games after returning from Taiwan only to lose yesterday.

Canberra Cavalry (8-3)

Jack Murphy (.317, 0, 6) was voted the MVP of the Asian Series because of his two homeruns in the playoffs.  He has yet to hit a homerun in the ABL.  Casey Frawley (.364, 2, 8) hit two homeruns in his first game back from Asia to take the team lead in homeruns.  He also leads the team in batting average with two or more hits in six of the 11 games he has played and runs scored with 11.  Jeremy Barnes (.351, 0, 11) leads the team in RBIs while Michael Crouse (.250, 0, 7) leads the team in stolen bases with five in six attempts.

They have been getting good starts from Ethan Cole (1-1, 1.83) and Brian Grening (1-1, 1.96).  Sean Toler (1-0, 1.59, 3 saves) has been having success as their closer contributing to half of their team victories.    

Sydney Blue Sox (7-3)

Veteran Aussie Trent Oeltjen (.417, 4, 12) has been the spark to lead the Blue Sox in the early going.  His bat leads the team in batting average, RBIs and runs scored.  He is tied for the top spot in homeruns with Joey DiMichele (.195, 4, 5).  Jacob May (.257, 2, 4) leads the team in stolen bases with five in six attempts.  Keon Broxton (.325, 2, 7) is the only other player with a batting average above .300 and is 3 for 3 in stolen bases.

Connor Whalen (2-0, 2.35) has been their ace in his three starts.  The KBO Korean veteran Koo Dae-Sung (1.59, 4 saves) at 44 still brings it as their closer. 

Perth Heat (6-5)

They were the two time defending champion before being dethroned by the Cavalry last year.  Joey Wong (.364, 0, 5), a 24th round pick of the Rockies has been their top hitter.  He also has four stolen bases in his seven attempts.  Brandon Tripp (.357, 2, 8) has been the big power bat, leading the team in RBIs and runs scored.  Tucker Nathans (.333, 0, 7) is 5 for 5 in stolen bases and is the double play partner for Wong.  Matt Kennelly (.217, 2, 5) also has a couple homeruns but has played in four fewer games than Tripp.  Sam Kennelly (.200, 0, 1) is the youngest in a stream of Kennelly siblings who have chosen baseball instead of cricket or rugby in Australia.  He signed with the Pirates in 2012 and is 17 years old.

Mike Ekstrom (2-0, 0.41) has been the Heat’s top starter, but in the Asian Series he was loaned out to the Cavalry and was their top starter in Taiwan.  He has only given up 10 hits in 22 innings with a 5/25 walk to whiff ratio.  Jack Frawley (1-1, 2.12) has given the Heat two complete games in his two starts.  Scott Mitchinson (1-0, 0.00, 1 save) has yet to allow a hit in three appearances covering five plus innings.  He has had trouble finding the plate walking seven hitters.  Brendan Wise (0-1, 13.50, 1 save) is the Heat closer but recently lost an eight inning shutout by Eckstrom by giving up five runs in the ninth inning to ruin his ERA.  

Adelaide Bite (4-7)

The only two players hitting over .300 are Ben Lodge (.381, 0, 6) and Joe Sclafani (.333, 1, 5).  Sclafini leads the team in runs scored with nine and his seven walks place his OBA at .420.  He has also been successful in all four of his stolen bases.  James Baldwin (.273, 0, 4) has also been successful in all four of his stolen bases.  Chris Adamson (.225, 1, 8) has been the big RBI bat.

Kyle Brueggeman (2-1, 2.41) and David Holman (1-1, 1.72) have been their top two starters.  Kyle has pitched a complete game shutout in one of his victories.  Taiwan native and ex-major leaguer Fu-Te Ni has made two appearances and not allowed a run.  He is the only Taiwan player to have pitched professionally in the CPBL prior to pitching in the major leagues. 

Brisbane Bandits (4-7)

Logan Wade (.378, 0, 7) leads the team in batting average, but Joey Rickard (.359, 2, 5) has caused the most disruption, leading the team in runs scored with 9 and stealing four bases in six attempts.  Joey has a 8/7 walk to whiff ratio to put his OBA at .400.  Ryan Battaglia (.250, 3, 7) is the early leader in team homeruns.  The RBI man is David Sutherland (.190, 2, 10).  Justin O’Conner (.056) struck out in 11 of his first 19 at bats but is making better contact now.  His 15 strikeouts in 38 at bats leads the team.

Starting pitching has been a problem with no starter with an ERA below 4.50.  Mickey Jannis (0-1, 0.00, 1 save) and Andrew Aizenstadt (1-0, 0.96, 1 save) have been sharing the closer role.  Andrew has closed out five of the team’s 11 games.   

Melbourne Aces (3-7)

Brad Harman (.241, 2, 6) is the veteran Aussie bat who played a short spell for the Phillies.  He leads the team in runs scored.  Scott Wearne (.381, 0, 2) is the only hitter on the team over .300 in batting average.  Their other veteran Aussie bat Justin Huber (.161, 0, 0) who played professionally in both Japan and the major leagues has been slow to get out of the gate.

Joe Burns (1-0, 2.95) has been their most consistent starter.  Justin Erasmus (0-2, 6.35, 2 saves) has had his struggles in the closing role. 

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