Over the winter, we aim to meet your baseball fix here at Beyond the Box Score. To do so, we’ll be covering the Australian Baseball League for each week that the competition is running. We also would like to remind you that many of the games are streamed and recorded on the league’s YouTube channel.
Brisbane wins their series over Canberra (3-1)
Game 1: BRS 8 - 5 CAN
Game 2: BRS 1 - 4 CAN
Game 3: BRS 5 - 4 CAN (11)
Game 4: BRS 11 - 2 CAN
In the most high-stakes series of the weekend, the Bandits took care of the Cavalry to head on to the ABL Playoffs.
The Brisbane star of the series is undoubtedly David Rodriguez. Over his 19 games played, Rodriguez has been unquestionably the best player in the ABL, and this series was a continuation of that. Rodriguez went 8-for-17 with two home runs, seven RBIs, and four runs scored. His two home runs put him just one shy of the league lead in less than half of a season’s games played. Another Bandit, Trent Oeltjen, continued his power surge. Oeltjen has been basically home run or nothing for the Bandits with his .240 ISO and .167 batting average. Oeltjen added another long ball this series, putting his total at four over 14 games.
In Canberra’s only win of the series, Louis Cohen dominated Brisbane’s bats. Cohen went seven innings in Game 2 and allowed only one run. He fanned four in that outing and let just six Bandits reach base. Also, in a losing effort in Game 1, Boss Moanaroa went wild and got himself a four-hit day.
Adelaide wins their series over Sydney (3-1)
Game 1: SYD 5 - 4 ADE
Game 2: SYD 2 - 5 ADE
Game 3: SYD 3 - 15 ADE
Game 4: SYD 3 - 4 ADE
Poised to head into the playoffs, the Bite took care of the Blue Sox in a crucial season-ending series to earn a berth in the playoffs.
Sean Callegari put on a show on the mound for Bite fans in Game 2. Callegari registered seven innings of one-run ball and racked up seven strikeouts. He limited the Blue Sox to only seven baserunners in his outing. Second baseman Jordan Cowan was seemingly on first base all series. Cowan went 7-for-12 in his three games with three walks, two RBIs, three runs scored, and a stolen base. Outfielder Mitch Dening had quite the performance in Game 3. Dening went 4-for-5 with two runs scored in the coming-out party for the Adelaide offense.
For the Blue Sox, Jacob Younis and Stone Garrett shined the brightest in an otherwise dreary series. Younis, aside from an 0-for-4 Game 3, played well and went 6-for-18 with two RBIs. Garrett provided the power for the Blue Sox in this series after he tagged his seventh and league-leading — along with Mitch Nilsson and Mike Walker — home run.
Melbourne and Perth split their series (2-2)
Game 1: MEL 1 - 2 PER
Game 2: MEL 7 - 1 PER (7)
Game 3: MEL 2 - 1 PER
Game 4: MEL 2 - 8 PER
The only series to have no repercussions on the playoff picture saw an even split between the Aces and Heat. That said, the pitching staffs really came out for this series.
The Aces got fantastic starts out of all three of Mark Hamburger, Virgil Vasquez, and Josh Tols. Hamburger wasn’t quite himself in the strikeout column, tallying only two; however, he did go seven innings and hold the Heat offense to only one run scored. Vasquez and Tols went six innings apiece. Vasquez allowed a run on eight baserunners and struck out three in his winning effort. Tols, in his first start of the season, held the Heat to only two hits and a walk, allowed an unearned run, and fanned five.
The Heat got some good starts out of some underperforming starters in Michael Lee and Nick Veale. Lee, despite getting the loss, went 72⁄3 innings and held the Aces to only two runs. He also struck out seven in that start. Nick Veale won his start after going six innings of two run baseball. Veale only allowed five baserunners and struck out four Aces.
Best-of-Three Playoff Matchups
Brisbane (21-18) @ Adelaide (23-17)
Winner of Brisbane/Adelaide @ Melbourne (26-14)
Anthony Rescan is a Contributing Writer at Beyond the Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyRescan. Anthony also explained his time in the Australian Baseball League at Baseball Prospectus and on Effectively Wild.