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Francis, Edwards best of Round 4
11/29/2011 4:47 PM ET
Aiden Francis fires home versus the Bite
Aiden Francis fires home versus the Bite (SMP Images/ Ryan Schembri)
Following their league-best performances in Round Four, John Edwards of the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces and Aiden Francis of the Sydney Blue Sox have earned Player of the Week honours. Edwards led the league with nine hits for the week, including two doubles, and had a .526 on-base percentage. Francis was outstanding in his Saturday start, ending Sydney's nine-game losing streak with an eight-inning, eight-strikeout performance.

Edwards, Melbourne's right fielder, made it two consecutive weeks that an Aces player has been named to this honour. Pitcher Nic Ungs was recognised last week for his near no-hitter against Brisbane. Edwards had a hit in all four games of the series, including three multi-hit games, while striking out just once.

He made his biggest impact in the Aces' two wins in the series, Saturday night and the first game of Sunday's doubleheader. On Saturday, he went 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, and two runs scored, playing a major role in a tight 7-6 extra-inning win. He was ready again quickly for a 10AM start to game one of the next day's doubleheader, collecting three hits and two RBI in another Melbourne victory. With his 9-for-18 (.500) hitting in the series against Canberra, Edwards raised his season batting average from .147 all the way up to a .269 clip.

Honourable mentions for the batting award included Sydney's Tyler Collins and Alex Johnson, as well as Todd Glaesmann and Brian Burgamy of the Canberra "UberGlobal" Cavalry.

Sydney's left-hander Francis notched one of the most impressive pitching performances of the season on Saturday afternoon, shutting out the Adelaide Bite through eight strong innings. He struck out eight, allowed just three hits, and walked two. He also came through with his outstanding performance when the Blue Sox needed it most, carrying them to their first win in 10 games.

After allowing three earned runs combined in his first two starts, Francis struggled last time out against the Perth Heat. He showed great resolve on Saturday, bouncing back with his most impressive performance. He did not allow a hit after back-to-back singles by James Jones and Scott Gladstone led off the second inning and retired 19 consecutive batters after that. He earned his first win of the season and now has a 4.22 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 21.1 innings pitched.

Runners up for the pitching award were Hayden Beard and Mike McGuire of the Cavalry and Adelaide's Paul Mildren and Darren Fidge.

In Round Four, Edwards and the rest of the Aces will travel to Adelaide to take on the Bite, while Francis and the Blue Sox will play host to the Brisbane Bandits. The 'Alcohol Think Again' Perth Heat will return from the Asia Series to host the Cavalry at Barbagallo Ballpark.

Fans can follow games through individual team streaming and radio partners. The ABL also offers new Gameday technology, which tracks live pitch-by-pitch action at www.theabl.com.au.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.