SYDNEY, 10 December - For the second week in a row, an Adelaide Bite player has claimed the ABL Delta Airlines Player of the Week Award. Last week, Bite slugger Angus Roeger claimed the week's top honours with an impressive display of power, but this week Bite designated hitter Justin Howard out hit the league on the way to the win.
Howard was certainly a catalyst in the Bite's crucial four-game home series sweep of Melbourne Aces, one of many Bite players to excel at the plate this past weekend. Justin batted a ridiculous .643 (9 hits in 14 at bats) with 6 run scored, 4 doubles, and 4 RBIs.
His biggest game versus Melbourne was during the second game of Saturday's double header. Howard collected 3 hits, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, and 2 runs scored during the Bite's historic 18-1 victory. Over the course of the weekend, Howard raised his season batting average over 100 points, from .167 to .276.
Howard, an American import from the Pittsburgh Pirates organisation, is no stranger when it comes to racking up hits. In his final year of college baseball for the University of New Mexico, Justin led the entire country in hits for the season.
Other notable Bite performances versus Melbourne were reigning Player of the Week Angus Roeger (.455 average, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs), Ben Lodge (2 HRs, 6 RBIs), Nathan Melendres (2 HRs, 5 RBIs), and Jeremy Cresswell (.500 average, 4 RBIs, 4 walks). On the mound, 2012 ABL All-Star Paul Mildren pitched 6 scoreless innings.
The red-hot Bite will return to action in Brisbane this Thursday with a 4-game series versus the Bandits. The Bite will enter the series only one-half game behind the Bandits on the ABL ladder, so both teams will be looking to play well to position themselves well for the half-way point of the ABL season.