SYDNEY, 11 December - Canberra Cavalry closer Sean Toler and Adelaide Bite infielder Justin Howard have been named the Delta Air Lines Pitcher and Player of the Week for Round Six of action in the Australian Baseball League brought to you by ‘Be the Influence: Tackling Binge Drinking’.
With the way Adelaide’s offence blasted away at Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces pitching all weekend, it comes as no surprise that a Bite performer was selected for this week’s award. In fact, Howard becomes the second consecutive Bite player to earn Delta Air Lines Player of the Week accolades after outfielder Angus Roeger did so in Round Five.
In the Bite’s four-game sweep of the Aces, Howard was an offensive machine. The Pittsburgh Pirates import batted an eye-popping .643 (9-for-14) against the Aces with four doubles, four runs batted in, and six runs scored. The massive Round Six effort jolted Howard’s batting average over 100 points from .167 to .276.
With their sweep, the Bite climbed out of last place on the ABL ladder for the first time this season.
On the mound in Sydney, Toler proved a critical piece of his Canberra side’s series victory over the Blue Sox. In the four-game series at Blacktown International Sportspark, appeared in three games and picked up two saves, closing out the Cavalry’s victories on Thursday and in Sunday’s stunning come-from-behind series finale win. Overall, Toler threw three innings against the Blue Sox and recorded six strikeouts against just one walk while not allowing a run on two hits. Through nine appearances this year, Toler has allowed just one run and is currently riding a streak of six straight scoreless outings.
In Round Seven, the Bite travel to Brisbane to clash with the Bandits while the upstart Cavalry, owners of the league’s second-best record through the season’s first six rounds, duel with the Aces in Melbourne.