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Smith earns second weekly pitching award
Chris Smith's seven-inning, 11-strikeout performance against the Adelaide Bite earned him Pitcher of the Week
12/18/2012 5:50 PM ET
Smith threw seven innings of one-hit baseball in Round Seven
Smith threw seven innings of one-hit baseball in Round Seven (Scott Powick / SMP Images)
BRISBANE, 18 December - He could not have been better.

That's how Brisbane Bandits right-hander Chris Smith was described after the start he had against the Adelaide Bite in Round Seven of the Australian Baseball League, brought to you by 'Be the Influence: Tackling Binge Drinking'.

And that is why he earned the Delta Air Lines Pitcher of the Week award for the second time this season.

Matched up against the Bite, the native of Kentucky threw 6 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball with 11 strikeouts. He took the pressure of a perfect game off by walking Adelaide's leadoff batter to begin the day but he would have had seven no-hit innings and gone into the eighth if not for an error on the home side.

Instead, the defensive miscue kept the Bandits in the seventh inning long enough for Smith to allow his first and only hit of the matchup. A run scored on the error, tying the game at one and marking the reason that the American pitcher received a no-decision for his honorable effort.

"Smitty couldn't have thrown a better ballgame," Bandits manager Kevin Jordan said. "But at the same time, we were only winning 1-0. Anytime it's only one run, it makes a world of difference in this game. Obviously if it was a give-run game or a six-run game, then you can afford to give up one run. But when you're only up that one run, it's the tying run."

The 24-year-old completed seven frames and allowed one unearned run on one hit. Smith walked just two batters and went into double digits in strikeouts for the second time this season. The righty now has 46 total strikeouts on the year, moving him into the league lead. Sydney's ace and three-time winner of the Pitcher of the Week award, Chris Oxspring, is second with 44.

Smith's first weekly honour was in Round Three, when he threw a seven-inning complete-game shutout against the Canberra Cavalry with 12 strikeouts. Brisbane will hope he can continue his dominance against the Cavalry in Round Eight when the team heads to Canberra.

On the season, Smith is 2-2 with a 2.67 ERA in six starts and 33 2/3 innings. He's kept opponents to a .190 average, allowing just 23 hits over that span. Probably most impressively, he's walked just seven batters to his 46 strikeout count.

"Walking people doesn't do anything but cause you trouble," Smith said after his Round Three start. "I think club ball [with Pine Hills in the Greater Brisbane League] did a real good job of getting me ready for games and giving me the ability to use all my pitches.

"Back in the States my walks weren't even that good. I had forty-something walks and I was like, that's not good. So coming over here I was trying to set a goal of limiting my walks and it's been good so far."

So far, Smith has been good enough for two Pitcher of the Week awards and an all-star selection. With plenty of season left, the Bandits can't wait to see what more the hurler can do.

Fans should be sure to catch Smith at home, where he dominates the opposition. Through three home starts, Smith is 1-0 with a 0.47 ERA in 19 innings. He's allowed just one unearned run on home soil and has racked up 28 strikeouts. After spending the upcoming weekend in Canberra, the Bandits will head back to the RNA Showgrounds for Round Nine against the Melbourne Aces.

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