SYDNEY, 2 January - Brisbane Bandits starting pitcher Chris Smith, who made ABL history on 28 December, and Canberra Cavalry outfielder Ryan Stovall have been named the Delta Air Lines Pitcher and Player of the Week for Round Nine in the Australian Baseball League brought to you by Be the Influence: Tackling Binge Drinking.
Smith etched his name in the circuit’s record books in his lone start of Round Nine, dominating the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces in a complete-game shutout win. In that 4-0 Bandits victory, Smith broke the league’s record with 15 strikeouts, one better than the previous high-water mark. This week’s award marks Smith’s third such accolade this season. The Brisbane righty was also honoured in Round Three and again in Round Seven. With his league-record 15 Ks on the 28th, Smith moved into the top spot in the ABL in strikeouts among pitchers this season.
At the plate, Canberra’s Stovall dazzled as his team took strong command of the top spot on the league ladder. On the road at Perth, Stovall was one of the offensive engines for the Cavalry, going 9-for-20 (.450) with two home runs, two doubles, a triple, and seven runs batted in. The Cavalry took three of four games from the league’s two-time reigning Claxton Shield champions to move into clear sole possession of first place. Stovall’s biggest game in the series came Saturday as the Cavalry won their third straight. The centre fielder went 3-for-6 including a double, a triple, and four runs batted in.
Both of these award winners will face familiar foes in Round 10 which will feature a flipped script from their award-winning week. The Cavalry return home to host the Heat at Narrabundah Ballpark while Smith and the Bandits hit the road to Melbourne to take on the Aces.