SYDNEY, 15 January - Brisbane Bandits outfielder C.J. Beatty and Sydney Blue Sox closer Matt Williams have been named the Delta Air Lines Player and Pitcher of the Week respectively for the period of 10-13 January, Round 11 of the 2012/13 Australian Baseball League season brought to you by Be the Influence: Tackling Binge Drinking.
Beatty and his Bands surprised the Australian baseball world this week with five wins over the first-place Canberra Cavalry driven by Rolfe Renault. Four of those wins accounted for a Round 11 series sweep, and the fifth, the conclusion of a 17 November suspended game, came as the opener of a pseudo-doubleheader on Friday night.
Beatty was a major factor in Brisbane’s eye-opening whitewashing of the formerly red-hot Cavalry. The third baseman’s big night came on Friday in his club’s Round 11 opener with Canberra. Beatty registered his first ABL multi-home run game by cranking two blasts and driving in five to lead the Bandits to a 6-1 win. Overall, the former St. Louis Cardinals farmhand had hits in all four games of the Bandits’ Round 11 series, going 6-for-11 (.667) with three home runs and eight runs batted in.
On the mound, Delta’s award for Round 11 goes to a bullpen member. Sydney’s Williams made ABL history this week by registering his 13th save of 2012/13, establishing a new single-season record in the league and surpassing the previous mark of 12, set by his bullpen mate Dae-Sung Koo in 2010/11. Williams wasn’t done with just that mark, set on Friday, 11 January in a 2-0 Sox victory. Over the next two days, the red-bearded right-hander earned two more saves, allowing just two hits in the process to extend his season total to 15. The three saves helped to close out a four-game sweep of Melbourne by the Blue Sox
Over his last ten outings, dating back to 13 December at Perth, Williams has earned ten straight saves and not allowed a single run on five hits. His 15 saves are five more than anyone else in the ABL, and the former Minnesota Twins prospect boasts a strikeouts-to-walks ratio of 6-to-1 this season. Opposing hitters are batting just .195 this season against him.
In Round 12, Williams and his Blue Sox teammates, who pulled into a first-place tie with their Round 11 sweep, travel to the nation’s capital for a clash with the reeling Cavalry. A series win either way would give the victorious team sole possession of first place. The Bandits are home in Round 12 to host the formerly league-leading Heat who exited Round 11 two games back of the Sydney-Canberra first-place tie.