SYDNEY, 30 January - With the 2012/13 regular season at a close, the Australian Baseball League brought to you by Be the Influence: Tackling Binge Drinking honours the talented athletes who had standout seasons and made ABL history with their record-breaking achievements.
First ABL Triple Crown Winner
Canberra Cavalry driven by Rolfe Renault’s second baseman Adam Buschini led the league in nearly every batting category. Buschini is the first Triple Crown winner in ABL history, meaning hea ccomplished the rare feat of leading the league in all three major batting categories: .363 batting average, 15 home runs and 50 runs batted in. Additionally, the American import led the ABL in hits (67), runs (37), slugging percentage (.690) and on base plus slugging percentage (1.112).
The second baseman is a two-time Delta Air Lines Player of the Week from his performances in Round 10 and Round 13. In the final round of ABL play, Buschini went 9-for-15 (.600) with four home runs, nine runs batted in and a stolen base.
ABL Pitching Records Shattered
While Buschini almost swept the league in leading offensive categories, the Sydney Blue Sox made a collective effort to claim the top spot in pitching categories, in record-breaking fashion. This comes as no surprise since Sydney boasted the lowest team ERA (2.91) in ABL history.
Right-handed pitcher and former major leaguer Chris Oxspring broke the ABL record for strikeouts in a season, which he set in the inaugural 2010/11 season, increasing his season strikeout total from 71 to 75.
Left-handed pitcher Craig Anderson now holds the record for most wins in a season after his eight victories in the 2012/13 campaign. The Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat’s Daniel Schmidt held the previous record of six, which he broke by earning seven wins this season but even the extra victory was not enough to retain the lead.
One pitching record the Blue Sox were unable to hold onto was Oxspring’s record of 14 strikeouts in a game. Chris Smith of the Brisbane Bandits struck out 15 batters in a round nine game that earned him Delta Air Lines Pitcher of the Week honours. Smith finished second in the ABL’s ERA race at 2.31.
100 Career ABL Hits
While Perth’s James McOwen became the first player to record 100 hits in the new ABL at the end of last season, three more players joined the century club in the league’s third season. Josh Roberts of the Brisbane Bandits became the first Australian-born player to reach 100 career hits in November. Mitch Dening became the first Sydney Blue Sox player to join the century club in Round 11 followed by Jeremy Cresswell as the first Adelaide Bite player in Round 12. In Melbourne, a trio of Aces hit the milestone including Elliot Biddle, Josh Davies, and Justin Huber.