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Sydney Blue Sox season in review
A look back on the 2012/13 Sydney Blue Sox
02/07/2013 10:09 AM ET
Sox players during a win in December, one of a franchise-record 26
Sox players during a win in December, one of a franchise-record 26 (SMP Images/Joe Vella)
SYDNEY, 7 February - For the third consecutive year, the Sydney Blue Sox saw their season end just short of the Championship Series, but in the process finished half-game out of the Minor Premiership, set multiple team and individual records and saw a first-year manager lead the squad to most wins in franchise history.

The Sox entered the playoffs for the third straight season, needing to defeat the two-time defending champion Perth Heat in a best-of-three series to advance to their first Championship Series. After rain postponed the series-opener, Sydney dropped both games of a doubleheader, ending their season in third place for the third consecutive year.

"While it was a disappointing end to the season, there were a significant amount of positives that our organisation was able to achieve throughout the year," Blue Sox manager Jason Pospishil said.

Sydney opened the year with the historic Australia Series against Team Australia, a three-game exhibition that saw the Green and Gold play in Sydney for the first time since 2006. While the Sox dropped two games to the National Side, it gave Sox manager Jason Pospishil a solid look at his team, while Sox players Mitch Dening, Zac Shepherd and Tim Atherton donned the uniform for Team Australia.

The regular season began in Canberra, where the Sox took two-of-three games to begin the season, and returned home to host the Brisbane Bandits. On 9 November, Chris Oxspring pitched the most dominant outing by a Sox starter this season, striking out 14 Bandits en route to a complete game shutout, the only one of the year.

Two weeks later Sydney defeated Perth at Blue Sox Stadium for the first time ever, winning 1-0 on a walk-off infield single in the bottom of the ninth off the bat of Zach Penprase, who set the league's stolen base record with 16 on the season. The Sox rounded out the first half of the season at 11-11, three games out of first place.

Beginning the second half of the season, the Sox went on a tear, winning six of eight. In that frame, Sox left-hander Craig Anderson won a pair of starts, including a complete game on the road against the Melbourne Aces. The Gosford native went on to win eight games, setting the league record for wins, while also posting the lowest ERA in the league at 2.10.

After dropping a four-game series to the Adelaide Bite, Sydney went on to win their next five games, propelling them in to sole possession of first place for the first time all season long. The Sox split a four-game series with Canberra to enter the final week of the regular season tied atop the ladder, but the Cavalry held the tiebreaker in head-to-head matchups, and finished the season half-game ahead of Sydney.

"Our major goal this year was to change the culture surrounding the club; a culture which breeds professionalism and earning the right to wear the Blue Sox playing top," Pospishil said. "I thought we were able to achieve those goals and that holds us in good stead for the future."

The Sox set many team records throughout the season, including games played (Penprase, 45), batting average (Mitch Dening, .347), hits (Dening, 60), RBIs (Dening, 32), walks (32, Chris Snelling), stolen bases (Penprase, 16) and on-base percentage (.492, Snelling). In addition, the pitching staff set a league record for team ERA at 2.91 and fewest walks allowed at 97. Matt Williams broke the league saves record, finishing with 15 in 15 chances, and allowing earned runs to score in just one of 19 appearances. Oxspring broke his own record for strikeouts in a season, finishing the campaign with 86 in 79 2/3 innings.

For their performances, the Sox won either a Delta Air Lines Pitcher of the Week or Player of the Week award six times, with Oxspring (three times), Anderson and Williams winning Pitcher of the Week, while Trent D'Antonio earned Player of the Week for his 12-for-21 effort in Round 12 at Canberra.

2012/2013 Sydney Blue Sox by the Numbers
26 Regular season wins, the most in franchise history
23 Times the Blue Sox won when the starting pitcher threw six or more innings
45 Games Zach Penprase started, setting the franchise record
16 Times Mitch Dening recorded a multi-hit game, tops on the team
56 Percent of runners trying to steal Blue Sox catchers threw out this season
1 Time the Blue Sox lost three consecutive games this season, the final three games they played
9 League records, either individual or team, the Blue Sox set this season

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