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Giant leap: Oxspring to pitch again in Korea
Sydney staff ace returns to KBO with Lotte Giants
03/21/2013 5:59 AM ET
Oxspring spearheaded Sydney's league ERA-leading staff in 2012/13.
Oxspring spearheaded Sydney's league ERA-leading staff in 2012/13. (SMP Images)
SYDNEY, 21 March - Sydney Blue Sox right-hander Chris Oxspring has agreed to a deal to pitch for the Korea Baseball Organisation's Lotte Giants in 2013 according to reports. The Blue Sox ace previously pitched in the KBO from 2007-08.

"The ABL could not be happier to see Chris's performance rewarded with another international contract and a return to one of the world's biggest sporting leagues," Australian Baseball League General Manager Ben Foster said.

"It speaks volumes to the performances of our ABL players in general and how highly elite performances in our league are being regarded around the globe."

The deal, reported first by Jeeho Yoo of Korea's Yonhap News Agency, sends Oxspring back to the highest level of Korean baseball. The Ipswich, Queensland native played for two years as a member of the KBO's LG Twins following a season with the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan.

"Chris is a tremendous ambassador for our game, and is just one of many of our Australian stars who can continue excel at the highest levels both at home and abroad," Foster added.

Oxspring has been the leader of Sydney's heralded pitching staff for three ABL seasons. In 2012/13, he was back in dominant form, setting a new ABL single-season strikeout record with 86 Ks in just 79.2 innings this year. Oxspring registered more strikeouts than he allowed hits (80) while going 4-2 with a 2.71 ERA and helping to lead Sydney to their third straight ABL Postseason appearance.

Following the 2012/13 season, Oxspring made two appearances as the staff ace of Team Australia in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, allowing just three runs across 7.2 innings pitched against Chinese Taipei and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

One of the 28 Australians to crack the ranks of Major League Baseball, Oxspring made his big league debut on August 2, 2005 for the San Diego Padres. In five career MLB appearances that season, 'Ox' didn't record a decision but posted a 3.75 ERA. Most recently, the now-35-year-old was a farmhand of the Detroit Tigers organisation, signing with the Tigers in December of 2010 and pitching at Triple-A before being released in May of 2011.

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