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Round 7 Delta honours for Leonard, Harris
Bandits 3B surged at plate, Sox P nearly no-hit Bite
12/17/2013 6:33 PM ET
This week's awards are the first of the season for Leonard (left) and Harris.
This week's awards are the first of the season for Leonard (left) and Harris. (SMP Images)

SYDNEY, 18 December - Brisbane Bandits third baseman Patrick Leonard and Sydney Blue Sox pitcher Vaughan Harris have been named the Delta Air Lines Round 7 Players of the Week in recognition of their tremendous performances last weekend. Each of these players helped their respected teams earn much needed victories as the Blue Sox and Bandits are both looking to make a second half surge toward the ABL Postseason.

Leonard led all batters last weekend with an impressive average of .545. The 21-year-old recorded at least one hit in each of the three games that he played in. The Tampa Bay Rays prospect entered the weekend having gone hitless in his last four games, but he broke out of his miniature slump in a major way during Round 7, collecting six hits, two doubles, a home run and three runs batted in. Although the Bandits currently find themselves near the bottom of the league standings, they have been playing much better as of late, as demonstrated by splitting series against two of the best teams in the league in the Canberra Cavalry, driven by Rolfe Renault, and Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces.

Much of Brisbane's recent success is due in part to the improved play of Leonard. Although the former fifth-round MLB draft pick is only hitting .237 on this season, a breakout performance in Round 7 may finally get Leonard on the track to hitting his stride.

Joining Leonard is Round 7 Pitcher of the Week, Sydney's Harris. A member of the Blue Sox pitching staff since the league's inaugural 2010/11 season, Harris made his first start of the season on Monday and came within three outs of making history.

The Adelaide Bite proudly presented by SA Power Networks were simply no match for Harris. The right-handed pitcher carried a no-hit bid into the bottom of the ninth inning, recording 24 straight outs before the Bite managed to get a hit off him. Josh Cakebread's double to lead off the ninth inning broke up what would have been only the second no-hitter in ABL history and the first in regular season play. Despite falling short of the no-no, Harris's performance was still nothing short of brilliant as he totaled eight innings pitched while allowing just one hit and one walk.

Although neither Leonard nor Harris will be playing in this week's All-Star Game, both of their teams will be in action in Round 8. Leonard and the Bandits will face off against Adelaide while Harris' Blue Sox will take on the Aces.

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