SYDNEY, 13 November - In their second straight difficult road test, the Sydney Blue Sox once again rose to the challenge, putting themselves in a tie atop the table heading into the Australian Baseball League's third round. Sydney's top two performers of last weekend, outfielder David Kandilas and right-hander Markus Solbach, were honoured for their efforts today, named the league's Delta Air Lines Player and Pitcher of the Week for Round 2.
Colorado Rockies prospect Kandilas is in the midst of a blistering offensive start to his ABL season. The Sydneysider batted .353 (6-from-15) with four doubles and six runs batted in and also stole three bases during his team's four-game series at Canberra, of which the Blue Sox won three. The 24-year-old has driven in a run in seven of his team's eight games this season and leads the league with 13 hits (including an ABL-best seven for extra bases), 14 RBIs, and 23 total bases.
This award is the first for Kandilas in his ABL career, which has spanned four of the league's five seasons.
Righty Solbach has been one of the league's most dominant pitchers through the season's first two weeks, and the Arizona D-backs import pulled double duty during Round 2. First, Solbach silenced the Cavalry over seven scoreless innings on Thursday, striking out eight, not walking a man, and scattering six hits. The 23-year-old earned his second straight victory with that outing.
Three days later, Solbach returned in relief, spinning another 1 1/3 perfect innings while adding a strikeout to record his first save of the season. The Dormagen, Germany product lowered his ERA to 1.26 through his first three trips to the mound. Like Kandilas, Solbach's award is an ABL career first. The hurler pitched for Melbourne during the 2011/12 season.
After two weeks, the Blue Sox sit in a tie with Brisbane atop the ABL ladder, sporting a 5-3 record. Sydney will welcome a familiar foe to Blue Sox Ballpark in Round 3 as the Cavalry come calling in a Round 2 rematch. The series marks Sydney's first homestand of the 2014/15 campaign.