SYDNEY, NSW -- At its midpoint, the 2016/17 Australian Baseball League season has seen scores of impressive performances, on all sides of the game, from defensive gems to offensive outbursts and unmatched pitching prowess. This was equally true last weekend, when one team swept and another kept its season close and in the running with a series split.
For their dominance last weekend, the Round 5 Delta Air Lines Players of the Week are Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces outfielder Roman Collins and pitcher Dan Nilsson, of the Brisbane Bandits, proudly presented by WellDog.
Kansas City Royals prospect Collins was an integral part of Melbourne's home sweep of Sydney in Round 5. He hit .571 (8-for-14) over the course of the four games, with a pair of doubles, a triple, and three RBIs. The 22-year-old's most important plate appearance came in the bottom of the ninth inning of the series opener, when he belted a walk-off sacrifice fly that led the Aces to a 5-4 win and set the tone for the series. Overall, Collins ranks eighth in the league with a .338 batting average on the season, and has 11 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
In his fifth start of the season with his new team the Bandits, Nilsson had one of the most dominant starts of his career on Saturday night against his former club, the Bite. He tossed five innings of no-hit baseball in the second game of a doubleheader, walking three and striking out three to earn the win. The Bandits scored three runs in reflection of Nilsson's solid effort, winning the game 3-0 and taking a 2-1 series lead. Though Brisbane dropped the finale the next day, Nilsson's game-changing effort Saturday night ensured a series split for his team. He has a 1-1 record, 6.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in five games this year.