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Cavalry veteran honoured with award
Grening named BLK Pitching Champion
04/11/2018 12:16 AM ET
 

He has been a constant in the Canberra Cavalry since his debut in November 2011, and since then, Brian Grening has cemented himself as a legend of Canberra baseball.

Grening has capped off a historic ABL career with a well-deserved 2017/18 BLK Pitching Champion.

A master of his craft, Grening has consistently brilliant for the Cavalry during his 87 appearances. Grening's first year in the league saw him used out of the bullpen, however the righty soon transitioned into a starting role and never looked back.

Grening hung up his cleats at the end of the 2017/18 season, bowing out as the new ABL's all-time strikeout leader (376).

Speaking with theabl.com.au about the award, the significance of the honour isn't lost on Grening.

"It's a huge honour especially since I've seen the amount of talent that has come in and out of the league for the past seven years," Grening said.

"To be considered for this award is an honour and to receive it is something very special. I devoted a lot of my career to the Cavalry and been an ambassador for the league back in America so it feels nice to see the ABL appreciates that."

A big-game player, Grening is no stranger to performing in clutch situations. In season 2012/13, Grening was tasked with the game one start in the Championship Series, tossing 7.2 stellar innings and leading the Cavalry to a win.

Grening's final act in Canberra colours was just as memorable, as the veteran tossed 6.2 scoreless frames in front of a packed Narrabundah Ballpark in game one of the 2017/18 Championship Series.

"The atmosphere during that game was very similar to the ABLCS in 2012/13," Grening said.

"It was a very special night that will be with me forever and couldn't think of a better way to retire from the game."

Canberra will always hold a special place in Grening's heart, as he moves on to his post-baseball life.

"I spent 7/10 years of my career here, met my wife here and will have my first child born here in July so it has definitely become a second home."

"I feel like I have developed a personal relationship with almost all the fans, staff members and players in some way or another over the years and always enjoy reminiscing about the team when we see each other. I am very nostalgic about the field, clubhouse and Cavalry name in general. The short history of the team and future success will always matter greatly to me."

Canberra Manager Michael Collins praised Grening's professionalism

"Grening is one of the most reliable starters I've ever had," Collins said.

"He prepares mentally and physically as well as anyone can so no matter the situation the team knows he is ready to pitch. By starting game one of each series he quietly leads the team by going about his business like a true professional, his team mates see him work and want to play behind him." 

BLK Pitching Champion
2010/11: David Welch (Sydney Blue Sox)
2011/12: Warwick Saupold (Perth Heat)
2012/13: Craig Anderson (Sydney Blue Sox)
2013/14: Mike Ekstrom (Perth Heat)
2014/15: Morgan Coombs (Adelaide Bite)
2015/16: Ryan Searle (Brisbane Bandits)
2016/17: Mark Hamburger (Melbourne Aces)
2017/18: Brian Grening (Canberra Cavalry)

Stay tuned as the ABL's 2017/18 Brett Brothers Batting Champion will be announced on Wednesday 25 April.

All six of the ABL's 2017/18 Awards (Rookie of the Year, Gold Glove, Reliever of the Year, BLK Pitching Champion, Brett Brothers Batting Champion and Helms Award) were determined by a 3-2-1 vote conducted by each of the 2017/18 ABL Managers.

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