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German international signs as first import
Markus Solbach makes his ABL return in Adelaide
09/19/2018 10:36 PM ET
 

German international Markus Solbach has signed with the Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks, for the 2018/19 season.

Twenty-seven-year-old Solbach, who stands at 6'5", is no stranger to the ABL and says he is excited to be back in Australia for a fresh start to his career.

"I played in the ABL prior to this year, in 2012 and 2014, for Melbourne and Sydney so I already knew how good the league was and how awesome the country was," Solbach said.

"I want a fresh start with a fresh team, and I want to get back into affiliated baseball.

"That's why I think Australia is a great spot for me to throw in front of scouts and of course help the Bite win a championship.

"I want to help with my experience and help some younger players learn about the game."

Born in Dormagen, 25km north of Cologne, Solbach's love for baseball actually began in Detroit, at the old Tiger Stadium.

"I lived in Detroit for two years when I was a little kid and my parents took me out to a game a couple of weeks before heading back to Germany," he said.

"It was in old Tiger Stadium and I just fell in love with the game.

"When we got back to Germany I had a friend who played baseball and she took me out to practise, and that's basically where it started."

Aged 19, he signed his first professional contract with the Minnesota Twins, he pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second half of his Minor League career.

Released in 2016, the righty pitched a 3.51 ERA across 85 appearances, including 48 starts, as well as a 3.16 ERA with the Can-Am League Rockland Boulders in 2016 and 2017.

Solbach is a regular in the German national team; he pitched in their 2012 and 2016 World Baseball Classic qualifying campaigns and in two fourth-place finishes at the European Baseball Championships.

Speaking to Rob Greenwood at The Advertiser, Manager Chris Adamson says Solbach's experience makes him a perfect addition.

"He's going to be a great fit given his experience all over the world, but also his experience in this league as well over two years," Adamson said.

"Knowing the lay of the land a little bit is going to really help him to acclimatise as quickly as possible."

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