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SEASON IN REVIEW: Brisbane Bandits
Bandits clinch historic fourth-straight shield
02/14/2019 4:12 PM ET
 

With the 2018/2019 Brut Australian Baseball League season done and dusted, now it's time to look back at how each team fared in reverse finishing order. Last up, the Claxton Shield winning Brisbane Bandits.

Brisbane created Australian Baseball history by taking down Perth in the ABL Championship Series.

The Bandits became the first team in Australian Baseball to secure the Claxton Shield in four-straight years.

Brisbane repeated its recipe for success over the previous three seasons, hitting peak form in January and carrying it into the postseason.

The Bandits finished the regular season with six-straight wins, including a sweep of Geelong-Korea in the final round, ahead of overcoming Canberra in game three of their ABLSF.

Brisbane trailed 5-3 entering the bottom of the seventh before taking the lead late to earn a shot at Perth in the ABLCS.

They then took game one on the road in Perth before powering to a fourth-straight title in front of their home crowd in game two.

The Bandits overcame plenty of obstacles to get to that point.

Logan Wade missed half the season after injuring his shoulder ahead of Brisbane's season-opener.

Utility Mitch Nilsson and pitchers Ryan Searle and Loek van Mil also had stints on the sidelines.

But each rejoined the team and played a role in its ABLCS success.

 

What went right

Brisbane turned in its best baseball at the business end of the season.

The Bandits' offence clicked into gear after some early struggles.

Its starting rotation adopted a more settled look after manager David Nilsson tested Ryan Searle and Sam Holland in the role earlier on.

Everything clicked and Brisbane did enough to clinch home advantage through the playoffs, making them even more formiddable.

 

What went wrong

It would be easy to say nothing given the Bandits just weeks ago lifted the Claxton Shield for a fourth-straight year.

But that would be a lie.

Brisbane battled probably its longest injury list during its current reign and did not click into gear until midway through the campaign.

 

Most impressive win

Defeated Geelong-Korea 21-5 at Geelong Baseball Centre on January 17

Several teams recorded big wins over Geelong-Korea in the new franchise's first season, but none with as much style as Brisbane.

The Bandits blasted an ABL record nine home runs to record a resounding win over GK in their series opener.

Catcher Danny De La Calle went deep twice as eight of nine Brisbane starters recorded homers.

 

theABL.com.au Player of the Season

Andrew Campbell

Campbell had a career year, setting new benchmarks for hits (48), homers (10), RBI (34) and walks (28).

The 26-year-old then went 6-for-22 with a homer and four RBI in the postseason.

 

Highlight of the season

Hard to go past that championship winning feeling, right?

 

They were not their damaging best for long periods of the season, but the Bandits put the pieces together to claim an historic shield.

Through the tough times, injury-riddled Brisbane hang around and put themselves in a position to strike.

TJ Bennett, Andrew Campbell, Tim Atherton and Travis Blackley all played key roles in the Bandits' success.

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