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Solbach named BLK Pitcher of the Year
Bite star recorded a 1.10 ERA in 10 starts this season
02/25/2019 8:38 PM ET
 

A pre-season technical adjustment changed the course of Markus Solbach's baseball career and helped German native claimed the 2019 BLK Pitcher of the Year award.

In his third season of Brut Australian Baseball League action, Solbach put together one of the most impressive individual campaigns of all time, finishing with a 1.10 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings pitched.

But, if not for a minor technical adjustment, the 27-year-old may have not enjoyed such a dominant season.

"All of last season I was a little closed off with my left shoulder, I wanted more sink on the ball," Solbach said.

"I struggled in our first practice match against the SABL All-Stars, and I told myself I wanted to straighten up and come more over the top of the ball.

"It clicked in one bullpen, it really was a one game adjustment."

Solbach allowed one earned run in his first five starts of the season to put the league on notice - and more importantly - gave the Bite a legitimate superstar at the top of their rotation.

After spending stints in Melbourne (2011/12) and Sydney (2014/15), Solbach returned to the ABL a vastly different pitcher.

"I've definitely matured as a ball-player since my last trip down under," he said.

"I worked hard on my changeup, which turned into my strikeout pitch and worked really well this season.

"I was always a contact guy, but having that strikeout pitch really changed everything for me."

Solbach is currently in the United States in his first Spring Training with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a signing which came about during the ABL season.

"(Dodgers scout) Jon Deeble called me on New Year's Eve asking if I wanted to wear the famous Dodger blue," Solbach said.

"I said yes pretty much straight away.

"I couldn't be happier to be back in this environment, I can't wait to show the coaches what I can do."

BLK Pitcher of the Year
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)
2018/19: Markus Solbach (Adelaide Bite)

Stay tuned as the ABL's 2018/19 Brett Brothers Batting Champion will be announced on Wednesday 27 February.

All six of the ABL's 2018/19 Awards (Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Reliever of the Year, BLK Pitcher of the Year, Brett Brothers Batting Champion and Helms Award) were determined by a 3-2-1 vote conducted by each of the 2018/19 ABL Managers.

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