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McClendon, Dean take Rd 12 honours
01/19/2015 5:59 PM ET

SYDNEY, 20 January - The second last week of the 2014/15 regular season saw a clinching celebration in Adelaide and continued shuffling of the rest of the ABL ladder as four teams still vie for the remaining two playoff spots. It was two players on two of those teams that impressed enough to net the Delta Air Lines Pitcher and Player of the Week awards. Starting pitcher Mike McClendon of the Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat and Sydney Blue Sox slugger Josh Dean are the ABL's honourees for Round 12.

Sitting in second place with a two-game lead, the Heat played a crucial road series against the Canberra Elite Cavalry. McClendon got Perth started in the series on a high note, tossing a complete-game shutout in the opener at Canberra. The former Major Leaguer surrendered five hits and struck out seven batters while walking none in his nine innings. McClendon faced 31 batters in the game, just four over the minimum, and increased his season record to 4-1. He currently leads the league in both ERA (1.29) and WHIP (0.98).

Perth hosts the Brisbane Bandits, proudly presented by Welldog, this weekend for a four-game series, and have the opportunity to create even more distance between themselves and the third-place Bandits.

Dean, in the meantime, earned his first career weekly award in five seasons of ABL play in Round 12. The 28-year-old first baseman hit a blistering .571 as the Blue Sox split their series against the Bandits. Driving in five runs over the weekend, Dean came through in the clutch even in the team's two losses. He went 2-for-5 in the series opener, and hit a solo shot in the top of the third inning that put Sydney on the board. The next night, the former Minnesota Twins prospect went 3-for-4 as the Blue Sox evened the series at one game apiece with a 4-3 win. After getting the third game of the series off, he impressed in the series finale, enjoying a 3-for-5 day at the plate and driving in four of Sydney's five runs, including three on a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning.

Sydney hosts Canberra this weekend, wrapping up the regular season with the final round of the Hume Highway Cup. The Blue Sox sit tied with the Cavalry for fourth place on the ABL ladder and still have a chance to make their playoff dreams a reality.

Tickets are still available for all games this weekend and can be purchased online at TheABL.com.au/tickets. 



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