1997–98 Australian Baseball League season

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1997-98
Australian Baseball League
Season details
Sport Baseball
Country  Australia
Teams 8
Dates 31 October 1997 – 15 February 1998
Defending champions Perth Heat (1996-97)
Champions Melbourne Reds (3rd title)
MVP Brendan Kingman ( Storm)
Final positions
Champions Melbourne Reds
Runners-up Gold Coast Cougars
Finalists Melbourne Monarchs
Finalists Sydney Storm
Fifth place Perth Heat
Sixth place Adelaide Giants
Seventh place Brisbane Bandits
Eighth place Hunter Eagles
Regular season
Games played 211
Best batting average Adam Burton ( Reds) (.388)
Most homeruns hit Adam Burton ( Reds) (21)
Best ERA Mark Respondek ( Reds) (2.57)

Last updated on 7 February 2013

The 1997–98 season of the Australian Baseball League saw the Melbourne Reds become the first three-time champions defeating the Gold Coast Cougars 2 games to 0 in the Championship series, in front of a rather small home crowd of 600 at the Melbourne Ballpark.

Teams[edit]

Each of the 8 teams from the previous season returned, However the Sydney Blues were now known as the Sydney Storm after legal action taken by Cricket NSW during the off season.

In the season opening press release, The league called for expressions of interest in a license to reform the Canberra Bushrangers for the 1998-99 season, The Bushrangers previously folded at the end of the 1994-95 season.

Rosters[edit]

During the regular season each team made use of an active roster of 22-24 men, with a maximum of 4 import players.

Venues[edit]

Teams in the ABL
Team City State Stadium Ref
Adelaide Giants Adelaide South Australia Norwood Oval
Brisbane Bandits Brisbane Queensland Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre
Gold Coast Cougars Gold Coast Queensland Carrara Oval
Hunter Eagles Newcastle New South Wales Newcastle International Sports Centre
Melbourne Monarchs Melbourne Victoria Melbourne Ballpark
Melbourne Reds Melbourne Victoria Moorabbin Oval
Perth Heat Perth Western Australia WACA Ground
Sydney Storm Sydney New South Wales Concord Oval

Regular season[edit]

Round 1: 31 October–5 November 1997[edit]

Round 1
Perth Heat 3 d. Adelaide Giants 1 (6-5, 6-3, 6-5, 2-8)
Gold Coast Cougars 2 d. Brisbane Bandits 1 (7-1, 8-6, 13-14)
Melbourne Monarchs 3 d. Melbourne Reds 1 (8-6, 10-6, 7-2, 2-8)
Sydney Storm 2 d. Hunter Eagles 0 (11-10, 5-3)

Round 2: 7–9 November 1997[edit]

Round 2
Perth Heat 3 d. Sydney Storm 1 (3-5, 3-2, 10-3, 4-1)
Adelaide Giants 3 d. Melbourne Monarchs 1 (1-3, 3-0, 9-4, 7-4)
Gold Coast Cougars 2 d. Melbourne Reds 1 (6-3, 6-10, 5-4, W/out)
Brisbane Bandits 3 d. Hunter Eagles 1 (6-4, 7-4, 4-3, 2-4)

Round 3: 14–16 November 1997[edit]

Round 3
Perth Heat 2 dr. Sydney Storm 2 (1-5, 5-9, 4-3, 11-7)
Melbourne Reds 3 d. Gold Coast Cougars 1 (4-1, 6-2, 3-2, 1-2)
Adelaide Giants 3 d. Melbourne Monarchs 1 (N/A, 7-2, N/A, N/A)
Brisbane Bandits 3 d. Hunter Eagles 1 (9-1, 13-11, 12-6, 9-10)

Round 4: 21–23 November 1997[edit]

Round 4
Perth Heat 2 dr. Melbourne Monarchs 2 (6-7, 6-1, 9-5, 0-2)
Melbourne Reds 3 d. Brisbane Bandits 1 (7-11, 20-7, 12-7, 12-9)
Gold Coast Cougars 3 d. Hunter Eagles 1 (10-5, 0-3, 8-4, 8-1)
Sydney Storm 3 d. Adelaide Giants 1 (1-5, 3-2, 5-2, 6-3)

Round 5: 28–30 November 1997[edit]

Round 5
Melbourne Reds 4 d. Brisbane Bandits 0 (12-8, 12-1, 11-7, 11-7)
Gold Coast Cougars 3 d. Hunter Eagles 1 (5-2, 0-6, 7-6, 15-3)
Sydney Storm 2 dr. Adelaide Giants 2 (6-5, 1-4, 8-7, 2-6)

Round 6: 5–7 December 1997[edit]

Round 6
Melbourne Reds 4 d. Hunter Eagles 0 (2-1, 10-6, 7-6, 8-1)
Brisbane Bandits 2 d. Gold Coast Cougars 1 (9-3, 14-9, 10-15)
Sydney Storm 3 d. Melbourne Monarchs 1 (3-2, 6-5, 4-8, 18-5)
Adelaide Giants 3 d. Perth Heat 1 (2-7, 7-1, 5-1, 6-3)

All Star Games: 12–13 December 1997[edit]

The series was held at Carrara Oval.

Game 1 was played against the Japanese Industrial League Champions and Game 2 against combined team of Americans playing in the ABL.

12 December
Mitsubishi Juko Kobe Vs Australia All-Stars
13 December
U.S.A. All-Stars 15 d. Australia All-Stars 9

Round 7: 14–16 December 1997[edit]

Round 7
Sydney Storm 2 d. Hunter Eagles 1 (8-5, 4-1, 4-6)
Gold Coast Cougars 1 d. Brisbane Bandits 0 (N/A)
Sydney Storm 2 d. Hunter Eagles 1 (N/A)

Round 8: 19–21 December 1997[edit]

Round 8
Sydney Storm 2 dr. Melbourne Monarchs 2 (5-3, 3-6, 0-1, 6-5)
Gold Coast Cougars 3 d. Brisbane Bandits 0 (8-3, 9-8, 15-8)
Perth Heat 2 dr. Adelaide Giants 2 (4-2, 4-0, 2-5, 2-6)
Melbourne Reds 3 d. Hunter Eagles 1 (4-5, 17-7, 8-7, 7-0)

Round 9: 26–28 December 1997[edit]

Round 9
Perth Heat 2 dr. Melbourne Reds 2 (13-6, 7-6, 2-3, 3-8)
Sydney Storm 4 d. Brisbane Bandits 0 (23-9, 3-2, 10-0, 10-7)
Melbourne Monarchs 4 d. Gold Coast Cougars 0 (4-1, 4-1, 4-0, 6-0)
Adelaide Giants 3 d. Hunter Eagles 1 (12-4, 1-6, 6-2, 7-3)

Round 10: 30 December 1997, 2–6 January 1998[edit]

Round 10
Brisbane Bandits 2 d. Perth Heat 1 (11-1, 18-2, 2-15)
Sydney Storm 2 d. Melbourne Reds 1 (4-1, 1-10, 8-4)
Gold Coast Cougars 3 d. Adelaide Giants 0 (8-6, 9-8, 10-9)
Melbourne Monarchs 3 d. Hunter Eagles 0 (8-3, 7-5, 3-2)
Sydney Storm 1 d. Hunter Eagles 0 (17-14)

Round 11: 9–11 January 1998[edit]

Round 11
Sydney Storm 3 d. Hunter Eagles 0 (10-3, 14-3, 10-3)
Melbourne Monarchs 2 d. Melbourne Reds 1 (6-2, 3-7, 14-4)
Adelaide Giants 2 d. Brisbane Bandits 1 (4-2, 4-8, 8-6)
Perth Heat 2 d. Gold Coast Cougars 1 (2-19, 8-7, 8-2)

Round 12: 16–18 January 1998[edit]

Round 12
Melbourne Monarchs 3 d. Brisbane Bandits 1 (1-2, 4-3, 11-10, 12-11)
Gold Coast Cougars 4 d. Sydney Storm 0 (17-12, 7-2, 15-7, 10-8)
Melbourne Reds 3 d. Adelaide Giants 1 (4-5, 10-6, 10-8, 11-10)
Perth Heat 2 dr. Hunter Eagles 2 (0-8, 11-6, 6-8, 5-2)

Round 13: 22–25 January 1998[edit]

Round 13
Brisbane Bandits 2 d. Sydney Storm 1 (2-3, 6-1, 2-1)
Melbourne Monarchs 2 d. Gold Coast Cougars 1 (10-9, 5-1, 3-4)
Adelaide Giants 1 dr. Hunter Eagles 1 (9-1, 4-5, W/Out)
Perth Heat 2 d. Melbourne Reds 0 (2-0, 9-6)

Round 14: 26–29 January 1998[edit]

Round 14
Brisbane Bandits 1 dr. Melbourne Monarchs 1 (N/A, 15-10)
Melbourne Reds 2 d. Adelaide Giants 1 (N/A, 11-2, 5-6)
Perth Heat 3 d. Hunter Eagles 0 (15-5, 8-7, 17-6)
Gold Coast Cougars 2 d. Sydney Storm 1 (9-3, 8-5, 7-12)

Round 15: 30 January-3 February 1998[edit]

Round 15
Perth Heat 2 d. Brisbane Bandits 1 (0-12, 12-6, 5-1)
Gold Coast Cougars 2 d. Adelaide Giants 1 (1-4, 9-6, 7-5)
Melbourne Monarchs 3 d. Hunter Eagles 0 (9-0, 9-5, 7-6)
Sydney Storm 2 d. Melbourne Reds 1 (14-11, 4-13, 10-9)

Round 16: 6–8 February 1998[edit]

Round 16
Perth Heat 2 d. Gold Coast Cougars 1 (6-2, 3-10, 7-4)
Adelaide Giants 2 d. Brisbane Bandits 1 (13-12, 12-10, 8-9)
Melbourne Monarchs 1 dr. Melbourne Reds 1 (5-4, 4-5, W/Out)
Sydney Storm 1 d. Hunter Eagles 0 (11-5)

Ladder[edit]

Key
Clinched final berth
1997-98 regular season standings
Team
W L Pct. GB Home Road
Melbourne Monarchs 32 20 .615
Sydney Storm 32 22 .593 1
Melbourne Reds 30 21 .588 112
Gold Coast Cougars 31 22 .585 112
Perth Heat 30 23 .566 212
Adelaide Giants 26 27 .491 612
Brisbane Bandits 20 33 .333 1212
Hunter Eagles 10 43 .189 2212

Top 10 Stats[edit]

Defensive Stats
Name Wins Losses Saves ERA
Mark Respondek 4 0 0 2.57
Warren May 6 1 1 4.96
Robert Hogan 5 2 0 5.97
Pat Ahearne 3 4 0 3.46
David White 2 4 2 7.79
Jason Beverlin 2 4 0 6.22
Offensive Stars
Name Avg HR RBI
Adam Burton .388 21 55
Ben Utting .346 7 34
Myles Barnden .343 6 28
Chris Ashby .314 6 18
Jeff Spencer .306 7 41
Shane Hogan .298 18 49

Postseason[edit]

Finals Series at Melbourne Ballpark[edit]

In previous years the post season was played as home and away best of 3 games, with the two winner of each series meeting for a best of 5 series{fact}, in 1997–98 this was changed to a round robin play-off format with each team playing 3 games, 1 against each of the other 3 qualified teams, with the two highest places teams playing off in the Championship Series.[1]

All games for the 9th ABL title were played at the Melbourne Ballpark from February, 10-12 with the best of three championship series 14–15 February.[1]

Finals Series[edit]

Game 1: 10 February 1998[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Gold Coast Cougars  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 7 ? ?
Melbourne Monarchs  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 5 ? ?
WP: ? (1-0)   LP: ? (0-1)   Sv: ?
Home runs:
Cougars: ?
Monarchs: ?

Game 2: 10 February 1998[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Melbourne Reds  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 18 ? ?
Sydney Storm  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 5 ? ?
WP: ? (1-0)   LP: ? (0-1)   Sv: ?
Home runs:
Reds: ?
Storm: ?

Game 3: 11 February 1998[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Melbourne Monarchs  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 1 ? ?
Sydney Storm  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 5 ? ?
WP: ? (1-0)   LP: ? (0-1)   Sv: ?
Home runs:
Monarchs: ?
Storm: ?

Game 4: 11 February 1998[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Gold Coast Cougars  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 1 ? ?
Melbourne Reds  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 2 ? ?
WP: ? (1-0)   LP: ? (0-1)   Sv: ?
Home runs:
Cougars: ?
Reds: ?

Game 5: 12 February 1998[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Sydney Storm  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 6 ? ?
Gold Coast Cougars  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 8 ? ?
WP: ? (1-0)   LP: ? (0-1)   Sv: ?
Home runs:
Storm: ?
Cougars: ?

Game 6: 12 February 1998[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Melbourne Monarchs  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 12 ? ?
Melbourne Reds  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 5 ? ?
WP: ? (1-0)   LP: ? (0-1)   Sv: ?
Home runs:
Monarchs: ?
Reds: ?

Postseason Ladder[edit]

Key
Clinched Championship series berth
1997-98 postseason season standings
Team
W L Pct. GB For Against
Melbourne Reds 2 1 .667 - 25 18
Gold Coast Cougars 2 1 .667 - 16 13
Melbourne Monarchs 1 2 .333 1 18 17
Sydney Storm 1 2 .333 1 16 27

Championship Series[edit]

Game 1: 14 February 1998[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Gold Coast Cougars 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 ? ?
Melbourne Reds 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 - 4 ? ?
WP: David White (1-0)   LP: ? (0-1)   Sv: ?
Home runs:
Cougars: -
Reds: Shane Hogan (1)

Game 2: 15 February 1998[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Melbourne Reds 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 4 6 ?
Gold Coast Cougars 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ? ?
WP: Jason Beverlin (1-0)   LP: Paxton Crawford (0-1)   Sv: -
Home runs:
Reds: Shane Hogan (1), Myles Barnden (1)
Cougars: -

Awards[edit]

Award Person Team
Batting Champion Brendan Kingman Sydney Storm
Golden Glove Glenn Williams Sydney Storm
Manager of the Year Tom Nieto Melbourne Reds
Most Valuable Player Brendan Kingman Sydney Storm
Championship M.V.P. Shane Hogan Melbourne Reds
Rookie of the Year Rodney Van Buizen Hunter Eagles
Reliever of the Year Gabe Molina Perth Heat
Pitcher of the Year Erick Nelson Melbourne Monarchs
Umpire of the Year Gerard Tancred New South Wales

All-Star Team[edit]

Position Name Team
Catcher Gary White Sydney Storm
1st Base Ron Johnson Gold Coast Cougars
2nd Base Adam Burton Melbourne Reds
3rd Base Paul Gorman Gold Coast Cougars
Short Stop Ben Utting Melbourne Reds
Out Field Glen Barker Brisbane Bandits
Out Field Trent Durrington Gold Coast Cougars
Out Field Grant McDonald Brisbane Bandits
Designated Hitter Brendan Kingman Sydney Storm
Starting Pitcher Erick Nelson Melbourne Monarchs
Relief Pitcher Gabe Molina Perth Heat
Manager Tom Nieto Melbourne Reds

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "FAI Cup Pitches new finals format and all star competition as baseball bats up for the summer of 1997/1998.". Press Release. Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  • Flintoff, Peter; Dunn, Adrian (August 1998). Flintoff & Dunn's Australian Baseball League Almanac 1998 Edition. Melbourne: Flintoff & Dunn.