2010–11 Australian Baseball League season

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2010–11
Australian Baseball League
Season details
Sport Baseball
Country  Australia
Teams 6
Dates 6 November 2010 – 13 February 2011
Defending champions Inaugural season
Champions Perth Heat (1st title)
Helms Award winner James McOwen (ADE)
Final positions
Champions Perth Heat
Runners-up Adelaide Bite
Preliminary finalists Sydney Blue Sox
Semi-finalists Melbourne Aces
Fifth place Brisbane Bandits
Sixth place Canberra Cavalry
Regular season
Games played 116
Attendance 137,681  (1,187 per game)
Best batting average Michael Collins (CAN) (.360)
Most homeruns hit James McOwen (ADE) (11)
Most stolen bases Trent D'Antonio (SYD) (9)
Best ERA David Welch (SYD) (1.44)
Most strikeouts (as pitcher) Chris Oxspring (SYD) (71)

Last updated on 13 February 2011

The 2010–11 Australian Baseball League season was the inaugural Australian Baseball League (ABL) season, and was held from 6 November 2010 to 13 February 2011. It came 12 years after the old Australian Baseball League ceased and is the successor of the mostly amateur Claxton Shield competition that has been played since 1934. The season consisted of six teams competing in a 40-game schedule, followed by a three-round finals series to determine the ABL champion.

At the conclusion of the regular season, the Sydney Blue Sox, Perth Heat, Adelaide Bite and Melbourne Aces progressed to the finals series, while the Brisbane Bandits and Canberra Cavalry were only eliminated from contention on the final day of the season. Both Melbourne and Sydney were eliminated by Adelaide in the minor semi-final series and the preliminary final series, respectively. Perth became the inaugural ABL champions when they defeated Adelaide two games to one in the championship series.

Formation[edit]

In June 2009, it was announced that the rights to the Claxton Shield had been sold to a new Australian Baseball League, with ownership split between Major League Baseball's 75 percent share and the 25 percent share owned by the Australian Baseball Federation. The 2010 Claxton Shield tournament was considered preparation for the inaugural ABL season.[1]

Although initial reports suggested that between eight and ten teams would contest the first season, including the possibility of a team based in New Zealand,[2] six teams representing Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney were announced in November 2009 as the foundation clubs.[3]

Compared to the previous season's Claxton Shield tournament, there were few structural changes to the competition. With the expansion from five to six teams, the need for teams to have a bye was eliminated, with all teams participating in games each round. The individual rounds were expanded from three to four games per round, resulting in an increase from 24 to 40 games per team for the season. The postseason was also expanded to include the top four teams, rather than only the top three.

Teams[edit]

Rosters[edit]

During the season each team made use of a 22-man active roster,[1] drawn from 35-man squads announced on 28 October 2010.[4]

Venues[edit]

Four of the six teams used their existing venues from the Claxton Shield: the Adelaide Bite,[5] Perth Heat[6] and Sydney Blue Sox[7] all used the same grounds used in the 2010 Claxton Shield by the respective state teams, and the Canberra Cavalry used the same venue used by Australia Provincial when they last contested the Claxton Shield in 2008: Narrabundah Ballpark.[8]

The Melbourne Aces played at the Melbourne Showgrounds, after the Victorian state government announced a A$300,000 upgrade of the grounds.[9] Similarly the Queensland state government announced a A$300,000 upgrade of the Brisbane Exhibition Ground for use by the Brisbane Bandits as their home field.[10]

Team City State Stadium Ref
Adelaide Bite Adelaide South Australia Coopers Stadium [11]
Brisbane Bandits Brisbane Queensland Brisbane Exhibition Ground [12]
Canberra Cavalry Canberra Australian Capital Territory Narrabundah Ballpark [13]
Melbourne Aces Melbourne Victoria Melbourne Showgrounds [14]
Perth Heat Perth Western Australia Baseball Park [15]
Sydney Blue Sox Sydney New South Wales Blacktown Olympic Park [16]

Regular season[edit]

The season length was similar to the 2010 Claxton Shield by spreading ten rounds over twelve weeks, playing only the season's first game in the first week and taking a week off for Christmas and Boxing Day. Six teams were involved, playing a four-game series every week totaling two series against each team, one at home and one away. In total, the schedule allowed for 40 regular season games per team before a four-team finals series. During the regular season, games were played Thursday to Sunday, varying depending on the series and team, with 18 games scheduled as doubleheaders on a Saturday. Doubleheaders were scheduled to have the first of the two games shortened to seven innings, with the second game using the full nine innings.[17]

One of the regular season games resulted in a tie, which is unusual in baseball given the provision in the rules of the game to play extra innings to determine a winner. The game between the Sydney Blue Sox and the Melbourne Aces at Blacktown Olympic Park was the second game of a makeup doubleheader as a result of rain earlier that weekend washing out two games, and so had been shortened to seven innings. A rain delay during the first game of the day forced the second game to a later start. Under a provision in the ABL rules that is modeled on the International Baseball Federation's tiebreaker rule, in any extra inning that starts within an hour of the curfew time for the game—a time set to allow the visiting team time to meet travel schedules to return home at the end of a series—each team starts with runners at first and second base with nobody out. In addition, no new inning may start within 15 minutes of the curfew time. The game was scoreless at the end of the regulation seven innings, and was tied at 1–1 at the end of the eighth inning, which ended at the curfew time. Though the game was an official game, the result did not count towards the season standings.[18][19]

All but 4 of the scheduled 120 games were played. The four games that were not played were the series scheduled between the Brisbane Bandits and the Canberra Cavalry at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground for the ninth round. Flooding in Brisbane had resulted in the Exhibition Ground being used as an evacuation centre for affected residents. Initially the ABL postponed the series, leaving a decision as to whether the games would be re-scheduled to a later time.[20] Just prior to the final round of scheduled games, it was announced that the games would go ahead in the form of two doubleheaders, but that only games that would affect the playoffs would be played. When Brisbane lost the final game of their series against the Adelaide Bite, both they and Canberra were eliminated from contention for the playoffs; hence, the makeup games were not played.[21]

Key
Clinched major semi final berth
Clinched minor semi final berth
2010–11 regular season standings
Team[22]
W L Pct. GB Home Road
Sydney Blue Sox 24 15 .615 12–7[S 1] 12–8
Perth Heat 24 16 .600 12 10–10 14–6
Adelaide Bite 23 17 .575 1 12 15–5 8–12[S 2][S 3]
Melbourne Aces 18 21 .462 6 11–9 7–12[S 1]
Brisbane Bandits 14 22 .389 8 12 6–10[S 3] 8–12
Canberra Cavalry 12 24 .333 10 12 11–9[S 2] 1–15
Notes
  1. ^ a b The third game played between Sydney and Melbourne in round 4 was called a tie with a score of 1–1 under ABL rule 5-6-8. The result is not counted towards the teams' standings. A game postponed from round 4, held in round 5, was played with the Melbourne Aces as the away team and the Sydney Blue Sox as the home team, despite being played at the Melbourne Showgrounds.
  2. ^ a b A game postponed from round 4, held in round 7, was played with the Adelaide Bite as the away team and the Canberra Cavalry as the home team, despite being played at Coopers Stadium, Adelaide.
  3. ^ a b Two games postponed from round 5, held in round 10, were played with the Adelaide Bite as the away team and the Brisbane Bandits as the home team, despite being played at Coopers Stadium, Adelaide.

The Perth Heat and Sydney Blue Sox were the first teams to clinch positions in the finals series when Perth defeated the Melbourne Aces in the final game of their series in round 9. The Adelaide Bite were the next team to secure a place in the top four, after winning the third of an expanded six-game series against Brisbane. It was only on the final day of the regular season that Melbourne was able to claim the fourth finals position, and that the makeup of the semi-final series was decided: Sydney hosting Perth in the major semi-final series, and Adelaide hosting Melbourne in the minor semi-final series.

Statistical leaders[edit]

  1. ^ Minimum 2.7 PAs per team game. Correct as of 23 January 2011.[23]
  2. ^ Minimum 0.8 IP per team game. Correct as of 23 January 2011.[24]

Postseason[edit]

At the completion of the regular season, the top four teams progressed to the postseason. It was contested over three weeks, following the Page playoff system. Each stage was decided by a best–of–three game series.[25] Unlike regular season games, which made use of a variation of the International Baseball Federation's mercy rule after seven innings, no such rule was in place for postseason games; all games went the full nine innings, with the only exception being two games that were tied after nine innings, therefore requiring extra innings.

  Semi-Final Series Premliminary Final Series Championship Series
                           
1   Sydney Blue Sox 0  
2   Perth Heat 2         2   Perth Heat 2
      1   Sydney Blue Sox 1   3   Adelaide Bite 1
  3   Adelaide Bite 2  
3   Adelaide Bite 2
4   Melbourne Aces 0  

The Perth Heat and Adelaide Bite each swept their semi-final series against the Sydney Blue Sox and Melbourne Aces respectively, resulting in the Heat qualifying for and hosting the championship series, and the Aces being eliminated. The Bite won the preliminary final series against the Blue Sox two games to one, to advance to the championship series. Though Adelaide won the first championship series game, the Perth Heat won the remaining two games to claim the title of ABL Champions.[26]

Major semi-final[edit]

27 January
Game 1
Sydney Blue Sox 2 – 4 Perth Heat New South Wales Blacktown Olympic Park, Sydney
Attendance: 1,002
Umpires: HP: Mal Mackay 1B: Paul Hyham 2B: Trent Thomas 3B: Bob Crawford
Boxscore
28 January
Game 2
Perth Heat 6 – 0 Sydney Blue Sox New South Wales Blacktown Olympic Park, Sydney
Attendance: 1,350
Umpires: HP: Paul Hyham 1B: Mal Mackay 2B: Bob Crawford 3B: Trent Thomas
Boxscore

Minor semi-final[edit]

27 January
Game 1
Adelaide Bite 14 – 2 Melbourne Aces South Australia Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Attendance: 1,642
Umpires: HP: Neil Poulton 1B: Andrew Bell 3B: Blake Halligan
Boxscore
28 January
Game 2
Melbourne Aces 3 – 4 (F/11) Adelaide Bite South Australia Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Attendance: 3,124
Umpires: HP: Neil Poulton 1B: Brett Robson 2B: Blake Halligan 3B: Mark Wilson
Boxscore

Preliminary final series[edit]

4 February
Game 1
Sydney Blue Sox 8 – 0 Adelaide Bite New South Wales Blacktown Olympic Park, Sydney
Attendance: 1,162
Umpires: HP: Paul Hyham 1B: Bob Crawford 3B: Greg Kent
Boxscore
5 February
Game 2
Adelaide Bite 4 – 0 Sydney Blue Sox New South Wales Blacktown Olympic Park, Sydney
Attendance: 1,515
Umpires: HP: Paul Hyham 1B: Bob Crawford 2B: Trent Thomas 3B: Greg Kent
Boxscore
6 February
Game 3
Sydney Blue Sox 4 – 7 (F/15) Adelaide Bite New South Wales Blacktown Olympic Park, Sydney
Attendance: 742
Umpires: HP: Paul Hyham 1B: Trent Thomas 2B: Bob Crawford 3B: Greg Kent
Boxscore

Championship series[edit]

11 February
Game 1
Perth Heat 3 – 4 Adelaide Bite Western Australia Baseball Park, Perth
Attendance: 2,680
Umpires: HP: Brett Robson 1B: Neil Poulton 2B: Jon Byrne 3B: Kyle Byrne
Boxscore
12 February
Game 2
Adelaide Bite 2 – 9 Perth Heat Western Australia Baseball Park, Perth
Attendance: 3,074
Umpires: HP: Jon Byrne 1B: Brett Robson 2B: Kyle Byrne 3B: Neil Poulton
Boxscore
13 February
Game 3
Perth Heat 7 – 1 Adelaide Bite Western Australia Baseball Park, Perth
Attendance: 1,876
Umpires: HP: Brett Robson 1B: Jon Byrne 2B: Neil Poulton 3B: Kyle Byrne
Boxscore

Awards[edit]

Season awards[edit]

Award Player Team Ref
Helms Award (League MVP) James McOwen Adelaide Bite [36]
Championship Series MVP Benjamin Moore Perth Heat [26]
Golden Glove Didi Gregorius Canberra Cavalry [37]
Pitcher of the Year David Welch Sydney Blue Sox [38]
Reliever of the Year Koo Dae-Sung Sydney Blue Sox [37]
Rookie of the Year Trent Schmutter Sydney Blue Sox [39]
Silver Slugger James McOwen Adelaide Bite [40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Foster, Ben (25 August 2009). "Australian Baseball League – Player Information and Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  2. ^ "NZ offered place in Aussie baseball league". NZCity. 2 July 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 
  3. ^ Fitzgerald, Peter (19 November 2009). "Canberra's national-league bid hits home run". The Canberra Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 14 December 2009. 
  4. ^ Stockman, Jennifer (28 October 2010). "Official ABL Media Launch". Australian Baseball League. Australian Baseball Federation. Archived from the original on 12 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010. "Newly formed ABL makes its pitch to sports fans" 
  5. ^ Frangos, Daniel (4 November 2010). "Todd bites at baseball chance". Messenger Community News (Adelaide: News Corporation). Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  6. ^ Sapienza, Joseph (27 October 2010). "Heat ready to scorch USA All-Stars". WAtoday (Perth: Fairfax Media). Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  7. ^ Barton, Joe (3 November 2010). "Sydney expects to fire in ABL". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Australian Associated Press. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  8. ^ Polkinghorne, David (4 November 2010). "Kent gets honour as expert okays Narrabundah". Canberra Times (Fairfax Media). Archived from the original on 5 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  9. ^ Windley, Matt (29 October 2010). "Major League Baseball pitcher Peter Moylan will play for the Melbourne Aces". Herald Sun (Melbourne: News Corporation). Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  10. ^ Heming, Wayne (4 November 2010). "Bandits hit grand slam homer". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Australian Associated Press. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "Adelaide Bite Homepage". Adelaide Bite. Australian Baseball League. Archived from the original on 11 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Brisbane Bandits Homepage". Brisbane Bandits. Australian Baseball League. Archived from the original on 11 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "Canberra Cavalry Homepage". Canberra Cavalry. Australian Baseball League. Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "Melbourne Aces Homepage". Melbourne Aces. Australian Baseball League. Archived from the original on 9 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "Perth Heat Homepage". Perth Heat. Australian Baseball League. Archived from the original on 9 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Sydney Blue Sox Homepage". Sydney Blue Sox. Australian Baseball League. Archived from the original on 9 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  17. ^ "2010–11 Australian Baseball League Schedule". Australian Baseball League. 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  18. ^ Maun, Tyler (5 December 2010). "One up, one even for Sunday Sox". Sydney Blue Sox. Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 23 January 2011. "Sydney surges back to take opener, clubs play to draw in second contest" 
  19. ^ Collins, Kingsley (6 December 2010). "Bizarre End to Rain-Affected Series". Melbourne Aces. Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  20. ^ Stockman, Jen; Foster, Ben (12 January 2011). "Round 9 Bandits Cavalry Matchup Postponed". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "Bandits Cavalry Series Scenarios". Brisbane Bandits. Australian Baseball League. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  22. ^ "Australian Baseball League Standings". Boxscore World Sportswire. 22 January 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  23. ^ "League Batting Leaders". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  24. ^ "League Pitching Leaders". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  25. ^ "ABL Playoff Schedule". Australian Baseball League. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 
  26. ^ a b Schroder, Mark (13 February 2011). "Perth Wins!". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 15 February 2011. "Perth Heat Win Inaugural Australian Baseball League Championship" 
  27. ^ a b "Sox sweep ABL Player of the Week awards". Australian Baseball League. 22 November 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2011. "Oxspring, Johnson honored as league's best for Round 2" 
  28. ^ a b "Another week, another award for Sydney". Australian Baseball League. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2011. "Welch claims ABL Fielders Choice Player of the Week honors" 
  29. ^ a b "Three-for-three: Sox earn another award". Australian Baseball League. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2011. "Lundgren third Sydney pitcher to take weekly honor" 
  30. ^ a b "Fielders Choice Players of the Week". Australian Baseball League. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 
  31. ^ a b "Sydney's Welch and Moanoroa Win Weekly Award". Australian Baseball League. 20 December 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 
  32. ^ a b Australian Baseball League (27 December 2010). "Kamei and Blackley Win ABL Weekly Awards For Melbourne Aces". Boxscore News. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 
  33. ^ a b Schroder, Mark (10 January 2011). "Brice, Zachary take Home Player of the Week Awards". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  34. ^ a b Schroder, Mark (18 January 2011). "Welty and Moore Fielders Players of the Week". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  35. ^ a b "Koo's masterful Round 10 earns award". Sydney Blue Sox. Australian Baseball League. 24 January 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011. "Lefty closer shares accolade with Adelaide's Maurer" 
  36. ^ ABL Staff (28 October 2011). "Perth Turn Up the HEAT in Repeat Attempt". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  37. ^ a b Schroder, Mark (10 February 2011). "Sydney's Koo, Canberra's Gregorious Rewarded". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  38. ^ "Welch Wins Pitcher of the Year". Australian Baseball League. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  39. ^ Lupica, Christopher (9 February 2011). "Schmutter takes Home ABL Rookie of the Year". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  40. ^ "Adelaide's McOwen Rewarded Before Crucial ABL Championship Showdown". Boxscore News. 12 February 2011. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 

External links[edit]