2011–12 Australian Baseball League season
|Dates||4 November 2011 – 12 February 2012|
|Defending champions||Perth Heat (2010–11)|
|Champions||Perth Heat (2nd title)|
|Helms Award winner||Timothy Kennelly (PER)|
|Runners up||Melbourne Aces|
|Preliminary finalists||Sydney Blue Sox|
|Fifth place||Brisbane Bandits|
|Sixth place||Canberra Cavalry|
|Attendance||123,886 (1,050 per game)|
|Best batting average||Brain Burgamy (CAN) (.409)|
|Most homeruns hit||Brad Harman (MEL) (15)|
|Most stolen bases||Mychal Givens (PER) (15)|
|Best ERA||Warwick Saupold (PER) (1.41)|
|Most strikeouts (as pitcher)||Mike McGuire (CAN) (63)|
Last updated on 12 February 2012
The 2011–12 Australian Baseball League season is the second Australian Baseball League (ABL) season, and is being held from 4 November 2011 to 12 February 2012. The season was scheduled to start on 3 November with a single game between the Perth Heat and the Adelaide Bite at Baseball Park in Perth, but the game was postponed due to wet weather.
The season consists of six teams competing in a 45-game schedule followed by a three-round postseason to determine the ABL champion. During the regular season, defending champions Perth Heat will participate in the 2011 Asia Series against the champions from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The 2011–12 champions will likewise qualify for the 2012 Asia Series.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the Perth Heat, Melbourne Aces, Adelaide Bite and Sydney Blue Sox progressed to the finals series, while the Brisbane Bandits and Canberra Cavalry were only eliminated from contention on the final day of the season. The Sydney Blue Sox eliminated the Adelaide Bite in the first round of the postseason, who were in turn eliminated by the Melbourne Aces in the second round. The Perth Heat defeated the Aces two games to one in the championship series, to win back–to–back ABL championships.
Changes from 2010–11 season
Entry to Asia Series
Announced after the inaugural ABL season had been completed, the league's champions each season will be invited to the restarted Asia Series. The event had previously been contested between the winners of Nippon Professional Baseball's (NPB) Japan Series, Korea Professional Baseball's (KPB) Korean Series, Chinese Professional Baseball League's (CPBL) Taiwan Series, and China Baseball League's (CBL) championship series. The 2011 tournament will not feature the CBL's champions, but officials have stated that a team would participate in future editions. Unlike all four previous editions of the tournament which were held in Japan, the 2011 edition will be held in Taiwan. The tournament follows a round-robin format, where each team plays each other once. The top two teams then face each other in a single game to decide the champion.
The Asia Series is held in November, which would otherwise create a conflict for the ABL champion team as the following season would have already commenced. To avoid this, the League announced that during the 2011–12 season, the Perth Heat–2010–11 champions—would be scheduled to have a bye while competing in Taiwan.
Regular season schedule
The previous season included 40 games for each team and facing each team eight times, four at home and four on the road. This was expanded for the 2011–12 season to 45 games, by increasing one of the series between each team from four to five games, so that there were nine games between each team. This also resulted in three teams playing one more game at home than on the road, and the reverse for the other three teams.
To allow for Perth Heat's participation in the 2011 Asia Series, all six teams received a bye during the early rounds of the regular season. The Heat and Brisbane Bandits' bye was timed to line up with the tournament in round four, with the Adelaide Bite and Canberra Cavalry's bye in round three, and the Melbourne Aces and Sydney Blue Sox' bye in round five.
Each of the six teams returned from the previous season, and continued to use the same grounds for their home games. The name of Sydney's home ground changed during the off season, changing from Blacktown Olympic Park to Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney, and the main baseball diamond in the complex being called Blue Sox Stadium.
As in the previous season, each team had an active roster of 22 players available each round. These players were drawn from 35-man squads. Each team had several foreign players in their squad, and each team included at least one player from the United States. Not counting Australia, there were players from eleven countries on the rosters of the teams participating.
|Team||Number of players|
|Sydney Blue Sox||1||1||2||2||6|
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. The first two stages were decided by a best-of-five game series. If the fifth game of any of these series were required, as was the case for the preliminary final series in the second round, they would be played as the second game of a doubleheader with the fourth game. The Championship Series was contested in a best-of-three game series.
|Semi-Final Series||Premliminary Final Series||Championship Series|
|2nd||Melbourne Aces||1||1st||Perth Heat||2|
|2nd||Melbourne Aces||3||2nd||Melbourne Aces||1|
|4th||Sydney Blue Sox||2|
|4th||Sydney Blue Sox||3|
|Helms Award (League MVP)||Tim Kennelly||Perth Heat|||
|Championship Series MVP||Virgil Vasquez||Perth Heat|||
|Golden Glove||Allan de San Miguel||Perth Heat|||
|Pitcher of the Year||Warwick Saupold||Perth Heat|||
|Relief Pitcher of the Year||Benn Grice||Perth Heat|||
|Rookie of the Year||Aidan Francis||Sydney Blue Sox|||
|Silver Slugger||Brian Burgamy||Canberra Cavalry|||
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Over 40 International Players Will Represent 11 Nations
- "Australian Baseball League Standings". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Playoff Procedures". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "League Batting Leaders". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "League Pitching Leaders". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "2012 Postseason Schedule". Australian Baseball League. Archived from the original on 22 January 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "Weekly Award Winners". Australian Baseball League. Archived from the original on 24 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- ABL Staff (26 February 2012). "Tim Kennelly honoured with 2012 Helms Award". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
Perth slugger becomes 40th winner of prestigious award
- Romano, Ross (13 February 2012). "Heat win Gm. 3 thriller, repeat as ABL champions". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
Perth outlasts Melbourne in 13 exciting innings
- Romano, Ross (8 February 2012). "ABL announces season awards winners". Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 22 January 2013.