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Scott Tunkin

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Scott Tunkin

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 176 lb.

Olympics-Reference page

Scott Tunkin hit .314 in 11 seasons in his native Australia and appeared on the Olympic stage. A frequent teammate in international tourneys was the similarly-named Shane Tonkin.

Tunkin debuted with the 1990-1991 Parramatta Patriots, hitting .218/.282/.256 in an unimpressive debut. The teenager batted .211/.355/.222 for the 1991-1992 Sydney Blues. In 1992-1993, Scott improved to .274/.358/.434. He was named the second-team All-Star at second base behind Kevin Jordan. He hit .250/.318/.250 as the Australian national team second sacker in the 1993 Intercontinental Cup, playing flawless defense; only Trent Durrington was younger on the squad.

The Sydney native was still only 19 when he hit .327/.348/.596 in 1993-1994. He was again Australia's second-youngest player when he was with the team for the 1994 Baseball World Cup (this time Jason Hewitt was the younger lad). He was 3 for 10 with a double, homer and six walks while splitting second base with Hewitt.

In the 1994-1995 Australian Baseball League, Tunkin produced at a .343/.447/.691 rate with 18 homers, 49 runs and 52 RBI in 59 games for Sydney. He finished third in the league in average (behind Dave Nilsson and Scott Metcalf), was third in slugging (behind Nilsson and Metcalf), tied for second in homers (four behind Metcalf), was second to Nilsson in OBP, was fourth in runs and fourth in RBI (trailing Metcalf, Nilsson and Ronny Johnson). He was named the ABL's All-Star second baseman.

Scott batted .328/.380/.588 in 1995-1996 with 40 runs in 46 games. He was 4th in the league in runs (one behind the three co-leaders) and third in hits (58). Sydney took the pennant that year. In the 1996 Olympics, he was one of Australia's best performers. Again splitting second base with Hewitt, he went 5 for 12 with three walks and a homer while playing error-free ball. He was 3 for 3 in Australia's upset win over the Japanese national team, which won the Silver Medal that year.

In 1996-1997, Tunkin's batting line was even more impressive - .387/.466/.607 with 47 runs in 58 games. He finished third in the league in average, was second in hits (74, one behind Andrew Scott), was third in OBP (trailing Scott and Greg Jelks) and was fourth in runs (behind Rich Butler, Mat Buckley and Jelks. He failed to win All-Star honors at second, settling for second team behind Scott.

Tunkin batted .273/.324/.273 in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup while moving to left field (Adam Burton handled second). In the Bronze Medal game, he hit second and started in left field but went 0 for 4 against Team USA and was replaced by Grant McDonald; Australia would take their first Medal ever at the event by winning the game in extra innings. Though he was only 23 years old, it marked the end of his international playing career with Burton and Scott playing second for Australia in the next several major events.

The veteran infielder hit .354/.450/.656 with 15 circuit clouts and 53 runs in 54 games for the Sydney Storm in 1997-1998 while fielding .976. He was 5th in OBP (behind Brendan Kingman, Burton, Paul Gorman and Jelks) and tied Steve Hinton for third in runs, behind only Burton and Kingman. He was named a second-team All-Star at 2B, with Burton being picked first-team.

Tunkin fell fast, to .257/.341/.408 in 1998-1999, though he did bat .429 in the finals. With the New South Wales Patriots in the 1999-2000 International Baseball League of Australia, Scott batted .326/.440/.459. In the 2003 Claxton Shield, he wrapped up his career despite not even being 30 years old. He went 5 for 23 with two doubles, a homer, five walks and eight runs in six games for the Patriots.

[edit] Sources

  • Defunct IBAF site
  • Flintoff & Dunn Australian Baseball Almanac
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