2019-2020 Australian Baseball League
The 2019-2020 Australian Baseball League was the tenth season in the second incarnation of the Australian Baseball League. There was a sad note early in the season when Auckland pitcher Ryan Costello died suddenly.
The finals featured the Adelaide Giants against the Melbourne Aces. Melbourne featured batting titlist Colin Willis (.427), who also led in OBP (.520), OPS (1132) and runs (32, tied) and home run leader Delmon Young (13 HR; also led with 42 RBI, 98 TB and a .662 slugging). Adelaide's stars included ERA leader Gunnar Kines (1.50) and steal leader Aaron Whitefield (23) while Ryan Chaffee tied for the save lead. The Perth Heat did not make the finals but they had plenty of stars: Robbie Glendinning led in hits (52) and doubles (12), Tim Kennelly tied for the run lead (32), Jordan Qsar drew the most walks (37) and Dylan Unsworth led in both whiffs (75) and wins (6). Brisbane's Ryan Searle tied for the save lead with six.
The finals opened on February 6 with a wild game. It started quietly as Melbourne's Darin Downs allowed one run in six and Adelaide's Tyler Beardsley did not allow a run till the 6th. It was 2-1 Melbourne entering the 9th, when Adelaide scored twice off closer Cody Mincey, an inning in which Ben Aklinski was hit to trigger a bench-clearing brawl. In the bottom of the 9th, though, the Aces struck back against Chaffee for two runs, with the winner coming when Allan de San Miguel (who announced he would retire at season's end) scoring on a Shane Robinson single. The next day, they completed the sweep with a 6-3 win as Robinson and Young both homered to back a quality start from Wes Helsabeck. It was a nice retirement party for de San Miguel as well as teammates Luke Hughes and Peter Moylan, as all three had announced they would retire after the season.
Whitefield won MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, Chaffee won Reliever of the Year, Young was named batting champion, Unsworth was picked as pitching champion and Elliot Johnstone won Rookie of the Year.
Regular Season Standings
- Auckland Tuatara, 21-18 Manager: Steve Mintz
- Canberra Cavalry, 17-17 Manager: Keith Ward
- Brisbane Bandits, 18-20 Manager: Dave Nilsson
- Sydney Blue Sox, 16-23 Manager: Shane Barclay
- Adelaide Giants, 24-12 Manager: Chris Adamson
- Perth Heat, 23-17 Manager: Brooke Knight
- Melbourne Aces, 23-17 Manager: Jon Deeble
- Geelong-Korea, 11-29 Manager: Graeme Lloyd
Playoffs: Adelaide def. Canberra, 2 games to 1. Melbourne def. Auckland, 2 games to 0. Melbourne def. Adelaide, 2 games to 0.