2020-2021 Australian Baseball League

From BR Bullpen

The 2020-2021 Australian Baseball League was the eleventh season in the second incarnation of the Australian Baseball League, the league now having outlasted the original ten-year ABL. As with all baseball leagues in this time period, the season was impacted heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rolling local restrictions to control cases played havoc with the schedule. That resulted in teams playing significantly different numbers of games (ex. Sydney played 14 games to Melbourne's 28). The league contracted back to six teams, dropping the South Korean and New Zealand entries from the last couple years. Due to an upcoming lockdown, the qualifying final became the championship game.

Former major leaguer Delmon Young again starred for the Melbourne Aces. He won the batting title (.400) this year, having claimed the other two-thirds of the Triple Crown categories the prior campaign. Another ex-big leaguer on Melbourne, Gift Ngoepe, led the league with 19 walks. Teammate Darryl George set a record with two grand slams and ten RBI in a game and finished as the leader in runs (21), hits (41), total bases (66), triples (2) and RBI (27). Another Ace, Blake Gailen, paced the circuit with nine dingers. Gunnar Kines won the most games (four), Brian Flynn led in ERA (1.62) and Drew Anderson led with seven saves as Melbourne dominated the leaderboards.

Canberra's Mikey Reynolds led in doubles (11) and Shawn Morimando of Canberra led with 47 K. Perth's Shane Sasaki had the most swipes (8), while teammate Ford Proctor had a .452 OBP. Sydney's Carlos Cortes led in both slugging (.706) and OPS (1134).

In the finale, the powerhouse Melbourne club crushed Perth, 9-2. RF Colin Willis went 3 for 5 with a homer and two RBI while 3B Jarryd Dale went 3 for 5 with a triple, two runs and two RBI. Tyler Beardsley allowed one run in six to beat Dylan Unsworth. C Alex Hall homered and drove in both Perth runs.

Regular Season Standings[edit]

  1. Melbourne Aces, 19-9 Manager: Allan de San Miguel
  2. Perth Heat, 12-9 Manager: Andrew Kyle
  3. Adelaide Giants, 12-10 Manager: Chris Adamson
  4. Sydney Blue Sox, 6-8 Manager: Shane Barclay
  5. Canberra Cavalry, 11-14 Manager: Keith Ward
  6. Brisbane Bandits, 8-18 Manager: Dave Nilsson

Playoffs: Canberra def. Sydney in wild card game. Perth def. Adelaide, 1 game to 0. Melbourne def. Canberra, 1 game to 0. Canberra def. Adelaide in elimination game. Melbourne def. Perth in championship game.