2018-2019 Australian Baseball League
The 2018-2019 Australian Baseball League was the ninth season in the second incarnation of the Australian Baseball League. The league expanded with teams from New Zealand and South Korea, though the Korean team was based in Australia. Neither newcomer did well, each finishing last in their conference (the division into conferences being a result of expansion).
Perth's Tristan Gray and Tim Kennelly tied for the lead with 38 runs; Gray also led with 41 RBI. Canberra's Michael Fransoso led in average (.430, .051 ahead of major league veteran Gift Ngoepe of Sydney; Ngoepe did tie for the lead with 4 triples), OBP (.504) and slugging (.710) and teammate Zach Wilson had the most total bases (99). Canberra also had the ERA leader Shota Imanaga (0.51) and Steven Kent, who tied for the most wins.
The hit leader was Sydney's Dwayne Kemp (55) while teammate Zac Shepherd led with 12 doubles and Trent D'Antonio paced the field with 32 walks; Josh Guyer tied for the win lead and Todd Van Steensel had the most saves (10) while Alessandro Maestri led with 78 strikeouts. D.J. Burt of Melbourne stole the most bases (18).
In the finals, Brisbane won the opener, 3-2, over Perth. SS Logan Wade doubled twice and scored two, Ryan Bollinger got the win and Ryan Searle saved it. John Anderson took the loss. In the finale, February 2, Brisbane won again, 9-4. Finals MVP Atherton struck out ten in the victory, while 3B Bennett, RF Wade Dutton and CF Andrew Campbell all homered. Perth 3B Robbie Glendinning was 3 for 3 with two homers.
The league had a huge international presence. In addition to the players from Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, there were players from the USA, Japan, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Taiwan and China. For the first time in ABL history, two players shared the MVP - Kennelly became the league's first two-time winner while German Markus Solbach of Adelaide was the first pitcher to win in the ABL's second run.
The players of the league voted on a postseason All-Star team. Selected were:
- C - Mitchell Edwards, Adelaide
- 1B - Luke Hughes, Melbourne
- 2B - Kemp, Sydney
- SS - Ngoepe, Sydney
- 3B - Glendinning, Perth
- RF - Kennelly, Perth
- CF - Campbell, Brisbane
- LF - Michael Gettys, Adelaide
- DH - Wilson, Canberra
- SP - Solbach, Adelaide
- RP - Ty'Relle Harris, Sydney
Regular Season Standings
- Brisbane Bandits, 25-15 Manager: Dave Nilsson
- Sydney Blue Sox, 25-15 Manager: Tony Harris
- Canberra Cavalry, 23-17 Manager: Keith Ward
- Auckland Tuatara, 14-26 Manager: Steve Mintz
- Perth Heat, 24-16 Manager: Andy Kyle
- Melbourne Aces, 23-17 Manager: Jon Deeble
- Adelaide Bite, 19-21 Manager: Chris Adamson
- Geelong-Korea, 7-33 Manager: Dae-sung Koo
Playoffs: Perth def. Sydney, 2 games to 1; Brisbane def. Melbourne, 2 games to 1