The Brisbane Bandits won their second consecutive Australian Baseball League title Saturday, with several former Midwest Leaguers playing key roles.
The biggest contribution came from starting pitcher Kramer Champlin, who gave up only one hit — a solo homer by Cody Jones — while striking out four batters and walking none in seven innings of the title clincher. Now an indy-league hurler, Champlin pitched in the Toronto Blue Jays organization from 2011 to 2014. He pitched for the Lansing Lugnuts in 2012 and 2013, going 10-5 with a 3.87 ERA, 150 strikeouts and 35 walks in 151.1 innings (55 games/5 starts).
Ryan Searle struck out four and walked none for a two-inning save. The Bandits closer is a former Chicago Cubs farmhand who pitched for the Peoria Chiefs in 2010. He went 7-8 with a 4.38 ERA, 90 strikeouts and 37 walks in 109 innings (22 games/19 starts) in the Midwest League.
Minnesota Twins prospect Logan Wade, a Brisbane native, was named MVP of the championship series. He played for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2014, batting .233 with 7 HR and 38 RBI in 75 games.
Tampa Bay Rays prospect David Rodriguez ended the ABL season (including the playoffs) with a 24-game hitting streak. The catcher played with the Bowling Green Hot Rods last year, batting .240 with 9 HR and 62 RBI in 112 games.