The Sydney Blue Sox are about to launch into a new season hoping to finally get over the hump and win a championship.
Based at Blacktown International Sports Park, the Blue Sox have come third in all four seasons of the Australian Baseball League (ABL) in its current iteration.
Blue Sox coach, Jason Pospishil, is confident they can make the most of a rough early schedule.
On Friday their season begins against the reigning champions, Perth Heat, and the following weekend they visit Canberra Calvary for their second series.
“Perth are the team to beat,” Pospishil said.
“We opened in Perth last year and took three out of four games.
“Their core group of Australians has been around for the last four or five years and to me they’re the team to beat.
“Canberra has been to the championship series the last two years as well.
“We have a pretty tough start; we are playing three of our first series on the road.”
Pitching has been the Blue Sox strength over the years and Pospishil believes they’ve assembled a good staff again.
“We’ve lead the league in pitching four of the five years of the ABL,” he said.
“I think we’ve assembled a pretty good pitching staff again.
“We have guys coming off pretty successful college pitching careers and one import as well.”
Letting them down, and perhaps key to them finally reaching a championship series, is the offence, and Poshishil has been working on that and signing imports.
“We’ve been trying to upgrade our offence and I think we’ve done that; we recruited well this year to fix that,” Pospishil said.
“Our imports this year are from minor league teams in the states.”
“We have three players from the Arizona Diamondbacks and one from the Colorado Rockies.”
When asked to pick a stand out fans should watch Pospishil named Tyler Bortnick, a player from the Arizona Diamondbacks minor league system.
“He’s played Triple A’s so he’s just one step outside the major leagues,’’ Pospishil said.
“He plays shortstop and comes with a pretty good resume on both sides; he’s a strong defensive player and offensive player.
“Acquiring him was great for us because the middle infield depth has been a bit shallow for us in the past.”
Now the Blue Sox just need to piece it all together, starting with a couple of tough series away before their home opener against Canberra Calvary on November 13.