What started out simply as an opportunity to play baseball in another part of the world turned into a life-changing adventure down under.
In early October 2010, prior to joining my team - the University of Western Australia (UWA) Baseball Club - for the 2010-2011 Provincial League season, I had the opportunity to play alongside fellow import players from the United States, and take on the Perth Heat, Western Australia's professional baseball team in the Australian Baseball League. Representing Team USA, I pitched against professional hitters and hit against pro pitching in pre-season games. It was definitely challenging at times, but made for a great experience and welcomed me nicely to the Australian baseball community.
I joined the UWA Whips and played my first full season of baseball in Western Australia. With plenty of open spaces, the playing surfaces are often very green and well-groomed in the Perth metro area. Pitching, playing shortstop and outfield was a lot of fun and kept me busy, both at training and on game days. We had a good team, but didn't quite pull everything together in the end, and lost in the championship game. Individually, I had a solid all-around season and earned Team MVP honors. I was 6-3 with a 3.78 ERA and struck out 84 batters in 69.1 innings. With the stick, I hit .405 with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs.
Upon completion of my first Provincial League season, I had the opportunity to represent Western Australia at the Australian Provincial Championships (APC). Held in May 2011 at the Blacktown International Sports Park outside of Sydney, the APC was a one-of-a-kind baseball opportunity. Squaring off against other Australian states and territories made for a unique experience. The W.A. Heat had a solid team, and we ended up taking home the championship trophy from the APC. Due to my individual on-field performance, I was named the shortstop on the All-Tournament Team. It was an honor to represent Western Australia, be selected for my on-field successes and, most importantly, bring home the Australian Provincial Championship trophy.
My second season of Aussie baseball was again with the Whips, and ultimately was the final season of the Provincial League, and my final season at the UWA Baseball Club. Pitching and predominantly playing shortstop when I wasn't on the mound, I had a stellar offensive season and led the Provincial League in hitting with a .563 batting average.
For my third season of baseball in W.A., I shifted to the State League and joined the Morley Eagles Baseball Club. As the Junior Development Officer, Reserves (Triple-A) Head Coach, U15s Head Coach and Eastern Little League Charter Head Coach, my obligations were diverse and abundant. Simultaneous to my development and coaching roles, I played for the Morley Eagles' State League team. Playing six different positions throughout the season, I epitomized the 'utility player'. Leading the State League in triples, my .396 batting average was tops for the Eagles, where at various times I batted in every position (1-9) in the batting order throughout the season.