National boost for city baseball league talent
ANDREW Campbell's future is looking brighter than it has for many years.
The Ipswich baseballer made his Australia debut on December 16 against the World All Stars at Melbourne.
While he claims his hitting wasn't great, Campbell stole home base on a bunt in the final innings to win the game for the Aussies.
With the Brisbane Bandits challenging for the Australian Baseball League lead, things are looking rosy for the 23-year-old from Yamanto.
"I was selected to play for Australia two years ago," Campbell said. "But I broke my hand, so I was pretty bummed about that.
"So I was happy to get out there this time."
Having finally worn his country's colours, Campbell hopes it can lead to him securing a place in the national squad for the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
"I've been playing alright lately," he said.
"I'm hoping the All Stars game is a stepping stone to the Australian side for the World Classic."
The Bandits moved to the top of the ABL ladder after consecutive victories over Sydney at the weekend.
Although the Bandits are on track for the ABL title, Campbell has seen promising starts to the season slip before.
"We've got really good pitching staff this year," he said.
"Our relievers are killing it and we've got a lot of faith in them.
"Offensively we've got a lot of guys leading the statistics."
While Campbell isn't among those, he is more than happy with the contribution he has provided.
"I started a bit slowly, so I wasn't happy about that," he said. "But I kept trying and kept trying and got a few lucky streaks to get my average up.
"And I've had a lot of RBIs (runs batted in) and hits at the right times."
Campbell is aware how hard it is to maintain the level the Bandits have been playing at.
He doesn't have a ready solution to the Bandits' history of slipping after the New Year.
But he knows something must change to avoid the same pitfalls of previous years.
"It's hard to know why in previous years we've stopped performing at the back end of the season," he said. "We've got to do something differently."