Alessandro Maestri returns to Sydney Blue Sox and wins preseason debut over Geelong-Korea

After leading the Sydney Blue Sox to the Australian Baseball League (ABL) playoffs last season, Team Italy patriarch Alessandro Maestri made his 2019-2020 ABL preseason pitching debut for the Sydney Blue Sox and picked the win in a 8-1 victory over Geelong-Korea at Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney on November 15, 2019. The 34-year-old Italian-born-and-developed pitcher threw five complete innings and limited the visiting team to just one run on four hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts.

The Sydney Blue Sox trust Alessandro Maestri will once again prove to be the squad's number one starter and pitching ace. He was named Round 5 Brut ABL Player of the Week on December 17, 2018 after striking out a season-high 13 hitters and allowing just one hit in six scoreless innings against the Melbourne Aces. Alessandro Maestri helped the Sydney Blue Sox win the ABL Northeast Division and clinch a playoff spot. The ABL leader in strikeouts (78) during the 2018-2019 regular season, Alessandro Maestri pitched 58.1 innings and struck out 78 batters while registering a 5-4 record in 10 starts with a 2.78 ERA. 

A fan favorite in Australia, Alessandro Maestri was crowned with the prestigious ABL Fans' Choice Award in 2012 after serving as the workhorse of the Brisbane Bandits pitching staff during the 2011-12 ABL season. Alessandro Maestri led the Brisbane Bandits in wins (4) and proved to be one of the best pitchers in the league. He finished third in the ABL for innings pitched (63.2) and strikeouts (53), fourth in WHIP (1.16) and sixth in ERA (3.25).

The Sydney Blue Sox kick off the 2019-2020 ABL season with a four-game series against Geelong-Korea at Geelong Baseball Center beginning November 21, 2019. It would not be surprising to see Alessandro Maestri start in the ABL regular season opener. To keep up on the ABL schedule, click HERE. To watch live streaming ABL games, click HERE. Forza #Italia!

by Roberto Angotti