Cavalry's triple-crowner Buschini in great company
Canberra Cavalry slugger Adam Buschini won the triple crown. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Canberra Cavalry slugger Adam Buschini shares something in common with the Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera - they are both wearing the triple crown.
But Buschini wants to go one step further than Cabrera and add a championship ring.
On Monday night he added the Michael Collins Most Valuable Player award, as the Cavalry's best player for the season, and ABL player of the week awards to a stunning season.
It is now almost a formality for him to be awarded the ABL Silver Slugger award as well - an award Cavalry's Brian Burgamy won last year.
The 25-year-old Californian won the Australian Baseball League triple crown on Sunday, finishing on top of the ABL in batting average (.363), home runs (15) and runs batted in (50).
He hit almost twice as many homers as the next best in the league (8) and had a whopping 18 more RBIs than second-placed teammate Jeremy Barnes.
Such was Buschini's dominance at the plate, he was a major reason behind the Cavalry finishing on top of the ladder and earning hosting rights to the ABL Championship Series at Narrabundah Ballpark next week.
Cabrera helped the Tigers into the World Series, but struggled to make an impact against the San Francisco Giants, who won the decider 4-0.
Buschini said his triple crown would be meaningless without a championship ring to go with it.
''Our No.1 goal is to win the championship, so it won't be a happy ending if we lose,'' he told The Canberra Times.
''Our plan is to win and take care of business at home.''
Buschini is one of a host of imports that Cavalry manager Michael Collins has moulded into the best team in the ABL.
The second base said he knew his form was good when he came to Australia and was confident he could keep that going for Canberra.
Buschini spent two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies before he was released after struggling to overcome a hand injury he sustained at college.
He was hit by a pitch while playing for California Polytechnic State University.
It wasn't until a couple of years later that he finally had it operated on, surgeons taking cartilage from his knee to put in his damaged hand.
He's back to full fitness and Collins wasn't surprised Buschini had been so dominant.
Collins, who also manages the San Diego Padres Dominican League team, felt Buschini had done enough to warrant a return to affiliated baseball.
The Cavalry had their awards night on Monday and will have a quiet week before building up their training intensity over the weekend.
They face the winner of this weekend's series between arch rivals Sydney Blue Sox and reigning champions Perth Heat at Blacktown.
AT A GLANCE
The Michael Collins Most Valuable Player Award: Adam Buschini
Players' Player Award: Antonio Callaway
Best Defensive Player: Jack Murphy
Home Run Hitter: Buschini
Strike Out Pitcher: Dustin Loggins
RBI Man: Buschini
Relief Pitcher: Sean Toler
Power Hitter: Jeremy Barnes
Community Involvement Award: Adam Jacobs
Cy Young (Best Pitcher): Brian Grening