Andrew Campbell
Andrew Campbell

Bandits: Win or it's over

WHEN the Brisbane Bandits travel to Adelaide today to begin their final regular season series, they do so with a simple plan in mind - win or celebrate Mad Monday.

Its been a tough season for the Bandits, but the recent hot form of two Ipswich products has given Queensland's Australian Baseball League team a glimmer of hope for a finals appearance.

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Veteran slugger Josh Roberts and rookie sensation Andrew Campbell have both played a critical role with the bat, giving the Bandits an unlikely shot at post-season action.

Campbell in particular has been a revelation at the top of the Bandits batting line-up, taking his chance to shine after the mid-season departure of the Bandits' Japanese imports.

The 19-year-old has made the spot his own, recording 22 hits in his 15 games at lead-off and now leads the Bandits batting with a .395 on-base percentage.

Bandits assistant general manager Whitey Wallace said the rookie had delivered exactly what the team needed in the second half of the season.

"When we lost the four Japanese guys we were looking for a few things, including an in-fielder and a lead-off hitter," Wallace said.

"He's provided both of those things for us.

"It's been a huge sigh of relief that despite losing those Japanese players, Campbell has been able to fill the void."

The Yamanto teenager said he was proud of what he had achieved this season but was keen to put his role in perspective.

Renowned as a patient and disciplined hitter, Campbell was equally focused on his role for the Bandits.

"I'm not a home-run hitter," he said.

"My goal is to just have a good on-base percentage.

"Whether it be a walk, or a hit, or create an error, that's the job of a lead-off hitter."

The Bandits will be desperate for the rookie to continue his sensational form during this week's five-game road trip to Adelaide.

Although sitting last in the six-team competition, the Bandits could easily jump into finals action with a successful series against the struggling Bite.

Forgetting Perth, which dominates the league standings, the remaining five teams are within two wins of each other with only five games remaining.

Wallace said the team was under no illusions as to what was required this week.

"We essentially don't stand a chance with anything less than three wins," Wallace said of the five-game Adelaide series.

The Bandits begin their five-game series tonight, with another game tomorrow night, a double-header on Saturday and one game on Sunday.

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