Young bandit on title hunt
ANDREW Campbell is nothing if not a scrapper.
The Yamanto resident and Ipswich Musketeers star has been a regular part of the Brisbane Bandits team that sits second on the Australian Baseball League ladder this season.
The Bandits host the Sydney Blue Sox in a four-game series starting tonight in Lismore as part of the Bandits' regional community program.
"I've made every series this season," said Campbell of his increased involvement in this Bandits' campaign.
Last summer he was in the squad but received rare opportunities to impress.
Campbell admits feeling more comfortable and confident this season and it shows.
Last weekend he made a vital contribution to ensure the Bandits split the four-game series with Canberra, producing a three-run hit when his team needed it.
"I've had a few weeks under my belt so I'm a bit more confident," he said. "And I've had some good batting practice."
Also contributing to Campbell's form and confidence is the time he's spent in recent off-seasons in the US.
"I think every year I'm improving with the season in America," he said.
Campbell spent the past Australian off-season playing for the Cleveland Indians Minor League affiliate the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
The Scrappers are based in Niles, Ohio.
The year before he was in Arizona.
If the experience has taught him anything, it is self-reliance, both in baseball and life.
"It was really good," the 20-year-old said of his most recent US sojourn.
"Just the whole experience, being in a different state and experiencing different baseball.
"You've got your mates there and I had a good host family.
"It's like living at home really."
Except it isn't.
He has had to scrap for every opportunity he's been given and scrap to make the most of it.
"Being so independent and reliant on yourself really helps with doing other things in life," Campbell said.
So it is not surprising he has found his feet in the ABL and has big ambitions. Campbell declared his goal was to be part of the championship-winning Bandits team this season.
"We're better than last year," he said of the Bandits' title credentials.
"We've got a lot of experience and a new confidence.
"We don't rely on big hits.
"We're a scrappy team that does the small things right."
Much like Campbell at the moment.