Key US pitcher to stick with Heat
Key US pitcher to stick with Heat

Perth Heat have received a major boost in their bid for a third consecutive ABL title with 2011 championship series MVP Virgil Vasquez agreeing to a new one-year deal.

Vasquez, a right-handed pitcher with major league experience, first joined the Heat late last season and had an immediate impact.

He pitched a complete game, one-run effort to give the Heat a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three championship series against the Melbourne Aces.

This year, Vasquez will play the entire ABL season with the Heat.

The 30-year-old has spent the past year pitching for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of an independent league within the United States, earning a 9-7 record and a 4.17 ERA in 26 starts.

“Playing winning baseball is a lot of fun,” Vasquez said.

“To be invited to play in Perth is a huge gift, and I am grateful for the opportunity to play in the ABL for a second season.

“After returning home from helping the Heat, I had that winning feeling.

“It was special for me to arrive back in California as part of the 2012 ABL championship club.”

Vasquez will take the mound for the Heat when the new season begins late next month.

He will travel with the team to South Korea in November to compete in this year’s Asia Series.

The Heat return to Barbagallo Ballpark for the home opener on November 16.

The West Australian

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