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Heat v Geelong Korea preview


Longer term, Robbie Glendinning has his eyes set on trying to get closer to a Major League Baseball call up but right now his focus is on trying to help the Perth Heat to a crucial road series win this weekend against Geelong-Korea.


Glendinning is the reigning ABL Rookie of the Year before going on to have an impressive season in the United States playing with both the Altoona Curve and Bradenton Marauders.

Those performances had him on the verge of a Triple A call up and from there you are close to every player's dream of reaching the Major League.


So that was the backdrop for which Glendinning arrived back at the Heat for this season after being part of last year's team that reached the championship series before falling to the Brisbane Bandits.

He has gone on to deliver a tremendous season right now but with two rounds remaining, every game takes on extra importance and the Heat can't afford a slip up this weekend against Geelong-Korea at Geelong Baseball Centre.


There will be a game each in the series on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the Heat needing to win to attempt to push back into second position in the southwest conference with a huge Australia Day long weekend series with the Melbourne Aces to come.


Currently the Heat have slipped to third despite holding the same 18-14 record as the Aces with both behind the 21-11 Adelaide Giants with two rounds of the regular season remaining.

For Glendinning, while knowing how important a series it is and the struggles of Geelong-Korea lately to fall out of playoff contention, he knows the Heat can't take them lightly.


"We are looking forward to playing well again this weekend against a Geelong-Korea team who we have plenty of respect for," Glendinning said.


"They are a good team and obviously they play a different style of basketball and have a different culture from Korea which does rub off on the baseball.


"They play a little faster and a little more scrappy, and they are pretty creative so it will be interesting to see how we go up against them this weekend."


The 23-year-old Perth local delivered a standout 2018/19 campaign with the Heat consisting of batting at an average of .326 on top of hitting three home runs to go with 15 hits from 46 at bats along with batting in 14 runs.

It was quite the impressive performance from Glendinning even though he made just the 12 appearances before heading back to the United States splitting his time between the AA's Altoona Curve and the A+ Bradenton Marauders.


With Altoona, he played 58 games for an average of .261 to go with 48 hits, five home runs and 31 runs batted in and at Bradenton, he was even more impressive going at .340 along with 55 hits, eight homers and 26 runs batted in.


Now knocking on the door of reaching Triple A, if Glendinning can manage that it's only a matter of time before he is the latest Heat player to reach the Major Leagues, which he is confident will happen in 2020.

"I had a really good season and I was really happy with the way I was playing," he said.


"Hopefully now next season I can get the start in AAA and then the goal for me is to get to the Major Leagues next. That's what I'm working towards.


"Once you get to AA you are really close so hopefully anything can happen, and I'm playing some good baseball and they decide to call me up at some point this season."


Glendinning has opened the 2019/20 season on fire with the Heat already having 38 hits from 122 bats including nine doubles, 27 runs batted in and the six home runs all at a strong average of .311.

While his American season ended prematurely with an ankle injury, that ended up working in his favour to prepare to return with the Heat.


He's now happy with how he's batting despite having improvement left in him and couldn’t be enjoying life back in Perth more.


"Obviously with my ankle it wasn’t really good to finish the season short, but it was actually good to sit back and watch the game, and learn some things from the bench," Glendinning said.


"I had that extra time to heal and then leaping into this off-season with the Heat was a bit positive in the end. You do learn a lot from the injury so now my focus is to come back and be in the best shape possible come February/March when spring training comes around.


"I'm happy with how I'm batting in spurts. In some at bats I feel really good and then in others I don’t feel too close, but once I can piece it all together and really get locked in I should be going really good.


"Obviously I just love playing with my best mates like Jess Williams, Tim Kennelly and Alex Hall. It's so much fun being around those guys and you don't really get the team camaraderie in the States like you do here so it's awesome just to be part of a team and have a great time."


ROUND 9 ABL SEASON (AWST)

THURSDAY

Perth Heat v Geelong-Korea – Geelong Baseball Centre, 3.30pm

FRIDAY

Perth Heat v Geelong-Korea – Geelong Baseball Centre, 3.30pm

SATURDAY

Perth Heat v Geelong-Korea – Geelong Baseball Centre, 4pm

SUNDAY

Perth Heat v Geelong-Korea – Geelong Baseball Centre, 10am


Written by Chris Pike


IMAGE: Supplied

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