Gold Coast Cougars

From BR Bullpen

The Gold Coast Cougars spent four seasons in the Australian Baseball League. They replaced the East Coast Cougars in 1995-1996 and went 23-21 under manager Buddy Bailey to finish 5th. Shayne Bennett had 10 saves and was named Reliever of the Year.

In the 1996-1997 ABL, the Cougars were 31-28 under Bill Gardner's reins. They had three first-team All-Stars in 1B Ronny Johnson, SS Mat Buckley and RP Chuck Beale. Beale led with 10 saves, Johnson was second in homers (16) and 3rd in slugging (.658) while Trent Durrington led with 24 steals.

Gold Coast had a 31-22 record for Bob Geren to place second in 1997-1998. Johnson, 3B Paul Gorman and OF Durrington were first-team All-Stars. Johnson led in walks (43) and RBI (65) and was second with 22 homers, while Durrington led in steals again (this time with 28). Gorman was 3rd in OBP at .484.

In the league's last season, 1998-1999, new skipper Johnson had the team go 24-20 for the second-best record but they then swept both the Sydney Storm and Melbourne Monarchs to take the title. OF Brandon Pollard was their only first-team All-Star while Gorman was named MVP of the finals. Pollard's .599 slugging was third in the league while Gorman was tied for second with 35 runs. Jose Macias led with 20 swipes.

Source: Flintoff & Dunn's Australian Baseball Almanac