Louis Cohen of the Canberra Cavalry earns the distinction of January International Star for a standout performance during the 2016-2017 Australian Baseball League. As two-time ABL Pitcher of the Week, Cohen proved a valuable asset for the staff until the end. Needing a series win against the Brisbane Bandits in a head to head battle for the final playoff spot, Cohen got the nod in the series opener and shut down a strong Bandits offense, allowing just a single run over seven dominate innings.
“When it came to the Brisbane series”, says Cohen, “I wasn’t thinking about which game I was going to start, I just wanted to be ready for any situation to give my teammates the best start I could.” The next two games of the series weren’t as kind to the Cavalry, and in the playoffs Brisbane would go on to repeat as ABL champions.
Louis has good distraction ahead of him, however. In March he heads back to the US to join the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League, an independent league which is often compared to Triple-A level baseball. “Going into the Atlantic league, I’m enormously excited for this opportunity. I thank everyone who’s given me an opportunity and hope I can keep climbing the ladder. I expect to be the small guy and just do the best I can out what is asked of me.” More than a dozen former big-leaguers played in the Atlantic League this past season, and most players leave the league when offered a contract with an affiliated club.
Louis, a 25 year old California native, started out like many international players, playing D1 NCAA baseball at Cal State University Northridge in the Big West conference. He got the idea of going overseas from a pitching coach in high school who had a son that played overseas for Hamburg, Eric Krzysiak, and encourage Louis to sign up for the website Baseball Jobs Overseas which is run by David Burns.
In summer ‘16, Cohen guided his German club Hamburg Stealers to a playoff appearance, striking out a jaw-dropping 131 in 105 IP, allowing just 16 ER. For the ABL season, Cohen finished third on the staff in innings pitched at 41.1, and his 2.61 ERA was second best in the league. He posted a 4-0 record, and the team won another of his starts.
Louis first played for the International Stars in 2016 at the Yoshida Challenge in Paris. He said “it was an awesome time, the boys were great and everyone was there for good fun and good ball. Sadly we didn’t get the end result we wanted but I did get some awesome memories and new buds.”
Of all his overseas adventures his favorite was the tournament in Bunchbinder Tournament in Regensburg Germany where travelled with the Bonn capitals, a team that he actually played against during the regular season but picked him up just for that tournament and he pitched against the German National Team.. he said “they really made the adventure fun by winning the tournament! I hope to have a few more adventures in the future and continue making some new friends along the way.”
The Stars congratulate Louis on an outstanding past 12 months of baseball, and look forward to following his opportunity at the next level!