Bayside team an inspiration to plenty

Kingsley Collins

5 August 2016

 

Melbourne-based charter team Southern Mariners has posted a remarkable Semi-Final win in the Senior League World Series to earn a berth in the Championship Game scheduled for Bangor, Maine, this Saturday (4.00 AM Sunday AEST).

 

Carrying a four-run deficit into the bottom of the last, our boys were unfazed in producing extraordinarily well-timed offence against Maine District to load the bases with none out and overwhelm the opposition defence with solid pitch selection and a barrage of clean hit balls that propelled the Aussies to a walk-off 7-6 result.

 

In extending our best wishes to the Mariners for the Championship Game against Chicago Illinois, we acknowledge the great significance of what the squad has already achieved – an effort that will surely provide further inspiration for the Cronulla and Hills teams that will next week be heading off to respectively contest the Junior League and the Little League World Series.

 

Going through the national and the Asia-Pacific qualifying series undefeated, Southern Mariners became the first Australian team to reach the Senior League World Series, where they dropped their first game narrowly – to their championship opponent - before embarking on a three-game streak to qualify for the Semi-Final against the well-fancied Maine District team.

 

Down 2-6 into the bottom of the last in front of a parochial crowd, the Mariners squad showed serious character – and more than a modicum of skill – to peg back the deficit and pinch the game in the most thrilling fashion.

 

Whatever happens in the Championship Game against Chicago Illinois – and of course Australian baseball supporters will be hoping for a win – the players have done themselves proud, they have done their families proud and they have done Australian baseball proud. As gracious American media outlets have recognised, the Mariners journey has been truly uplifting as the team has rallied around Head Coach Jack Larner during his health issues and it has played its heart out – both for Jack and for teammates.

 

The significance of the Southern Mariners’ achievement in reaching the Senior League World Series should never be underestimated. It is already among the finest ever achievements of an Australian under-aged baseball team, it reflects very well on how far the charter structure has already taken us in a short time and it is of course  testament to the character of the players and team staff.

 

The Championship Game will start at 4.00 AM Sunday AEST. It will be televised live through the ESPN network and available as audio commentary HERE. Further information is available on the Senior League World Series WEBSITE.

 

 

While plenty of attention has rightly been focused on the heroics of the Southern Mariners, Australian Baseball Alumni management, members and volunteers applaud the effort of other teams that have represented our country during the past week, at the Cal Ripken World Series and the Under 15 World Cup in Japan.

 

While the Cal Ripken squad lost five games, it had outstanding outings against Canada (a 0-1 loss) and South Korea (4-8 loss) before dropping its matches against reigning world champion Mexico (1-11), New Zealand (1-7) and Ohio Valley (0-8).

 

Scores and details for the Cal Ripken series are available HERE.

 

Heading to Japan with high hopes of making the Super Round, our national Under 15 team played outstanding baseball against Cuba for a one-run loss and for its first round win over Korea, although losses against Japan, Czech Republic and Colombia were less than ideal – consigning Australia to the Consolation Round to determine placings six to twelve for the tournament.

 

A loss against Chinese Taipei on Thursday was followed by a thumping 25-11 win over New Zealand, creating the opportunity for our team to finish as high as eighth overall - earning invaluable IBAF ranking points - if it can beat Mexico in its final game on Saturday afternoon.

 

Under 15 World Cup match reports are available HERE.

 

Australian Baseball Alumni congratulates all of our under-aged squads on representing our nation with distinction and class while raising the profile of Australian baseball on the world stage. With so much happening in international baseball over the next four years, we have a wonderful opportunity to enhance our presence as a serious baseball nation.

 

We trust that upcoming trips by the Cronulla and Hills teams – who both leave later next week - will create equally unforgettable, positive baseball and personal memories that will last a lifetime. The baseball community will follow team progress with interest!

 

Cronulla will be competing in the JUNIOR LEAGUE WORLD SERIES to be held in Taylor, Michigan, from 14-21 August.

 

Hills will be competing in the LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES scheduled for Williamsport, Pennsylvania, from 18-28 August.

 

 

Southern Mariners in celebratory mode