IN PROGRESS: Under 15 Baseball World Cup
The Under 15 Baseball World Cup will be held in Iwaki, Japan, from 29 July through to 7 August.
News, updates, reports and interviews will be available through these links:
DETAILED MATCH REPORTS
(supplied by squad Executive Officer Neil Barrowcliff and included after
each Alumni summary)
(maintained by Tim McCallum, parent of one of our players, this is an
excellent service that includes images and on-the-ground updates)
Friday 29 July:
JAPAN vs AUSTRALIA, 7.00 PM (8.00 PM AEST)
Saturday 30 July
AUSTRALIA vs CZECH, 1.30 PM (2.30 PM AEST)
Sunday 31 July
AUSTRALIA vs CUBA, 3.00 PM (4.00 PM AEST)
Monday 1 August
AUST vs COLOMBIA, 10.00 AM (11.00 AM AEST)
Tuesday 2 August
KOREA vs AUSTRALIA, 9.00 AM (10.00 AM AEST)
Thursday 4 August: SUPER ROUND starts
Thursday 4 August: CONSOLATION ROUND starts
CONSOLATION GAME THREE: MEXICO 8 defeated AUSTRALIA 5
6 August 2016
Tracking down an early deficit to momentarily take a lead in the fourth inning against Mexico, Australia was unable to hold off a stronger- finishing opponent that brought an end to our Under 15 World Cup in Iwaki, Japan, this afternoon.
While an opposition three-spot for in the first looked ominous for Aussie supporters, our players stuck to their guns behind solid relief pitching from Tyson McKee to remain well in the contest until Mexico again gained a decisive break and held Australia scoreless over the last five to emerge an 8-5 winner.
Playing a tighter brand of defence than Mexico while making some baserunning blunders, Australia was again unable to convert a number of scoring opportunities despite the best efforts of McKee (who complemented a terrific all-round game with three hits and an RBI), Caleb Shepherd (two hits), Liam Evans (two hits) and Blake Cavill (a hit and two ribbies).
With two wins from eight games played at the tournament, Australia played some quality baseball against tough opponents - and will be far better for the experience - but would be disappointed with its equal tenth placing at the World Cup.
The UNDER 15 WORLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIP GAME between Cuba and Japan will be streamed live on Sunday 7 August, starting at 2.20 PM AEST. Tune in HERE to the commentary provided by Alumni member Craig Frita Kernick.
DETAILED MATCH REPORT, courtesy of Executive Officer Neil Barrowcliff, who we thank sincerely for his assistance during the series.
We also thank Tim McCallum for maintenance of his excellent, insightful blog leading into and during the World Cup, along with his provision of images - including this team shot taken after our final game.
CONSOLATION GAME TWO: AUSTRALIA 25 defeated NEW ZEALAND 11
5 August 2016
With both sides trading scoring blows early, Australia effectively put the game beyond doubt by blasting fourteen runs in an extraordinary sixth innings to set up a 25-11 win over New Zealand at the Under 15 World Cup in Japan this morning.
Coming off a disappointing loss to Chinese Taipei, the Australian side atoned in the most convincing manner, racking up twenty-one knocks – including several for extra bases – as ten players joined the hit parade against an opponent exposed for lack of pitching depth.
Caleb Shepherd, Daniel Bannon, Matthew Martin and Thomas Horne were among the multiple hitters doing series damage for Australia, whose cause was helped by a couple of crucial defensive errors and a total of fourteen walks being issued by four hurlers trotted out by the Kiwis.
Will Kortekaas was solid with the start for Australia and Thomas Horne carded the win, while Maxim Watson and Zac Mansfield spun scoreless stints for Australia towards the end of a four-hour marathon.
Scheduled for its final Consolation Round game against Mexico on Saturday (4.00 PM AEST), Australia will be primed to nail its third win of the tournament and finish as high as eighth placing overall.
DETAILED MATCH REPORT (courtesy of Executive Officer Neil Barrowcliff)
CONSOLATION GAME ONE: CHINESE TAIPEI 8 defeated AUSTRALIA 2
4 August 2016
Starting brightly with two in the first, Australia was unable to contain a free-swinging Chinese Taipei, which surged to an early lead and was never headed in its 8-2 Consolation Round win at the Under 15 World Cup this afternoon.
While defensive lapses did not help the Australian cause, the Taipei tally of thirteen hits to eight provided ample scoring opportunities, although Zac Mansfield and Dylan Walsh did a grand job in restricting scoring over the last four innings.
With three of his side’s hits, Hayden Lyberopoulos was a standout with the bat for Australia, along with Caleb Shepherd (two hits) and Liam Evans (two RBIs).
With the lower placings still up for grabs, Australia will play New Zealand on Friday 5 August (11.00 AM AEST) before a final game against Mexico on Saturday (4.00 PM AEST).
DETAILED MATCH REPORT (courtesy of Executive Officer Neil Barrowcliff)
POOL GAME FIVE: AUSTRALIA 4 defeated KOREA 3
2 August 206
Shaking off an early deficit, our national team finally broke through at the Under 15 World Cup with a thrilling 4-3 win over Korea.
After the Koreans had plated three in the top of the third, Australia hit back to level the scores - holding its collective nerve under pressure to edge ahead when opposition defence faltered in the bottom of seven while Maxim Watson and Blake Cavill spun terrific stints in relief.
Generating some telling offence for this game, Australia had great contributors in Hayden Lyberopoulos (a hit and an RBI), Jo Stevens (three and one), Kye Jackson (two hits) and Cavill – who scored the go-ahead run after hitting safely in the seventh before closing out the game.
Although not qualifying for the Super Round, the Aussies will be keen to produce more of their best form in the Consolation Round starting on Thursday.
POOL GAME FOUR: COLOMBIA 12 defeated AUSTRALIA 0
1 August 2016
It was another disappointing day at the ballpark for our Under 15 World Cup side, which remains winless after a 0-12 mercy rule result against Colombia in Iwaki this morning.
Conceding three in the first, Australia again struggled for offensive production – with only two players managing a hit – while Colombia posted multiple runs through the middle innings to place the game well out of reach.
It was a deflating contest after Australia had shown its tournament best form by pushing Cuba within a run in our previous game and it was perhaps a timely reminder of how far Australian baseball still needs to go to become a consistently competitive presence at international level.
Now destined for the Consolation Round starting on Thursday, Australia will play its final pool game against South Korea on Tuesday, starting at 10.00 AM AEST. This game will be streamed live.
DETAILED MATCH REPORT GAME FOUR (courtesy of Executive Officer Neil Barrowcliff)
POOL GAME THREE: CUBA 4 defeated AUSTRALIA 3
31 July 2016
Needing to win its last three preliminary games to be sure of qualifying for the Super Round of the Under 15 World Cup, Australia pushed Cuba all the way but came up just short in a one-run thriller.
Starting brightly with a run in the first, Australia dropped to three-run deficit before clawing back in the fourth and fifth behind some quality pitching and defence that saw both sides go scoreless through the last four frames before Cuba emerged as a 4-3 winner.
An evenly-matched contest on offence, Australia had grand contributors in Caleb Shepherd (two hits) and Matthew Martin (a hit and an RBI), and management would be well-pleased with the application of starting pitcher Will Kortekaas (4.2 innings) and Blake Townsend (2.1 innings), who was terrific under enormous in relief.
While the game could have gone either way - with an ounce of luck - it was that one big innings that was decisive for Cuba, whose pitchers were on-song throughout in conceding just one free pass over nine innings.
There is plenty of baseball still in prospect for our lads, even if they miss the Super Round and go to the Consolation Round after group games against Colombia and Korea.
DETAILED MATCH REPORT GAME THREE (courtesy of Executive Officer Neil Barrowcliff)
POOL GAME TWO: CZECH REPUBLIC 10 defeated AUSTRALIA 0
30 July 2016
Coming off a first-up loss to tournament favourite Japan at the Under 15 World Cup , Australia paced Czech Republic over six scoreless innings of a pitcher-dominated affair before a last-gasp blowout that gleaned ten for the European team – which emerged an unlikely and quite remarkable mercy-rule winner.
While our starting pitcher was outstanding, it was again the lack of offence and scoring conversion that proved pivotal – with the Czechs out-hitting our lads seven to three and ultimately cashing in on a total of ten walks and a couple of HPBs.
Baseball can be a cruel, cruel games at times. – and the final scoreline in this case was surely not indicative of the tightness of a contest that saw pitchers on both sides spinning goose eggs until that fateful bottom of seven.
Quite superb for Australia, starter Liam Evans conceded a solitary hit and whiffed five over four innings of work, while Declan Croker was solid in relief before the Aussie bullpen was cast into a difficult situation with no run protection.
While third-sacker Jo Stevens spanked a double in his two hits and Caleb Shepherd drew two passes, there was little else forthcoming in offence as Czech starter Tomas Hrbek went unscathed over 6.2 innings of work that kept the Aussies scoreless after two games.
The challenge will continue on Sunday, when Australia seeks to reverse its fortunes against powerhouse Cuba in an effort to qualify for the Super Round – which will comprise the top three teams from each group.
DETAILED MATCH REPORT GAME TWO (courtesy of Executive Officer Neil Barrowcliff)
POOL GAME ONE: JAPAN 13 defeated AUSTRALIA 0
29 July 2016
Facing the highest ranked baseball nation on earth, Australia was out-gunned by Japan on the first day of competition at the Under 15 World Cup that started in Iwaki today.
Held scoreless in the first, an accomplished home team exploded with a game-breaking seven in the second and another four in the third to set the base for a 13-0 mercy-rule call.
With four more pool games to play before the tournament moves its next phase, Australia will be keen to rebound when it faces Czech Republic in a Saturday afternoon clash starting at 2.30 PM AEST.
Playing errorless defence throughout, Japan constructed the decisive second innings around two RBI doubles and a balk that drew Zac Mansfield from the pen to replace starter Matt Martin, who was looking terrific in the first frame but lost his way under sustained defensive pressure.
Continuing to hit cleanly and to run the bases with aggression, the Japanese side was restricted by big right-armer Thomas Horne, who conceded a solitary run on a sacrifice fly ball in the fifth and another in the sixth before Liam McCallum spun a scoreless seventh - although the Aussies continued to find it tough going in offence, posting just four hits to thirteen and failing to convert limited scoring opportunities against a quality opponent.
With another four pool games to play before the tournament moves into its next phase, Australia will be keen to rebound when it faces Czech Republic in a Saturday afternoon clash starting at 2.30 PM AEST. Australian Baseball Alumni member Craig Frita Kernick will again be providing the commentary for the online coverage.