National Youth Championships: eastern states take the spoils
18 January 2015
Victoria Blue and New South Wales have emerged as winners of the 2015 National Youth Championships that concluded at Blacktown Sportspark this afternoon.
For the Under 16 Victorian team, it was an eight-run blast in the top of the seventh – the last – that derailed a Western Australian juggernaut that had dominated both age groups since Day One.
While both games were thrillers, scoring was different altogether in the Under 18 finale, which developed into a pitching shoot-out that gleaned a 2-1 victory to New South Wales – the go-ahead coming on an unearned run in the fifth.
Congratulations to the winners. Well done to all states for generating another hard-fought and enthralling ten days of competition between the best of our emerging young players.
After dropping just one of its first eight games in UNDER 16, Western Australia was challenged early – when Victoria Blue blasted three in the first – before steadying for a mid-game revival that saw scores locked at five apiece into the top of the last.
Dangerous with the bat all game, Victoria took full toll of three errors to stun their opponent with a game-breaking eight runs before Lachlan Jack closed out the game for the Victoria in a 13-5 result that was not a true reflection of the tightness of the contest.
Amassing fourteen hits to eight, Victoria had terrific contributors in Jarryd Dale (three hits and an RBI), Jack Dunn (three and one), Nathan Picchioni (two and three) and Justin Burke (two hits), while best for the west with the stick were Jackson Riley and David John.
Pitching was of a high quality after an arduous week of baseball, with Mitchell Wilcox conceding five runs over five innings for Victoria before the Jack closing cameo. Of four hurlers used by Western Australia, Frazer Brice was solid with the start and David John was collared in the last after his defence crumbled under pressure.
Queensland won the Under 16 Bronze Medal by downing Victoria White 7-2. Scroll down for all details.
Seeking to atone for its close second last year, Western Australia went into the UNDER 18 final as the more favoured side against New South Wales – which equally has a long and proud record in the tournament.
As expected, pitching dominated the contest, despite Western Australia plating a run in the first and New South Wales hitting back in the top of three. Although Christian Eckberg issued some early passes, he combined with Josh Robins and Samuel Giulieri to strangle Western Australia to the tune of three hits into the ninth – despite walking seven overall.
In contrast, New South Wales had its scoring opportunities against Josh Hendrickson - finally edging to a one-run lead in the sixth, when Dean Frew scored on a throwing error for an unearned run that ultimately became the difference in the contest.
James McCallum led the New South Wales offence with three hits, supported by James Percival (two hits and an RBI), Frew and Daniel Myrmell, while Mitchell Neunborn, Jake Turnbull and Tomas Swinson were the best of a well-held Western Australia offence that will need to settle for another second.
Country New South Wales took the Bronze Medal with its 7-6 result over Queensland. Scroll down for all details.
For a squad of Under 18 players, there is little time to rest just yet, with an Australian national team about to head across the Tasman to contest the World Cup Oceania Qualifying Series that will be held in Auckland from 23-26 January. Squad details and schedule have today been announced by Baseball Australia.
UNDER 16 FINAL DAY
For seventh placing: South Australia 2 defeated Australian Capital Territory 0 PLAY BY PLAY
For fifth placing: Country New South Wales 7 defeated New South Wales 6 PLAY BY PLAY
BRONZE MEDAL GAME: Queensland 7 defeated Victoria White 2 PLAY BY PLAY
GOLD MEDAL GAME: Victoria Blue 13 defeated Western Australia 5 PLAY BY PLAY
UNDER 18 FINAL DAY
For seventh placing: South Australia 8 defeated Victoria White 7 PLAY BY PLAY
For fifth placing: Australian Capital Territory 6 defeated Victoria Blue 5 PLAY BY PLAY
BRONZE MEDAL GAME: Country New South Wales 4 defeated Queensland 3 PLAY BY PLAY
GOLD MEDAL GAME: New South Wales 2 defeated Western Australia 1 PLAY BY PLAY
UNDER 16 FINAL RANKINGS
Western Australia (12 points), Victoria Blue (10), Victoria White (8), Queensland (6), Country New South Wales (6), South Australia (6), New South Wales (4), Australian Capital Territory (4)
SEMI-FINALS (Saturday 17 January: check Baseball Australia for start times)
Western Australia 11 defeated Queensland 2 PLAY BY PLAY
Victoria Blue 8 defeated Victoria White 1 PLAY BY PLAY
Country New South Wales 11 defeated Australian Capital Territory 0 PLAY BY PLAY
South Australia 2 lost to New South Wales 8 PLAY BY PLAY
UNDER 18 FINAL RANKINGS
Western Australia (12 points), New South Wales (10), Country New South Wales (8), Queensland (8), Australian Capital Territory (8), South Australia (4), Victoria Blue (4), Victoria White (2)
SEMI-FINALS (Saturday 17 January: check Baseball Australia for start times)
Western Australia 7 defeated Queensland 1 PLAY BY PLAY
New South Wales 6 defeated Country New South Wales 0 PLAY BY PLAY
Australian Capital Territory 15 defeated Victoria White 14 PLAY BY PLAY
Victoria Blue 12 defeated South Australia 9 PLAY BY PLAY
UNDER 16 FRIDAY 16 JANUARY
Victoria White 2 lost to Western Australia 4 PLAY BY PLAY
South Australia 1 defeated Queensland 0 PLAY BY PLAY
South Australia 0 lost to Country New South Wales 8 PLAY BY PLAY
Australian Capital Territory lost to Victoria Blue 3 PLAY BY PLAY
UNDER 18 FRIDAY 16 JANUARY
Western Australia 5 defeated Queensland 1 PLAY BY PLAY
Australian Capital Territory 10 defeated Western Australia 9 PLAY BY PLAY
South Australia 11 defeated Victoria White 1 PLAY BY PLAY
New South Wales 15 defeated Victoria White 3 PLAY BY PLAY
15 January 2015
Round-robin competition – including three makeup games across both groups – will conclude at Blacktown on Friday, with subsequent team rankings to determine games for Saturday Semi-Finals as the championships move into their final phase.
While Western Australia appears odds-on of a top two finish in both age groups, there is still plenty on the line for the other states as strategy and pitching deployment come into play with an eye to the rankings before a weekend of playoff games.
Effectively ensuring completion of all round-robin games after a rugged first few days of weather has been a terrific achievement that has drawn plaudits from plenty – wherever their own state might finish in the overall scheme of things.
There will be eight games played on Friday – four in each group – including make-up fixtures that necessitate double-headers for South Australia (Under 16), Victoria White (Under 18) and Western Australia (Under 18). Final standings will determine rankings for the Saturday Semi-Finals, which will see the top four and the bottom four ranked teams in each group locking horns before the medals and consolation rounds on Sunday.
National Youth Championship action resumes at Blacktown on Friday 16 January. Visit the Baseball Australia website for live scoring, updates, images and the latest news.
Dropping just one game in the UNDER 16 group thus far, Western Australia (5-1) today breezed past Australian Capital Territory (2-4), while Victoria Blue (4-2) edged out South Australia (2-3) to share second spot with Victoria White (4-2), a one-run winner over Country New South Wales (2-4). With a game to come, Queensland (3-3) downed New South Wales (2-5) and will guarantee a top-four ranking if it can get past South Australia on the morrow.
While players in this group are too young to be offered professional contracts, we believe that there has been considerable scouting interest shown in the progress of numerous players – which bodes well for the future of Australian baseball.
UNDER 16 THURSDAY 15 JANUARY
Queensland 4 defeated New South Wales 1 PLAY BY PLAY
Western Australia 14 defeated Australian Capital Territory 4 PLAY BY PLAY
New South Wales Country 7 lost to Victoria White 8 PLAY BY PLAY
Victoria Blue 7 defeated South Australia 6 PLAY BY PLAY
Focus on the UNDER 18 group has been far more intense, with up to five players from the tournament believed to have a realistic shot at a professional signing to join the likes of Lachlan Wells (Country New South Wales) and Jake Turnbull (Western Australia) – both of whom are representing their state in Blacktown.
The Under 18 tournament has been under direct scrutiny, too, from Baseball Australia – which is expected to shortly announce its national team for the Oceania Championship later this month, a qualifying event for the IBAF 18U World Cup to be held in Japan in late August.
With a narrow win over South Australia (1-5), Western Australia (5-0) still heads the Under 18 standings prior to its Friday doubleheader against Queensland (4-2) and Australian Capital Territory (3-3).
Of the four one-run games decided in this group today, New South Wales (4-2) had an important win over ACT, while Country New South Wales (4-3) holds a top-four placing despite going under to Victoria White (1-4), which posted its first win and will be looking for a strong showing in its Friday doubleheader. A disappointing Victoria Blue (2-5) completed its round robin by narrowly failing to peg back Queensland.
UNDER 18 THURSDAY 15 JANUARY
New South Wales 3 defeated Australian Capital Territory 2 PLAY BY PLAY
Western Australia 6 defeated South Australia 5 PLAY BY PLAY
Victoria White 10 defeated Country New South Wales 9 PLAY BY PLAY
Victoria Blue 6 lost to Queensland 7 PLAY BY PLAY
UNDER 16 WEDNESDAY 14 JANUARY
Western Australia 9 def Country New South Wales 0 PLAY BY PLAY
Queensland 1 lost to Victoria Blue 2 PLAY BY PLAY
South Australia 13 def New South Wales 3 PLAY BY PLAY
Australian Capital Territory 3 lost to Victoria White 14 PLAY BY PLAY
Victoria Blue 3 lost to Western Australia 13 PLAY BY PLAY
Country New South Wales 3 lost to Queensland 6 PLAY BY PLAY
Australian Capital Territory 5 defeated South Australia 2 PLAY BY PLAY
New South Wales 10 lost to Victoria White 21 PLAY BY PLAY
UNDER 18 WEDNESDAY 14 JANUARY
Western Australia 5 defeated New South Wales 4 PLAY BY PLAY
Victoria Blue 10 def Victoria White 6 PLAY BY PLAY
South Australia 8 lost to Australian Capital Territory 10 PLAY BY PLAY
Queensland 6 def Country New South Wales 3 PLAY BY PLAY
13 January 2015
With just showers anticipated over coming days of competition, the 2015 National Youth Championships are back on track to produce the high-quality baseball which has characterised the series over many years.
While unavailability of two of the Blacktown grounds - forced by unsafe playing conditions - made it tough for everyone earlier in the week, Baseball Australia was able to work constructively with local clubs to ensure that tournament play took place wherever possible.
From Wednesday, the three Blacktown fields will again be in operation, with some massive contests in prospect for both age groups.
Although Australian Baseball Alumni will seek to remain attuned to scores and other developments, we are not on site and cannot guarantee timely and accurate coverage. Your first port of call should be Baseball Australia and its Facebook page for the very latest.
While much can change over coming days, trends are beginning to emerge in both age groupings.
Heading the UNDER 16 group, New South Wales Country and Western Australia were joined by Victoria Blue - which had a 2-1 win over Country in a stunning Tuesday clash - while New South Wales proved too strong to get past Australian Capital Territory 12-2. Victoria White, Australian Capital Territory and Queensland have already posted a win and were joined by South Australia when it downed Vic White 4-1 in an entertaining game.
The UNDER 18 competition remains wide open, with tournament leader New South Wales despatching Australian Capital Territory by a fistful and then crushing Victoria Blue 14-2 to gain a break on Queensland and Western Australia, both of whom won their Tuesday double-headers. ACT is camped just off the pace with Country New South Wales at two wins apiece, while Victoria Blue and South Australia have all tasted playing success ahead of a dogged Victoria White unit that dropped a close game among its three losses to date.
UNDER 16 TUESDAY 13 JANUARY
New South Wales Country 1 lost to Victoria Blue 2 PLAY BY PLAY
Western Australia 4 lost to Queensland 6 PLAY BY PLAY
Victoria White 1 lost to South Australia 4 PLAY BY PLAY
Australian Capital Territory 2 lost to New South Wales PLAY BY PLAY
UNDER 18 TUESDAY 13 JANUARY
South Australia 5 lost to Queensland 8 PLAY BY PLAY
New South Wales vs Victoria White (cancelled: weather)
Australian Capital Territory 2 lost to Queensland 14 PLAY BY PLAY
Western Australia 8 def Victoria Blue 0 PLAY BY PLAY
New South Wales Country 8 def Australian Capital Territory 3 PLAY BY PLAY
Victoria White 2 lost to Western Australia 10 PLAY BY PLAY
New South Wales Country 9 def South Australia 1 PLAY BY PLAY
Victoria Blue 2 lost to New South Wales 14 PLAY BY PLAY
UNDER 16 MONDAY 12 JANUARY
Victoria White 7 def Queensland 6 PLAY BY PLAY
South Australia vs Country New South Wales
New South Wales 2 lost to Western Australia 10 PLAY BY PLAY
Victoria Blue vs Australian Capital Territory
Victoria Blue 12 def Victoria White 4 PLAY BY PLAY
UNDER 18 MONDAY 12 JANUARY
Queensland 6 lost to New South Wales 8 PLAY BY PLAY
Australian Capital Territory vs Western Australia
Country New South Wales 3 lost to Victoria Blue 5 PLAY BY PLAY
South Australia vs Victoria White
UNDER 16 DAY TWO
New South Wales (4 points) heads the standings after Day Two of competition after its narrow result over New South Wales Country (2 points), which is joined by Australian Capital Territory (a one-run winner over Queensland) and Western Australia, which overpowered South Australia. Victoria Blue, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria White remain winless to date, although it should be said that Vic White has not yet played a legal game because of weather interruptions to the schedule.
Victoria Blue vs Victoria White (postponed because of storms)
Western Australia 7 def South Australia 2 PLAY BY PLAY
Queensland 2 lost to Australian Capital Territory 3 PLAY BY PLAY
New South Wales Country 3 lost to New South Wales 4 PLAY BY PLAY
UNDER 18 DAY TWO
After a full day of games in the Under 18 group, Australian Capital Territory (4 points) heads the standings after its clear-cut win over a disappointing Victoria Blue. New South Wales (2 points) posted a first win with its success over South Australia (2 points), while Western Australia (2 points) pipped New South Wales Country (2 points) and Queensland (2 points) thrashed Victoria White to take a share of second placing. Victoria Blue and Victoria White remain the only teams without a win in this group.
Western Australia 5 def New South Wales Country 4 PLAY BY PLAY
Victoria Blue 4 lost to Australian Capital Territory 8 PLAY BY PLAY
New South Wales 6 def South Australia 3 PLAY BY PLAY
Victoria White 2 lost to Queensland 17 PLAY BY PLAY
9 January 2015
UNDER 16 DAY ONE
New South Wales won a first-up thriller 5-4 over Victoria Blue in a tight contest that saw scores deadlocked until New South grabbed a one-run break in the fourth. Challenging strongly in the top of the last, the Vics forced two across the plate to gain the lead – only to experience a last-gasp letdown as a wild pitch and a throwing error conceded two late runs for the host state.
Out-hitting New South Wales nine to eight, Victoria had great contributors in Cooper Goodman (two hits and an RBI), Luke Cartwright (1 and 2) and Nathan Picchioni (two hits), while Sam Henson (two hits) was best for the Blues in a contest that saw Kyle Glogoski (NSW) and Jordan Busch (Victoria) both deliver quality starts. PLAY BY PLAY
Amassing fifteen hits and scoring in each of the seven innings played, Country New South Wales overpowered Australian Capital Territory, which errored four times and conceded six unearned runs against an opponent that conceded seven passes but was dominant in holding the Territory to four hits (Lachlan Seidel posted two of them).
DH Alex Osbourne (three hits and three RBIs) was a standout with the bat for Country along with Jake Amos (three and two), John Hall-Walsh (two and two), Patrick Glover (two hits) and Connor McMurray (two hits). PLAY BY PLAY
With the weather intervening later in the afternoon, the South Australia vs Queensland game and the Victoria White vs Western Australia clash were both suspended after getting a start. Both games will be rescheduled for completion at discretion of organisers.
UNDER 18 DAY ONE
With national selectors in attendance to assess player prospects for the Oceania Championship in New Zealand later this month, there was massive interest in the first day of Under 18 competition, which saw three games completed before the Queensland vs Western Australia fixture was adjourned on account of rain.
Held scoreless through six innings, Victoria White staged a late revival – to take the lead with three in the top of the seventh – but was unable to hold off an ACT side that responded with two in the bottom of eight to regain a lead that it had held since the first and run out a 4-3 winner.
ACT starter Brad Inglis held sway into the fifth before handing the pill to Brenton McMahon to finish out the game, while Steven Hughes (four hits and four Ks for one earned run) kept Vic White in touch as both sides squandered some scoring opportunities. With three of his side’s six hits, Thomas Wilson was a star for Victoria, while South Australia had seven players contributing to its offensive production. PLAY BY PLAY
Country New South Wales opened its campaign with a powerful 9-3 result over New South Wales, which slipped to an early 0-7 deficit as pitching ace Lachlan Wells stamped his authority on the game by whiffing ten and scattering just two hits over 5.2 innings of impressive work.
While both sides made a string of defensive errors, New South Wales starter Christian Eckberg copped the brunt of a Country offensive onslaught that saw Alex Wells (three hits and an RBI), Harrison Fullerton (one and two), Dylan Smider (one and two) and Alex Fisher (two hits) do the bulk of the offensive damage. PLAY BY PLAY
Holding a four-run lead after seven, Victoria Blue would have been have been on pretty good terms with itself until South Australia put up a damaging six-spot in the bottom of eight on its way to a 7-5 result over its southern neighbour.
Plating two in the third on an Alex Clark single, Vic Blue tacked on another couple in the sixth when a lead-off Clark triple was fully exploited with two damaging errors. However, after dominant outings by Victoria starter Jack Enciondo and reliever Ryan Bromley, South Australia took closer Max Barrett to the cleaners in a spirited recovery.
Troy Chandler and Jordy Grose were terrific in relief for South Australia – which had productive hitters in Mitchell Lightbody, Charlie Goldsworthy and Mason Pickard, while Clark was a beacon in a subdued Victorian offence that left eleven runners on base. PLAY BY PLAY.
National Youth Championship action will resume on Saturday 10 January..........
Players and families are reminded of the all-important Information Night to be held at Rooty Hill RSL Club on Sunday 11 January, starting at 7.30 PM (see below).
Our emerging stars poised for centre stage
4 January 2015
Defending its Under 16 title won at Blacktown last January, New South Wales Country is certain to be a big target for other teams – especially the New South Wales squad that it defeated 5-2 for the Gold Medal last time. Always tough to beat at any representative level, Western Australia is expected to again come in strong after pipping Victoria Blue 10-8 for the Bronze medal at their clash last January.
While Victoria will be looking to an improved showing overall, opposition will surely be forthcoming from Queensland (fifth last time after being well in the hunt), Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Victoria White, all of whom will be well-prepared and committed to a stronger showing in 2015.
Running concurrently at Blacktown International Sports Park will be the Under 18 National Youth Championship, which has also attracted eight elite squads from across the nation.
A 3-1 winner over Western Australia in a classic Gold Medal game in Canberra twelve months ago, Queensland certainly has the personnel to shoot for another title. Stiff opposition is expected, though, from ever-competitive units in Victoria Blue (who finished third in 2014) and New South Wales (fourth).
Impressive in nailing fifth last time, New South Wales Country will be committed to improve upon that placing, while South Australia, Australian Capital Territory and Victoria White will round out a group of young men that invariably produces some high quality and thrilling baseball to entertain the masses of families and supporters that historically support a time-honoured event that dates way back to the late 1930s.
Full coverage of the Under 16 and Under 18 National Youth Championships will be provided by Baseball Australia via its website and Facebook pages. Australian Baseball Alumni will seek to complement that with brief day-to-day reporting, links to live action and the like.
Australian Baseball Alumni extends its congratulations to all players, coaches, officials and management staff on their involvement in what should be another super week of under-aged baseball at the home of the Sydney Blue Sox.
While we look forward to ten days of wonderful baseball as teams and individuals strive to leave an indelible mark on the memories of their supporters, Australian Baseball Alumni urges all players and all parents at the Blacktown championships to attend the Information Night organised at Rooty Hill RSL Club for Sunday 11 January, starting at 7.30 PM.
The session is expected to run for around ninety minutes and will presented by former Major Leaguer Craig Shipley, who is a Baseball Australia board member now entrusted with the overseeing of all of our national representative teams.
He is also a founding supporter of Australian Baseball Alumni.
The Craig Shipley presentation will address a range of issues pertaining to the opportunities available to our young baseball players. He will be addressing the options of college and professional baseball as alternatives to our elite young players and he will be offering a range of insights on baseball as a career drawn from his lifetime of experiences in the sport at the highest level.
Players and parents are urged to not miss this Information Session, which is an invaluable initiative provided at no charge and with the over-arching best interests of our young players at heart.
To gain a sense of what Craig Shipley has achieved in world baseball, we refer you to this fascinating TWO-PART INTERVIEW with Brett Ward that is posted on the Australian Baseball Alumni website.