Under 23 Baseball World Cup 2018
Aussies finish on a high
Australia has completed its Under 23 World Cup campaign with a 9-4 win over South Africa, giving the squad four wins from eight games and ninth placing overall at the tournament – a more than creditable outcome given the unavailability of key professionals and the relative youth of most players, all of whom will have derived great benefit from the experience.
In final results, Mexico defeated reigning champion Japan 2-1 to take the Gold Medal, while Venezuela earned the Bronze Medal with its 5-4 win over Korea. After some stunning individual performances, our own Ulrich Bojarski - a Detroit Tigers prospect - was named as right fielder in an All World Team selected at conclusion of the tournament.
GAME EIGHT: AUSTRALIA 9 defeated SOUTH AFRICA 4
Although South Africa plated two in the first off starter Chris Horne, Australia was prompt in erasing the deficit when Jack Barrie singled and Jordan McArdle smacked a two-run homer in the bottom of second.
With Horne settling into his work, the Aussies stretched their lead further in the fourth – compliments of a Barrie solo blast, a McArdle single, a walk to Alex Hall, an Ulrich Bojarski RBI-double and a Mitch Ellis double.
While a run in the top of seven may have momentarily raised South African spirits, Australia effectively placed the result beyond doubt when pinch hitter Mitch Edwards stroked an RBI-single and Bojarski left the yard with a three-run blast in the equaliser.
Carding the win with five innings of solid work, Horne (four hits for two RBIs) was accorded quality support by Lochlan Southee, Lachlan Madden, Jason Lott and Jack Enciondo – who tossed an innings apiece in a result that owed plenty to Australian big boppers in Bojarski (home run and double for four ribbies), McArdle (home run, single, two walks and two RBIs), Barrie (two hits, including the solo homer) and Edwards (who went five from ten with six RBIs for the tournament).
Despite finishing ninth overall, Australian management and players can look back proudly on some outstanding baseball played over the course of the tournament – in particular its stirring win over Dominican Republic, its narrow losses to Venezuela and Puerto Rico and its rollicking first innings against Korea before falling away in that crucial game. Well done, all! BOX SCORES
WBSC WORLD RANKINGS (October 2018)
Resurgent Aussies crush Netherlands
Stung by a disappointing loss to Colombia, Australia rebounded with a vengeance to make short work of Netherlands in a 16-3 mismatch that was effectively decided in the first two belligerent offensive innings – that yielded eight of nine runs scored from two out.
GAME SEVEN: AUSTRALIA 16 defeated NETHERLANDS 3
Robbie Glendinning started the procession by smacking a solo homer with two out in the top of the first, which produced another couple on hits to Sam Kennelly and Jordan McArdle (RBI-single), a Zac Shepherd walk and a wild pitch.
With Jeremy Young looking strong on the hill, Australia exploded in the second, when an Ulrich Bojarski home run was followed up by a Glendinning single, a HPB, two walks – one with bases loaded – and a Jack Barrie grand slam that delivered a nine-zip lead to the Aussies.
Regularly wringing the changes, Netherlands continued to struggle for pitching control and conceded another six in the third – built around six walks, a balk, a Barrie RBI-hit and a Bojarski two-run single.
While Netherlands scrambled a run in the second, and again in the third, intensity had left the contest, which meandered along until Barrie belted a second round-tripper in the top of five and Glendinning followed suit with his second solo bomb, in the sixth.
Although Australia would clearly benefit from ten walks gifted by the Netherlands pitching staff, it was an imperious offensive display by the likes of Barrie (three hits - including two homers - for six RBIs), Glendinning (three hits, including two solo shots), Bojarski and McArdle – in support of a complete-game outing by Jeremy Young, who carded the win in a mercy-rule contest. BOX SCORES
Now with three wins and four losses, Australia will complete its Under 23 World Cup campaign with a match-up against South Africa – which will be coming off its first win at this tournament. The game will be played on Sunday 28 October, starting at 2.00 AM (AEDST). STREAM
Colombia turns on the power
Notwithstanding a late mini-recovery, Australia was comprehensively outplayed in the first of its Consolation Round games at the Under 23 World Cup today, with an aggressive Colombian offence belting eight runs in the first innings and amassing twenty hits overall on its way to an 18-5 mercy-rule result.
GAME SIX: COLOMBIA 18 defeated AUSTRALIA 5
Facing the world number sixteen in the first of its Consolation Round games, Australia was rocked in the first when starter Nick Hutchings was taken for a lead-off home run that set the tone for a stunning outburst that gleaned eight for the host nation – on eight hits - before Ky Hampton retired the last of twelve players sent to the plate.
While Hampton initially stemmed the flow and Jordan McArdle raised his team’s spirits with a booming solo shot over the centrefield wall in the third, Colombia was on the march again – in the bottom of three – when a three-run bomb and a two-run blast stretched the lead to a dozen.
Making his first appearance on the hill for Australia, Jake Green spun a scoreless bottom of four before McArdle walked in the fifth, scooted to third on a Mitch Edwards single and scored on an Ulrich Bojarski grounder – followed by another run when Jess Williams tugged a double into the rightfield corner.
With Green doing a fine job of keeping the Colombian fastball hitters off balance over two scoreless frames, Sam Kennelly slapped an opposite field home run in the top of six and Zac Shepherd followed up with a monster blast over leftfield to provide a glimmer of hope before Colombia escaped from a none-out, bases loaded jam with no further damage.
Again applying the offensive pressure – this time to Josh Rawlinson – Colombia drove another five across the plate and retired the Aussies in order to force an early finish.
While Kennelly (three hits), McArdle and Shepherd were ever-dangerous with the bat, eight hits to twenty was never going to do the job against an errorless Colombian outfit that was irrepressible in its top order – and along the way drew nine walks. BOX SCORES
Looking to rebound after this deflating loss to another tough opponent, Australia will next meet Netherlands, starting at 7.00 AM on Saturday 27 October (AEDST). LIVE STREAM
Aussies fall short of Super Round
A narrow loss to Puerto Rico in Colombia today completed the Opening Round for Australia, whose two wins from five played at the Under 23 World Cup will see it scheduled for the Consolation Round to determine final placings.
GAME FIVE: PUERTO RICO 3 defeated AUSTRALIA 2
Even a win in this match would not have secured a Super Round berth for Australia, which would have paid dearly in technical terms for its heavy loss to Korea should there have been a three way tie for third requiring application of the Total Quality Balance formula to split the teams.
Puerto Rico opened scoring in the top of three, with a solo homer off Aussie starter Michael Gahan, who had been well in control over a tight first two innings – although Australia replied promptly as Ulrich Bojarski smacked an RBI double to square the ledger.
Zac Shepherd hit safely and Jordan McArdle laced a double in the bottom of four before Mitch Ellis was passed up with two out to expose form hitter Bojarski – the strategy paying off with a timely strike out that left bases loaded and scores locked at one apiece.
A second bomb – this time a two-run shot – by Marlins prospect Isan Diaz gave Puerto Rico a two run-lead after five that held up as pitchers on both clubs continued to dominate, although Australia had another opportunity in the bottom of six when Shepherd stroked his second hit but was gunned down at the plate trying to score on an Alex Hall double with two out.
Outstanding over 6.2 innings for three hits and five strikeouts, Gahan was relieved by Lochlan Southee, who whiffed the dangerous Diaz before Australia again challenged by way of a Bojarski double, an Aaron Whitefield safety bunt, a throwing error and a Robbie Glendinning bunt – although the outcome could have been far greater than a solitary run scored on the fielding miscue as both Sam Kennelly and Shepherd struck out.
Out-hitting its opponent eight to four and again playing quality defence – including some stunning outs later in the game - it was failure to convert in those key situations that proved costly for Australia, whose management would nevertheless be delighted with the efforts of losing pitcher Gahan, along with Southee, Jeremy Young and Jason Lott for their solid work towards the end. BOX SCORES
Australia will now head to the Consolation Round starting on Friday, with final placings from seven to twelve to be determined. Our first Consolation Round game will be against Colombia, starting at 12.00 PM Friday AEDST. LIVE STREAM
Korea prevails in slugfest
After blasting six in the bottom of the first, Australia struggled to contain a belligerent Korean offence that surged to the lead in the second and held sway for a 14-7 win in a wildly fluctuating Under 23 World Cup contest in Colombia overnight.
GAME FOUR: KOREA 14 defeated AUSTRALIA 7
An emphatic first inning gleaned six for Australia, built around a pair of walks, a wild pitch and four hits – including a Robbie Glendinning RBI-double, a Sam Kennelly single and a three-run Mitch Edwards blast over the leftfield wall after Korea was forced into an early pitching change.
The dream start morphed into a nightmare, however, when an irrepressible Korean offence exploded in the second, with Aussie starter Chris Horne and reliever Jackson Boyd taken for eight runs - then a ninth in the fourth as the game momentarily settled into somewhat more sedate offensive mode with Lachlan Madden stemming the flow.
After leaving bases juiced in the bottom of five, Australia challenged again in the bottom of six, when switch hitting catcher Edwards belted a second homer – this time a solo shot from the left side – before a three-run bomb off reliever Josh Rawlinson stretched the Korean lead to five.
When nine-hitter Chanhyung Kim swatted his second round-tripper of the game – for his sixth RBI – Korea held an insurmountable lead reflective of an offensive dominance that saw the world number three baseball nation amass eighteen hits to nine in a sobering reminder of the quality of ball players competing at this level.
Doing it all with the bat and behind the dish, Edwards (two home runs and a walk for four RBIs) enjoyed a brilliant game for Australia, which played tight defence and had solid performers in Aaron Whitefield (three hits), Glendinning and Kennelly but was forced to play catch-up after Korea flexed its offensive muscle in that game-changing second frame. BOX SCORES
Needing a win in its final Opening Round game to challenge for the top three in its group – pending other results - Australia will meet Puerto Rico on Wednesday 24 October, starting at 12.00 midday AEDST. LIVE STREAM
Super Round games are scheduled to start at Edgar Renteria Stadium, Barranquilla, on Friday 26 October (AEDST), with Consolation Round games played at Estadio de Beisbol, Monteria.
Aussies stun Dominican Republic
Facing an undefeated and confident Dominicana outfit, Australia produced its best all-round team effort of the Under 23 World Cup thus far – with quality pitching, perfect defence and timely hitting in a crucial 4-3 win that gives our lads a real shot at making the Super Round.
GAME THREE: AUSTRALIA 4 defeated DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 3
Amassing seventeen runs in its first two games – against Puerto Rico and Korea – the highly rated Dominican team looked ominous early, with a solo shot in the second and a second run in the top of four before the Australian offence exploded with a four-spot in the equaliser and held on under fire for a famous victory.
The game-turning outburst was built around a lead-off walk to Zac Shepherd and a Sam Kennelly double before Jack Barrie stroked an RBI single and Jordan McArdle left the yard with a booming three-run blast for a lead that would not be surrendered – despite a late response by Dominican Republic, which matched our side on hits and was always a threat.
McArdle (homer and three ribbies), Barrie (two hits and an RBI), Kennelly (two hits) and Jess Williams (two hits) led the offence for Australia, which was faultless in defence and would be delighted with the outings of starter Jeremy Young (5.2 innings, five hits and eight punchouts for two earned runs) before Lochlan Southee (0.2 inn), Jason Lott (1.2, inn, 3 hits, earned run) and closer Jack Enciondo protected the slim lead with aplomb.
Now with two wins from three and looking in fine fettle, Australia will play its fourth game against an always tough Korea – ranked three in the world - starting at 2.00 AM on Tuesday 23 October AEDST. LIVE STREAM
Australia rebounds from first-up loss
Coming off a setback against Venezuela, Australia posted its first win of the Under 23 World Cup with a hard-fought 5-3 result over Czech Republic – which recovered from a four-run deficit to make this a real contest.
GAME TWO: AUSTRALIA 5 defeated CZECH REPUBLIC 3
While Ulrich Bojarski spearheaded the offence with a three-run homer - his second for the tournament - Australia had other grand contributors in Robbie Glendinning (three hits and an RBI), Jess Williams (two hits) and catcher Mitch Edwards (double, RBI and a walk) as their side surged to a comfortable lead over Czech Republic, which was well held through six but capitalised on a defensive slip-up and two HPBs to force two across the plate and draw within range in the top of seven.
Superb with the start for Australia, Nick Hutchings spun 6.2 innings of work for seven hits, seven punchouts and the three runs - which were all unearned - before Lachlan Madden and Jack Enciondo slammed the gate despite the Czechs landing runners on base in the bottom of nine.
Likely to need three wins from five to progress to the Super Round, Australia is next scheduled to play Dominican Republic – starting at 2.00 AM on Monday 22 October (AEDST). LIVE STREAM
Aussies come up short in a thriller
Conceding a run in the first, Australia levelled scores in the top of five of its World Cup opener against Venezuela, which edged away in the equaliser and pressed on for a 4-2 win in a tense contest in Colombia overnight.
GAME ONE: VENEZUELA 4 defeated AUSTRALIA 2
Despite the early setback, Aussie starter Michael Gahan was outstanding over the ensuing four scoreless frames and could well have enjoyed run support had his offence exploited its scoring opportunities – especially in the third, when runners were stranded at second and third
Second-sacker Jess Williams left the yard with a solo shot in the top of six to square the ledger before Venezuela wrested back the lead with two more and Jeremy Young was called from the pen to put out the fire.
A fourth run – off reliever Jason Lott – made it tough for the Aussies, although a two-out solo bomb by Ulrich Bojarski delivered late hope and shaved the deficit in the top of nine.
While Gahan (five innings, seven hits and three earned runs), Young, Lott and Lochlan Southee were terrific on the hill, Australia was marginally outgunned in an errorless contest by a Venezuelan offence that amassed thirteen hits to eight – with Bojarski (two hits – including the homer), Williams (home run) and Jack Barrie (hit and walk) the standouts in the Aussie offence. BOX SCORES
Australia’s second game of the World Cup will be against Czech Republic, starting at 2.00 AM Sunday 21 October AEDST) LIVE STREAM
17 October 2018
Carrying a significant number of world ranking points that are vital to Australia’s prospects of improving upon its current standing as number eight nation in our sport, the Under 23 Baseball World Cup will be held in Barranquilla and Monteria, Colombia, from 19-28 October.
Silver medallist in 2016, Australia has drawn Opening Round Group A games against Venezuela, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Korea and Puerto Rico – with the top three teams in each of two groups advancing to the Super Round.
Although we expect that World Baseball Softball Confederation and Baseball Australia will be providing intensive coverage of this prestigious event (including WBSC live streaming of all games), Australian Baseball Alumni will seek to post regular updates and match reports during the tournament. We wish our squad all the very best for a successful campaign!
WBSC WORLD RANKINGS (October 2018)