Under 23s again pitch for medals finish

UPDATE (Monday 8 October 2018):  

 

Baseball Australia today announced the squad that will be representing Australia at the upcoming Under 23 Baseball World Cup in Colombia. Our congratulations and best wishes to all players, coaching staff and officials who will be involved as our national team seeks to go one better than our silver medal in 2016.!

 

The squad list is available HERE or can be viewed at the bottom of this page.

 

 

Kingsley Collins

7 September 2018

 

Baseball Australia is currently in the process of identifying and contacting players to determine their availability for the 2018 Under 23 World Cup, which will be held in Barranquilla and Monteria, Colombia, from 19 to 28 October.

 

The largest of any World Baseball Softball Confederation tournament this year – and third largest only to the Premier 12 and World Baseball Classic - the Under 23 event carries 690 ranking points to the winner as recognition of its importance and prestige on the international stage.

 

Silver medallist in the tournament held in Mexico two years ago, Australia will be drawing on an outstanding pool of professional, college and domestic players as it seeks to replicate or even better that performance, Team Australia General Manager Glenn Williams told Australian Baseball Alumni this week. 

 

Australia has drawn in Group A of the tournament and is scheduled to play Opening Round Games against Korea, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Czech Republic, with the three highest-placed teams in each of two to progress to the Super Round and potentially to the Medals Round.

 

Group B teams comprise Japan (2016 winner), Mexico, Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, Colombia and South Africa. United States is again a notable absentee from the tournament.

 

“We are working through our roster at the moment,” Glenn Williams said. “With players all over the place it is one of the more difficult squads to pick, because we have to factor in so many different leagues and so many different levels to try and compare.”

 

“We are starting to work through those who are confirmed on the team and we will be aiming to finalise our roster over the coming weeks.”

 

As always at this level, there are challenges in negotiating the release of players from professional teams and colleges, although Baseball Australia has been able to develop some very positive relationships as it continues to enhance its presence on the international baseball stage.

 

“We have permission for the majority of the pro position players of this age group,” Glenn Williams said. “Pitching is a different story and another challenge. Varying teams will have varying thoughts on workloads and shutting pitchers down - which will affect who is and isn't on the team.”

 

“College players will feature on this team again and we are negotiating with their schools on how to make this work,” he said. “We also have a group of dedicated domestic players who continue to work hard in preparation for Australian Baseball League or in their respective winter leagues. Those players are definitely in contention for the team.”

 

Glenn Williams believes that having the college players available for this prestigious international tournament highlights the importance of our national team being part of the conversation when it comes to the college recruitment process.

 

“It's a concept MLB supports us with in the College Showcase trips we have taken,” he said. “Generally those who have expressed a desire to play for the national team during the recruitment process has helped them become available for selection for the national team. On the flip side, there have been some instances with commercial operators disregarding this – resulting in cases of players with the desire to represent their country not being able to do so because their college wasn't made aware of the possibility throughout the recruitment process.”

 

“We will continue to work with schools and develop relationships where athletes can pursue their college aspirations and still play on the national team. There is no need at all for those opportunities to be mutually exclusive,” he said. “Highlighted by Mitch Neunborn, Jye Deeble and Josh Hendrickson playing at the 23U in 2016 and Josh Bedggood at the 2017 Under 18 World Cup.”

    

After announcement of the final squad – including coaching and support staff – preparation for the Under 23 World Cup will be built around a five-day camp in Florida before heading down to Colombia.

 

“The aim will be to get all the guys together from wherever they are, get on the same time zone and become accustomed to weather conditions that may be quite different to what they have been experiencing,” Glenn Williams said.

 

With Australia now listed at eight, under WBSC rankings, the Under 23 World Cup offers another great prospect for our emerging players to compete against the very best in the world – a vital consideration given the challenges that confront Australian baseball as it seeks to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games through a relatively small window of opportunity.

 

Australia Baseball Alumni extends its appreciation to Glenn Williams for his assistance in preparation of this story. We look forward to announcement of the Under 23 World Cup squad - which we know will again represent Australian Baseball with great distinction.

 

LINKS:

 

WORLD BASEBALL SOFTBALL CONFEDERATION NEWS

WBSC UNDER 23 MICROSITE

 

 

AUSTRALIAN UNDER 23 SQUAD:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images:   WBSC

Jack BARRIE

Ulrich BOJARSKI

Mitchell EDWARDS

Mitchell ELLIS

Jack ENCIONDO

Michael GAHAN

Robert GLENDINNING

Jake GREEN

Alex HALL

Mitchell HOLDING

Nicholas HUTCHINGS

Sam KENNELLY

Jason LOTT

Lachlan MADDEN

Jordan McARDLE

Zac SHEPHERD

Lochlan SOUTHEE

Aaron WHITEFIELD

Jess WILLIAMS

Jeremy YOUNG

Jackson BOYD

Ky HAMPTON

Chris HORNE

Josh RAWLINSON

 

Tony HARRIS

Shayne WATSON

Jason POSPISHIL

Luke PROKOPEC

Mark CHANDLER

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