Tag Archive | "Australia"

Australian Baseball League: Weekend Schedule and Standings


The Australian Baseball League is heading into the final stretch with just two weekends left before the playoffs begin. The Melbourne Aces have all but sown up the no. 1 seed in the playoffs needing just a win or a Canberra Cavalry loss. The Aces have a 6.5 game lead heading into the second to last weekend.

The bigger race at the moment is for the no. 2 and no. 3 seeds. Only two other teams after Melbourne will advance to play against each other in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of that best-of-3 series would then play the no. 1 seed in the final.

No team is quite fully out of it right now, but three teams are fighting for the last two playoff spots. Only two games separate the Canberra Cavalry, Adelaide Bite, and Brisbane Bandits. The rest of the league is just 3.5 games out of third place.

Melbourne is currently playing Adelaide this weekend with Adelaide already taking Game 1 in 11 innings last night. Perth (currently 12 games out of first) is taking on Brisbane this weekend with the Bandits taking Game 1 of the series as they try to keep pace with Adelaide and fight for one of the final two playoff spots.

Weekend ABL Schedule:

Thursday January 19th
Adelaide 4 at Melbourne 1 (11)
Perth 2 at Brisbane 3

Friday January 20th
Adelaide at Brisbane
Canberra at Sydney
Perth at Brisbane

Saturday January 21st
Canberra at Sydney (DH)
Adelaide at Melbourne
Perth at Brisbane

Sunday January 22nd
Adelaide at Melbourne
Perth at Brisbane
Canberra at Sydney

Current ABL Standings:

Club W L PCT GB Home Away L10 Streak
Melbourne Aces 24 9 .727 13-4 11-5 7-3 L1
Canberra Cavalry 17 15 .531 6.5 10-6 7-9 5-5 L1
Adelaide Bite 17 16 .515 7.0 9-7 8-9 5-5 W2
Brisbane Bandits 15 17 .469 8.5 8-8 7-9 6-4 W2
Sydney Blue Sox 12 19 .387 11.0 9-7 3-12 3-7 L1
Perth Heat 12 21 .364 12.0 8-8 4-13 5-5 L2

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2017 World Baseball Classic: A Look at Pool A & B


We are just seven weeks away from the first pitch in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. As teams finalize rosters, players will soon begin reporting to spring training where they will begin preparing for the  fourth installment of the tournament.

In 2013 the Dominican Republic finally dethroned the two-time champion Japanese. The Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico in the championship game 3-0.

Each of the four pools have at the very least three strong teams that will compete for the two spots in the second round. So let’s go pool by pool and see how the teams have fared in the past. Today we will look at Pool’s A and B, and tomorrow we will take a look at Pool’s C and D.

Pool A:

Israel – This is Israel’s first time participating in the World Baseball Classic. They qualified through the Brooklyn Qualifier late in 2016. The team went 3-0 in the qualifier defeating Great Britain twice, including 9-1 in the championship game, and Brazil once by a 1-0 score. Israel just missed the 2013 WBC by losing to Spain 9-7 in the championship of a qualifier. They look to surprise someone, and they will need to, to move on.

South Korea – Back for a fourth time, South Korea recently moved up to no. 3 on the WBSC World Rankings which is their highest ranking ever. They look to continue moving up the ranks with some huge wins at the WBC. Korea finished runner-up in 2009 to Japan for its highest finish so far.

Chinese Taipei – This is their fourth time in the tournament as well. Their highest finish so far has been to advance to Round 2 in 2013. They will be searching for their first medal in the tournament and will be poised to move onto Round 2 if they can get passed the Netherlands.

Netherlands – They might have been the surprise of the tournament last go around finishing fourth. This is their fourth venture into the tournament and they look to improve on their high finish last time. They will have a strong showing but will have to defeat either South Korea or Chinese Taipei to move on.

Pool B

Japan – With two titles under their belt they are the most accomplished team in the tournament by far. Ranked no. 1 in the WBSC World Rankings, Japan will look to return to the top spot they lost last time out. A third place finish in 2013 would have been seen as a good thing for any team, except maybe the two-time defending champions. Look for a strong showing from them once again.

Cuba – Once the power in international tournaments, Cuba still has the power to make a run deep in this tournament. Their highest finish was a runner-up in 2006 in the inaugural event. Since then they have not advanced out of Round 2. I look for them to once again advance to Round 2, but go no further even though they are capable.

Australia – This is the wild card team in Pool B to me. If they can get passed a good Cuba team, they can advance to Round 2, which they have never done in the past. They had to get to this point by winning a qualifier, which they did quite easily. However, they just get passed Cuba or stun Japan to advance.

China – This is China’s fourth appearance in the tourney. They have never gotten out of Round 1 in the past but have made strides and have won at least one game in the past two tournaments. They might shock someone and hurt a team’s chances to advance by picking up a win like they did to Chinese Taipei in 2009.

Check back tomorrow for a quick look at the other two pools and soon we will start going over rosters as some of them are announced to see just how far they might be able to go.

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Australia Wins Inaugural U-12 Oceania Baseball Championship


HAGATNA, Guam – Australia, ranked no. 11 in the world, defeated an unranked Guam 18-0 to claim the first ever U-12 Oceania Baseball Championship. The win qualified Australia for the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup in 2017 to be played in Tainan, Taiwan this coming July and August.

Guam, American Samoa, and Australia battled it out in a double-elimination tournament played at Guerrero Field in the capital of Guam.

Guam opened the tournament with a surprise win over Australia 11-5. Then later on had Australia on the brink of elimination before losing 10-9 on an extra-inning, walk-off win that forced the winner-take-all final game.

Joining Australia in Taiwan will be Germany and Czech Republic from Europe. Mexico, Nicaragua, Brazil, and the United States qualified from the Americas, while Japan, Chinese Taipei, and Korea will come out of Asia to compete. The final two spots in the tournament are yet to be decided. Africa will have one representative and there will be a wild card to fill.

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Groups Unveiled for the U12 Baseball World Cup


The World Baseball Softball Confederation announced the groups for the upcoming U12 Baseball World Cup to take place in Taiwan later this summer. Twelve teams will compete for the title that the US will defend after winning the 2013 edition of the tournament in Taiwan.

The top four nations will compete in the event with the top two, Japan and the USA, competing in the same group for the first stage.

Group A
1. Cuba (World No. 3)
2. Chinese Taipei (No. 4)
3. South Korea (No. 8)
4. Venezuela (No. 10)
5. Brazil (No. 15)
6. Russia (No. 32)

Group B
1. Japan (No. 1)
2. USA (No. 2; Defending U12 World Champions)
3. Mexico (No. 12)
4. Australia (No. 14)
5. Nicaragua (No. 16)
6. France (No. 27)

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Australia: Perth Heat Claim Second Straight Title; Fourth in Five Years


After a thrilling three game series the Perth Heat win its second consecutive ABL Championship. In winning another Claxton Shield, Perth did so in big fashion over the Adelaide Bite.

Adelaide won the first game in the most dramatic fashion. Perth took a 2-0 lead after single runs in the first and fourth, the Bite came back in huge fashion.

Leading off the bottom of the seventh was Stefan Welch. And here is what happened.

With the back-to-back-to-back home runs from Welch, Tom Brice, and Mitch Dening Adelaide took Game 1.

Game 1 Full Box Score

Game 3 was another thriller as Perth won in extra innings for force a final Game 3. Adelaide tied the game up in bottom of the seventh where the score would stay until Perth scored two in the top of the tenth to even the series. Matt Kennelly (1-for-3) and Brian Pointer (1-for-1) hit back-to-back home runs in the third for Perth giving the Heat a 2-1 lead.

Stefan Welch (2-for-4) homered for a second straight day in the first inning giving Adelaide a short lived 1-0 lead. Chris Adamson (1-for-4) homered to lead off the seventh.

With the score tied and one on in the top of the tenth, Rene Tosoni was hit by a pitch putting two runners on for Allan de San Miguel (1-for-5) who doubled in both Tosoni and Luke Hughes.

Game 2 Full Box Score

The Perth Heat jumped out on top of Adelaide in Game 3 by scoring two runs in the first and four more in the second. That was all they would need in a 12-5 win to claim their second straight Claxton Shield.

Tim Kennelly (2-for-6), Tim Smith (2-for-4), and Luke Hughes (3-for-6) all homered for Perth in the win. Both Kennelly and Hughes drove in three runs in the win. Mike McCarthy picked up the win in relief going 3.1 scoreless innings while striking out seven.

Mitch Dening had a huge day at the plate for the Bite. He went 4-for-4 with a pair of solo home runs and scored three runs. Craig Maddox (2-for-4) also homered hitting a three-run home run in the fourth inning. Wilson Lee only lasted 1.2 innings taking the loss for the Bite giving up five runs on four hits.

This was Perth’s fourth title in the five year existence of the newly formed ABL.

Photo Courtesy ABL/Perth Heat

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Australia: Grant Balfour to be Inducted into Hall of Fame


Baseball Australia has announced that Grant Balfour will be inducted into the Australia Baseball Hall of Fame.

Balfour has spent ten years in the major leagues with four different teams most notably the Oakland A’s where he racked up 38 saves in 2013. He will be inducted under the category of Outstanding International Career, and his induction is being moved up due to special circumstances.

To read more about his induction, Trish Quayle wrote a nice article for Baseball Australia that you can read by clicking here.

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Australia: Perth Back in Championship Series to face Adelaide


The Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat blew by the Sydney Blue Sox on Saturday by a score of 9-2 to win the 2015 ABL Preliminary Final series advancing to the championship series for the fifth year. The Heat swept the series 2-0 after winning 5-4 Friday night.

Warwick Saupold pitched well for Perth going 4.1 innings allowing no runs on five hits while striking out seven. He did not pitch enough to pick up the win but he led the way. Scott Mitchinson picked up the win in relief giving up two runs in 1.2 innings of work. Daniel Schmidt, Ben Shorto, and Mike McCarthy finished off the game all going a scoreless inning.

Offensively Luke Hughes scored twice, Tim Smith went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI, and Rene Tosoni led the way with three hits driving in a pair.

The series win sets up a Perth Heat versus Adelaide Bite championship series set to start February 6. The series will take place at Norwood Oval in Adelaide after the Bite became just the second team in league history to win 30 or more games during the regular season finishing up at 32-16.

The two teams split their first series against one another way back in November in Adelaide. They faced off again in January with Perth winning three of four finishing the season series with a 5-3 record against Adelaide.

The Championship Series will be carried live on ESPN Australia/NZ and worldwide on MLB Network and Fox Sports Asia.

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Australia: Adelaide Leading League Standings


Halfway through Week 11 of the Australian Baseball League season the Adelaide Bite have a strong five game lead over the Perth Heat. These two teams are facing each other this weekend in Perth with the Heat taking the first two games so far.

There is only two more weeks left after this weekend in the schedule before the playoffs start. The good thing for Adelaide is they finish the final two weeks with two series against the last place Melbourne Aces. The rest of the league is fighting for playoff positioning. Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, and Sydney are all within two games of each other.

Aaron Miller is having a great season for Adelaide. He leads the league in several offensive categories including average (.389), hits (56), total bases (101), runs (37), on base (.444), slugging (.701), and is second in home runs (12). Another player having a nice season is former MLB outfielder Trent Oeltjen who is hitting .309 with 6 home runs, and 29 RBI for the Sydney Blue Sox.

On the hill, Tim Atherton is having a great season for Canberra. Through ten starts he is 6-0 with an ERA of just 2.21. For Adelaide Morgan Coombs is having a nice season on the mound. Through eleven games (nine starts) he is 6-1 with a 2.32 ERA and has one save.

Current ABL Standings:

1. Adelaide Bite 25-13
2. Perth Heat 20-18
3. Brisbane Bandits 19-19
4. Canberra Cavalry 19-19
5. Sydney Blue Sox 18-20
6. Melbourne Aces 13-25

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Australia: Justin Huber Announces Retirement and Last Game


Justin Huber has decided to call it quits on the playing field. In an email sent to Melbourne Ace members, the 14-year professional stressed the importance of telling the Aces most loyal fans. He announced that his last game on the field will be Saturday January 24th.

Huber has played five seasons in the ABL hitting a total of 21 home runs over that time and helped the Aces make the 2011-2012 ABL Championship Series. Along with playing in his home country, Huber played in the two highest professional leagues playing in the MLB for parts of every season from 2005-2009 before leaving for Japan and the NPB in 2010.

So far this season in the ABL Huber is hitting .289 with 2 home runs. Huber’s best season in the ABL came in the 2011-2012 campaign when he hit .348 with 6 home runs and 26 RBI.

Huber is not done with baseball altogether. He will take over as the Melbourne Aces general manager, a role that has been vacant since Windsor Knox stepped down before the season.

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Australia: A Fan’s Trip to See Every ABL Stadium


I am a huge fan of road trips. When you add in sports it makes it even better. A lifelong dream of mine is to visit every MLB stadium in a summer. A few years back I got to go to every KBO stadium in a season (they have since added a new one and another is on the way). I am not sure how I ran across the story (I think it was the BallparkChasers Facebook page), but it is one I am definitely following.

Kirsten Richards is a native Australian who is embarking on a huge road trip across the great nation to visit all of the Australian Baseball League teams. It’s a good 3,300 mile trip (5,300 km) and remember it is summer there too so its not like she is traveling in cool fall weather.

I’m a bit jealous. After the ABL was reborn a few years ago I have been wanting to get down there and see a game, or two, or three, or six. I don’t know why but I’ve found myself following the Sydney Blue Sox (mainly because of their pitching) but they have yet to win a title. The league intrigues me and I have often listened and watched via the internet.

If you want to follow along with her trip (its in its early stages) check out her blog at Wishing for Boston. She just posted about the first game she saw recently and has been posting about the other sites she is seeing across Australia.

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Australia: Brisbane Leads League Early in ABL Season


Through the first five weeks of the Australian Baseball League season, the Brisbane Bandits are leading the league with a 12-8 record. The Adelaide Bite are just a half game back at 10-7 with Sydney being the only other team with a winning record at 11-9.

Some of the hottest hitters so far early in the season are Craig Maddox who leads the league in hitting at a .425 clip. The Bite catcher is second in the league in doubles with seven while leading the league in both on base percentage (.511) and OPS at 1.336. Mitch Denning has found his power swing in Adelaide as well hitting seven home runs to tie for the early lead in the league. This matches his total for the past three seasons in the ABL (0, 5, and 2). Denning is tied with Kellin Deglan. This is Deglan’s first year in the league. Canberra’s Jack Murphy is also having a good season early on hitting .411 (2nd in the league).

On the pitching side of things Tim Atherton is back with Canberra and having a great season so far. Already 4-0, Atherton is leading the league in ERA at a 1.23 clip through twenty-two innings. Sydney’s Markus Solbach has also been strong on the mound. After a lackluster shortened season with Melbourne a year ago, Solbach has positioned himself as one of the top starters in the league. Through 34.1 innings, Solbach is 4-0 with a 2.36 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.

Australian Baseball League Standings:

1. Brisbane Bandits 12-8
2. Adelaide Bite 10-7
3. Sydney Blue Sox 11-9
4. Canberra Cavalry 8-9
5. Perth Heat 8-9
6. Melbourne Aces 5-12

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Australia Releases Final Roster to Face Diamondbacks and Dodgers


Baseball Australia has announced the final roster for the team that will meet the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket Ground on March 20 and March 21. The team, newly named Southern Thunder, is led by MLB pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith (Arizona Diamondbacks) and former MLB outfielder Trent Oeltjen (Sydney Blue Sox).

Joining Oeltjen in the lineup will be power hitting Stefan Welch (Boston Red Sox) and Mike Walker (Milwaukee Brewers). The team features several other players with MLB experience including Luke Hughes and Justin Huber.

The Southern Thunder will take on the Dodgers on Thursday March 20th before taking on the Diamondbacks on Friday March 21st.

1-top-roster
1-bottom-roster

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Baseball Australia Announces 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees


There will be three new inductees into the Baseball Australia Hall of Fame in 2014.

The Baseball Australia Hall of Fame started in 2005 and recognizes players and coaches who have had an impact on the game of baseball at the highest level. The inductees must be of good character and have never brought the game into disrepute.

The Hall has seven eras of classification starting with Pre 1900. It continues with 1900 to 1918, 1919 to 1946 (start of American influence and the Claxton Shield), 1947 to 1967 (post war), 1968 to 1988 (Asia influence), 1989 to 1999 (first ABL), and 2000 to the present.

2014 Baseball Australia Hall of Fame Inductees:

  • Phil Alexander, South Australia.  Category:  Playing 1968 – 1988
  • Kaye Greenham, Western Australia.  Category:  Playing 1947 – 1967
  • Brendan Kingman, New South Wales.  Category: Playing 1989 – 1999 & 2000 onwards

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Australia: ABL to Hold First Supplemental Draft


The Australian Baseball League holds its first supplemental draft for the 2013/14 season on Thursday. The six clubs will have a pool of players from Australia, the US, and other places to choose from.

The new season begins on Thursday October 31st as the Canberra Cavalry start the defense of their title against the Melbourne Aces.

For more information visit TheABL.com where you can read Tyle Maun’s article detailing the draft.

2012/13 Australian Baseball League Standings:

1. *Canberra Cavalry 27-19
2. Sydney Blue Sox 26-19
3. Perth Heat 25-21
4. Brisbane Bandits 23-22
5. Adelaide Bite 21-25
6. Melbourne Aces 15-31

*Won ABL Title after defeating the Perth Heat in the championship

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Texas Rangers to Hold Fundraiser for Christopher Lane Memorial Fund


Nearly a month has passed since the tragic death of Australian baseball player Christopher Lane was maliciously murdered by “bored” teens.

There have been numerous benefits set up to honor the teen who was playing college ball in Oklahoma. And now another is being set up by the Texas Rangers.

The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and the Wives Club are going to hold a special fundraiser during a game with the Angels on September 28th. Part of the proceeds will go toward the Christopher Lane Memorial Fund.

The fund was set up by friends and the Essendon Baseball Club of Australia to help pay for funeral and travel costs to repatriate Christopher. However, the fund raised over $150,000 and will now create an ongoing legacy using the raised funds.

During the Rangers fundraiser fans will be able to purchase grab bags for $50, $100, or $200 that will contain autographed items from Rangers players. In addition to the grab bags, a silent auction is being set up for autographed jerseys of Australian born players Travis Blackley and the A’s Grant Balfour.

For more information you can visit TexasRangers.com.

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Memorial Fund for Slain Australian Baseball Player Chris Lane Set Up


Recently we wrote about an Australian baseball player shot at random , Chris Lane, by three teens in a small town in Oklahoma.

Lane, a 22-year old student, was here in the USA to earn his college degree and play baseball. He was in Duncan, Oklahoma visiting his girlfriend and her family before returning to school to start the new semester when he was shot at random by three teenagers.

It was first reported that the three teenagers did it because they were bored. There is another story coming out speculating that it might have been a gang initiation for the three teens who will now be tried in an adult court. It is still not clear why they decided to shot Lee in the back while he was jogging.

A friend of the family set up a fund to help support the parents travel to the US to bring their son home. The goal of that fund already has been overwhelmingly surpassed. The fund now sits at $130,000 and had an original goal of just $15,000.

The story has obviously touched the heart of so many and the support has been great even though I’d love to see more in the media.

You can also donate to the cause. The money will go toward paying for funeral expenses with all leftover money put into a foundation that will make donations to organizations in need. You can find the donation page below. Every little bit helps and will go to those in need.

Chris Lane was only chasing his dream of playing baseball and getting his college degree. Now we can only hope that this story and the foundation that is created will help others make the correct decision and chase their dreams.

A reminder too that the Essendon Baseball Club is also holding a memorial game this Sunday. As well, Australian baseball player Glenn Williams and Baseball NSW have set up an online auction to raise funds as well to be donated to the Chris Lane memorial fund. Items include signed hats and baseballs and are being auctioned off on eBay (Australia) for the next 10 days. Links to the items are below.

Johan Santana Signed Hat

David Nilsson Signed Ball

Graeme Lloyd Signed Ball

Justin Huber Signed Ball

Glenn Williams Signed Ball

Glenn Williams Signed Helmet

Hideki Okajima Signed Glove

If you can, please donate to the Chris Lane Memorial Fund. All money will go toward paying for the funeral expenses and anything over those cost will be donated to charity in his name. Every little bit helps.

Chris Lane Memorial Fund Donation Page

 Photo by Reuters

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Australian Baseball Player Chris Lane Killed by “Bored” Teens


In what was a senseless and uncalled for incident, three young men shot and killed Australian baseball player Chris Lane. Lane was just 22.

Lane was in Duncan, Oklahoma last Friday afternoon visiting his girlfriend and her family. He was out for a run on the streets of Duncan when he passed a house with three boys sitting on the porch. The boys then decided Lane would be their target and followed him in a car in order to shot him.

Why did they do it? They said they were bored.

The kids, and I do mean kids as the oldest was only 17, were in what was called a “wanna be gang”. Earlier they had killed an animal and stepped up their murder to people when they saw Lane jogging by.

Lane, a student from Melbourne, was attending college in the US on a scholarship at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. Lane was entering his senior year at the university where he started at catcher for 14 games last season.

Lane’s former club team in Australia is holding a memorial game this Sunday August 25th.

For more information on the Chris Lane Memorial Game or if you would like to donate to the Christopher Lane Memorial Fund, please visit the Essendon Baseball Club Website.

Photo: Essendon Baseball Club

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Melbourne Aces Second Baseman Goes Bowling with Baseballs; Picks Up 7-10 Split


Melbourne Aces second baseman Scott Wearne bowls with baseballs. He didn’t pick up a strike,but he did something even more impressive. He picked up a 7-10 split with two balls in one throw. Real or fake? Either way its a pretty impressive video.

I’ll let you be the judge and please comment below and let us know what you think.

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Australia: Brisbane Bandits Move to Holloway Field for Upcoming Season


The Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League are moving to a new home for the 2013/2014 season. They will now call Holloway Field home after spending the first three years at RNA Showgrounds.

Holloway Field offers many upgrades for Bandits fans. They will now be closer to the action, have better catering options, and the location might be the best part. Fans will now be able to easily access the stadium via car, train, bicycle, bus, or even on foot.

Plus Holloway Field is historic in Queensland, Australia. Over the years the field has seen Claxton Shield contests and gives the team a baseball only facility.

The field opened in 1964 and has long been the home to the Windsor Royals Sports Club. It was refurbished in 1982 and again in 1986.

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USA 18U to Play Exhibition Games Against Chinese Taipei and Australia before 18U Baseball World Cup


The XXVI 18U Baseball World Cup starts at the end of August in Taichung, Chinese Taipei. The defending champion USA announced they will play three exhibition games before the tournament starts.

Team USA will play twice against Chinese Taipei on August 26 and 27. In their final warm up game, they will face Australia on August 28. The 18U Baseball World Cup starts on August 30 and runs through September 8.

The USA will face off with South Korea, Colombia, Italy, Cuba, and Australia during the pool play in Round 1 of the Baseball World Cup. The teams participating in the other pool will be Japan, Canada, Mexico, Czech Republic, Venezuela, and host Chinese Taipei.

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Major League Baseball Opens 2014 Season in Sydney, Australia


For the first time in MLB history, the season will open up in Australia come 2014 when the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks open the season in Sydney.

The two-game series will take place at the Sydney Cricket Ground on March 22-23.

Both teams will open the doors to their training schedule as they will be in Australia for six days but play only two games.

This is a huge deal for Australia where baseball is slowly growing. There have been 31 Australian Major Leaguers over the years, and one currently plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Peter Moylan.

The Australian Baseball League was reborn during the 2010-2011 season. The league consists of six teams spread out around the country with one in Sydney.

The Major League games will take place after the 2013-2014 ABL season which runs from November to February. This will only hope to keep the baseball game growing both helping the ABL and the Australian National Team.

What it is guaranteed to help is the economy in Sydney. Bringing in money and improvements to the Sydney Cricket Ground which will be renovated to meed Major League standings prior to the opening series.

The games will also take place during the 100th anniversary of an exhibition game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Giants that took place at the same venue.

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Baseball and Softball South Australia Receives $2 Million Grant


Baseball and softball in South Australia secured a grant of $2 million to use toward facility development.

The grant will help with the expansion and refurbishment of the Softball SA West Beach facility. Baseball South Australia will work with the Australian Baseball League and the Adelaide Bite to help provide a facility that can meet the needs of using the facility for professional games.

Complete Press Release from the Australian Baseball Federation

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WBC: Netherlands Eliminate Australia Behind Strong Outing from Cordemans


Cordemans Helps Orange Eliminate Australia

By Gabriel Fidler (@gabrielfidler)

Robbie Cordemans hurled five shutout innings for the Netherlands and Jonathan Schoop hit a two-run homer in a 4-1 victory over Australia. The Dutch team all but bought their ticket to second round action in Tokyo with the victory, while the Aussies were relegated to the qualifying rounds.

The Dutch offence would give Cordemans the early cushion and their starter would make it hold. Andrelton Simmons led off the first with a booming double into the left field corner and was bunted to third by Schoop. Roger Bernadina rapped a single up the middle to drive him in, and the Netherlands were up by one.

An inning later, Curt Smith started things going for the Netherlands with a safety to left centre. Dashenko Ricardo laid down a bunt to move him over, but beat it out, advancing to second on a wild throw by Australian starter Dushan Ruzic. Simmons would drive Smith home on a grounder, but the Dutch were not finished.

Schoop took a 2-0 pitch from Ruzic and deposited it over the left centre field fence for a 4-0 lead, which was more than Cordemans would need. The blast would force Ruzic from the game after he got Bernadina for the third out.

With the Orange offence in charge, Cordemans kept the pressing Australian hitters off-balance for five complete innings. Using a deceptive changeup, the right-hander allowed only one baserunner to make it to third and gave up two hits while sending three down swinging. He struck out two of the last three hitters he faced, using only 67 pitches.

After Ruzic exited, Australian manager Jon Deeble inserted game one starter Chis Oxspring in relief of Ruzic. Oxspring was just what the Baseballroos needed to keep the win within sight. The southpaw battled through his first two innings before settling down, showing his veteran experience in the third and fourth.

With the Dutch eager to blow open the game, they loaded the bases with one out in Oxspring’s first frame, starting with a double by Wladimir Balentien. After struggling with his control to the first four batters, the Aussie pitcher induced a double play grounder to third to end the frame.

In the fourth, Oxspring had difficulty finding the strike zone to the leadoff hitter Randolph Oduber, losing him on a walk and bobbling a sacrifice bunt by Simmons to put runners on first and second with no outs. But first baseman Mike Walker made a good play on another Schoop bunt and got the lead runner at third. Oxspring then took over, striking out Bernadina looking and getting Balentien, the cleanup hitter, on a foul pop fly to get out of the jam.

Oxspring pitched five frames out of the ‘pen, retiring seven in-a-row at one point, starting the run with another double play. He walked four, but only surrendered a single hit, leaving after the seventh inning.

The green-and-yellow had their best chance to draw the game even in the seventh. David Bergman, like Cordemans an ace in the Honkbal Hoofdklasse (the top league in the Netherlands), gave up a leadoff double to Welch, who blasted the seventh pitch of the at bat into the right field corner. Bergman got the next two outs before giving way to Jonathan Balentina, who hit pinch hitter Corey Adamson with his only pitch.

Top Orange reliever Leon Boyd game in to get the Netherlands out of the predicament, but gave up a RBI single to Brad Harman. It was the Aussie second baseman’s first hit of the tournament. Boyd got out of the inning by striking out former major leaguer Chris Snelling.

Xander Bogaerts had his first-ever international hit, a double, to lead off the eighth. Andrew Russell, who came in for Oxspring, stranded him on three straight ground balls, and Australia had one final chance.

Dutch closer Loek Van Mil came in to finish off things, but gave up back-to-back one out hits to Walker and Adamson. Harman almost stole player-of-the-game honours from Cordemans with a blast off the 7-foot-1 hurler, but the long fly ball landed in the glove of Oduber in left field.

A palpable sigh of relief settled across the diamond, and Van Mil struck out the final hitter of the inning to earn the save and all but assure that the Netherlands will be joining Japan and Cuba in the second round of the Classic.

Cordemans ran his WBC shutout streak to 11 2/3 innings and earned his first-ever victory in the tourney. Bergman got five outs, giving up a run on two hits with no strikeouts and Boyd tossed 1 1/3, allowing two safeties and a base on balls. Van Mil closed things out with the scoreless ninth. Ruzic took the loss for the green-and-yellow.

Eight different players had a single hit for the Netherlands, which collected four extra base hits. The Orange struck out only once against Aussie pitching. Simmons had his third double and scored a run and Andruw Jones raised his average to .429, reaching base twice.

Walker was the only batter with two hits for Australia. He batted .455 in the tournament, one of few bright spots for a listless Aussie offence. For the third-straight game, the Australians could not get anything going from their bats, stranding eight batters in scoring position. The team was 1-for-8 with runners on second or third.

China fails to advance to the second round, but will avoid the WBC qualifying rounds. Australia will have a long road back to the Classic as it will enter the qualifiers for the first time. Stay tuned for more previews, recaps, and analysis of the 2013 Classic and the round to the 2017 WBC.

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WBC: Australia vs the Netherlands Pitching Match Up


This is the last game for both teams and a huge one for the Netherlands. If they lose, they could be out of the second round. However, with a win they might advance depending on the other game of the day.

So let’s take a look at who each team will send to the hill to start.

Australia

Dushan Ruzic will get the start today for Team Australia. The right-hander was originally signed by the Florida Marlins in 2005. He got as high as Double-A with the Cincinnati Reds organization before moving on to pitch in Europe.

Ruzic has some experience with the Netherlands having pitched in the Dutch Major League from 2008-2010. He has also pitched internationally in Italy and this past off season in the Australian Baseball League for the Adelaide Bite where he went 5-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 73.2 innings.

He pitched in relief in Game 1 coming in to pitch 1.1 innings against Chinese Taipei. He allowed just one hit and one walk during that time.

Netherlands

Rob Cordemans will get the start for the Dutch. The right-handed starter has been one of the top pitchers in the Dutch Major League for years. He has been named the top pitcher of the league seven times.

In 2012, he pitched for the Amsterdam Pirates and was named MVP after posting a 10-1 record with an ERA of just 0.22 over 80.2 innings of work.

Cordemans has extensive international experience having participated in four Olympics, seven World Cups, and the past two World Baseball Classics. He has pitched 9.1 innings over four games (one start) at the WBC and allowed just two runs on six hits.

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