Future looks bright for Aussie baseballers
13 September 2017
BASEBALL: Despite a disappointing final day loss to the USA, the Australian U18 World Cup team matched it with #1 ranked teams, claimed historic victories and made themselves, their coaching staff and their country proud.
The opening round began with a tight 4-1 loss to eventual silver medallists Korea, however that loss was quickly erased as Australia went on a winning streak. Victories over Italy and Nicaragua put the team in a great position, but it wasn't until the Chinese Taipei game that the momentum was really on the green and wattle's side.
Ky Hampton tossed the first complete game shutout in the 2017 edition of the U18 World Cup, and in turn, but his team in the box seat for qualification to the Super Round.
The final game of the opening round saw Australia come up against a tough Canadian outfit, and eventually the team came away with a loss. However calculations from the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) meant despite that loss, Australia qualify for the super round and play for a medal.
South Australian young gun Ky Hampton made a name for himself at the U18 World Cup. The 16 year old threw a complete game against one of the best teams in the world, then against the USA, he claimed what many people saw as the catch of the tournament on a line drive comebacker. Ky will look to build on a solid rookie campaign for the Adelaide Bite in the Australian Baseball League in season 2017/18.
Australia's opening game of the Super Round saw them take on Japan, with the entire baseball world taking notice. An extra innings loss was heartbreaking, but the determination and desire of the entire team was to be commended. Against a team full of future Japanese all-stars who'll sign for astronomical amounts of money, the Australian team never gave in.
Jack O'Loughlin lead the team to a 3-0 victory over #5 ranked Cuba, a win which gave so many Australian baseball fans so much pleasure after the events of the World Baseball Classic.
The team's final game of the tournament came against the USA, with the eventual world champion coming out on top, 9-0.
Despite that loss, Australia has gained many more fans for the way they play the game on an international stage, and valuable WBSC World Ranking points.
The WBSC has yet to release their updated rankings, however a significant increase in points may see Australia push past their already historic ranking of 8th.
The 'World Cup' season is over for another year, with our U15 and U23 teams vying for the Title of World Champion in 2018.
2017 U18 BASEBALL WORLD CUP FINAL STANDINGS
7. Chinese Taipei
12. South Africa