Defending champs overpower Junior Steelers

A picturesque setting for the Australia v Argentina game in Midland, Michigan.

Defending champs overpower Junior Steelers

Argentina 9, Australia 1

Australia’s Junior Steelers were given a rude initiation to the 2016 Junior Men’s World Championship when they came up against two-time defending champions Argentina.

Playing their first game of the tournament in Midland, Michigan after the scheduled opening game against Venezuela was cancelled, the Junior Steelers were beaten 9-1 in five innings by the Argentinians, who were playing their third game after an opening-day win against the USA and an earlier victory over Denmark.

Alex Cleary

Alex Cleary steals a base against Argentina.

The Australians managed seven base hits, with Alex Cleary and Josh McGovern each getting two. Luke Thomas, Adam Talarico and James Purcell were the others to hit safely.

Australia’s lone run came in the third inning, when Cleary led off with a single and scored on McGovern’s line-drive double to right field.

Argentina got busy from the start, scoring three runs in the first inning, two in the second and four in the third. The only inning in which they failed to score was ther fourth, when Junior Steeler pitcher Shaun Lanaghan shut them down.

Lanaghan was the most effective of the Australian pitchers, finishing with 1.1 innings and did not allow a hit or a walk, striking out one.

Starting pitcher Chris Gillies threw 1.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits, with no walks and one strikeout. Reliever Luke Ollerenshaw also pitched 1.1 innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits and a walk, with one strikeout.

Australia’s biggest problem was Argentina’s starting pitcher Julian Fernandez. Not only did Fernandez dominate with the ball, he also put in a powerful offensive performance, with three hits including a double and a triple. Fernandez, Nicolas Isa and Teo Migliavacca combined for eight hits and six RBIs.

The Junior Steelers play a double header tomorrow. First up is the Czech Republic at 2am AEST, then Denmark in a game scheduled for 9am AEST.

Australian U19 Men’s Softball Team

Blake Bell (NSW) Michael Ludkin (Qld) Dylan Sheehan (Qld)
Alexander Cleary (Qld) (Vice Captain) Joshua McGovern (ACT) (Captain) Adam Talarico (Vic)
Brennan Dempsey (Qld) Nicholas Moore (Qld) Luke Thomas (Qld)
Chris Gillies (NSW) Luke Ollerenshaw (NSW) (Vice Captain) Mitchell Woodworth (Qld)
Blake Jackson (NSW) James Purcell (Qld) Jett Wright (WA)
Shaun Lanaghan (NSW) Izack Rossi (NSW)

Head Coach Laing Harrow
Assistant Coaches Darren Hebditch
  Adam Rindfleish
Team Manager Maxine Cleary
Statistician Lindy Rattigan
Physio Aminda Huynh
Umpire Richard Barrow