The Junior Steelers are off to the perfect start at the WBSC U18 Men’s Softball World Cup winning their opening game against the Czech Republic 4-3.
After a short delay due to rain in Palmerston, New Zealand, the Aussies wasted no time in putting a run on the board through a Boston Lowe double, taking a 1-0 lead following the first inning.
The Czechs hit back in the top of the third to put two runs on of their own before Australian captain Riley James was able to equalize in the bottom of the inning off Caleb Van De Griendt’s single in the bottom of the fourth.
Kynan Molander placed a drive down third baseline to get in a scoring position in the bottom of the fifth, Josh Banks later pushing him home with a double down third baseline of his own to re-gain the lead 3-2.
The Steelers kept the Czech’s scoreless in the top of the sixth and after skipper James got himself to third off an interference ruling, the Aussies were in a strong position to secure a two-run lead and did just that after a Hayden Shaw single.
Pitcher Jack Besgrove was entrusted to close out the game for Australia and held his nerve after the Czechs came to within one run to ice the game 4-3.
The remaining schedule for the Australians in the Opening Round are as follows, all times AEDT. All games will be livestreamed on the WBSC Facebook page.