Junior Steelers take a step closer to medal

The Junior Steelers and Mexico shake hands after their game. Picture courtesy of Lindy Rattigan

Junior Steelers take a step closer to medal

Under 19 World Championship Day Five:

Australia 5, Mexico 1

Australia’s Junior Steelers are a step closer to a medal after an emphatic victory over Mexico in the Under 19 World Championship in Midland, Michigan.

Josh McGovern had two triples and drove in three runs as the Junior Steelers won 5-1 in the first elimination round.

The Australians got it done with bat and ball, with some timely hitting and two pitchers who did not allow an earned run.

Australia scored first when Jett Wright led off the second inning with a triple and came home on a wild pitch. Mexico tied it up with an unearned run in the top of the third.

The Junior Steelers took the lead in the bottom of the third after Nicholas Moore walked, Cleary singled and McGovern drove in two with his first triple to make the score 3-1.

From that moment they were never headed, thanks to strong pitching. Starter Chris Gillies allowed three hits and an unearned run in 2.1 innings, striking out four and walking two. Shaun Lanaghan have up just one hit while striking out eight and walking none in his 4.2 innings of relief.

Blake Jackson led off the fifth inning with a single, was sacrificed to second and stole third. As it turned out, the bunt and steal weren’t needed — Jackson scored on McGovern’s second triple of the game.

While Mexico didn’t look threatening after that, the Australians were not finished scoring. In the sixth inning, Adam Talarico and Blake Bell singled, with Talarico scoring on a wild pitch to give his team a 5-1 lead.

Any chance of a late Mexican comeback was erased by Lanaghan, who pitched a three-up-three-down final inning.

Australia’s next opponent will be the loser of today’s game between Argentina and New Zealand.