The Junior Steelers bounced back from a tough loss to claim a hard fought victory over WBSC U18 Men’s World Cup tournament hosts New Zealand 2-0.
In what was the final hit-out before Australia takes on Japan in the Gold Medal Game, the traditional Trans-Tasman rivals played out a thrilling encounter with national pride on the line.
Such was the level of competition, neither team to take advantage early with the scoreboard only troubled until the bottom of the sixth.
It was a matter of who would make the first error with the Kiwis blinking first in the standoff, Jeremy Garland racing home off a passed ball to open the Steelers account late.
The Black Sox then had a brain fade in the infield as the Aussies scored again off a simple error to lead 2-0 into the seventh.
Boston Lowe assumed pitching duties for the Junior Steelers in the game and did a brilliant job to keep their opponents off the board through seven innings.
Lowe had five strikeouts and just the single hit coming in the final inning to keep a clean sheet for Australia as they now look to win back-to-back world titles in Sunday’s Gold Medal game.
The Final is a replay from the 2018 World Championship played in Canada where the Junior Steelers emerged victorious against Japan.
They’ll take to the diamond in preparation for the first pitch at 2:00pm AEDT.
Catch the livestream on the WBSC YouTube page.