Team Australia achieve best-ever World Cup finish
TEAM Australia ended their 2009 Baseball World Cup campaign on a high over the weekend; defeating Europe’s highest ranking team The Netherlands 4-1; and securing their best-ever ranking in World Cup competition.
Entering the tournament ranked 11 in the World, the Aussies recorded upset victories over Japan (World #3), Chinese Taipei (#5), The Netherlands (#6), Mexico (#7) and Canada (#8); while pushing Cuba (#1) and the USA (#4) to narrow 1-run defeats to reinforce their position amongst the international sporting elite.
Team Australia were assured of matching their best-ever result when they qualified for the 5th/6th position play-off against the Netherlands.
In their final game of the gruelling 3-week tournament; played in multiple venues across Europe; Team Australia has commenced proceedings against the Dutch with one-run first innings; Nick Kimpton scoring off a Luke Hughes right-field single.
The Dutch evened the scores with a run of their own in a 3-hit 3rd innings; the Aussies shutting down the rally with a double-play to end the innings.
Australia regained the ascendancy in the 7th, scoring 2 runs when a Dutch fielding error turned a right-field single from James Beresford into a run-scoring triple, bringing Andrew Graham home from first base on the error. Kimpton then drove in Beresford with a ground ball to centre-field to put the Aussies in the lead 3-1.
Stefan Welch put the icing on the cake with a 3rd pitch home-run in the 8th.
The Aussies conceded just two more hits in the remaining digs, securing the final six outs for a 5th place World finish.
The 2009 Baseball World Cup was won by the USA - who defeated Cuba 10-5 in the Final – which was played in Nettuno overnight.