Author: Anonym/Tuesday, 14 October 2014/Categories: News, Southern Thunder, 21U Mens, E-News

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Article by Trish Quayle

Update 15 October 14:  The amount of pros on the team increased to eighteen (18) with the news of LHP Travis McDonald signing with the Cincinnati Reds.
24 October 14: Jacob Younis replaced Sam Kennelly in the roster due to injury. 
30 October 14: Aaron Thompson replaced Travis McDonald in the roster due to injury. 

Baseball Australia are pleased to announce the roster for the 21U national men’s team that will represent Australia at the first ever 21U Baseball World Cup. The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) event will take place from 7 to 16 November in Taiwan, Taichung, with eleven (11) nations competing.

Australia’s twenty four (24) man roster features eighteen (18) players who are currently under professional contract with Major League Baseball (MLB) clubs, including 2012 Youth Player of the Year Zac Shepherd (Detroit Tigers), and the youngest of the talented WA Kennelly family Sam (Pittsburg Pirates).

Although named a 21U event, the rules allow teams to carry six (6) players aged twenty-three (23) and under on the rosters, but can only have a maximum of three (3) in the line-up at the same time.

Australia has taken advantage of this rule by bringing in five (5) older pitchers; Aaron Sookee, Wilson Lee, Travis McDonald, Sam Street, Todd Van Steensel, and outfielder Ben Lodge, to stabilise the young club.

Manager Tony Harris said this is an exciting ball club that has come together for this new event: 

“These ball players are young but we have a depth of pro ball guys that will help to build our game around pitching and defense. Our best players have made themselves available and as a team we have the opportunity to position ourselves well and be competitive at this event” said Manager Harris.

The stakes are somewhat higher for Australia, currently ranked fifteen (15) in the World, as this is the final competition to determine the twelve (12) qualifying teams for the "Premier 12" flagship pro-player international event to be launched in 2015. Only seventy-two (72) points separate No. 11 Italy from No. 15 Australia, and with 100 points awarded to the 21U champion, teams will be looking for top performances to secure their “Premier 12” position. 

The team will go into camp in Sydney on Saturday 1 November before flying out for Taichung on 5 November. Australia opens up their round-robin play against World ranked number two (2) Japan on Friday 7 November at 12:30pm (local time), 2:30pm AEST.

Group A  Group B
Chinese Taipei (No. 4) Australia (No.15)
Czech Republic (No. 26) Japan (No. 2)
Italy (No. 11) Netherlands (No.5) 
Mexico (No. 13) Nicaragua (No. 28)
New Zealand (No. 25) Venezuela (No. 10)
South Korea (No.8)  
Name  Pos Home Town B T DOB MLB Affiliate ABL Club
Sam Gibbons RHP Highton, Vic R R 12/12/93 Minnesota Twins Melbourne Aces
Lachlan Wells LHP Belmont South, NSW L L 27/2/97 Minnesota Twins Sydney Blue Sox
Aaron Sookee  RHP  Emu Plains, NSW R R 5/6/91   Sydney Blue Sox 
Wilson Lee LHP Croydon Park, SA L L 12/12/91   Adelaide Bite
Aaron Thompson RHP Loganholme, QLD R R 11/01/91
Canberra Cavalry
Jon Kennedy LHP Warranwood, VIC L L 20/9/95   Melbourne Aces
Josh Guyer RHP Stanhope Gardens, NSW R R 27/5/94 Minnesota Twins Sydney Blue Sox 
Lachlan Madden  RHP  Pakenham, VIC  R 3/6/96  Houston Astros  
Josh Silvi  RHP  Seville Grove, WA  R
21/12/93   Perth Heat
Sam Street  RHP  Sandringham, VIC R 18/3/92  Pittsburg Pirates  
Sam Holland  RHP  Morayfield, QLD  20/2/94 San Diego Padres Brisbane Bandits
Todd Van Steensel  RHP  Rooty Hill, NSW  R 14/1/91 Minnesota Twins Sydney Blue Sox
Guy Edmonds Menai, NSW  16/3/93    Sydney Blue Sox 
Robbie Perkins  Canberra, ACT  29/5/94  Colorado Rockies  Canberra Cavalry 
James Philibossian  Loftus, NSW  6/2/96  Detroit Tigers  Sydney Blue Sox
Connor MacDonald  INF  Ransome, QLD  27/2/96  Houston Astros Brisbane Bandits
Aaron Sayers  INF   Greenvale, VIC  25/5/94  Detroit Tigers  Melbourne Aces 
Zac Shepherd  INF   Kellyville Ridge, NSW 14/9/95  Detroit Tigers  Sydney Blue Sox 
Jacob Younis INF   North Rocks, NSW 10/7/93
Sydney Blue Sox
Ryan Dale  INF   Murrumbeena, VIC   R 16/3/96  Kansas City Royals  Melbourne Aces 
Ben Leslie  OF Cheltenham, VIC  L L 28/6/94 San Fransisco Giants Melbourne Aces
Ben Lodge  OF  Woodville South, SA  R R 12/10/91   Adelaide Bite
Adam Silva  OF  Narre Warren, VIC  R R 27/3/94 New York Yankees Melbourne Aces
Jared Cruz  UT Hillside, VIC R R 25/3/99 Houston Astros Melbourne Aces

Coaching Staff    
Name  Position State
Tony Harris  Manager SA
Luke Prokopec  Pitching Coach SA
Glenn Williams Hitting Coach NSW
Damian Shanahan Assistant Coach VIC
Jon Deeble Advance Scout/ Assistant Coach QLD
Ben Onofrio  Physiotherapist  SA
Mark Chandler Executive Officer SA


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