SO CLOSE…Young Aussies lose heartbreaker to Dominican in Semi-Final
Dominican 4 def.
Sometimes the baseball Gods remind us exactly how cruel this game we all love can be. Unfortunately for the Australian Cal Ripken team, that reminder came at the worst possible time on Thursday…2 outs, bottom of the last inning…as the Dominican Republic edged past our young stars 4-3 in the International Semi-Final.
Clinging to a well earned 3-1 lead, Australia were in the dying stages of arguably their best game of the entire series, before the Dominicans called on some freakish Latino fortitude to upstage our boys in what can only be described as heartbreaking defeat.
On the mound Victorian Daniel McGrath was simply phenomenal. Through 5.2 innings McGrath had allowed just 1 run (a solo shot in the 2nd) on 4 hits, and at one stage had retired 10 straight Dominican hitters – no mean feat considering the impressive form the heavily favoured Central American sluggers had coming into the game.
But just one out away from a complete game gem, disaster struck for McGrath and his A-Roo team-mates when Back-to-Back doubles, a single and 2 uncharacteristic errors from the until then flawless defence, handed the Dominicans a dramatic walk-off win.
On offence, the A-Roos were amazing in the clutch – scoring all three of their runs with 2 outs in the 3rd, 4th and 5th innings respectively. Ryan Ihle (QLD), Chris Gianchou (ACT) and McGrath all came up with the huge 2-out RBI hits, placing
But they say Lady Luck is a fickle friend, and today she smiled on someone else. So, while I am sure their fair share of tears and a more than a few “What Ifs..?” will be bandied around the Australian camp over the next few days – our youngest Aussie stars can hold their heads high, assured in the knowledge that the Baseball Gods will be back on their side again soon.