Team Australia still on track for best ever finish.
The Australian baseball team have continued to play with the poise and talent of a vastly more experienced group in 2009 Baseball World Cup, missing out on a win by the narrowest of margins (1-2) to the world’s top-ranked team Cuba, in their first game of Final Round action at the 2009 Baseball World Cup in Italy overnight.
The Aussies pushed the Cuban team right to the wire, with the tying run on 3rd in the 9th inning before Cuba secured the final out.
In a game featuring an outstanding defensive effort by the Australians, the Cubans were held to just three hits in eight innings of play. Pitcher Dushan Ruzic threw the whole game, holding the Cubans to just 2 un-earned runs and facing only 27 batters in his eight innings of work. Ruzic threw five hitless innings to close the game.
By contrast, Cuba used two pitchers who combined for 6 hits and an earned run while facing 33 batters over nine innings.
Unfortunately, the difference between the two teams proved to be their ability to bring home runners once in scoring positions; the Aussies leaving seven runners on base against the Cubans two.
Australia move into their second game of the Final Round tonight (AEST) against tournament co-hosts, the Netherlands; who are seeking to become the first European team to win the World Cup since Great Britain took out the inaugural World Cup in 1938.
The Netherlands are coming off a comprehensive 11-2 win against Chinese Taipei and currently share top spot in Pool F, whilst Australia are playing terrific baseball at this tournament and competing fiercely (their losses are by an average of only 1.2 runs per game) so a tight tussle can be almost guaranteed.
Team Australia remain on track for their best-ever finish in the tournament.