Australian Starter - Chris Oxspring
Australia Beat South Africa in the First Round of the Olympic Qualifier!
The Australian National Baseball team beat South Africa 8-1 in the first game of the 2004 Oceania versus Africa Olympic Qualifying playoff in front of a close to capacity tonight at Blacktown Olympic Park.
What started out as a knuckle clenching game soon turned in to a satisfying victory for the Australian team after they placed their first run on the board in the top of the fifth inning with a single homerun from Dave Nilsson .
The Australian team put on a fantastic display offensively scoring a total of three home runs from Nilsson, Durrington and Williams. Starting pitcher Chris Oxspring pitched an outstanding five innings and led his team defensively until he was relieved by Tom Becker in the sixth. Becker pitched a continuous two innings in the sixth and seventh until he was relieved by David Thorne to close the game.
Australian Coach Jon Deeble was subtly impressed with his players performance and commented highly of his teams win.
'We had a very workman like performance tonight.  We were tentative to start off with, but as the game wore on we found our comfort zone, and that's where we turned it on!'
The South African players came out strong and certainly made the Australian team work hard defensively to keep the scores off the score board. South Africa managed to score their first run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Jason Cook hit a triple to right field and was brought home by Willem Kemp.
With such a great importance on the series, tonight's win takes the Australian team one step closer to their goal of securing the final place at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
The next game will be played at Blacktown Olympic Park tomorrrow night from 7.30pm.
Australia        8          000 013 202   8R 10H 1E
South Africa  1          000 010 000    1R 4H 2E
For more information contact
Jennifer Stockman - Media & Marketing -Australian Baseball Federation - 0402 654 899.