No Time to Linger for Debutant
Grafton teenager Justin Linger was getting ready to celebrate his 19th birthday on Monday evening when he received the call every sportsman dreams about, summoning him to represent his country at the World Championships. Just returned from his debut season in the US, Linger was turned around in quick time and back on a plane Tuesday, heading towards his debut amongst the cream of the world's baseball talent. Linger is taking the place of Justin Huber who had his travel plans changed last week as well, receiving the call-up from his Major League club the Minnesota Twins.
Linger will join Australia's National Baseball Team, the A-Roos, who will face their hosts, the Czech Republic when they take to the diamond in the opening match of the 38th World Baseball Cup in Prague, early tomorrow morning (AEST). The A-Roos head into the tournament buoyed by having more than two-thirds of their 24-man roster affiliated with professional teams around the world. This number is only bettered amongst competing teams by traditional powerhouses USA, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Australia has been drawn in Pool A, alongside the hosts (game time 4:30pm - 9/9/09 local time), Chinese Taipei (12:30pm - 11/9/09) and Mexico (12:30pm - 12/9/09) who will be looking to avenge their comprehensive 17-7 loss in an early round game of the World Baseball Classic earlier this year.
The Australian team has come together from literally all over the world as players finish their seasons in their respective competitions in Australia, the US, Asia and Europe, in search of the A-Roo's best ever result at a World Cup. Their previous best performance was their 6th placing in the 2007 tournament.
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