Australia on the brink of history at the WBC
10 March 2017
BASEBALL: An unbelievable start from Travis Blackley, 4RBI from Luke Hughes and a grand slam from James Beresford saw Australia claim a vital victory over China in game two of their World Baseball Classic campaign.
James Beresford made his big league debut in 2016, and showed his big league talent on the world stage tonight, depositing the first pitch of his at bat over the right field fence for a grand slam which slammed the door shut for China.
Another man with big league talent is Travis Blackley. Blackley threw 4.2 scoreless innings, only giving up two hits and giving Australia every chance to succeed in a must-win game. Blackley’s efficiency was a highlight, only tossing 48 pitches in an outstanding performance.
Perth Heat legend and MLBer Luke Hughes lit up the Tokyo Dome with a two run home run in the third to open the scoring, and followed it up with a double in the seventh, finishing with 2 hits and 4 RBI on the night.
Team Australia Manager Jon Deeble spoke about what it would mean for Australia to make the second round.
“It’d mean the world to Australian baseball to make the second round,” Deeble said.
“It’d be the biggest thing since winning silver at the 2004 Olympics. Blackley was super efficient tonight and we got everything out of him. Our bats came alive and it’s really comforting we swung the bats well..”
After originally being left off the 28-man roster, utility Trent D’Antonio showed he can match it on the biggest stage. The Sydney Blue Sox stalwart lifted one into centrefield, which dropped just in front of Yang and saw Harman and Kandilas score and D’Antonio slide into third safely, extending Australia’s lead.
Australia’s final pool game of the World Baseball Classic sees them take on world #5 Cuba. The first pitch of the ballgame will take place at 12pm local (2pm AEDT).
Make sure you tune in via ESPN Australia.