Team Australia's World Baseball Classic Tour Begins
27 February 2017
BASEBALL: After two days of intensive workouts and team meetings, Team Australia takes to the field for the first time today as they prepare for the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Australia's first opponents on their pre-World Baseball Classic tour are Hongik University, the reigning National University Champions of Korea at 6.30pm local (8.30pm AEDT) on 27 February.
The World Baseball Classic is the most prestigious tournament on the international baseball calendar, with the best of the best from the top baseball nations in the world playing. The first round takes places in four venues (Seoul, Tokyo, Miami and Guadalaraja). Two teams from each pool advance to the second round, with the top four teams advancing to the finals in Los Angeles on 20-22 March.
Former MLB pitcher and Team Australia stalwart Travis Blackley is excited about his team's prospects at the World Baseball Classic.
"It's a really great mix of guys in this team," Blackley said.
"The blend of youth and experience is great. Both our lineup and pitching staff are really good, and we could shock a couple of teams."
Following Australia's games against Hongik University and the Korean National team, the group then moves to Osaka, Japan where they will take on two of the highest profile Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) teams, Hanshin Tigers and Orix Buffaloes. The NPB is widely regarded as a similar level competition to the MLB, and will serve as vital preparation for the World Baseball Classic.
Monday 7 March will be the day Team Australia travels to Tokyo, as their World Baseball Classic campaign begins on 8 March against host nation and world #1 ranked team Japan. For more details of the tournament, stay in touch with Team Australia Baseball on facebook, and www.worldbaseballclassic.com.