Three shire juniors are off to the under-12s World Cup after helping Australia win the World Cup Oceania Qualifying tournament last month.
Sylvania’s Jye Burns, Brendan Regan from Yowie Bay and Gymea’s Finn Ramanauskas starred for the Australia under-12s side at the competition in Guam, with the team now qualifying for the World Cup in Taiwan in July.
Australia took on Guam and American Samoa at the qualifying tournament and, after a day of acclimatising, beat American Samoa and lost to Guam on day one of competition. The loss meant Australia needed to win their next three games to advance to the World Cup.
Australia then needed extra innings to down Guam 10-9 and force a game three, which they won 18-0.
The team’s assistant coach Matt O’Neill, said the three shire boys excelled at the tournament.
“To have three boys in a squad of 18 is impressive in the first place but for the three boys to have such large contributions to the team is a credit to their clubs and the strength of baseball in the shire,” he said.
“All of them played really well, they were in the starting line up for the grand final.”
Regan and Finn play with the Cronulla Sharks, while Jye plays for Giants Baseball. Jye is a left-handed pitcher and first baseman, batting at No.3 for the entire tournament.
Finn is a fast, athletic outfielder while Brendan is a pitcher who can also play as a short stop or second baseman.
The 12 teams for the World Cup have been finalised, with heavyweights the USA, Japan and Mexico to provide Australia with a stern challenge.
“It’ll be a big test,” O’Neill said.
“Our boys believe they are really good which they are. But it will be good for them and their development to compare themselves to these kids who are from countries where baseball is part of their culture and their way of life.”