2017 WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
QUALIFICATION SERIES - SYDNEY

  

This page will provide a game by game coverage of Australia's participation in the Qualification Series for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, held at Blacktown in Sydney during February 2016. It is hoped that Australia will emerge as the team that qualifies to play in its fourth WBC by overcoming opponents South Africa, New Zealand and Philippines. We will use this page will chronicle some history of the event.
 
14 FEB 2016 - AUSTRALIA THROUGH TO CLASSIC 12-5 v RSA IN FINAL!
 
 

WBCQ - Game 3 - Zone Final - 14 FEB 2016 - Blacktown, Sydney

 

Team

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

SOUTH AFRICA

1 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 5 7 1

AUSTRALIA

1 0 0 0 2 1 2 6 X 12 17 1

FLINTOFF'S FOCUS: 
From the moment that South African Gift Ngoepe
launched a one-out home run over left field in the top of the first, Australia knew that it was in for a battle to make its way to the 2017 World Baseball Classic. In very warm and blustery conditions at Blacktown it was tough work for pitchers and Australia's major league star Travis Blackley was first to find this out when Ngoepe went deep. Thankfully for us that early run was promptly erased when Trent Oeltjen capped a two out rally in the home half of the first with his RBI double as the first of his monster three-hit game. The semi-retired former major leaguer came through big style when his country needed him most and he proved that he has plenty left in his tank. The contest remained deadlocked at 1-1 until the bottom of the fifth when Brad Harman and Allan de San Miguel clocked back-to-back long balls to give Blackley what seemed to be a decisive 3-1 lead however, as we have found, the South Africans don't go away. With a rally in the top of the sixth the visitors stunned the crowd in Sydney when Kyle Botha yanked another long ball over left field to give the underdogs a 4-3 lead with not too much of the game to be played. Popular local Trent D'Antonio grasped his opportunity to tie the game up again with his RBI double in the bottom of the sixth as our Aussies started to apply the pressure to a flagging South African bullpen. Blackley handed the pitching duties to tough relievers Moylan and Searle who pretty much snuffed out the gallant Africans while our offence found the turbo-charger in the latter frames. Series star Jimmy Beresford led off the seventh with a base hit to spark a two run inning that saw Mitch Dening and Stefan Welch both drive in a run but, once again, RSA clawed back to within a run in the top of the next. The knockout blow finally arrived for Australia in the bottom of the eighth when a leadoff walk to Trent D'Antonio enabled the AROOS to turn the screws with a couple of bunt plays and South Africa's lack of quality pitching depth was finally exposed. Four walks in a very untidy frame helped Australia to romp away with six runs as the South Africans saw their hopes vanish into the distance. D'Antonio proved a real headache for our guests with a pair of walks added to his two-hit game as one of seven Aussie hitters to boast a multi-hit game. In the end a superior Australian team posted 17 hits and, with high quality pitching up its sleeve, they clearly earned their passage to a fourth successive World Baseball Classic. Okay, it was nothing less than home fans had expected, yet baseball devotees have learned often that this is a unique game where absolutely nothing can be taken for granted. Congratulations to our boys for getting the job done when, really, they were on a hiding to nothing and these rival teams had very little to lose.

AUSTRALIA

SOUTH AFRICA

PITCHING:

Travis BLACKLEY  5.2ip 6h 4r 4er 2bb 4k;
Peter MOYLAN (W)  1.1ip 0h 0r 0er 1bb 1k;
Ryan SEARLE (S)  2.0ip 1h 1r 1er 1bb 2k

OFFENCE:
Trent OELTJEN 3-4 (2D-2RBI); Trent D'ANTONIO 2-3 (D-3RBI);
Logan WADE 2-3 (RBI); Luke HUGHES 2-3;
Mitch DENING 2-4 (RBI); Stefan WELCH 2-4;
Brad HARMAN 2-5 (HR-RBI); Allan de SAN MIGUEL 1-3 (HR-RBI);
James BERESFORD 1-4; Mitch NILSSON 0-0 (RBI)
PITCHING:
Kyle GADDIN  2.0ip 3h 1r 1er 1bb 0k;
Carl MICHAELS  3.1ip 7h 3r 3er 1bb 2k;
Callan PEARCE (L)  1.2ip 4h 2r 2er 0bb 0k;
Dean JACOBS  0.1ip 1h 3r 1er 1bb 0k;
Russell OLIVER  0.1ip 1h 2r 2er 1bb 0k;
Kieran CREE  0.0ip 0h 1r 1er 2bb 0k;
Garth CAHILL  0.1ip 1h 0r 0er 0bb 0k
OFFENCE: 
Anthony PHILLIPS 2-3; Brett WILLEMBURG 2-4 (RBI);
Jonathan PHILLIPS 1-3 (D); Kyle BOTHA 1-4 (HR-3RBI);
Gift NGOEPE 1-4 (HR-RBI)
 
12 FEB 2016 - AUSTRALIA DOES THE JOB 4-1 v SOUTH AFRICA!
 
 

WBCQ - Game 2 - 12 FEB 2016 - Blacktown, Sydney

 

Team

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

SOUTH AFRICA

0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 1

AUSTRALIA

3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 X 4 7 1

FLINTOFF'S FOCUS: 
Australia did all that it needed to do tonight to punch its ticket into the ultimate playoff game of this qualification series with a somewhat hard fought 4-1 victory over a tenacious South African team.
Still running hot from his 4-5 last night, leadoff hitter James Beresford wasted no time putting his stamp on this game with a rifled double off the second pitch of the game, sparking a rapid-fire three runs in the bottom of the first. Logan Wade also kept his form rolling by driving in Beresford with a RBI double, Stefan Welch drove Wade in and Trent Oeltjen capped the inning with a sacrifice fly. At that stage it looked like it might be another high scoring romp for the AROOS, but they found that the South Africans would not simply roll over. In fact it was the visitors who struck next when Anthony Phillips doubled with two out in the top of the third and Kyle Botha drove him in with a RBI single. That run came during the last inning for Warwick Saupold who still took the win under unique rules for this pitch-limited competition. That was to be the only run allowed by the impressive Aussie pitching staff that then featured former major leaguer Ryan Rowland-Smith plus fellow professionals Todd Van Steensel and Ryan Searle. Rowland-Smith sailed through three innings, Van Steensel was hitless through two innings and Searle locked down the save with all three batters struck out in the top of the ninth. After taking three early runs from South Africa's losing starter Carl Michaels, Team Australia didn't find it easy going against a variety of four relievers who kept their team in the game quite admirably. The AROOS did manage to add one more run of padding in the bottom of the sixth when James Beresford, who else, came through again with a nice piece of situational batting to drive in a run via a designed ground out to the right side with a runner on third. That was all the Australian team needed to claim the result with a superior bullpen ready and able to preserve any lead. The travelling South Africans deserve plenty of credit for wearing their uniform with pride, but Australia got the result they needed to move one step closer to another World Baseball Classic appearance. They now have a day off before facing the winner of South Africa versus New Zealand tomorrow.

AUSTRALIA

SOUTH AFRICA

PITCHING:

Warwick SAUPOLD (W)  3.0ip 3h 1r 1er 1bb 3k;
Ryan ROWLAND-SMITH (H)  3.0ip 2h 0r 0er 0bb 3k;
Todd VAN STEENSEL (H)  2.0ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 2k;
Ryan SEARLE (S)  1.0ip 1h 0r 0er 0bb 3k

OFFENCE:
Trent OELTJEN 1-2 (D-RBI); James BERESFORD 1-3 (D-RBI);
Logan WADE 1-3 (D-RBI); Luke HUGHES 1-3; Mitch DENING 1-4
Allan de SAN MIGUEL 1-4; Stefan WELCH 1-4
PITCHING:
Carl MICHAELS (L)  3.0ip 5h 3r 3er 2bb 0k;
Callan PEARCE  1.0ip 0h 0r 0er 2bb 0k;
Dean JACOBS  2.0ip 2h 1r 1er 2bb 1k;
Robert LEWIS-WALKER  1.0ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 0k;
Lloyd STEVENS  1.0ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 1k
OFFENCE: 
Anthony PHILLIPS 2-4 (D); Keegan SWANEPOEL 1-1 (D);
Rowan EBERSOHN 1-3; Kyle BOTHA 1-4 (RBI);
Brett WILLEMBURG 1-4
 
11 FEB 2016 - AUSTRALIA PROVIDES NO MERCY TO PHILIPPINES!
 
 

WBCQ - Game 1 - 11 FEB 2016 - Blacktown, Sydney

 

Team

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

PHILIPPINES

1 0 0 0 0 0 0 X X 1 4 3

AUSTRALIA

1 1 0 0 2 0 7 X X 11 11 1

FLINTOFF'S FOCUS: 
Australia's AROOS did exactly what was needed or, perhaps more accurately, demanded of them by applying a "mercy rule" killing to a plucky Philippines team at Blacktown tonight. Although it was quite comfortable in the end, there was an early cause for some trepidation when the Philippines used a couple of singles and a walk to plate the opening run in the top of the first. However, from then on Canberra lefty Steve Kent settled in to allow only two more hits over the next five scoreless innings. In keeping with his terrific ABL season Kent struck out seven to provide the backbone of Australia's quite impressive series opener before handing the dregs to major leaguer Pete Moylan. The veteran righty cruised through what proved to be the final frame of the truncated contest by striking out all three of his hapless victims in a crisp performance. Although the visitors grasped the early lead, it wasn't to last long when Australia's offence took their turn to swing the bats. First to do so was star short stop James Beresford who led off with the first of his four singles for the night. The Minnesota Twins 'AAA' infielder from Melbourne stamped his class once again by stroking the ball all around the diamond in his customary fashion and by making some defensive plays look more simple than they were. Beresford was backed by long time Australian team mate Stefan Welch and rising star Logan Wade who both supplied two hits. Beresford and Welch were the major run producers with three RBIs each, while former major leaguer Trent Oeltjen made a welcome return from retirement with two batted in. As I suggested, it may be hard to gauge Australia's efforts with not much benchmark on the quality of the opposition, yet we cannot deny that they got the job done in convincing style. In any form of international baseball, let alone the prestigious World Baseball Classic, you cannot ask for much more than that!

AUSTRALIA

PHILIPPINES

PITCHING:

Steve KENT (W)  6.0ip 4h 1r 1er 1bb 7k;
Peter MOYLAN (S)  1.0ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 3k

OFFENCE:
James BERESFORD 4-5 (3RBI); Stefan WELCH 2-4 (D-3RBI);
Logan WADE 2-4 (2D); Trent OELTJEN 1-3 (D-2RBI);
Luke HUGHES 1-3
PITCHING:
J.R BUNDA (L)  2.1ip 4h 2r 1er 2bb 1k;
Clay RAPADA  2.0ip 3h 2r 2er 1bb 2k;
Austin HAYNAL  0.2ip 0h 0r 0er 2bb 1k;
Vladimir EGUIA  1.0ip 0h 1r 1er 1bb 1k;
Leslie CABILING  0.2ip 4h 6r 4er 2bb 0k;
Ernesto BINARAO  0.0ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 0k
OFFENCE: 
Adriane Ros BERNARDO 1-2; Brady CONLAN 1-3 (RBI);
Brad HAYNAL 1-3; Eric FARRIS 1-3