26/11/2022 - 04/12/2022


Hosted by:   NZL

XVII Men's Softball World Cup 2022 - Official Payoff
Australia win thriller against Argentina, set up World Championship Final against Canada
03/12/2022 3 Minute Read

Australia win thriller against Argentina, set up World Championship Final against Canada

Australia defeated Argentina 2-0, in eight innings, and will play on Sunday against Canada for the title of world champion. It's the first time that Australia and Canada will play off for the WBSC Men's Softball World Cup title.

Hayden Matthews hit the game-winning RBI single while Jack Besgrove had a magnificent outing in relief to send Australia to their third World Championship Final in the history of the event. Australia defeated Argentina 2-0, in eight innings, and will play on Sunday against Canada for the title of world champion.

It was a pitching duel for the ages between the Australian and Argentinean staff. Starters Marshall Kronk and Huemul Mata engaged in an electric battle that lasted until the sixth inning, when they were pulled off the game.

Mata got into trouble in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with two outs on a bunt single by Brendon O’Byrne, a defensive error and a walk. However, the reliever Roman Godoy escaped the jam with a full-count strikeout to keep Australia away from scoring. Mata left the game with eight strikeouts in 5.2 innings, with two hits and three walks.

Kronk also left the game in the sixth, after walking the leadoff hitter on four pitches. The two-way player allowed two hits and three walks in the game, against eight strikeouts. 

Kronk was replaced by lefty Besgrove, who struckout the next eight batters, before forcing pinch hitter Bruno Motroni to a grounder to end the game.

Australia’s two runs were scored in the top of the eighth inning, on a two-out, bases-loaded single by Hayden Mathews to plate Scott Patterson and Nick Shailes.

With this result, Australia is back in the World Championship final after five years, and will play their third final in history. Their last appearance in the world championship game was in 2017 in Whitehorse, Canada, when they lost to New Zealand, 6-4. Austraila won their only world championship in 2009, when they beat New Zealand, 5-0, in the final. Adam Folkard (who is part of this team) tossed a no-hitter in the final.

Argentina will face USA in the Bronze Medal Game, aiming to win their second consecutive medal in the tournament after winning the title in 2019.

Quotes - Argentina Coach Julio Gamarci

“We got beaten by a team who played really well. They played better than us, that’s it. So far we only lost one game in the tournament, but well, we are not in the final. No worries, no regrets. We have to come over, tomorrow, beat the US to get the podium.

“Winning every time is an extraordinary thing. If there is a game that the same country always wins, it is because the game (sport) has not developed. So, because this game is getting better and better worldwide, you are going to see the new champion this year, either Australia or Canada. These two teams are the greatest teams in this tournament.

Coach Julio sent a message to fans from Argentina in Spanish
“We leave everything on the field, we leave empty but wasn't enough. Tomorrow we will come back here stronger as ever and try to make the podium that we want.”

Quotes - Australia Coach Laing Harrow

It was quite the battle and we know they’re a world class team. For our guys and the effort that they put in today, they battled. Mata (Huemul Mata, ARG) was throwing a hell of a game and Godoy (Roman Godoy, ARG) came in and it was just the same, so.. but we stuck to it and you know it was a little bit different for us. We had to put two runs on the board, so it all worked out. 

“We did have other chances to score some runs, and it just didn’t happen, and that is a credit to Argentina but we stayed at it and Kronk (Marshall Kronk) gave us a great start on the mound and young Jack (Jack Besgrove) came in and just did an incredible job as well.

About tomorrow’s final against Canada,
“They (CAN) have been tough. They have been great all week and I think it is just going to be just another battle. We know they can hit the ball, they can pitch the ball. It is going to be an exciting game. Hopefully… You know, we got to show up. We are going through the processes now, nothing is going to change and we can show up prepared to play tomorrow. 

Coach Laing sent a message to fans from Australia,
“We are just getting so many supporters back home that are reaching out to us and we really appreciate it. I know you guys are enjoying the games here. Hopefully we get one more, good one for ya’s.”