18U BWC: USA sends Australia into Classification Round

05/09/2012

Seoul (Korea). The United States concluded the first round on Wednesday morning with a 6-2 victory over Australia. Playing in sunny conditions at Jamsil Stadium a strong start by Ryan Olson and timely hits between the fifth and eighth inning laid the foundation for the win.

Seoul (Korea). The United States concluded the first round on Wednesday morning with a 6-2 victory over Australia. Playing in sunny conditions at Jamsil Stadium a strong start by Ryan Olson and timely hits between the fifth and eighth inning laid the foundation for the win.

With the victory the USA claim first place in Group A with a 4-1 record after the first round. They will face Canada in the evening at Jamsil Stadium to open the second round.

Australia dropped to 2-3 and fifth in the standings. They have to settle for the game for 9th place in the final standings on Thursday against Italy. With their loss, Colombia advanced to second round, where they will face Japan in the opener in the afternoon.

The game started with a pitcher’s duel. While Ryan Olson cruised through the batting order of the team from Down Under with easy, Aussie starter Jon Kennedy had to do some magic to keep the scoreboard empty.

The American bats finally found a hole in the Australian defense in the fifth. Ryan Boldt reached on a fielder’s choice, moved to third thanks to a stolen bases and a throwing error by catcher Robbie Perkins and finally crossed the plate on a RBI single by Reese McGuire.

With the first run on the board, the United States got crucial hit after crucial hit to extend the lead. Christian Arroyo added a RBI double in the sixth. Christopher Okey doubled in another run in the seventh and scored shortly after on another throwing error by Perkins. In the eighth a throwing error by shortstop Aaron Sayers and a RBI single by Reese McGuire made it 6-0.

Australia tried to come back in the top of the ninth. After Olson’s day was finished with 100-plus pitches Zac Shepperd and Sayers opened the frame with back-to-back walks, ending the day of reliever William Kilichowski quickly. After a fly out Josh Kennelly stepped to the plate and laced down a double along the right field line to score both base runners. Two more walks loaded the bases with two outs, forcing Scott Brosius to replace Connor Heady on the mound with Kevin Davis, who closed it out with a strikeout.

Olson ended up with the win, having allowed just two hits and a walk in eight scoreless innings. He struck out seven. Kennedy gave up three hits, a run and two base on balls in five frames for the loss. Daniel McGrath of the Boston Red Sox couldn’t keep the deficit to one run and Australia misses the second round.