Drama as Junior Steelers lose to USA in extra innings

The USA has beaten the Junior Steelers in a dramatic final game of pool play at the Under 19 World Championship.

Drama as Junior Steelers lose to USA in extra innings

Under 19 World Championship Day Four:

USA 4, Australia 3

A dramatic game ended the wrong way as far as the Junior Steelers were concerned, when they lost in extra innings to the USA in the Under 19 World Championship in Midland, Michigan.

In a game that featured physical confrontations and two Team USA members ejected, the host nation came away with a 4-3 win after a walkoff hit in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Because of a long rain delay, the game started more than four hours behind schedule and did not finish until 12.45am local time.

The result in the final pool game was particularly harsh on Australian pitcher Luke Ollerenshaw, who threw 139 pitches in 8.2 innings, striking out 13 batters and walking only two.

The game was scoreless until the sixth inning, when Nicholas Moore led off with a walk and, one out later, pinch runner Mitch Woodworth scored on a single by Izack Rossi.

The lead doubled soon after, when Alex Cleary walked, stole second and later scored when Jett Wright was hit by a pitch with bases loaded.

Australia appeared to have added another run on a sacrifice fly by Adam Talarico, but the umpire ruled that Rossi had left third base early, nullifying the run.

The 2-0 lead was erased in the bottom half of the inning, when the USA scored twice on three singles and a fielding error.

After scores were locked at 2-2 in the regulation seven innings, Australia reclaimed the lead in the top of the ninth as Talarico, who had been placed on second and advanced on James Purcell’s sacrifice bunt, scored on a groundout by Blake Bell.

Again the lead was short-lived. USA tied the game on an RBI single by Steven Nessler, who later scored on a single by Jonathan Broadbear to send the home team into raptures.

Chris Gillies

Chris Gillies pitched a no-hitter against Botswana. Picture courtesy of Lindy Rattigan.

Australia 8, Botswana 0

Earlier in the day, the Junior Steelers made it three wins in a row as Chris Gillies pitched a no-hitter against Botswana.

Australia won 8-0 as Gillies dominated, striking out 15 batters and walking only one.

His offence gave him good support. Three Junior Steelers —

Joshua McGovern, Jett Wright and James Purcell — hit home runs.

After Botswana pitcher Samuel Kunyalala opened with a scoreless first inning, Australia opened the scoring in the second when Adam Talarico walked, went to second on a will pitch and scored on a fielding error.

The floodgates opened in the third inning. Singles by Alex Cleary and Izack Rossi were cashed in by McGovern’s homer, which was soon followed by Wright’s home that gave the Junior Steelers a 5-0 lead.

Purcell led off the fourth with a homer, then Dylan Sheehan and Rossi reached on errors. McGovern’s RBI ground-out scored pinch runner Shaun Lanagan, then another run scored on a wild pitch to complete the scoring.

All that was left was for Gillies to finish the job in the fifth inning, which he did by striking out the side to end the game.