A game-winning home run by Josh White lifted Australia to seventh place in the Men’s Softball World Championship 2019.
The Aussies beat host Czech Republic, 2-1, with a 3-hit, 1-run performance by veteran left-hander Andrew Kirkpatrick.
Australia scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Callum Beashel and Brendon O’Byrne reached on consecutive defensive errors, leaving runners on the corners and no outs. Nick Norton stepped in the home plate an hit a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Beashel.
In the top of the third Czech Republic tied the game. With two outs Vaclav Svoboda tripled to right-center field and then scored on an RBI single by David Mertl.
The game remained tied at 1 until the bottom of the fifth when White hit the game-winning homer off Marek Joska to give his team the win.
Joska had a strong outing but was charged with the loss allowing only 2 hits and 2 runs in 4+ innings, with 3 strikeouts and 2 walks.
Australia finishes the tournament in seventh place, their worst position since 2000 when they claimed 12th.
It was a bittersweet result for Kirkpatrick who has since called time on his international career with the Aussie Steelers.
His representative career spanned 19 years including a record six World Championships, winning Gold in 2009 and 137 Australian caps, the second most of all time behind Mike Harrow.