Australia crowned 2022 WBSC Men's Softball World Champions

Published Sun 04 Dec 2022

A scintillating pitching display by eighteen-year-old Jack Besgrove was the biggest story of the day as the Steelers took advantage of two Canadian slip-ups. Besgrove pitched a complete game, striking out ten, walking three and allowing only one earned run.

The Steelers showed incredible poise and determination to flip the script, reversing the 6-0 Opening Round loss to Canada in a controlled performance.

Australia stormed out of the gates in the first inning, hitting two doubles in their first three at-bats to put runners on second and third. When World Cup MVP Marshall Kronk stepped up and hit a foul way down to the left field fence, everyone expected the Canadian left fielder to let the ball drop. His catch triggered both Steelers base runners who tagged up and ran, with a throwing error compounding the situation, allowing Australia to put up the first two runs of the game.

Canada put in a highly disciplined batting performance, stretching at-bats out in an effort to tire the Steeler wunderkind however it  would take until the top of the third for the Australians to allow a safe hit.

Come the end of the game the Steelers had restricted Canada to four hits and two runs, their equal lowest game result for the tournament. 

Australia scored five runs off the back of eight hits and the two Canadian errors. The Steelers had four multi-hit batters - with all three lead-off hitters making that list. Scott Patterson continued his incredible run of form after struggling in the Opening Round, hitting a first-inning lead-off double and making a bunt. Callum Beashel showed his quality to score Patterson in the third inning, and Nick Shailes added to his illustrious CV, going 2-3 with a first inning double and home run in the top of the sixth. 

The last of the Steelers hitters was captain James Todhunter. The number-seven hitter pushed through an eight-pitch at-bat to score Joshua McGovern, putting the game out of reach in the top of the sixth inning.

Speaking of McGovern - the fiery catcher was walked and hit-by-pitch in a patient and controlled performance. He guided Besgrove through the highest pressure game of his young international career, calming the rookie after his fielding error led to Canada's first run. 

In the bottom of the seventh - and final - inning, the McGovern-Besgrove duo proved their world-beating calibre once again. Canada were able to score one run off a walk and a double, but Besgrove soldiered on in typical fashion, inducing a ground out from Shane Boland. Vice-captain third-baseman Nick Shailes calmly threw to James Todhunter for a famous victory for Australia.

Head Coach Laing Harrow was understandably ecstatic with the result, saying "So happy! The guys were incredible today, they've been incredible the whole tour. We set a high standard early and we continued with it throughout the tournament. They're a great bunch of guys and I'm just proud to be a part of it."

On Besgrove: "He was incredible, so determined. McGovern controlled him quite well, it was great to watch."

On the win: "It's so well deserved, it certainly hasn't hit home that we're World Champions. The quality of the competition has been outstanding and we're so grateful that we got to be a part of it."

The win was a solid team effort by the Steelers, a narrative which proved itself time and time again throughout the World Cup. Apart from Kronk's MVP award, no other Steeler batter was on the top of the hitting leaderboard. As a team however, the Australia scored more runs than any other nation. On the pitching side, Besgrove's tally of seventy-one strikeouts was seventeen more than his next competitor. His 34.2 innings pitched yielded a total of ten earned runs and a 2.02ERA.

Veteran Nick Shailes, a key figure in the 2009 World Championship winning team, finished the tournament with a team-high batting average of .421. His sixth-inning home run was the feather in the cap of a fine World Cup. Both Shailes and brilliant all-rounder Brendon O'Byrne made the All-World Team.

The Steelers have provided an enormously entertaining display of softball, and we at Softball Australia have had the pleasure of watching every minute. We would like to thank our partners in Sportslink Travel, PTP, Easton and GAME Clothing and acknowledge the wonderful work of all our officials and volunteers. In particular we would like to acknowledge Jo and John Bauer for capturing some incredible photos of the World Cup.

Kirsty Andrews was appointed as a scorer for the Championship Final, while Leigh Evans and Jason Carter served professionally as umpires throughout the tournament.

Lastly, Softball Australia would like to thank Softball New Zealand and the WBSC for running a fantastic tournament.

Replays can be watched at the WBSC's streaming partner Gametime (

(Image Caption: Pitcher Jack Besgrove's complete game was the key story in World Championship Final win over Canada. Image Credit: WBSC)


2B: (1) PATTERSON, Scott; (1) BEASHEL, Callum; (1) SHAILES, Nick; (1) WALSH, Colin Robert (CAN)
HR: (1) SHAILES, Nick
RBI: (1) BEASHEL, Callum; (1) SHAILES, Nick; (1) KRONK, Marshall; (1) TODHUNTER, James; (1) BOLAND, Ryan David (CAN); (1) WALSH, Colin Robert (CAN)
BB: (1) SHAILES, Nick; (1) MCGOVERN, Joshua; (1) ROY, Mathieu (CAN); (1) EZEKIEL, Bradley Joseph (CAN); (1) BOLAND, Ryan David (CAN)

E: (1) BESGROVE, Jack; (1) BOLAND, Shane James (CAN); (1) CLEARY, Sean (CAN)

BESGROVE, Jack: 7IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 10K

CLEARY, Sean: 4.1IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 5K
SCHOFIELD, Justin: 2.2IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 3K

Box Score
Australia: 5R, 8H, 1E
Canada: 2R, 4H, 2E

2022 WBSC Men's World Cup Championship Final winning team:
Callum Beashel
Jack Besgrove
Jack Burt
Adam Folkard
Matthew Harrow
Riley James
Julian Jemmott
Marshall Kronk
Hayden Mathews
Joshua McGovern
Brendon O'Byrne
Scott Patterson
Jay Selu
Nick Shailes
James Todhunter
Joshua White

Team Officials:
Head Coach: Laing Harrow
Assistant Coach: Nathan Jones
Assistant Coach: David Metekingi
Specialist Coach: Adam Rindfleish
Team Manager: Mike Titheradge
Video Analyst: Anthony Mackie
Statistican: Chris Trengove
Physiotherapist: Bernie Simai