Australia demolish South Africa off back of brutal 10-run first inning

Published Wed 30 Nov 2022

The Aussie Steelers took advantage of a lacklustre South Africa on Wednesday at the WBSC Men's Softball World Cup in New Zealand, triggering the run ahead rule after three innings with a 15-0 demolition. The win provides the Steelers with some much-needed momentum heading into the Super Round starting on Thursday and leave them with a record of four wins and one loss from the Opening Round.

Somewhat surprisingly, today's game was the first where the Steelers hit a home run. That drought was broken in convincing fashion with three batters clearing the fence today as Marshall Kronk scored a 2RBI home run in the first inning, while captain James Todhunter and Julian Jemmott went back-to-back in the third inning to score three runs. 

The damage was done in the top of the first inning with South Africa acting as their own worst enemy. A dropped fly error, two back-to-back hit-by-pitches and a walk gave the Steelers their first run of the game. By the middle of the first inning there would be another walk, another hit by pitch, another error, three singles and the home run from Kronk. Nine of the first-inning runs were scored while the Steelers were at two-out. 

The second inning yielded two runs and a brilliant diving catch by Brendon O'Byrne, while the third inning yielded three more runs for Australia to wrap up a quick win for the Steelers as they prepare for the next stage of the tournament. 

It was another shutout win for the Australians, their third of the World Cup so far. This one was delivered through the hands of Adam Folkard in a short return from injury, and Jay Selu. Folkard pitched for one inning for two strike outs, while Selu pitched two innings for two strike outs and three hits.

Moving on to the Super Round, the Steelers have wrapped up second place of Group B with their next two games expected to be against the United States and Argentina. The top four performing countries from the Super Round will head to the Medal Round on December 4 for the Gold and Bronze Medal games.

2B: (1) MATHEWS, Hayden (AUS)
HR: (1) KRONK, Marshall (AUS); (1) TODHUNTER, James (AUS); (1) JEMMOTT, Julian (AUS)
RBI: (3) MATHEWS, Hayden (AUS); (1) BEASHEL, Callum (AUS); (2) KRONK, Marshall (AUS); (3) TODHUNTER, James (AUS); (1) JEMMOTT, Julian (AUS); (2) JAMES, Riley (AUS); (1) HARROW, Matthew (AUS)
BB: (1) TODHUNTER, James (AUS); (1) HARROW, Matthew (AUS)
HBP: (1) KRONK, Marshall (AUS); (1) O'BYRNE, Brendon (AUS); (1) BURT, Jack (AUS)

Base Running:
SB: (1) MATHEWS, Hayden (AUS); (1) HARROW, Matthew (AUS)

FOLKARD, Adam: 1.0IP, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K
SELU, Jay: 2.0IP, 3H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K