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RECAP: South Australia drops game to QLD; must beat NSW to advance to Gold Medal Game
05/04/2018 1:44 AM ET
 (Laura Bond)

 

South Australia has been dealt their first loss of the Australian School Championships after falling 2-1 to Queensland on Friday afternoon.

Now South Australia has to beat New South Wales, who have already clinched a birth in the Grand Final, on Friday at 4:00PM to claim a spot in the championship game. If they lose, Queensland will advance.

South Australia outhit Queensland 5-2 but three errors and seven runners left on base proved costly. It certainly was not South Australia's day.

Head coach Scott Gladstone says it just was not their day.

"We made a lot of errors and little mistakes and it got us. They took advantage of what we gave them," he says. "We've been doing that to other teams all tournament so the script was flipped on us a little bit."

Queensland came to battle and fight for every pitch. They need South Australia to lose both games to play for Gold so they fought for everything.

Nothing was more indicative than that after a 9 pitch at-bat from Kane Swanson who went behind instantly 0-2 on the count.

He fouled off pitches to stay alive and finally saw a pitch he liked. Crushed. Deep left field. Over the fence. With a lead-off runner already on it put Queensland up 2-0. It was the first time South Australia trailed all week. 

"Credit to them," says Gladstone. "They took their chances."

The South Aussies worked their way back, however.

In the bottom of the first South Australia loaded the bases with just one out. Blake Farr was hit by a pitch to score an easy run and South Australia seemed destined to explode.

But crafty pitching from Queensland starter Callum Pike got them out of the inning with a 2-1 lead thanks to a strike out and pop out straight to the catcher.

Once again Adelaide knocked on the door in the second with runners on second and third with one out. Pike somehow managed to get a ground ball out to Sean Maple and a flyout to Curtis Mead.

South Australia started the first two innings going 1-5 with runners in scoring position and left five on base.

South Australia was battling itself as much as it was Queensland. Three errors in the first five innings kept giving Queensland opportunities. Luckily, Jack Higginbotham was pitching well. He went on to win SA's player of the game. 

But Pike was rolling for QLD. From the third to the fifth he retired eight straight and struck out three to stymy a potent SA attack.  

Queensland then added some insurance with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

South Australia responded. After chasing Callum Pike from the game, a wild pitch scored Blake Farr from third to put Australia down by one heading to the last. 

They were unable to generate any offense, while Queensland moved another runner around and South Australia fell 4-2.

South Australia now must beat New South Wales to play in the 12PM gold medal game on Saturday. They will throw their "ace" Will Kortekaas who pitched 7 scoreless innings in the 9-0 opener vs. Queensland.

"He's pitched big games at every level," says Gladstone. "He pitched well for the Bite. He pitched well for the Armada. He pitched well for U18s. Now it's time for him to do it here."

 

 

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.