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Sox impress on world stage
03/07/2018 9:51 PM ET

Team Australia fought valiantly but ultimately fell to a very strong Japanese side in an exciting two game series this past weekend.

Japan showed their class in both games shutting out Australia twice with a 2-0 win in Game 1 followed by a 6-0 win the next night.   Game 1 was a night for the pitchers with a combined 4 hits between both teams and no runs in the first 5 innings. Japan broke the stalemate in the 6th inning with back to back RBIs and it was all they needed to take a 2-0 win.

Game 2 was a different story with the Japanese piling on the scoreboard pressure from the first inning, plating three runs in the first two innings. 

Uncharacteristic errors from Australia enabled Japan to keep the pressure on and add to their lead throughout the game ultimately leading to their 6-0 win.

Our Blue Sox had the chance to get involved in various ways throughout the series. Our own Todd Van Steensel escaped a challenging situation in the 7th inning of Game 1 getting out of a bases loaded one out jam to keep the deficit to two.

Jacob Younis and Zac Shepherd both made their debuts for Team Australia. Shepherd had an eventful series getting into the action in both games, a real highlight being his sky high foul ball which he managed to get stuck in the roof of the Kyocera Dome!

Luke Wilkins only got the chance to face 2 batters but was impressive in his short outing getting both outs 7th inning of Game 2.

Australia has gained invaluable experience against one of the most formidable teams in international baseball as they gear up for multiple international events including the 2019 Premier12, the 2020 Olympics and the 2021 World Baseball Classic.

Watch this space, this is only the beginning of #2020OurJourney.

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