Today, Austria faced Argentina four their second game of the opening round. Headcoach Sakanashi handed the ball to team captain Fabian Hirnschal. After recording two quick outs, Argentina`s third hitter in the lineup hit the ball in the gap for a double. The clean-up hitter did his job perfectly, sending a line drive to left field, that scored the runner on second. Austria got runners on base quickly as well, Felix Zimmerle reached base after a hard hit linedrive over the 3rdbaseman. throughout the inning he would reach third base, but his team mates were not able to connect against the right handed pitcher, to score him. The South Americans were leading 1:0 after the first frame.
Fabian Hirnschal dominierte über weite Phasen seine Gegner - Foto: ABF
In Hirnschal`s first official start back after a knee surgery, which cost him the season 2016, Hirnschal showed great command over his stuff. With his breaking ball, he could even strike out four batters in the second, due to a dropped third strike. Offensively, the batters in red and white had to work hard against the side arm throwing righty pitcher. Sammy Hackl recorded the first hit of the game and Claus Seiser followed. Alzinger quickly went down 0-2 in the count, but battled through the at bat with four foul balls. Now, the Argentinian Pitcher left the breaking ball up in the zone and Alzinger got a good piece of it, driving the ball down the left field line. Both runners scored and Austria took the lead. During the next at bat, the batter showed bunt, third base charged and Alzinger took the free base. Without anybody covering the catcher hosed the ball to left field, allowing Austria to score the third run of the game. Although the pitcher could retire the next two batters, a walk and a hit-by-pitch brought Ferdi Obed to the plate. This time he couldn`t follow up to yesterday`s great approach when flying out to center field.
Argentina was back right away, while getting some help by the Austrian pitching. Another line drive in the left gap scored two, to tie the game – 3:3. Also Austria started strong into the third, having back-to-back singles of Seidl and Hackl. The Argentinian pitcher, Frederico Robles, and his defense stayed focus and got out of the inning, after retiring the next three batters in order. Also Hirnschal returned to the mound in his best form. The South Americans returned the favor, recording a 1-2-3 inning themselves. The score after four completed innings was 3:3 and the game developed to a nail-biter.
Frederico Robles got better in course of game - Foto: ABF
The fifth inning didn`t start as planned, when the first batter reached and advancing to second
due to an error. The defense recovered and made a nice sliding catch, followed by a strikeout and a pop-up to left and just got away with it. Over the course of the game, the Argentinian pitcher, Federico Robles, who struggled in the second and the third inning, found his groove and kept the opposing batters in check. Only Sammy Hackl could reach base with an infield hit.
The sixth started off like a déjà vu, but this time the runner reached second on a wild pitch after the error. This time the mistake ended up costly, having the Argentinian left fielder single to left. Also the next batter made solid contact, putting runners to the corners with no out. A sacrifice fly and a hit later in the inning scored the next two runs, having Argentina now leading 6:3. Skipper Sakanashi decided to make a pitching change and sent Mo Scheicher on the mound, to stop the bleeding. Two pitches were needed and the rookie pitcher got his squad out of the inning.
The momentum was turned around and while Austria couldn`t put any pressure on the Argentinian Defense, their offense started right where it has left. Scheicher had to give up a lead-off double, followed by a hit batsman and a single. Julian Pedrouzzo hit the ball far over Amin Many`s head in center field, clearing the bases and pushing their lead to 3:9. The next two batters could connect for two more runs, before Severin Schütz took over on the hill. He had troubles finding his command and had two walk the first two batters. When the inning was finally over, Austria was trailing 3:13. In the bottom of the 7th, the newcomer at the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup had its last chance to prevent a loss due to mercy rule. Although Zimmerle drew a walk, the team couldn`t score him and Austria had to take its second loss in the tournament.
Amin Many covered a lot of ground in CF - Foto: ABF
Austria fought hard, kept the ball game open with team captain Hirnschal on the mound, but the opposing batters found the antidote against Austria`s reliefers, opening up the game in the sixth and seventh inning. Tomorrow another 10 AM game is scheduled for Team Austria in Cadereya. The opponent will be Nicaragua, who finished fourth at the last world cup.
OCT 28, Cadereyta Stadium, 10 AM, Australia vs. Austria – 8:1
OCT 29, Cadereyta Stadium, 10 AM, Austria vs. Argentina – 3:13
OCT 30, Cadereyta Stadium, 10 AM, Nicaragua vs. Austria
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