With Sascha Kotrba on the mound, the game didn´t exactly start as planned. The southpaw let two runners on base, when a groundball back at him could have ended the inning. An overthrow brought in the first run, a double down the left field line scored runs number two and three for Nicaragua. More hits followed, extra base hits and a homerun. Adrian Bleyer was sent to the mound after Nicaragua scored eight runs in the first. The right hand pitcher finally got the team back in the dugout.
Right hander Jesus Garrido started for the world´s #18. After a perfect first, Sammy Hackl walked and Richard Alzinger shot a ball by shortstop, to put runners on second and third. Austria couldn´t finish the job and was still trailing 8:0.
Pitcher Michael Koller kam immer besser ins Spiel - Foto: ABF
The Nicaraguan batters were patient at the plate and drew two walks against relief pitcher Michael Koller to start the Inning. A bloop single to center field loaded up the bases. Koller got two fly outs and nearly came out of the inning, but on a throw to home, the ball bounced weirdly over the catcher´s head. Again, Nicaragua followed up with hits, while Austria gave them even more free bases to score four more runs.
With an early twelve run deficit, the Austrian U-23 National team players didn´t hang their heads and tried to fight back. Ferdi Obed and Amin Many could land hits against Jesus Garrido, who showed a stellar performance for his country. Koller found his grove after the second inning and kept throwing strikes. His defense helped him out on a few hard hit balls that already looked like sure hits. Claus Seiser recovered from yesterday´s 2-error game and showed-off his skills with a dramatic diving catch, which made the crowd jump up for at least a minute of standing ovations. In the third, Felix Wilhelm and Tobias Dorffner made their debuts at a baseball world cup. An inning later, Michael Jäger, Martin Gruber and Raphael Mayr followed to smell some world cup air. Mayr, playing left field, was greeted by a long shot to the warning track, but the youngster from the Austrian Baseball League Champion 2016, the Attnang Puchheim Athletics, could catch the ball to end the inning.
Claus Seiser had a great day defensively - Foto: ABF
Nicaragua managed to score another run in the fifth to make it 13:0. In the sixth inning, Omar Duenas was sent to the mound to follow Koller, who could adapt after his first inning. Duenas, also making his first appearance in Monterrey, couldn´t keep the opposing batters in check. The Nicaraguan offense scored two more runs after a long shot to right field, ending the game after six innings with a 15:0 margin. Austria was defeated once again. While only two hits were recorded and no run was scored today, the European contender played with a lot of heart during the whole game and never gave up.
On the one hand, Austria definitely didn´t perform the way they would have liked to. On the other hand, the whole team could take away a lot from this experience. Although they were trailing from the very first inning on, the team didn´t give up and showed some great baseball for the fans in Cadereya Stadium but also back home.
Tomorrow, a little highlight is not only waiting for the Austrian U-23 National Team, but also for the Manager of Austria, Hiroyuki Sakanashi, who is a Japanese citizen: Austria will face Japan at 6PM local time (1 AM, Austrian time) at Saltillo. Japan hasn´t lost a game yet and is #1 in the world. Not only is Austria the underdog for this matchup, Austria has also not won a game at the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup yet. For the players this might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to face the best players in the world in their age group. Austria will fight as hard as they can and at the same time enjoy every single moment.
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 – 15:0
OCT 31, Saltillo Stadium, 6 PM, Austria vs. Japan
NOV 1, Monterrey Stadium, 6PM, Austria vs. Chinese Taipei
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