South Africa earns first U-23 World Cup win against Austria

After some rainouts on Friday, Austria got the chance to play South Africa on Saturday at 1 PM in Saltillo. A nervous start had Austria trailing soon in the game, but the team couldn´t recover from it, letting South Africa take its first win in the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup 2016.

Felix Zimmerle was the starting pitcher for the Austrian U-23 National team. After his great performance against Australia, it was Zimmerle´s second appearance on the mound in the course of the tournament. Unfortunately, he had problems with his command from the very beginning, walking four batters in the first. A base hit through the left side scored the first two runs for South Africa.

The Austrian offense wanted to fight back right away, but pitcher Lewis Walker kept the batters in check and retired the side. Zimmerle didn´t perform in the way he expected from himself. The second time through the lineup, South Africa started to hit Zimmerle, recording three hits and another run. Although, Hackl set a statement with a long fly ball, the second inning didn´t bring the relief the Austrian hitters were looking for.

A walk and a stolen base opened up the third inning for South Africa, but a strike out and an outfield assist of Richard Alzinger, who caught the runner on home, helped the Team out in the first place. Another walk and a hit to center field allowed another run for South Africa. With the score 4:0, Skipper Sakanashi took action and brought Mo Scheicher to the mound. Scheicher could end the inning and give Austria a little breath.

In the fourth, Jan Alteneder could record the first hit for the Austrian U-23 national team, and Claus Seiser could move the runner over. Sammy Hackl came up, when they had runners at the corners, but a double play ended the hopes. In the fifth, the Austrian defense got a little nervous, causing another error, which allowed South Africa to score two more runs. The score was now 6:1

Richard Alzinger started the fifth offensive mission with a base hit and Zimmerle came on base soon after. Daniel Walenta now could add a hit through the left side to score Alzinger for Austria´s first run. Moritz Scheicher in return had to allow three runners to get on base, but got out of the inning without a run.

After Austria offense couldn´t follow up on its run in the inning before, so Mo Scheicher and his Defense had to go back on the field shortly after. Two hard hits started up the inning, but again it was Alzinger with a great throw to catch the batter, trying to stretch his RBI double into a triple. With this, Austria sent Michael Koller to the mound in relief for Scheicher, who once again proved his young talent. Also the new right hander didn´t have an easy time finding the strike zone. After a walk he allowed a triple and another single, which scored two more runs.

Tobias Dorffner on a close play at second - Foto: ABF

Also Austria could put some traffic on the bases, but eventually, Alzinger stranded on third when Marc Seidls ball was caught in deep center field for the third out of the seventh frame. Meanwhile the bull pen was busy, having Severin Schütz getting ready for his appearance in the eight. After a quick groundout, Schütz hit a batter, but Sammy Hackl delivered a great toss to second to record his second caught stealing. The third batter popped out and Austria was back at bat.

Tobias Dorffner came in as a defensive substitution earlier in the game and was now at bat. He could reach second safely after he beat a grounder to first base. Alteneder followed up with a line drive to right, but their team mates couldn´t add another hit and left both stranded. Through the whole game, the batters in red and white had troubles to find the antidotal against the South African pitching. Differently than in games before, the offense couldn´t put pressure on the opposing defense.

Schütz allowed two more base runners but Martin Gruber turned two with the middle infield to get out of the inning. Sammy Hackl opened the last offensive chance with a single, but Alzinger followed with a pop up. Severin Schütz could help himself with a single, advancing to second on the throw and scoring another pair of runs, but three runs was too few against South Africa, who earn their first win of the tournament with their outstanding performance in today´s game.

Austria once again couldn´t get the job done, showing nervousness through many parts of the game. Tomorrow, the last game of the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup against Venezuela is scheduled at 9 AM in Saltillo. On the same day, the tournament will be officially closed with the final for the world baseball champion for U-23, taking place at Monterrey Stadium.

Opening Round
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 – 0:16
NOV 1, Monterrey Stadium, 6PM, Austria vs. Chinese Taipei - 0:3

Consulation Round
NOV 3, Cadereyta Stadium, 10 AM, Czech Republic vs. Austria – 14:7
NOV 5, Cadereyta Stadium, 1 PM, Austria vs. South Africa – 3:9

NOV 6, Cadereyta Stadium, 9:00 AM, Venezuela vs. Austria –


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Baseball League Austria
Ost G W L Pct
26 21 5 .808
26 17 9 .654
26 15 11 .577
26 11 15 .423
26 8 18 .308
West G W L Pct
26 22 4 .846
26 15 11 .577
26 12 14 .462
26 5 21 .192
26 4 22 .154