PRESS RELEASE FROM SOFTBALL AUSTRALIA
Australia’s Junior Steelers are World Champions, defeating defending champions Japan to claim the gold medal in the Junior Men’s Softball World Championship in Canada.
“The boys were very excited, and it was well deserved,” Junior Steelers Head Coach Laing Harrow said. “They worked very hard in the lead-up and were very professional throughout the whole tour.”
A sensational pitching performance by Layton Reid, secured the victory with the 17-year old pitching a no-hitter and struck out 15 as the Junior Steelers took the victory, 6-1, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
“There were a few walks and wild pitches (early on). But he got to the third inning with the lead, and he settled down and did an outstanding job,” Harrow said.
It was a magnificent effort by the sixth-ranked Junior Steelers, who lost to Japan in the group round but came through when it mattered most, with wins over the team in the semi-final (forcing Japan to play another semi-final against New Zealand to reach the final) and then finally the gold medal game.
“This is a fantastic result for the boys and we are all incredibly proud of their achievements across the whole week, but especially in the finals,” Softball Australia CEO David Pryles said. “Credit must also be given to the coaching and support staff who have supported the team tirelessly in the lead up and throughout the tournament”.
“Layton (Reid), Shaun Lanaghan, Brad Kilpatrick and Michael Ludkin were outstanding all week. They kept the runs to a minimum and allowed our offence to go ahead and do their job,” Harrow said.
On top of the team’s exceptional pitching performance, the Australian offence was lead strongly by Ryan King and Jeremy Waters who both hit home runs.
Michael Ludkin, Dawson Summers, Jacob Donaldson and Jett Wright also hit safely.
The last victory for Australia in this age bracket occurred 10 years ago, also in Canada.
New Zealand claimed the bronze medal, beating Canada in the first playoff game before losing to Japan.
Congratulations also to the eight NSW players in the squad – Blake Jackson, Bradley Kilpatrick, Christopher Plain, Jacob Donaldson, Jarred Garland, Josh Bond, Ryan King and Shaun Lanaghan – who helped win the World Championship.
World Championships Final Standings
- Australia (Gold)
- Japan (Silver)
- New Zealand (Bronze)
- Czech Republic
- South Africa
- Hong Kong