WBC Qualifier 1: Australia beats Philippines in seven

In the night cap of today’s double header, Australia hosted the Philippines.
For six innings the archipelago republic could keep pace rather well before its defense collapsed and it eventually became a blow out score.

The Philippines surprisingly got on the board first as Eric Farris scored from second base on a line drive single hit to center field, hit by Brady Conlan.
But Australia would tie the game in the bottom of the first when Brad Harman scored from third on a single to right field hit by Stefan Welch.

Australia took a one run lead after Logan Wade doubled, advanced to third on a 4-3 ground out by Mitch Nilsson and scored on a line drive single hit by James Beresford to left field.

In the third inning former Yankees pitcher Clay Rapada took the mound for the Philippines and kept the Aussies in check for two innings. But in the fifth, after recording an out, he gave up a walk, a sinlge and a double that drove in Stefan Welch and Luke Hughes for the third and fourth Australian run. Rapada was pulled in favor of Austin Haynal who managed to get out of the inning after struggling a bit.

Aussie Steven Kent cruised through six innings striking out seven and allowing just one run on four hits. He was limited to 85 inning, a number that he surpassed by one pitch as he retired Angelo Songco for the final out of the sixth inning.

Steven Kent: six solid innings

Eventually the defense of the Philippines collapsed in the bottom of the seventh inning. With the bases loaded and one out, James Beresford singled to right field to drive in Trent Oeltjen and Logan Wade to give Australia a 6-1 lead. A sac fly by Brad Harman to left field drove in Trent D’Antonio from third to make it 7-1. Stefan Welch’s double to left field drove in two more runs.

With the mercy rule win in reach and with two outs and the bases loaded, catcher Allan de San Miguel reached first base on a throwing error by third baseman Brady Conlan that allowed Stefan Welch and Luke Hughes to score the tenth and the walk off eleventh run for Australia and the mercy rule 11-1 win.

Pitcher Steven Kent earned the win and  James Beresford was the best Australian hitter, going 4 for 5 with three runs batted in and a run scored.

Australia will take on South Africa in tomorrow night’s game. The two losers of today, New Zealand and the Philippines, will face each other in the losers bracket. The loser of that game will go home, the winner will face the loser of the game between South Africa and Australia.


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