Okay, Australia won the night cap of today’s double header vs South Africa. And it was in a convincing way as they never really got into trouble. But despite the loss, the South Africans kept the damage limited and can be really proud of their performance.
For Australia it was a case of “Noblesse oblige”.
The Aussies struck hard in the first inning. Back-to-back doubles by James Beresford and Logan Wade, back-to-back singles by Stefan Welch and Mitch Dening and a sac fly by Trent Oeltjen drove in three runs for the Australians.
The South Africans got on the board in the third inning. After he doubled to left field, Anthony Phillips scored on Kyle Botha’s single to center. But that was about it what the South Africans could do against the superior pitching of the Australians that gave up six hits. But the South African pitching did not do much worse as they gave up only one hit more. The difference was the number of walks given up: One by Australia and six by South Africa.
The Australians scored an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. With runners on third and second, James Beresford grounded out 4-3 and drove in David Kandillas from third base.
In the final three innings, the Australian pitching staff kept the South Africans from scoring and allowed only one double in the ninth.
Todd van Steensel pitched two perfect innings (7th and 8th) and struck out two for the hold. Ryan Searle gave up one double to Keegan Swanepoel but retired the other three hitters for the save.
According to the box score, Warwick Saupold earned the win despite pitching only three innings in which he allowed one run on three hits.
None of the Australian hitters got a multiple hit game, so statistics wise Trent Oeltjen was the best hitter with one double out of two at bats.
Best hitter for the South Africans was Anthony Phillips, who went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.
Carl Michaels took the loss for South Africa. In three innings he issued two walks and gave up three runs on five hits.
Australia can lean back for a day while South Africa will face New Zealand in tomorrow’s game to decide who will take on Australia in the final of this qualifier.