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NSW goes 1-2-3 at Junior League Nationals
Hills gets the gold!
05/31/2017 12:36 AM ET

The New South Wales teams had outstanding results at the Australian Junior League Championships recently going 1-2-3 in Adelaide. Hills took out the Championships with Ryde taking the silver and Cronulla taking the bronze.

Ryde had an impressive performance throughout the tournament that was started with a grand slam from James Nati against the Central Firebirds. Mitch Steer had a great game on his birthday striking out two and only giving up one run in his 2.1 innings on the mound as well as going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI against Brisbane Metros. Lex Trattles threw an impressive shutout against defending champions Cronulla with a firing defence behind him. Ryde capped of the tournament with 4 wins and 1 loss.

Cronulla, the defending National Champions nearly went undefeated throughout the tournament only to lose against fellow NSW team Ryde in the semi finals. Cronulla had an outstanding bullpen throughout the tournament. Blake Cavill also hit an impressive 2 home runs throughout the tournament (against GC Pirates and Swan Hills). Cronulla had an impressive bullpen but Josh Pearl was the star of the roster. Pearl was nearly untouchable against Southern Mariners striking out 14 of the 15 batters he faced as well capping off the most complete game of the championship as he went 2-3 with a home run and three RBIs.

Hills was the team two look out for at this years' tournament with a strong roster. Hills had one of the strongest bullpens throughout the entire tournament with stellar pitching from Lianna Davidson (who was the Australian Youth Women's Golden Arm winner), Liam McCallum, Soloman Maguire, Alex Ranieri and Clayton Campbell. The offensive line-up backed the defensive up perfectly. Soloman Maguire put in a complete performance against Swan Hills Aces finishing the game with two triples, a home run and two RBIs. Brock Tonna had a strong performance against GC Mariners by driving 5 of the 10 runs for the game. A special mention to Clayton Campbell threw the first no-hitter in Australian Junior League Championship history to lead the team to a 9-0 win over Southern Mariners in the later part of the tournament. Hills went through the entire tournament undefeated.

Manly fought their way through the tournament to have 3 wins and 3 losses. The star batter in the Manly roster was Tom Newbold. Newbold raked in 3 home runs and 1 inside-the-park homerun throughout the tournament. Newbold also hit back defensively with striking out 8 and not giving up an earned run in his six innings on the mound against Eastern Athletics

Full Finals Recap

By: Sam Finn

GOLD: Hills 7-1 Ryde

In a battle between two powerhouse NSW charters, it was Hills who prevailed 7-1 and booked their ticket to the Junior League World Series.

For Manager Les Stockdale, Clayton Campbell and Brent Iredale, it'll be their second consecutive appearance on the world stage, after they all were part of Hills' Little League team that made history at the 2016 Little League World Series.

Andrew Martin was the sparkplug for Hills, nailing their first hit of the game in the form of a triple before being driven in by Riley Watson for the opening run of the ballgame. Martin then came to the party again in the bottom of the fourth, extending Hills' lead to three after a two-RBI single.

Liam McCallum tossed five dazzling innings, keeping the Hawks hitters off balance all night. The lefty finished with three strikeouts and no hits across five innings. When asked about the experience, McCallum was excited to get stuck into the best in the world.

"I couldn't think of anything better," said McCallum.

"The boys played exceptionally well today. Ryde are a great team, their performance in the semi against Cronulla was amazing and we had to play at our best today."

James Nati struck out eight in his five innings start, and had his breaking ball working throughout, continually fooling hitters with a stunning curveball.

Ryde threatened in the bottom of the sixth as all good teams do in the top of the sixth, loading the bases after Cooper Garth legged out an infield single. Soloman Maguire then induced a groundout from Kobi Slaats as the rally was quashed by the Hills defence. 

Clayton Campbell put the exclamation point on the ballgame as he made a dazzling play at shortstop for the second out of the inning. Campbell's fellow Little League World Series teammate Brent Iredale fired a strike to first for the third out of the game, and Hills booked their ticket to the Junior League World Series in Taylor, Michigan.

BRONZE: Cronulla 11-0 Southern Mariners

Cronulla claimed third place at the Australian Junior League Championship off the back of an incredibly dominant start from Josh Pearl.

Pearl struck out 14 of the 15 batters he faced, and was nearly untouchable against a Southern Mariners line-up that has fought all week. Adam Harris claimed the only hit off Pearl, a bunt single that caught the defence on the hop late in the game.

Pearl also capped off the most complete game of the championship as he went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI. Jake Burns also chimed in with three RBI of his own however the day belonged to Pearl as he leads his team to an Australian Senior League Championship Bronze Medal. 



This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.