World Classic tees off
MAJOR CONTEST HITS REGION
WESTERN Sydney Wanderers helped tee off the World Baseball Classic at Blacktown International Sportspark yesterday.
The premier international baseball competition is coming to Rooty Hill this weekend with a qualifying tournament.
Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and South Africa will compete in a double elimination round at the Rooty Hill ground over four days, from February 11-14.
The final winner will advance to the World Baseball Classic in 2017, with the host
country yet to be announced.
All four teams started their first official training session at the Rooty Hill ground on Monday, however have been preparing for the competition since the last world tournament in 2013.
The Australian side will be led by manager Jon Dee- ble, who will take the team to the World Baseball Classic for the fourth consecutive time.
Deeble said he was excited for the upcoming tournament.
“I am really looking forward to getting the team into camp and getting underway”, Deeble said.
“After a great ABL season, it’s now our chance to dig in and get after it, and show the Aussie fans what we have got.”
The 28-man Australian squad will take on the Philippines in their first game on the tournament on Thursday night.
The team is made up of nine Major League Baseball-affiliated players, including two from the Atlanta Braves, left-handed pitcher Steven Kent and catcher Matt Kennelly.
Australian baseball players and Wanderers Jonathan Aspropotamitis and Jacob Pepper with Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali.