Team Australia take down New Zealand in U-23 opener
22/04/2022 1 Minute Read

Team Australia take down New Zealand in U-23 opener

Team Australia holds a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three 2022 WBSC Oceania U-23 World Cup Qualifier after taking down New Zealand in Canberra on Friday night.

Australia jumped to an early 9-0 lead and withstood a fifth-inning rally from New Zealand to record a 13-3 win at Narrabundah.

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John Lemm drove in three runs to lead Team Australia’s offence while Coen Wynne, Maddux Stivey and Max Milner had scoreless outings on the mound.

Australia took the lead on a Mitch Edwards sacrifice fly in the first after Aidan Willis singled and Dermot Fritsch reached on an error.

Back-to-back bases loaded walks – first Lemm and then Bradley Griffin – followed by a wild pitch put the lead at four runs.

Lemm added a two-run single in the second to make it 7-0 after Fritsch’s RBI-single had opened the scoring for the inning.

Edwards launched a solo homer to lead off the ninth and it became 9-0 when Griffin tripled to score Rory Spletter (single).

Wynne and Stivey combined to blank New Zealand through the first four innings.

In three innings of a start Wynne struck out four and allowed only one hit.

Stivey worked around a pair of hits to retire the side without damage in the fourth.

New Zealand scored three times in the fifth.

Max Milner struck out two in a scoreless sixth before Australia closed out a 10-run win in the bottom of the inning.

Fritsch had three hits for Australia.

Willis reached four times – three on walks – and scored three runs at the top of the lineup.

The best-of-three series continues at 6pm on Saturday.

A spot at the October 14-23 World Cup in Taiwan awaits for the winner.

Sunday’s clash will get underway at midday.

Entry to all games is free.