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Australia Makes It To The Little League® World Series For The First Time
By George Thompson
When Australia champions Perth Metro Central Little League faced off against Mexico champions Liga Municipal de Tijuana Little League in their opener, both teams shared something in common. It was both teams’ first time participating at the Little League World Series.
However, there was one slight, but very important difference. While the country of Mexico had certainly had teams that participated in the World Series before, this was the first time the continent of Australia had played games at the marquee event of the summer, an event that kids dream of playing at one day.
Even though they lost their first game, there were still positives to take away from the experience. Australia cemented themselves in the record books, recording their first-ever hit at a Little League World Series, courtesy of Chase Diggins. And, they put up a resilient effort against the powerful Mexico team.
Despite the loss, manager Glen Tovey said there were a lot of smiles in the dugout after the game, and for good reason. For the first time, the players from Australia are getting to perform in front of thousands of people, and millions more on the ESPN family of networks. In addition, they are giving the sport of baseball in Australia a lot more exposure, something that manager Tovey said can only help the sport.
“This can only grow the game,” he said.
As a post-game press conference, Tovey said they already have a passionate following of baseball in Australia, and something like the Little League World Series should definitely help grow the sport even more.
In the run up to the Little League World Series, the Australia champions enjoyed plenty of success, going 12-2. After starting out 1-2, including a 14-6 loss against Perth Metro North, they won the rest of their games by an average margin of 9.72 runs, while scoring ten runs or more in six of the games.
Their defense proved to be valuable as well, as they only allowed an average of 1.54 runs per game.
Their biggest win came against Port Headland 28-0. Their closest win came against Ryde North, whom they were able to outscore 4-1.
No matter the outcome of any game at Williamsport, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, and one that the players are likely never to forget. Aside from playing in front of huge audiences, they also get to meet kids from all over the world, and learn about different cultures. That’s an experience only the Little League World Series can provide.