For immediate release: 15th January 2017
Three players from Greater Western Baseball Association’s Little League State Championship training squads have played integral roles in securing podium results in two National Championships in Blacktown, as well as winning an Oceanic Tournament in Guam yesterday, 15th January 2017.
Competitions over the past week came to an end yesterday, with a gold medal for Kyan Roach (Under 12’s) and Team Australia at the Oceania Championship in Guam, as well as a silver medal for Shannon Underhill (Under 18’s) and a bronze medal for Cody Godbold (Under 16’s) who both represented NSW in the National Youth Championships at Blacktown International Sports Park.
“These are some fantastic results for each of the Greater Western [Baseball Association] Warriors, and also their families, Clubs and coaches who have all played a role in getting them to this point,” said Association President Michael Bryan, “their dedication, passion and commitment to the game has definitely been rewarded this week”.
“It’s certainly a bit of a boost for us as we start working towards the Little League State Champ’s in April, with all three of these players in our training squads bringing not only talent but invaluable experience in this sort of tournament pressure.”
2017 will see the first ever International Baseball Federation World Cup for an Under 12’s division. The Australian selection process required a high performance recommendation followed by simultaneous trials across the country to pick 18 players, with Kyan Roach from Penrith Baseball Club being one of seven from NSW who left for Guam on Tuesday, 10th January 2017.
The Oceania Championship, also the World Cup Qualifier, was a three nation tournament, with Australia taking two big wins over America Samoa, a day one loss and a day three tie-breaking win against Guam culminating in a massive 19 – 0 win over the host nation in the Championship match, qualifying Team Australia for the World Cup in Taiwan 28 July to 6 August 2017.
Making his presence felt, Kyan Roach’s entry into the second game of the tournament appeared to lift the team’s spirit, and although not taking the win, outscored the opposition four to one after his first at bat resulted in a two base hit, one of four in his first six at bats, with yet another in the final.
“Kyan had two monster doubles in the American Somoa game and another massive double in the Guam game that went into extra innings,” said Team Australia Under 12’s Manager Brian Murphy, “It was pleasing to see Kyan play well and push his way into the starting line-up due to his powerful batting”.
Closer to home at Blacktown International Sports Park, Plumpton Braves’ Shannon Underhill was in action for NSW’s Under 18’s squad, who went into the final match having two wins from two games against Western Australia, but would ultimately finish runners-up in a hard fought pitchers dual, three runs to four.
With the venue playing host to the Under 18’s Oceania Championship next week, many players had been seeking to impress for Team Australia selection, however, Underhill’s impact in leading the tournament for stolen bases would serve only as a display for what selectors can expect when he lines-up for New Zealand.
“Shannon was an asset to the team both in defence and his ability to pitch when needed,” said NSW Under 18’s Manager Shane Summersford, “Although he was the youngest in the team, he developed into a fine athlete through the program”.
In the other National Youth Championship division, Cody Godbold took the field for NSW in the Under 16s division, who just missed out on the tournament match with a loss to WA the day before, but they came out determined today and secured a dominant 11-1 win in the bronze medal match against South Australia.
Godbold finished the tournament with four hits, including one double, combined with his four walks to record an on-base plus slugging percentage (OBP%) of 0.982, looking to follow in his brother’s footsteps of playing in the Australian Baseball League.
“Cody Godbold hit an impressive .333 batting average with an On Base Percentage of .538 for the tournament. Cody also pitched in 3 separate outings only giving up 2 hits and 2 walks,” said NSW Under 16’s Manager Jason Dormer.
Both Underhill and Godbold will be looking to be confirmed in the Little League tournament team in the Greater Western Warriors Senior League squad, playing 8-11th April at Blacktown International Sports Park, whilst Roach will be eying a spot in the Majors squad, playing 20-23rd April at Milton Park, Macquarie Fields.
“We have four squads training for the State Champs, and the three that have Nationals to progress to are all focussed on getting us to the next level, and ideally push through for a Little League World Series spot.”
- ends –
For more information, images or interview requests, please contact:
Michael Bryan | Association President – GREATER WESTERN BASEBALL ASSOCIATION
M: 0404 093 100 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org