Third game for Australia and for a third time it was a nail biter. It was also the second extra-inning decision for them. But this time it was in their favour. Luke HUGHES hit a three-run walk-off homerun with one out in the eleventh inning to decide the duel against Venezuela. The Aussies overcame a 0-4 deficit to win 7-4.
Venezuela started the scoring in the second frame. They loaded the bases through a hit by pitch and two walks. Liubiemithz RODRIGUEZ stepped to the plate and ripped a bases clearing three-run-triple into right center field. He scored a batter later on Lino CONNELL’s single into center field. Tom BRICE brought Australia in the bottom of the fourth on the board with a RBI-single. They rallied again in the sixth frame to cut the deficit to 3-4. Glenn WILLIAMS scored on a throwing error by the shortstop. Brett RONNEBERG, who had reached and advanced to second on the miscues, was thrown out, when he tried to steal third. He was a bit too aggressive on the base paths and the mistake cost a run. Because the next hitter, BRICE, slugged the ball over the wall in right-center field for a solo-homerun. However, they tied the game through back-to-back doubles by Brad HARMAN and Justin HUBER. And the thriller went into extra-innings. RONNEBERG (leadoff-double) and Matthew KENT (intentional walk) reached base in the eleventh. HUGHES took two pitches for a 2-0 count and crushed the ball over the wall in left field. The Venezuelan left fielder didn’t even tried to run it down. He knew it right away, that the ball was gone.
The emotions went high in this duel. The benches cleared after a violent slide with the foot up into home. There were also some controversial and closed calls, so the tension stayed at a top level.
Josh HILL started for the Aussies. He allowed four hits, four runs and four walks in just 3 2/3 innings. They used six relievers in the game, with Greg WILTSHIRE receiving the win.
Venezuelan starter Leovildo PARGAS allowed six hits, two runs and four walks in five-plus innings. He struck out three. Junior GUERRA gave up the homerun by HUGHES. Erick ARTEAGA took the loss, because he was responsible for the winning run.
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