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Traralgon child Blake Townsend competes on world stage as baseball’s recognition rises in Australia

Pitching prodigy Blake Townsend hopes Australia’s breakthrough efficiency on the world stage will assist encourage a brand new era of expertise to take up the game. 

Australia’s shock run on the World Baseball Basic earlier this 12 months got here to an finish with a 4-3 quarterfinal loss to Cuba, in what was the workforce’s greatest efficiency on the match.

The workforce certified for the knockout stage after profitable three of its 4 video games in Pool B, which included an upset win over South Korea. 

It was a proud second for Townsend, whose selection of baseball was an unconventional path for a younger athlete rising up within the regional Victorian city of Traralgon, the place soccer, netball, basketball and cricket dominated the sporting calendar.

His love affair with America’s favorite pastime began on the age of 10, when a flyer was dropped at his major faculty inviting junior gamers to a come-and-try day on the Traralgon Pink Sox.  

“I keep in mind after I was a child throwing a tennis ball round with my dad within the yard, so it was type of straightforward to transition into one thing like baseball,” he stated. 

Now simply over a decade later, the 21-year-old has already ticked a number of objects off his profession bucket record.

He stated the match in opposition to Japan was his private spotlight, the place he had the chance to pitch in opposition to his idol Shohei Otani, in entrance of a crowd of 41,000.

“It was a surreal expertise,” he stated. 

“Australia has been checked out as not one of many high groups on this planet, however now I really feel like we confirmed that we belong in that dialog.”

Blake Townsend and his dad Peter rejoice a premiership with the Traralgon Pink Sox. ()

Love of the sport

Baseball turned a central focus for the Townsend household as Blake turned extra engaged within the sport.

With alternatives to compete in tournaments in Guam, Taiwan and most lately Japan, Blake’s mom Nicki stated the household by no means missed a chance to tag alongside.

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