22/02/2020 - 01/03/2020

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U-18 Men's Softball World Cup 2020 - Official Payoff

Australia 2-0 New Zealand: Lowe shines in massive pitching duel

Australia 2-0 New Zealand: Lowe shines in massive pitching duel
29/02/2020
Australia eluded New Zealand with two runs late in the sixth inning to recover from their loss to Japan on Friday at the U-18 Men's Softball World Cup.

Left-handed pitcher Boston Lowe delivered a stellar performance for Australia pitching a 1-hit complete game shutout to lead his team to the victory over arch-rivals New Zealand, 2-0, in the last game of the WBSC U-18 Men's Softball World Cup Super Round in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Jeremy Garland and Riley James scored the only two runs of the game in the sixth inning.

It was a typical pitching duel between the two giants from Oceania. For the host team, Dylan Jackson struck out 8 in six innings of work, allowing only 4 hits and 2 runs. However, he didn't receive support from his offensive and was outdueled by Lowe, who clinched his first win of the event with a spectacular one-hit performance. Lowe flirted with the no-no, keeping New Zealand's lineup hitless until the seventh inning when a single by Dallas Clifton broke the no-hitter.

In the bottom of the sixth, Australia scored the only two runs of the game. Garland reached first on a fielder's choice and advanced immediately to second on a passed ball. Jackson struck out Nicholas Murphy for the second out of the inning, and New Zealand skipper Thomas Makea decided to intentionally walk Riley James to face Hayden Shaw. However, Jackson threw back-to-back wild pitches and allowed Garland to score the first run of the game. Three pitches later, Shaw lofted a routine fly ball to second base that was misplayed by Levi Wilson, giving Australia the 2-0 lead.

Lowe, who was throwing a no-hitter after six complete innings, allowed Clifton's single to open the seventh episode. However, the lefty retired the next three opponents on a bunt, a fly to the shortstop and a hard-hit line drive that was gloved by third baseman Jonathan Little to close the game.

Defending champions Australia bounced back from their Super Round loss to Japan on Friday, but will face the latter anew in the final - in a repeat of the 2018 final - on Sunday at 16.00 local time.

New Zealand finished the U-18 Men's Softball World Cup in fifth place, their second worst result in the event having finished sixth in 2012.