Tigers welcome Australian Steelers for rain-shortened affair - July 5, 2018
BY DENNY SCOTT
While rain truncated the event, the Brussels Tigers, for the third time in four years, hosted the Australian Junior Men’s Steelers softball team on June 27.
The event, which saw the teams host a youth workshop before the Tigers faced off against the Steelers, had scheduled two games, however, in anticipation of the coming rain, Tigers representative Shawn Daw said instead the two teams planned to face off for fun as long as they could, and ended up getting 10 innings in.
“The game went very well,” Daw said. “Ty Sebastian pitched very well, and kept the balls in the park so they were playable. We all hit fairly well. It was a good game all around.”
Sebastian played in Australia several years ago thanks to a connection between his father Paul and the coach of the Australian team, both of whom were originally from Milverton.
This year was the first year the Tigers welcomed the Junior team. Daw explained that, in previous years, it was always the men’s team.
Before the games, the Steelers offered training, as they have every year they’ve visited, and Daw said the experience was a good one for those who took part.
“There was a good turnout,” he said. “Lots of young kids came out to take advantage of that opportunity.”
The training, which Sebastian helped organize, consists of drills to help the young players reach their potential under the wing of the Australian players who regularly make this trip prior to the world championships.
Aside from the youth involved in the training program, Daw said that there was a lot of support from the community.
“The stands were full,” he said. “It went very well, except for the weather of course.”
The Australian players stayed in Milverton, and, prior to the event, played in several other communities in preparation for the Junior Men’s Softball World Championship set July 7-15 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
The Junior Steelers are in Group A, which includes Japan, Argentina, Mexico, Denmark, South Africa and India.
Canada is in Group B alongside opponents from New Zealand, the U.S., Czech Republic, Guatemala and Hong Kong.
New Zealand is the top seed approaching the tournament, with Canada just behind in second. Canada’s first game is on July 7, the first day of the tournament, against the United States.
Canada’s team includes players from across the country, however many of them are from Ontario including players from Kitchener, Glencoe, Teeswater, Napanee, Thamesville, Clifford and Williamsford.