Marist Brothers players Michael Gahan and Nathan Cunningham have enjoyed a strong 2011 at national junior level.
Marist Brothers players Michael Gahan and Nathan Cunningham have enjoyed a strong 2011 at national junior level. Doug Eaton

Gahan pitching for shot at Mexico

MICHAEL Gahan’s quest for an Australian Under-16 baseball cap begins tomorrow on the Gold Coast.

There, the Lismore Marist Brothers Major League and Queensland Under-16 star will go up against the best young talent from around the country at the Baseball Australian Academy program at Palm Meadows.

The pressure on Gahan will be unrelenting. For three weeks he will be up at sunrise, training, dieting, playing and studying hard in front of some of Australia’s best baseball coaches and scouts.

All this will be in an effort to be picked for the Under-16 world championships from August 19-28 in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico.

It is the chance of a lifetime for Gahan but his time on the Gold Coast will not be a holiday.

He will rise at 6am every day and be put through his paces in a range of baseball drills.

In the evenings he must do a couple of hours of school work before lights out at 9.30pm.

But Gahan is up to the challenge and can make the plane to Mexico, according to Baseball Queensland’s high performance manager Andy Utting.

Utting ran a training session with Gahan and other promising Far North Coast baseballers on Sunday leading into the Academy camp on the Gold Coast.

“Michael has the talent to go to the next level and he can earn a contract to one of the US colleges,” Utting said.

“He was the best pitcher for Queensland at the National Youth Championships in his age division (during the Lismore tournament in April).

“Michael will play against national Under-18 kids at the camp, as well as the best kids in his age group, and I’m confident he’ll compete well against everyone.

“He’s a good size, is strong and there is a long line of Gahans in Lismore with a decent baseball heritage.”

Gahan, who already trains most days of the week, cannot wait to test himself against Australia’s best young baseballers.

The workload won’t bother him either.

“I’ve worked pretty hard and I’m happy I made the camp because it was a goal of mine,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.

“If I do well hopefully I can go to Mexico.”

The Australia team for Mexico will be announced on August 3.

Also at Sunday’s camp was fellow Marist Brothers Major League and Queensland Under-16 player Nathan Cunningham.

Utting has some raps on this kid too.

“He throws hard, is athletic and puts in a lot of work,” Utting said of Cunningham, who drives up to Lismore from Coffs Harbour just to play.

“They’re three of the best tools to have.”



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