Linger happy hitting homers

WHILE local baseball has been flush with visiting teams from the United States, former Norths junior, James Linger, is plying his trade for the Australian team in Edmonton, Canada, in the AAA World Championships.

Australia started the championships in an exceptional manner, taking out one of the heavyweights in the form of Mexico, blowing them away 11-7.

Linger, who is contracted to Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves in the US, made sure his presence was felt.

The former centre-fielder, now Aussie shortstop, blasted a three-run home-run in the seventh to give the Aussies a comfortable lead into the final innings. Linger, who has a flair for the dramatic, ensured this bomb was no exception, hitting the top of the left-field fence before popping over the side of the fence that matters.

In game two on Sunday, the Aussies went down 5-1 to the tournament favourites, the US, but Linger again starred, picking up two hits for the game along with the only stolen base for the green and gold.

Game three also ended in disappointment in a fiery 6-1 loss to Korea, but game four proved a solid return to form where Australia knocked off the Netherlands with in an awesome 14-2 victory.

Game five against the Russians was more of the same, with the Aussies dominating in an 8-0 victory. In their quarter-final the Australians will take on Pool B leaders and tournament hosts Canada, who have four wins and a loss for the competition.

Canada have been drawing big crowds throughout.



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