Pitching in for big win
FROM the age of two, Michael Gahan just wanted to throw a baseball hard.
And that's exactly what the Marist Brothers pitcher did for the Australian under-18 team at the Oceanic Championships in Guam which finished last week.
Gahan's undefeated team won its final 17-2 against New Zealand.
The big victory qualified it for the Under-18 Baseball World Championships to be held in Seoul, South Korea in late August.
The soon to be 17-year-old put himself right in the selection frame for these titles, throwing well in two pool matches against the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
In these two games Gahan pitched for five innings, produced seven strike-outs and conceded just two hits, one walk and one earned run.
To make the Australian team that will fly to Seoul, Gahan will need to perform at an eight-week camp on the Gold Coast leading into the tournament.
His first goal for 2012 was to make the Oceania Championships side and now he is on track to achieve his second goal of playing at the World Championships.
Gahan's workload has been intense - he flew to Guam just three days after helping Queensland win silver at the National Youth Baseball Championships in Geelong.
But he said a training schedule at the Southern Cross University Gym under the eye of manager Richard Campbell got him in peak physical condition.
Gahan was always destined to represent his country because his family has enjoyed plenty of success in the sport over the years.
"I had him throwing in the backyard since he was two years old teaching him the right technique," his father Anthony said.
Anthony pitched for Queensland in his heyday.
Gahan's grandad Maurice also played for Queensland and his uncle Matt, cousin Peter and younger brother Jordan have worn the green and gold colours.
The Lismore youngster has such a passion for baseball, his walls at home are adorned with memorabilia and match balls from previous interstate and overseas tours.
"I've always wanted to play for Australia," he said.
"I'm very happy with the way things went in Guam with us going through undefeated.
"To throw for five innings wasn't disappointing because the coaches wanted to give everyone a go.
"Over there I proved that I do belong at that level.
"I only gave up three runs for the tournament and now I just need to keep working hard to give myself a good chance of making that World Championships side."