BASEBALL pitcher Jackson Boyd, of Langwarrin, returned to Florida after representing Australia in the under-23s Baseball World Cup in Colombia on Sunday 28 October.
The now 19-year-old, having had his birthday while competing in the World Cup, joined an Australian contingent of 24 players and competed against 12 international teams at the competition.
The Australian team finished in ninth place overall, but Boyd said he still had an exceptional time representing his country.
“The World Cup this year was an experience of a life-time,” he said.
“To be able to travel to that part of the world and do what I love is a blessing. To play at such a high level and compete was an amazing experience.”
Boyd said he enjoyed the trip over to Colombia but the key to the great experience was competing at the World Cup with people he now knows so well.
“Nothing beats the feeling of being able to wear your country on your chest with guys you played with and against ever since I was 12-years-old.”
The Australia team was placed in Group B and faced five international teams being Korea, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and the Czech Republic in the group stage.
Australia were defeated two to four by Venezuela in the opening round, before hitting back with a five to three victory over the Czech Republic in the second round.
Australia then scored a narrow victory over the Dominican Republic, three to four, in the third round. Korea were ruthless in the fourth round and defeated the Australian side by seven runs, 14 to seven, before Australia finished the group stage with a narrow three to two loss against Puerto Rico.
In the consolation rounds, Australia faced host-nation Colombia where they were defeated by 13 runs with a final score of five to 18. Australia ended the competition on a high scoring two dominant victories over the Netherlands (16-3) and South Africa (4-9).
Boyd, who is studying sports science at North West Florida College and following his passion for baseball, will now stay in Florida until Christmas before making a trip back home.
First published in the Frankston Times – 5 November 2018