#1 The Rangers game against Arizona on Thursday is the makeup of a May 29 game that was postponed because of unplayable field conditions after the grounds von jcy123 01.02.2018 12:09

It might not have a broadcast deal to rival the National Rugby League, facilities that come close to Collingwoods Westpac Centre or the following of the Wallabies, but baseball -- specifically Little League -- is one of the fastest growing sports in Australia.The first Little League-affiliated leagues in Australia werent established until 2007, when Little League International and Baseball Australia began working together. But the sport has grown rapidly Down Under. After five years, Australia had more chartered Little League programs than Japan, and the country was granted direct entry to the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, starting in 2013, when Little League officially separated Australia from the Asia-Pacific region.Today, more than 4,500 11- and 12-year-old Australian kids are registered participants on one of the countrys 477 teams.Outside of the United States and Canada, we have more participants in Little League than anyone else in the world, says Mathew Sundstrom, the head of Little League and National Championships for Baseball Australia. Our participation in the program has been rapidly growing ever since the introduction of our older divisions, which now allow under-15s and -17s to join the program.As a result, the National Championship has doubled in teams, from 10 to 20, which highlights the growth and retention rate for baseball in this country.Hills Little League from New South Wales won the countrys national championship in June and an automatic berth in the World Series, which will be played Aug. 18-28. Hills defeated another New South Wales team, Central Coast, 7-3 for the title. The champions scored 75 runs in six games during the tournament while allowing only four.?Hills, who are from the northwest region of Sydney, qualified for the nationals and then, in June at the Little League National Championships, went through the tournament undefeated, Sundstrom said.Hills prevailed 7-3 in the final to book its place in Williamsport. That means a team from Australias east coast will appear in the LLWS for the second consecutive year. Hills was just two wins away from reaching the Little League World Series last year but fell to eventual Australia representative Cronulla by two runs in the region semifinals.Despite the rapid growth, some things about baseball are still different Down Under. Hills manager Les Stockdale?allows that the velocity of the pitching in the U.S. is a lot higher than in Australia. Sundstrom acknowledges that Hills -- which will have a 65-day layoff before its first game in Williamsport and will travel farther (9,793 miles) to the Little League World Series than any other team -- faces a daunting task in Williamsport. But he believes this years squad is the best Australian team to ever compete at the World Series.?Its a massive task. Its a very big stage over there, and the biggest crowd this team has played in front of was about 150 people, he said. It will be the first time theyve played in front of 10,000 people -- not to mention the 40,000 walking around the complex.Theyve definitely got the potential to challenge and go deep into the tournament. The furthest weve been the last two years is winning one game before being knocked out.Stockdale says his teams immediate objective is to win two games, starting with the opener. Australia has never won its inaugural game of the tournament. It opens the Little League World Series against Italy at 5 p.m. ET Thursday. That is the first meeting between the teams at the LLWS. Spencer Ware Jersey . After the whistle, Thornton skated the length of the ice, pulled Orpik to the ice from behind and punched him in the face several times. Anthony Sherman Jersey . -- Claudio Bieler hadnt scored since early September, and not from the run of play since mid-July. http://www.chiefsauthenticofficialstore.com/authentic-patrick-mahomes-ii-jersey.html . Reassurance came from Paul Tesori, his caddie and close friend whose newborn son is in intensive care in a Florida hospital. "Paul sent me a text this morning, just told me he loved me and wanted to go out and fight as hard as I would any other day," Simpson said Sunday after doing just that. Ron Parker Jersey . Most important, perhaps, it went off without a hitch. Organizers poked a little fun at the now-infamous opening ceremony gaffe that saw only four out of five snowflakes open up into rings, leaving the Olympics logo one ring short. Demetrius Harris Jersey . What general manager Dave Nonis called "short and productive" negotiations ended with Kessel signing a US$64-million, eight-year contract on Tuesday.ARLINGTON, Texas -- Adrian Beltre tossed off his batting helmet, covered his head with both hands and jumped into the middle of what has been a common scene this week for the Texas Rangers. Beltre even came out of the celebration at home plate with his shirt hanging around his waist. The homer by Beltre leading off the ninth gave the Rangers a 2-1 victory Wednesday night over the Los Angeles Angels, completing a three-game series sweep in which Texas won each on game-ending home runs. "Being able to walk off three times in a row, and our offence has been the reason why we struggled the last few weeks, and our offence is getting a lot better," Beltre said. "And it starts with me. I havent been swinging the bat real well, hitting in the middle of the lineup and not doing my job, but the last couple of games have been better and hopefully it creates that for everybody." There was no doubt about another dramatic victory for the Rangers when Michael Kohn (1-1) left a 2-2 pitch over the middle of the plate. Beltre hit it deep into the left-field seats for his 23rd homer. "It was supposed to be down and away, but I left it middle in," said Kohn, who didnt even have to turn around to know the ball was going over the wall. Texas had been shut out in three of its previous four games, and swept at Cleveland last weekend, before having three consecutive games end on homers for the first time in team history. "Its overwhelming really," manager Ron Washington said. "We just kept battling, and you know when were at our best, this is what you get. Not three walk-off home runs, but the different people getting it done. And thats what we need, is different people getting it done." Texas won the series opener Monday night when A.J. Pierzynski and Geovany Soto both homered in the ninth inning off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri, Sotos blast providing a 4-3 victory. Then on Tuesday, after trailing four times, the Rangers again scored in the ninth off Frieri and won 14-11 after Leonys Martin hit a three-run homer in the 10th. According to Elias, the last team to win three consecutive games with game-ending homers was Detroit in June 2004. The last to sweep a three-game series in that fashion was Arizona over Montreal in May 1999. Nelson Cruz also homered Wednesday night for the Rangers, his 25th making it 1-0 in the second. Josh Hamilton connected for the only Angels run, a 422-foot blast to right-centre in the seventh. His 16th homer tied thee game.dddddddddddd. Rangers closer Joe Nathan (3-1) struck out two and walked one in the top of the ninth to win for the second night in a row. He had last won consecutive games in August. 2005. Jerome Williams of the Angels and rookie Martin Perez for Texas, the starting pitchers, each allowed only one run while pitching into the eighth. Both had been struggling before their duel. "Were not looking back on all three. Were just looking back at tonight," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We didnt do enough to support Jerome, who really pitched well. Unfortunately, Perez outpitched him." Williams scattered eight hits over 7 2-3 innings with two walks and one strikeout. The right-hander, who had an 8.90 ERA and five losses his previous seven starts, left with two on in the eighth, when Kohn got Ian Kinsler on an inning-ending flyball. Perez had allowed at least four earned runs in three consecutive starts. The lefty struck out four, walked two and allowed only four hits in 7 1-3 innings before Tanner Scheppers closed out the eighth. Cruz is among several players waiting to find out if they will be suspended by Major League Baseball in its investigation related to the Biogenesis case. Discipline is expected to be announced by the end of the weekend, which means Thursdays makeup at home against Arizona could be his last home game for the Rangers, depending on the timing and length of any suspension. The All-Star right fielder, who is eligible for free agency after the season, leads the Rangers with 25 homers and 73 RBIs. "Very impressed," Washington said. "Hes been a model citizen, to be going through whats he going through and able to do (what hes doing). ... Hes been very good leaving whatever issue he has on the outside, and youve got to commend him for that." Notes: The game took only 2 hours, 30 minutes to play. A night earlier, it took 4 hours, 46 minutes for 10 innings. ... The Rangers game against Arizona on Thursday is the makeup of a May 29 game that was postponed because of unplayable field conditions after the grounds crew was unable to get the tarp in place during a severe thunderstorm before the game. ... Martin and Elvis Andrus had consecutive hits to start the Rangers first, but both were retired on the bases. Martin was thrown out trying to go to third on a single by Andrus, who then picked off at first base by catcher Chris Iannetta. Andrus 13-game hitting streak is the longest active in the majors. 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