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    April 16, 2018 8:06 AM +0430

    Four months ahead of the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Australia have impressively raised their profile in the sport. Micah Hyde Jersey .Australia claimed the silver medal at the U-23 Baseball World Cup in Monterrey, Mexico, a milestone result for a program ranked No. 13 in the world. The Aussies won six of eight games in the first two rounds of the tournament to earn a spot in Sunday nights championship game, where they lost 10-3 to top-ranked Japan.The loss is disappointing for Team Australia, but a second-place finish undoubtedly indicates tremendous progress. By winning the silver, Australia are likely to jump to No. 11 in the world rankings and appear to have a bright future.Its very significant, said Australia U-23 head coach Tony Harris. We couldnt be prouder of how the guys played in the entire tournament. Its a credit to this team, and for Australia baseball, its massive.Australia shortstop Jacob Younis was named the top hitter in the World Cup after posting a .571 batting average with seven RBIs. First baseman Connor MacDonald hit a tournament-high four home runs, including two against Panama on Saturday to help clinch a spot in the championship game. Four Aussies were named in the All-World Cup team: Younis, MacDonald, designated hitter Guy Edmonds and relief pitcher Joshua Guyer.Im super proud of these young men, Harris said. They were fantastic ambassadors for Australian baseball, the way they carried themselves on and off the field.Japans U-23 team have a bevy of professional talent, including players from the nations top pro level, the NPB. So Harris knew that his team, which had lost to Japan 11-2 in the opening round, would need to play flawlessly to have a chance to win gold.In the early innings, Australia did just that. Aaron Whitefiled gave the Aussies a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a single that scored Sam Kennelly and Ben Leslie. Zach Shepherd then led off the fourth inning with a home run to make it 3-0 and chase Japan starting pitcher Taiga Kasahara. Meantime, Aussie pitcher Nick Veale was sharp in facing the minimum number of batters through three innings.But Japan is ranked No. 1 in the world for good reason, and their explosive lineup broke through for four runs in the fourth inning and never looked back. Australia banged out 10 base hits, compared to just seven for Japan. But Japan were able to take advantage of four Australia errors to score five unearned runs.Japan first baseman Taishi Hirooka struck the biggest blow, hitting a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Left fielder Yusuke Masago, who hit a solo homer and scored two runs in the championship game, was named MVP of the 12-team tournament.Australia played the World Cup without the services of several key players because of injuries and professional commitments, making the silver-medal result even more impressive.It gave others players a chance to step up, Harris said. And boy did they step up.Australia beat Chinese Taipei, ranked No. 4 in the world, on its way to a 4-1 record in the opening round. The Aussies opened the second round with a loss to host Mexico, but rebounded with wins against No. 3 Korea and Panama to earn a spot in the championship game.Looking ahead, Australias senior team will play in the first round of the World Baseball Classic in Tokyo on March 7-10. The Southern Thunder are grouped with China, Cuba and Japan in pool play.Harris will be in Tokyo as an assistant coach, and about a half-dozen of his U-23 players are candidates to earn roster spots on the WBC team. But first, he will lend some perspective to what Team Australia just accomplished in Mexico.How significant is the achievement for the Australian players who just earned World Cup silver medals?They will carry this experience for the rest of their days and take it to the grave, Harris said. Eddie Yarbrough Jersey . -- Ryan Blaney provided more evidence that Penske Racings No. Kelvin Benjamin Jersey . Nigeria beat surprise package Ethiopia 2-0 in the second leg of their playoff for a comfortable 4-1 aggregate victory. Victor Moses converted a 20th-minute penalty after an Ethiopian handball, and Victor Obinna made certain of Nigerias place in Brazil with his powerful free kick in the 82nd at UJ Esuene Stadium. . -- Anaheim Ducks defenceman Luca Sbisa will be out at least six weeks with a torn tendon in his right hand. Virat Kohli has expressed displeasure at the Christmas break Englands players will have between the Tests and the limited-overs series in India. Kohli also asked for an eight-day gap between Tests on Indias away tours in the future, and did not sound happy that England, under pressure, were getting time to recuperate between the third and fourth Tests.We didnt ask for the gap, it was part of the schedule, Kohli said, when asked if the eight-day gap had helped the team after three back-to-back Tests. Make sure when we go there, we also have eight days gap after three Tests and a 25-day gap between ODIs and Tests. We didnt ask for it, but seeing the long season ahead, it did us no harm. It actually helped us rest a bit, reflect on what we have done in the two games that we have won, and visualise again and come back even more fresh compared to the last two Test matches.On Indias previous tour of England, they had a five-day gap between the second and third Test, and six days between the third and fourth. The first two and the last two Tests were back-to-back, though a three-day finish in the fourth Test gave them a bigger break before the fifth.Kohlis larger objection, though, was to the 25-day gap between the last Test and the first ODI on Englands tour of India. It has been a practice for England to go home for Christmas and return for shorter formats when touring India. Kohli felt it gave them an advantage, one India did not have during their tours.Absolutely [England should not go home for the break], Kohli said. Or we should come back for a month as well from England. No point we play there for three-and-a-half months and everything we do is in the medias eyes, even our off time is scanned. Jerry Hughes Jersey. . I dont have any news of them enjoying their holiday in Dubai at all. I would like to see the same thing happen. Either they stay the whole tour or we come back for 25 days as well.Indias tour of England in 2014 spanned 74 days from their first tour game to the only Twenty20 international. India were away for four months in 2014-15, when they toured Australia for Tests, a tri-nation ODI tournament and the World Cup. Due to Phillip Hughes death just before the Tests, the schedule had to be rearranged. India were accommodating in those circumstances: they played practically four back-to-back Tests, and got about a week off between the tri-series and the World Cup.No schedule is drawn up without the agreement of the BCCI, so this might be one for the bosses in Indian cricket.Kohli saw the merit of a break. Very important, even when you go home during the break, he said. Honestly, between series, you cant completely switch off because it will always be there on your mind as to what you have to do in a match. As a captain, you will keep thinking about the combinations you can play, how will be the wicket ... But not too much also. Its important that you enjoy life beyond your profession.A lot of times in our country, we look at these things differently, that you have to keep thinking about cricket. But its up to you as an individual to weigh how much stress you can take, how much time you want away from cricket, and when do I have to refocus on the game. Cheap Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Discount NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping China Jerseys Cheap Jerseys NFL Cheap ' ' '