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U23 world cup baseball silver for Aussies

AAP logoAAP 7/11/2016 Warren Barnsley

Australia have claimed silver at the under-23 baseball World Cup after losing the final to No.1 ranked Japan in Mexico.

Australia started well in Monterrey on Sunday (Monday AEDT), with an Aaron Whitefield hit in the third innings giving the underdogs a two-run lead.

Zac Shepherd's home run extended the advantage to 3-0 at the top of the fourth.

But the top-seeds hit back with an unanswered nine-run stretch between the fourth and sixth innings, clinching a 10-3 victory as Australia failed to match the champions.

Australia, made up predominantly of domestic league stars and US minor league prospects, started the tournament as 13th-ranked team.

They recorded upset victories over highly-fancied Taiwan and bronze medallists Korea on the way to the final in a potential confidence boost for the country ahead of baseball's return to the Olympics at Tokyo 2020.

Before the final, their suffered just two losses - to Japan and hosts Mexico.

Brisbane Bandits player and Houston Astros prospect Connor MacDonald took out the award for the tournament's most home runs, while Sydney BlueSox star Jacob Younis won most runs and leading hitter awards.

MacDonald (first baseman) and Younis (shortstop) were both included in the All-World team, along with Josh Guyer as relief pitcher and Guy Edmonds as designated hitter.

Australia had the most All-World team representatives.

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