Team Australia pulls shock win against Arizona Diamondbacks
TEAM Australia beating the Arizona Diamondbacks and giving the LA Dodgers some serious heart flutters over the weekend ... not many people saw that coming.
Both the attack and defence from the men in green and gold was outstanding, shutting down both their opponents for an incredible 17 out of a total 18 innings on the mound
Many baseball fans did a double take at Thursday night's 4-2 score line in favour of the mega-rich Dodgers, as part of the exhibition series at the SCG.
The Aussies stunned more American superstars with a 5-0 shut-out over Arizona the following night.
Australian coach Jon Deeble was left over the moon at both displays.
"You've got to tip your hat to our pitchers," he said.
"We threw 17 shut-out innings against the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks, so that was outstanding.
"Our defence was perfect tonight."
Much of the talk before the series was on how Australia needed to be razor sharp in defence against two quality hitting teams.
But the Aussies were also brilliant in the batters' box against the Diamondbacks.
Tim Kennelly, who had a .500 average for the night, hit a home run he will never forget in the fourth inning.
Heavy hitters Stefan Welch and Justin Huber were also .500 each on the night, and Luke Hughes posted a phenomenal .667.
"I thought these guys were amazing the way they swung the bats. We had 10 hits up pretty early and we grouped them together into the gaps which was good," Deeble said.
Welch, 25, was not getting his hopes up too much of getting a run for the Boston Red Sox this season, where he is contracted, despite his amazing display.
"You can't really look at those things because the players they've got are unbelievable. The best in the world," he said.
"As long as I keep trying to work hard and get better everyday, it's all I can control.
"This experience has been awesome getting a chance to wear the green and gold. It's something I'll always remember."
Kennelly, 27, plays with Philadelphia Phillies affiliate the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs at Triple-A level - one below the Major League, and so does Welch.
That meant both went into Friday night's game confident of making a dent in the D-backs' bullpen.
"We've played against that level of pitching before, so we just go out there and try to have a good at-bat every time and you hope it all falls your way," Kennelly said.
"To do it (hit a homer) at the SCG for Team Australia against a Major League club makes it that much more special."
Kennelly also plays for the Perth Heat in the Australian Baseball League, while Welch represents the Adelaide Bite.