Rocky rep crowned world champion in Canada
SOFTBALL: Jeremy Waters will return to Rockhampton this week a world champion.
He was a member of Australia's Junior Steelers who won gold at the junior men's softball world championship in Canada.
Gladstone's Michael Ludkin, who also plays in Rockhampton Softball's A-grade competition with the Stallions, was vice-captain of the victorious team.
The Junior Steelers claimed their first title in 10 years with a commanding 6-1 grand final win over Japan, the world's top-ranked team coming into the tournament.
Head coach Laing Harrow said the boys were very excited and it was a well-deserved victory.
"They worked very hard in the lead-up and were very professional throughout the whole tour,” he said.
It was a magnificent effort by the sixth-ranked Junior Steelers, who lost to Japan in the group round.
They came through when it mattered most, with wins over the team in the semi-final (forcing Japan to play another semi-final against New Zealand to reach the final) and then finally the gold medal game.
Australia's offence was led strongly by Waters and Ryan King, who both hit home runs.
Ludkin, Dawson Summers, Jacob Donaldson and Jett Wright also hit safely.
The young Aussies were simply relentless and stepped up with a brilliant display in the grand final.
They took the lead in the game at the top of the third innings with a solo home run off the bat of King to left field.
That was the turning point and the Steelers never looked back.
Summers then connected with a pitch at the top of the zone and turned it into a double to centre field.
Waters teamed with pitcher Donaldson, who was on base, to hit a long home run to left field that essentially iced the game with a 5-1 lead.
Softball Australia chief executive David Pryles said it was a fantastic result for the boys and everyone was incredibly proud of their achievements.
New Zealand claimed the bronze medal, beating Canada in the first play-off game before losing to Japan.