Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Published 12:00pm 7 July 2023

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team
Words by Jodie Powell

A team of baseballers from the Moreton Bay Region who will take on the best 12 and 13-year-olds from around the world at the Little League Intermediate Baseball 50/70 World Series is training hard ahead of their trip to the US.

They booked their berth on the world stage playing as Brisbane North after winning the Australian Intermediate League Championships in Victoria last month undefeated, trouncing Ryde Hawks in the gold medal match seven home runs to three.

Last year, nine players from this year’s team of 13 travelled to Williamsport in Pennsylvania to compete in the Little League World Series.

The 2023 Australian team is made up of players drawn from the Pine Rivers Rapids, Narangba Demons and Redcliffe Padres baseball clubs.

Manager David West says the team, which will play in San Francisco from July 20-August 6, is training three nights a week - with many of the players doing other sessions as well.

Joining David, who hails from the Padres, on the leadership team are assistant coaches Adam White (Padres) and Graham Honsa (Rapids) and executive officer Daniel Wilson (Padres).

The Little League Intermediate World Series is in Livermore, California, with Australia taking on five international teams representing the Asia-Pacific Region, the Canada Region, the Europe-Africa Region, the Latin America Region and the Mexico Region, as well as six from regions across the United States.

Australia’s first game in Livermore is on July 31 at 3pm local time (8am on August 1, Brisbane time).

Meet the team

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: Fletcher Adams

Age: 13

School: Bracken Ridge State High School

Home club: Pine Rivers Rapids

How long have you been playing baseball? Three years.

Favourite food: Mexican

Nickname: Ice man

Favourite Major League team? Los Angeles Angels

What was it like playing in America last year? Really good. I loved the free stuff (uniforms and kit) and meeting teams from other countries.

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: Archie Baert

Age: 13

School: Grace Lutheran College Caboolture

Home club: Redcliffe Padres

How long have you been playing baseball? This is my second year

Favourite food: Hawaiian pizza

Nickname: I don’t have one

Favourite Major League team? New York Yankees

What are you looking forward to about travelling to America to play again? Making the team again was big – everyone was excited. This year is definitely different – there’s not as many teams.

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: Mason Clem

Age: 13

School: Carmichael College

Home club: Pine Rivers Rapids

How long have you been playing baseball? Three years. Travelled to Williamsport, Pennsylvania as part of last year’s Australian Little League World Series team

Favourite food: Mexican

Nickname: Six-pack

Favourite Major League team? San Diego Padres

What was it like playing in America last year? It was fun – I loved it.

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: Alonso Zaire Griffin

Age: 13

School: Mueller College

Home club: Redcliffe Padres

How long have you been playing baseball? About eight years

Favourite food: Brisket

Nickname: Z

Favourite Major League team? San Diego Padres

What are you looking forward to about travelling to America to play again? Last year it was cool just seeing all the different teams and gaining experience. I don’t think anything will be like the Little League World Series though. Most of my family live around the US – we might go over early because I have family in San Diego and San Francisco.

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: Xavier Honsa

Age: 13

School: Grace Lutheran College Redcliffe

Home club: Pine Rivers Rapids

How long have you been playing baseball? My whole life. Travelled to Williamsport, Pennsylvania as part of last year’s Australian Little League World Series team

Favourite food: Ham, cheese and tomato toastie

Nickname: Honda

Favourite Major League team? San Diego

What are you looking forward to about travelling to America to play again? I have all the nerves out, so now I’m trying my hardest.

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: Kauri (Cody) Hunter

Age: 13

School: Redcliffe State High School

Home club: Redcliffe Padres

How long have you been playing baseball? Just this year, but before that I played softball

Favourite food: Steak, cheese and bacon pies

Nickname: Kevin-07

Favourite Major League team? Philadelphia

What are you looking forward to about travelling to America? Going to Dick’s Sporting Goods – it’s a baseball store.

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: Oliver Lyall

Age: 13

School: Genesis Christian College

Home club: Pine Rivers Rapids

How long have you been playing baseball? Four years

Favourite food: Sushi

Nickname: Ollie

Favourite Major League team? Los Angeles Angels

What are you looking forward to about travelling to America? Being on television.

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: Lachlan Richards

Age: 12

School: Padua College

Home club: Pine Rivers Rapids

How long have you been playing baseball? Since I was four

Favourite food: Burgers

Nickname: Richie and Richie Anderson (after the Major League player)

Favourite Major League team? Los Angeles Angels.

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: Keita Tsujinaka

Age: 13

School: The Lakes College

Home club: Narangba Demons

How long have you been playing baseball? Four years. Travelled to Williamsport, Pennsylvania as part of last year’s Australian Little League World Series team

Favourite food: Pizza

Nickname: Mozzie

Favourite Major League team? Los Angeles Angels

What are you looking forward to about travelling to America to play again? Winning games this year.

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: Tyrell Waiwai

Age: 13

School: North Lakes State College

Home club: Redcliffe Padres

How long have you been playing baseball? Four years

Favourite food: Steak

Nickname: T-Rex

Favourite Major League team? Atlanta Braves

What are you looking forward to about travelling to America to play again? Last year I loved the atmosphere and everyone there was there to play baseball. It was amazing.

This year I’m looking forward to doing better than we did and having more confidence. Once we went to states (titles) we were there to win it.

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: Thomas White

Age: 13

School: Burpengary State Secondary College

Home club: Redcliffe Padres

How long have you been playing baseball? Seven years

Favourite food: Pizza

Nickname: Tom Tom

Favourite Major League team? New York Yankees

What are you looking forward to about travelling to America? Meeting other teams.

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: Khyden Wilson

Age: 13

School: Grace Lutheran College Rothwell

Home club: Redcliffe Padres

How long have you been playing baseball? Since I was four

Favourite food: Nuggets

Nickname: Nugget

Favourite Major League team? LA Dodgers

What are you looking forward to about travelling to America again to play? Just playing at the World Series.

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: Tyler Wilson

Age: 12

School: Genesis Christian College

Home club: Pine Rivers Rapids

How long have you been playing baseball? Since 2015.

Favourite food: Slow-cooked beef cheeks or nachos

Nickname: T-babe

Favourite Major League team? Los Angeles Angels

What are you looking forward to about travelling to America to play again? Seeing a new city (San Francisco) and just going back to America.

Training in full swing for Australian Little League Intermediate baseball team

Name: David West, team manager

Work: Human Resources at O’Brien Glass

Home club: Redcliffe Padres

How long have you been involved in baseball? About 40 years. One of my kids is in the States as a professional umpire. He’s about an hour from where we’ll be and only gets one day off a week. When we’re there, his day off is the same as our first game

Favourite food: Asian

Nickname: Westy

Favourite Major League team? I like them all

What are you looking forward to about travelling to America? Seeing these kids play – I want them to have a good experience and play well.

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