Sport Australia lose again in baseball qualifier
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Australia's baseball team looks set to have to negotiate a tricky two-stage qualification process to make the Tokyo Olympics after successive losses at the Premier12 baseball tournament.
After host nation Japan came from behind on Monday to beat them 3-2, the Australians suffered a 3-0 shutout on Tuesday against unbeaten Mexico.
Australia are now bottom in the super round standings, with games against the United States and Taiwan to come ahead of the weekend's medal clashes.
They effectively need to finish higher than South Korea and Taiwan to qualify directly for Tokyo.
Japan beat Aussies in baseball qualifier
Australia's baseball team have lost their opening super-round match to Japan at the Premier12 tournament, as they battle to secure their Olympic qualification. If that does not happen, Australia will have another shot early next year at the final Games qualifying spot.
Otherwise, they will have to win an Oceania qualifier early next year to qualify for a six-team international tournament in Taiwan, where the winner will earn the last Olympic berth.
Mexican centre fielder Jonathan Jones homered off the first pitch in their opening inning.
Mexico then score two more runs in the fourth as Australia stranded four runners on base.
On Monday, Australia had led through six innings before Japan came back to win.
Australia had banked just one win in their opening-round series of matches but that had proved enough to progress to the super-round stage as they finished above Canada and Cuba for second spot in Group C.
USA, Australia's next opponents on Wednesday, beat Japan 4-3 for their first win in the super round later on Tuesday.
Tampa Bay prospect Jake Cronenworth put the Americans ahead to stay in the first innings, Jo Adell homered and Clayton Richard got the win despite allowing two runs in 2 2/3 innings.
Brandon Dickson, a former St. Louis pitcher struck out two in a perfect ninth for the save. Seattle's Penn Murfee started with three hitless innings.
Taiwan defeated South Korea 7-0 in Tuesday's other match.
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