Inter-city match lures top Aussie baseballer to Colac

WARRNAMBOOL baseballers will learn from one of the best Australia has produced when they venture to Colac this weekend.

First baseman Justin Huber will be on hand when Warrnambool Angels play Colac Braves in a friendly at Colac’s Eastern Reseve on Sunday.

Huber, 31, played Major League Baseball in the United States for Kansas City, Sand Diego and Minnesota between 2005 and 2009.

He is on the roster of Australian Baseball League club Melbourne Aces and represented Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympics, winning silver.

More recently, he was part of the Australian side which played Los Angeles and Arizona in two exhibition matches in Sydney last week.

Warrnambool Angels coach Marko Wakim said the baseballers were excited about the chance to learn from Huber.

“He certainly is a very prominent and key figure. When you play at the standard that he has in the States, it’s the cream of the crop,” Wakim said.

“The best of the best get to play over there, then he’s represented his country, so there’s the national pride that comes into it too.

“And he’s also playing for the Melbourne Aces, so there’s the state pride you get watching him represent Victoria.”

Wakim said he hoped the Angels-Braves match, which also features a coaching session, would become an annual fixture on the calendar for both clubs.

The Angels are in their infancy, although have more than 15 keen players who are attempting to grow the sport in south-west Victoria.

“There are other teams in western and south-western Victoria we can tap into,” Wakim said.

“Hamilton is next on our agenda in terms of trying to have a match against them. They’re our nearest neighbour in the baseball community.

“With us really getting up and going, we’re going to do the hard yards and that may generate some interest.

“And we might in the future be able to have a south-west league. If we’re dreaming big, that’s the goal.”

Wakim grew up in Melbourne and played with Doncaster for almost a decade before shifting to Warrnambool in 2008.

His passion for baseball prompted him to help create the Angels, who are working towards joining an organised competition in coming years.

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