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Athletes From Oxford Will Compete at U18 Men's Softball World Cup

Five players from Oxford County were a part of the U17 junior men's national softball team who won their qualifier ahead of next year's U18 Softball World Cup. Nathan Running of Innerkip and Drumbo's Jack Becker were among those who played in Guatemala earlier this month.

OXFORD COUNTY  - The U17 junior men's national softball team is going to the U18 Men's Softball World Cup in New Zealand.

The squad, which featured five players from Oxford County, played in the World Baseball Softball Confederation Americas U17 men’s qualifier in Guatemala.

Assistant Coach Shaun Winship says their first goal was to qualify and their second was to play in the final.

"We were down there the week before so we had a bit of time to acclimatize to the culture and get to know our team because we had boys from all across Canada. Going through the process and as they got more comfortable and got used to the culture and to come through winning it was quite the ordeal, or the cherry on top for the boys' experience."

Nathan Running of Innerkip and Drumbo's Jack Becker were among those who played in Guatemala earlier this month. Others included Tavistock’s Mason McKay, Andrew Van Boekel of Bright and Reese Yantzi of Shakespeare. 

They beat the likes of the U-S, Panama and Mexico. The tournament ran from November 2nd - 9th.

He adds the tournament featured a round robin format and the two teams who held the best records met in the final. They captured the gold medal with a 4-1 win over Mexico.

Canada will now be among the top four teams in the qualifier competing at the World Cup.

Winship says he likes the team's chances next year.

"We're the top team coming out of the North and South America qualifier but we know that we need to go to the next level. And I think the exciting part for us is I think we've got the team to be able to go there and compete, and if not win it."

The tournament will be in Palmerston, New Zealand next February.

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