Roberts in Australia squad to play at World Baseball Classic

GLOBAL SPOTLIGHT: Josh Roberts has been named in the Australia World Series squad.
GLOBAL SPOTLIGHT: Josh Roberts has been named in the Australia World Series squad. Scott Powick

IT has been a long time coming.

Josh Roberts has been named in the Australia World Series squad to contest the 2013 World Baseball Classic in March.

Roberts has twice been selected in Australian All Stars teams and in a Team Australia squad that played a pre-ABL trial series against Sydney Blue Sox last year.

But this will be the first time the 26-year-old has represented Australia in a full international.

"It was a pleasant surprise," the Ipswich Musketeers star said.

"There are a lot of good players."

He had wondered if the chance had passed him by.

"It's good to finally get in there," he said. "I think it's just due to my form over the last couple of years.

It's good to finally get in there. I think it's just due to my form over the last couple of years.

"Hopefully I can keep going with that."

Australia's pool includes Chinese Taipei, South Korea and The Netherlands and will be contested in Taiwan.

In the meantime, Roberts has his sights set on the Australian Baseball League finals.

Roberts' Brisbane Bandits are third on the ladder, with three teams progressing through to play-offs after the final round this weekend.

The Bandits have the tough task of meeting co-leaders Sydney over four games starting tomorrow in Sydney.

"It's going to be a tough trip," the Brisbane captain said.

"But we're in good form and hopefully can keep it up.

"If we take two games, we've got a pretty good chance (of finishing in the top three) but we're going down to win all four.

"If we just keep swinging the way we've been going, we should do well.

"The pitchers are doing the job all the time ... it's up to us hitters."

If we just keep swinging the way we've been going, we should do well. The pitchers are doing the job all the time ... it's up to us hitters

Helping Brisbane is the likely absence of Sydney pitcher and Ipswich product Chris Oxspring, who is injured.

"We go in confident," Roberts said.

"We swept the games against Canberra (who are joint equal top of the ladder with Sydney) so we've got confidence from that."

Confidence they may have but consistency has been Brisbane's problem.

Before sweeping Canberra, they themselves were swept 4-0 by last-placed Melbourne.

"It was one of those things," Roberts said.

"Things just turned around."

As they have done with the Yamanto product's hitting.

"It's starting to get a bit better," he said.

"Hopefully I've found some good form for when it counts.

"I had a few little things I had to fix with my swing.

"Like hitting through the ball more and staying extended."


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