Young baseballer ready for call up
TOORMINA High student Nathan Cunningham will spend the next two weeks representing Queensland at the national under-16 baseball championships being held on the Northern Rivers.
Nathan, 15, played for NSW Country in 2010 but, according to his father, Michael, threw his lot in with the Sunshine State while chasing tougher competition.
“Ironically, Nathan comes up against his great mate from Coffs, Luke Madden, when he plays his old team next Tuesday,” he revealed.
“The boys went into camp last Thursday and apart from two days when they’re going to Brisbane, all the matches are in Lismore where he’s played plenty of rep baseball and knows the scene backwards.”
With the under-18 nationals running in tandem, the tournament sidelines will be fronted by many onlookers speaking with American and Japanese accents and with a couple of special talents, Nathan will come under close scrutiny.
“Talent scouts from all the major leagues in the USA and Japan will attend as Australia has been a bit of a talent gold mine for them in recent years,” Cunningham senior said.
“He plays in the outfield and is a pitcher who throws right-handed and bats left-handed, which may sound a little different.
“There won’t be a national side as such picked from the event but he will have many opportunities to be noticed and considered for the future.”
Due to the Brisbane floods, last year’s national team has been retained for a tour of New Zealand and Mexico but a few vacancies may arise due to withdrawals.
“If he performs to the level the selectors are seeking he may get a call but I really believe he will be a bit too young and his time could come next year.
“All the family are going up to cheer him on and support all the kids who are giving it everything they have.”
An exceptional all-round sports- man, he’s already represented in rugby league and union, AFL, touch football, athletics and softball.