Manager Dave Nilsson of Australia calls for a pitching change in the third inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool B game between Australia and Czech Republic at Tokyo Dome on March 13, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The Australian Baseball Federation has announced their official roster for the upcoming Asia Professional Baseball Championship.
Australia is ranked No. 10 in the World Baseball Rankings and is in the World Baseball Softball Confederation Oceania sector and will participate in the tournament for the first time.
The Asia Professional Baseball Championship will be played from November 16-19 at the Tokyo Dome. World No. 1 Japan, No. 4 South Korea, and No. 5 Chinese Taipei will also participate in the APBC.
The APBC is a U-24 event and is also considered an international senior tournament, as each team can carry three players on the roster between the ages of 24 and 29. The APBC roster eligibility requires that players have three years or less of service time in professional baseball.
This is the only U-24 event operated by the WBSC.
The APBC event will run for the second time in the tournament’s history. The last time the event happened was in 2017 with Japan taking the gold medal over South Korea 7-0. Seibu Lions utility player Shuta Tonosaki was named the MVP of the first APBC.
Australia will carry 17 players on their active roster for the APBC that have played in Major League Baseball at the lower levels of the affiliated minor leagues and in the independent leagues in the United States. The majority of the roster will be filled with players playing in the upcoming 2023-24 Australia Baseball League regular season, which will start on November 16.
Rixon Wingrove, Liam Spence, Jarryd Dale, Aaron Whitefield, Alex Hall, Sam Holland, Will Sherriff, and Dan McGrath will return from Australia’s 2023 World Baseball Classic roster to play in the APBC.
Dave Nilsson will manage his second international senior event this year after helping Australia reach the quarterfinals of the 2023 World Baseball Classic back in March losing to Cuba 4-3 at the Tokyo Dome.
Shayne Watson, Graeme Lloyd, and Jim Bennet will also return to the Australia coaching staff from the 2023 WBC.
Australia has won gold at the Oceania Baseball Championships in 2003, 2004, and 2007 in the history of their nation. Australia has also won the gold at the Intercontinental Cup in 1999 as the only crossover continent event that they have won in their nation’s history.
Australia has also won the silver at the 2004 Olympics losing to Cuba and has won the bronze at the Asian Baseball Championship in 1975.
Australia will look to aim for its second gold medal at an intercontinental senior event once they take the field on November 16 against South Korea at the Tokyo at 11 p.m. EST.
2023 Asia Professional Baseball Championship Schedule
All Games Will Be Played At The Tokyo Dome
Wednesday, November 15
11 p.m. EST – Korea vs. Australia
Thursday, November 16
6 a.m. EST – Chinese Taipei vs. Japan
11 p.m. EST – Australia vs. Chinese Taipei
Friday, November 17
6 a.m. EST – Japan vs. Korea
11 p.m. EST – Australia vs. Japan
Saturday, November 18
6 a.m. EST – Korea vs. Chinese Taipei
10 p.m. EST – Bronze Medal Game
Sunday, November 19
5 a.m. EST – Gold Medal Game
Australia Asia Professional Baseball Championship Roster
Australia APBC Coaching Staff
Dave Nilsson – Manager
Shayne Watson – Bench Coach
Trent Durrington – First Base Coach/Hitting Coach
Damian Shanahan – Third Base Coach
Jim Bennett – Pitching Coach
Graeme Lloyd – Bullpen Coach