THE Philippines bungled an early lead in the first inning before losing to Australia in lopsided fashion, 11-1, on Thursday to open its campaign in the 2017 World Baseball Classic (WBC) qualifiers in Sydney.
The Pinoy batters got on the board early in the first inning but fell to a more superior opponent in the Aussies before bowing via mercy rule in the seventh.
Brady Conlan singled to score Eric Farris in the first inning in a promising start for the Philippine IX, but Stefan Welch brought Brad Harman home with a base hit off Filipino starter JR Bunda for Australia to tie the count, 1-1.
Despite giving up another run in the second, the Philippines made it a competitive game until pitcher Clay Rapada, who once played for the New York Yankees in major leagues, gave up two runs on three hits in the fifth inning.
The Philippines finally unraveled, giving up seven runs in the seventh frame.
Local-based player Adriene Bernardo got one of the four hits tallied in the game by the Philippines, which had current minor leaguers and former major leaguers with Filipino lineage beefing up the squad.
The Philippines will face New Zealand on Friday, needing a win to stay in contention for the lone berth in next year’s WBC.
The Kiwis lost to New Zealand, 7-1, in the first game.