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March 9, 2017

Jon Deeble

Tokyo, Japan

AUSTRALIA 11, China 0

Q. You won 11-0 against Team China. What's in your mind?
JON DEEBLE: I think first and foremost, we pitched very well. Again we threw another game without any errors. I thought our pitching was outstanding. Travis Blackley was very economical; to the point that we were able to get him out under 49 pitches and have him available to start or pitch in the second round, start of the second round. That was important.

And I thought we swung the bats very well. We had 17 hard-hit ball tonight, and I thought our guys did a fantastic job offensively. Played great defensively. Pitched well. So all in all, I think it was a good result for us.

Q. Yesterday you had a tough game against Japan, and you won tonight. What's your team's condition?
JON DEEBLE: We're in good condition. We were able to get our bench guys some at-bats tonight, which was good. Everybody got in to play and the guys are feel really good about tomorrow. I think this is our best chance that we've had. Looking forward to Cuba, and our guys are excited.

Q. You said you're going to have a big game against Cuba. What's your game plan for tomorrow's contest against Cuba?
JON DEEBLE: Our plan against Cuba will be the same as what we did against China. We need to defend, we need to pitch well and we need to continue to swing the bats.

I think that was good that we were able to get up there and get some hits today, but having 17 hard-hit balls I think was significant. I'm hoping that we can have that same performance tomorrow.

Q. Do you have the confidence to beat Cuba for tomorrow?
JON DEEBLE: Absolutely. As I said, we're as confident as we've ever been going into tomorrow, and I think we have a massive chance. We've got Warwick Saupold pitching, pitched in the major leagues last year, and we've got 13 pitchers available and we've got Peter Moylan at the back end who is in the big leagues. So we're very confident, and I think that we've got a great chance to win, and the players believe, too.

So you know, it's all systems go for us and we're looking forward to tomorrow's contest, and hopefully moving through to the next round.

Q. You mentioned efficiency for Travis. Was it your plan going in that he was definitely going to be out under 50 pitches, or did the efficiency rule that? And as you mentioned, you have not advanced before and you have this chance. What would it mean for Australian baseball to now get have a chance to get to the second round of this tournament?
JON DEEBLE: The plan was for him to go 65 pitches, because he was so efficient, I think he had 30-odd pitches going into the fourth inning, and he pounded the strike zone, too. He pitched ahead, and once we got that four-run lead and we picked up the other two, we're like, you know what, we've got to start thinking about the next round now. We had a full bullpen and Ruzik coming in second, had a fantastic season in the Australian league, and we had the confidence in him, too; and then to have Van Steensel coming in after that throwing up to 97.

It's always a great advantage when we get the sixth run, and we got the seventh, eighth, and then Beresford hits the home run; it's comforting. In that regard, that was fantastic for us.

What does it mean for Australia? It's probably the biggest thing outside of the 2004 Olympics to be honest with you. It means a lot to baseball in Australia. We're a small country, only 20 million people, and you know, that's 34 major league players, which is an amazing amount for the size and amount of people playing the sport of baseball in this country. People don't realize people that baseball is the No. 10 sport in Australia. What our baseball players have achieved is nothing short of amazing.

Look, it would be just amazing from we could get through to the second round. We haven't done it before, and I think this is our best shot, I really do. We've had success against Cuba in the past. They don't scare us. We've had a lot of success against them and we'll be going in there very confident tomorrow. It would mean the world to Australian baseball to get through to that second round.

Q. Tomorrow's game, do you think it's more important for the tactics or mental way? Not as a manager but for the players, which is more important?
JON DEEBLE: I think both. You know, mentally, our players, what's great about this group of players that we have is that a lot of them have played in the major leagues, so they have played hard in this level, when we are talking about the Cuban players. So mentally, they are not afraid.

You've got Saupold starting and you've got Peter Moylan in the bullpen and you've got the Hugheses, the Harmans, the Beresfords; all those guys who have been standing to play. We've got a really good lineup. And so technically, we've still got to manage the game properly from the coaches' side. But it's more important to me that we continue to play good defense and we continue to pitch and see if we can get that timely hitting.

I think it's both mental, and our tactics, we've got very good scouting reports on Cuba. It's one thing to have the advance and it's another thing to be able to execute. Hopefully we can do that tomorrow.

Q. You had experienced play against Cuba many times. What are the differences from Cuba now to then?
JON DEEBLE: I think the Cubans have been decimated with guys who have played in the major leagues. You look at Céspedes and Abreu (ph) and the list goes on and on. They are a fantastic baseball country. It not going to be easy tomorrow. We understand that. They keep producing good baseball players. Despaigne, Cepeda, they have been good over a long period of time.

But I think this is our chance. I think this one is our chance. It's our turn, and hopefully we can repeat the Gold Medal game of 2004. They were very unlucky in that game, but we beat them in the Intercontinental Cup in 1999 to win a Gold Medal. So we've had a lot of success against them -- and again, look, everyone knows it's a breeding ground for top-line baseball players and they just keep producing them, whether it's under 23, under 18 or under 15 level, which I scout and go and see these guys, and wow, they just keep producing them.

So it's not a walk in the park tomorrow. We're going to do our very best to beat them. I think our guys are up for the challenge, I really do.

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