For the second year in a row, Hills Little League from Sydney, Australia, will make the trip to Williamsport as the Australia Region representative after emerging victorious at the 2017 Little League Baseball® Australia Region Championship. Following torrential rain and flooding over the last few weeks that forced a postponement and relocation of the championship weekend, Hills Little League was able to defeat Swan Hills, 8-4, in the championship game on July 9 to punch the second of 16 tickets to the 2017 Little League Baseball World Series.
Hills Little League got out to an early start in the tournament, opening the event with an 11-0 victory over Central and a 20-1 win over Ryde Little League in its first two games. The Championship game against Swan Hills was no easy feat, however, as Swan Hills Little League pitcher, Elijah Hewett, was able to strike out seven-consecutive batters early on in the game. Fortunately for Hills Little League, starting pitcher Stephen Courtney was able to match the performance, striking out nine batters in four hitless innings while picking up four RBI and a home run to help lead the team to victory.
Throughout the entire tournament, Hills Little League performed well at the plate, outscoring its opponents, 67-17. With the victory, Hills Little League becomes the first Australian chartered league to attend the Little League Baseball World Series in back-to-back years. This year’s Hills Little League team features three players who will return to Williamsport from last year’s squad: Stephen Courtney, Ethan Treble, and Harrison Wheeldon.