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Myrmell plays game at Hart Complex after family moved away

Posted: July 22, 2009 10:51 p.m.
Updated: July 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Kampgrounds of America Kangaroos pitcher Daniel Myrmell delivers Wednesday against the Hart Pony League All-Stars at the William S. Hart Complex.

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It was a homecoming for 12-year-old Daniel Myrmell.

Three years after his family relocated to Australia, he finally made it back to where he first played baseball, the William S. Hart Complex.

“Being back on the field I played on years ago has been great,” Myrmell said. “Just to be here has been an exciting experience.”

Myrmell is on the Kampgrounds of America Kangaroos, which is gearing up for an appearance in one of Cal Ripken Jr.’s youth tournaments.

The team has a busy schedule while they are in California with trip to Disneyworld, a Dodgers game and an Angels game scheduled, along with its game against the Hart All-Stars on Wednesday night.

The Australians dropped 10 runs on Hart in the first two innings before Hart bounced back to cut the lead to two, but KOA held on for a 13-11 win.

“As the weather cooled down, we heated up,” said Hart head coach Darren Guggenheimer. “We were out there to have fun tonight, and we let some kids pitch that don’t normally get to pitch. It was just a night for our kids to enjoy themselves.”

The result was a slugfest that lasted nearly four hours, but Myrmell did get a chance to take the hill, something he didn’t do regularly when he was in the states. He made an appearance in middle relief, which he said was a thrill.

“It’s fun to get to pitch against guys you know,” Myrmell said. “My goal was simple. I just wanted to strike them out.”

For the Australian team the trip is an opportunity to play in America and face some of the best youth competition the country has to offer.

“Most of our kids wouldn’t get to fly overseas without this team,” said KOA head coach Gary Bazzana. “We’re going to do everything we can while we are here, and winning some ball games would be a big bonus. We have never won a game in America before.”

Bazzana knows any success his team has in its upcoming tournament will probably be related to Myrmell.

“He’s a great teammate, and his teammates really like him,” Bazzana said. “They call him ‘Smoke’ because he can throw so hard. He’s a huge part of our team.”

For Myrmell, the trip is a chance to come back to America and play the game he learned in the states.

“It’s really cool to get a chance to play on some really nice fields again,” Myrmell said. “I’m excited to get to play against teams from all over, and I’m excited to get to do it with my team. It feels good to be back here.”

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