Joel Prpic is hitting home runs on the baseball field.
The nearly 13-year-old will compete at a second straight Australian Little League Championships before heading to the US with the Victorian Kookaburras.
He will compete at the Australian championships starting this week as part of Northern Diamondbacks under-12 team, which is made up of the best players from the northern region. To qualify for the national titles the Diamondbacks had to finish in the top-three teams at the state championships earlier this year. They finished third.
Prpic said he hoped the side would go better than last year, when they finished with four wins and four losses.
“We did OK last year,” he said.
“I think it will help being the second time I’m going. We’ve got better and I think we have a better side.”
He will play a major role for the team as one of the side’s top-three pitchers and the first-pick first base fielder.
While Prpic and the Diamondbacks had been working toward making the national titles, his selection in the Kookaburras tour in July came as a shock.
The Kookaburras were set up by a group of baseball parents in 2014 to give Victorian children the opportunity to tour other countries. This year they’re sending three teams from under-14s to under-16s.
“I’m going in the under-14 age group,” Prpic said.
“I only just moved to the higher age group, so I was quite surprised.
“I’m the youngest player in the team. We get to see the Texas Rangers and also get to go to Los Angles.”
The dedicated teenager, who travels from Riddells Creek to play for Essendon Baseball Club, has high ambitions when it comes to his baseball career.
“I can try out for the Diamondbacks and Kookaburras the next few years. I’d love to be selected in the state team.
“Then I want to eventually go to college.”