A group of Australian baseballers will create a slice of sporting history when they walk onto the Tokyo Dome field on Wednesday (AEDT). The Australian men's team will take on Cuba in a quarter-final of the World Baseball Classic, which is one of the sport's premier international competition. Whether they win or loss, the match will be a proud moment for all Australian baseball fans, as it's the first time the nation has ever reached the finals stage of the Classic. The Aussies booked their spot in the quarters with an 8-3 victory over Czech Republic on Monday. Read more: Couchman twins rewarded with upgraded Dragons contracts Illawarra-based coach Josh Dean told the Mercury that the campaign was a huge success for Australian baseball. "It's a great effort from everybody and a proud moment for baseball in Australia. It's showing the strength that's starting to come out of the national league, the ABL (Australian Baseball League)," Dean said. "You've seen a lot of the local talent being able to compete on the world stage and be successful, which is inevitably inspiring the next generation to potentially have an opportunity like that as well." Illawarra pitcher Tim Atherton was set to play a key role in Australia's campaign, however, he withdrew ahead of the World Baseball Classic in Japan due to personal reasons. Despite missing the popular Berkeley Eagles talent, the Aussies finished group B in second position. Australia opened their account last Thursday with a nail-biting 8-7 win over baseball powerhouses China, before thumping China 12-2 two days later. They were outclassed by Japan 7-1 on Sunday, but bounced back the following day to defeat Czech Republic and booked their spots in the quarter-finals. Read more: Football South Coast sets stage for 2023 Julie Porter Cup Now, Dean believes the Aussies will be full of confidence heading into the showdown with Cuba. "It's going to be a tough challenge. Cuba is a very strong team and always has been," he said. "But Team Australia have had one of their best preparations in a long time for a world tournament, so they just need to be on top of their game and I think they will match up pretty well." Our news app has had a makeover, making it faster and giving you access to even more great content. Download The Illawarra Mercury news app in the Apple Store and Google Play.