WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in South Korea – Day 2
Japan won 19-0 against South Africa
Japan scored in each of its six at-bats and outscored South Africa, 19-0. Japan combined 17 hits, including two home runs by designated hitter Junya Nishi. Lead-off hitter and centre fielder Keito Mori went 2 for 3. Ryusei Takeoka had a three-RBI double.
Sota Asada went five innings, allowing only one walk and striking out eight. Yuki Hayashi threw a perfect sixth inning.
After suffering a tough loss against Japan, Spain came back to outscore Panama, 12-3. The offence was all over five Panama pitchers: Spain combined 14 hits, including four doubles and a home run by third baseman Jostin Castillo. Marc Civit, the son of Spain’s pitching legend Xavier and a Minor Leaguer in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, earned the win pitching three innings in relief.
Australia took advantage of rare defensive errors by the hosts Korea to earn the first win in the tournament, 1-0, at the end of a pitching duel. Australia scored the only run of the night in the bottom of the fourth. A towering pop fly by designated hitter Conor Myles fell and allowed him to reach second. Right fielder Solomon Maguire followed with a bloop RBI-single to centre. Korea had its chance to thrive on an error. Right fielder Lee Juhyeong singled, after a hit by a pitch and an error, to load the bases. Second baseman Kim Jichan was all over the fifth offering by Aussie starter Lachlan Waite, but his line drive went just foul. He then struck out looking. Waite, who showed a lot of movement on his fastball, got out of the jam with a fly-out. Korea stranded two more in the sixth and didn’t have a real chance to score against reliever Jack Lee.
Australia, on the contrary, put runners at the corner on back to back singles by second baseman Trevis Bazzana and left fielder Jaylin Rae in the bottom of the seventh. Catcher Christopher Burke failed to bunt on a squeeze play and Bazzana was tagged for the out at home. Lee walked the first batter of the top of the ninth and Korea bunted him to second. A two-out deep fly ball by first baseman Nam Jimin in the gap to right centre gave the home fans some illusion. Center fielder Roland Skepton ran the ball down to end the game.
The USA took advantage of some defensive struggles that bothered Chinese Taipei starter Lin Tzu Wei early in the game to score a couple of runs and added one run in the bottom of the fourth, when third baseman Colby Halter singled, stole second and then scored on a base hit by shortstop Milton Tolentino. The turning point of the game was the top of the sixth. First baseman Ho Heng Yu singled of the USA starter Maxwel Rajcic, touched third on a wild pitch and a ground out and then scored the first run for Chinese Taipei on a base hit by shortstop Cheng Tsung Che. Lee Hao Yu was all over the fifth offering by Rajcic and sent a fly to deep centre field. Crow-Armstrong had perfect timing in jumping to reach the ball for a catch that gave the USA the second out of the inning.
It was all for Rajcic, who left for Jason Savacool. The reliever got started with a wild pitch, but then got out of the inning without farther damage.
Chinese Taipei collected only one hit against Savacool and Colby Halter, the third American pitcher. The USA broke the score open against relievers Wang Yan Cheng, who failed to collect an out in the bottom of the seventh, Chen Chih Chieh and Pan Wen Hui. Left fielder Robert Hassell and designated hitter Tyler Soderstrom collected a couple of doubles and the defending World Champions scored three in the seventh and two in the eighth inning
Nicaragua used a four-run second inning to defeat China, 6-3.
Trailing 1-0, Nicaragua got to starter Yi Jian on a couple of doubles by right fielder Yeffry Montiel and centre fielder Felipe Aguilar and did not need to look back. A triple by left fielder Leyton Castillo in the bottom of the sixth and a double by catcher Jorge Lopez opened the score in the late innings. Axel Zapata pitched six innings to earn the win.
Spain wasted no time in getting to Panama starter’s Josè Ojo. First baseman Ruben Fernandez cleared the bases with a double to make it 3-0 in the top of the first. Panama gave the first call to the bullpen in the top of the second. Israel Mendoza took the mound with Yane Cepero (double) at second and he soon went into trouble. Spain got to him with three more hits, including a double by catcher Juan GonzalezSpain’s starter Alex Tome could work with a comfortable 7-1 lead. This didn’t help his issues with control. Panama’s shortstop got to him in the bottom of the fourth to place runners at the corners and Tome allowed one run on a ground out and then walked the bases loaded. He left the game after 90 pitches, only 40 strikes, and eight walks. Marc Civit took the mound and got out of the jam on strikes. He gave his team three solid innings, without allowing a run, and earned the win.