WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in South Korea – Day 3
Japan stays undefeated, USA winning streak ends under the rain
Japan was for sure the most likely candidate to end a USA winning streak that dated back to 2015 and run through four successful campaigns that led to as many World Titles. Nobody would have imagined that it would have happened at the end of a game featuring 23 runs, 19 hits and 4 defensive errors. Japan can still celebrate a 16-7 win that leaves Samurai the only team undefeated after three days of the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup.
Japan got to USA starter David Hernandez in the bottom of the third and with the game tied at one. Hernandez hit two batters, third baseman Ryeusei Takeoka and designated hitter Takaya Ishikawa singled to put Japan ahead 4-1.
The USA gave the call to lefty Lucas Gordon in the bullpen, but shortstop Toyo Kumada welcomed him with a two-RBI single. Japan opened the score in the bottom of the fifth. The USA thought they had the third out on a grounder, but Japan challenged the play at first. The video replay showed that first baseman Vukovich was off the bag and Japan took full advantage of the second chance with a couple of two-RBI singles by Kumada and second baseman Shoka Sakashita.Leading 11-1 and with hard-throwing righthander Junya Nishi on the mound, Japan flirted with a chance to make it short. The USA had a different plan and started eroding Samurai’s lead.
The defending World Champions had a chance to get back in play in the top of the eighth against reliever Shuto Iizuka. The USA had runners at second and third and no one out.
Iizuka got out of the jam thanks to a well-located breaking ball and Japan opened the score again with a four-run bottom half of the frame, highlighted by a home run by right fielder Haruki Yokohama.
Korea strikes back, 17 hits not enough for Canada to avoid first loss. Trailing 8-0, Canada got to starter Lee Kangjun in the top of the sixth. The submarine had so far dominated, showing impressive movement on his pitches. He gave up back to back singles to left fielder César Valero Sanchez and first baseman Noah Hull, then walked the bases loaded.
After a visit, second baseman Elijha Hammill singled in the first run for Canada and Lee Kangjun left for reliever Lee Seunghyu. The newcomer got started with a strikeout, then allowed a two-RBI double to centre fielder Dasan Brown.Canada suddenly felt there was a chance for a comeback. Hammill, right fielder Micah Mc Dowell and Dasan Brown loaded the bases against reliever Choi Junyong in the top of the eighth on consecutive base hits. Third baseman Tyrell Schofield-Same made it 8-4 with a single but the inning ended on a line drive by catcher Ryan Leitch right at Korea’s shortstop. Park Min reacted quick and doubled up Mc Dowell at second.
Canada put on board the runners that could potentially tie the game in the top of the ninth on three more hits. Hammill doubled in the fifth run, but with runners at second and third the game ended as leadoff hitter Mc Dowell grounded out to second.
The Kansas City Royals prospect Darryll Collins provided three RBIs to help The Netherlands defeat Nicaragua, 4-2. Collins hit a two-run home run in the first inning and sent in the fourth run on a sacrifice fly in the fourth.Collins headed to the box for his first at-bat against Walter Solis with second baseman Tyriq Kemp standing at first after a single. The Dutch left fielder looked at two balls and then homered on the third pitch.Kemp himself batted in a run in the top of the second with his second hit of the day. Luuk Ter Beek earned the win for the Netherlands going six innings and allowing only one run on a single by Nicaragua’s catcher Jorge Lopez. icaragua added a run against reliever Cal Maduro on a base hit by shortstop Christian Moreno. Ari Fransen needed only nine pitches in the top of the ninth to earn the save.
Panama earns first win, Chinese Taipei makes huge step towards super round as they defeated South Africa, 17-2 in five innings.
Panama scored in each of its four at-bats and the lineup combined for 12 hits. Second baseman Jean Arnaez, who plays in the Dominican Summer League for the Toronto Blue Jays, went 3 for 4 with a double and four RBIs. Also left fielder Benyamin Bailey, who plays at the same level for the Pittsburgh Pirates, had four RBIs.
Israel Mendoza pitched four innings of no-hit ball but South Africa got to reliever Abel Reyes with a couple of hits, by third baseman Luke November and right fielder Regan Panzerberger, and scored with some little help from a defensive error.
Chinese Taipei defeated Spain, 5-4, and made a huge step towards the super round. Spain, after trailing for the whole game, came just one run short from tying it in the top of the eighth.
For most of the game, it looked like a relatively easy win for Chinese Taipei. After breaking the tie in the bottom of the second thanks to a wild pitch by Spanish starter Delson Guzman, Chinese Taipei extended the lead in the bottom of the third on a single by shortstop Chen Tsung Che and a double by second baseman Lee Hao You. ivan Delgado took the mound for Spain and his control issues helped Chinese Taipei score two more runs.
Spain’s line up hadn’t had success against starter Lin Yu Min. Reliever Pan Wei Hun allowed a double to shortstop Ricardo Van Grieken to lead off the eighth and hit the next batter. Pan left for Yu Chien, who allowed a double to catcher Juan Gonzalez and was then hurt by a defensive error. A wild pitch made it a one-run game. Yu Chien struck out the side in the top of the ninth to seal the win.