2002 World University Championship
Pool Play Results
- USA 14, Czech Republic 1. 2B Rickie Weeks goes 4 for 4 with a triple, home run and 4 runs scored.
- Taiwan 14, Italy 3. 3B Wei Kao goes 3 for 5 with two doubles and a home run as Italy gets routed for the second time, having lost 10-0 to the USA in round-robin competition.
- Cuba 3, China 0. Osbeck Castillo and Orelvis Avila fan 13 in a combined 3-hitter to shut down the Chinese team.
- Japan 6, South Korea 1. DH Shuichi Murata hits a 2-run homer and SS Takashi Toritani also drives in two while Kazuhito Tadano provides fine pitching.
- USA 2, Japan 1. Brad Sullivan allows one run in 7 and Chad Cordero picks up the save for the Americans. 3B Aaron Hill homers and back-to-back doubles by 1B Michael Aubrey and DH Conor Jackson provides the rest of the offense.
- Cuba 2, Taiwan 0. Alay Soler goes the distance with a six-hit shutout, striking out 11. DH Pedro Rodriguez cracks a two-run home run.
- Gold Medal Game: Cuba 6, USA 0. Kyle Sleeth and Wes Littleton got hammered after two consecutive weak showings by the Cuban offense. A balanced attack is responsible, while Orelvis Avila scatters 7 hits and two walks in Cuba's third straight shutout. The USA offense Avila shuts down includes Aubrey, Hill, Jackson, Weeks, Carlos Quentin and Eric Patterson. It was Sleeth's first loss since March of 2001, a year and a half earlier.
- Bronze Medal Game: Japan 5, Taiwan 0. Hiroshi Kisanuki throws a 4-hit shutout while Japan also uses a balanced offense to take the game.
- 5th/6th place Game: South Korea 12, Italy 2. The score is deceptive, as South Korea scored 9 of their 12 runs in the 9th inning.
- 7th/8th place Game: China 9, Czech Republic 0. In one of four shutouts in the finals, Baoling Bai gives up just a single to the Czechs, striking out eight in an otherwise perfect game. Michal Koci gets the lone hit.
- 9th/10th place Game: Canada 3, France 0. Rob Pineau saves the Canadians some face in avoiding last place after the other two Western Hemisphere teams got the top two medals.
Awards and Leaders
- C: Min Ren, China (.200/.273/.200)
- 1B: Michael Aubrey, USA (.400/.455/.967)
- 2B: Davide Dallospedale, Italy (.318/.375/.409)
- SS: Takashi Toritani, Japan (.333/.400/.650, 3-3 SB)
- 3B: Wei Kao, Taiwan (.440/.481/.760)
- OF: Shane Costa, USA (.348/.348/.348)
- OF: Leslie Anderson, Cuba (.250/.267/.429)
- OF: Jeong-ho Seo, South Korea (.375/.464/.458)
- DH: Pedro Rodriguez, Cuba (.320/.393/.840)
- RHP: Brad Sullivan, USA (2-0, 0.00)
- LHP: Tsuyoshi Wada, Japan (1-1, 1.20)
MVP: Orelvis Avila, Cuba (1-0, 2 Sv, 0.66)
Outstanding Defensive Player: Jan Chudoba, Czech Republic 2B
- Best Average: Nobuhiro Matsuda, Japan - .478
- Most RBI: Pedro Rodriguez, Cuba - 12
- Most HR: Pedro Rodriguez, Cuba - 4
- Most Steals: Lingfeng Sun, China - 5
- Most Wins: Brad Sullivan, USA - 2
- Most Saves: Orelvis Avila, Cuba - 2
- Most Strikeouts: Wei-Lun Pan, Taiwan - 2
Cuba won with pitching, pitching and more pitching, throwing shutouts in six of seven games. Only Taiwan scored any runs against them. Tourney MVP Orelvis Avila (1-0, 2 Sv, 0.66), Alay Soler (1-0, 0.00, 21 K in 13 IP) and Norberto Gonzalez (1-0, 0 ER in 10 2/3 IP) were the three pitchers with shutouts to their credit and the only ones to work more than 5 innings. Several players hit well, led by DH Pedro Rodriguez (.320/.393/.840, 12 RBI, 4 HR) and LF Juan Miranda (.412/.500/.647), for the multi-dimensional club. Their 0.59 ERA was the best in the tourney, edging out Japan.
United States had the top offense of the tournament but could do nothing against Cuba's pitching and also lost to China in the round-robin. Brad Sullivan (2-0, 0 ER in 13 IP) pitched well and the staff had a 1.18 ERA overall. The clear leaders of the offensive fireworks were 1B Michael Aubrey (.400/.455/.947, 10 R, 4 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR in 30 AB) and 3B Aaron Hill (.400/.531/.920). They led the tournament with 54 runs, 77 hits and 8 home runs.
Japan almost beat the top two teams, losing 1-0 to Cuba in the round-robin (the closest Cuba came to a defeat) and 2-1 to the USA in the semifinals. They led the tourney with a .321 team batting average and their 0.61 ERA was second to Cuba by .02. 3B Nobuhiro Matsuda (.478/.520/.826) and SS Takashi Toritani (.333/.400/.630, 3 for 3 in SB) led the offense, while Hiroshi Kisanuki (1-1, 0.54) and Tsuyoshi Wada (1-1, 1.20) were the workhorses of the staff, which had no pitcher with an ERA over 1.23.
South Korea was wiped out by the USA (16-2) and lost twice to Japan, but was otherwise competitive. A couple part-timers hit very well and the offense was respectable, but no pitcher had an ERA under 2, a far cry from the top three teams. Seung-jae Yang (1-1, 2.13) was their most effective moundsman. OF Jeung-heo Seo was their sole All-Tournament player, hitting .375/.464/.458.
Italy had a strong performance in the opening round, beating South Korea and China but losing to the USA. They then had a rough quarterfinals and finals, dropping games to Taiwan and the rematch with South Korea. OF Dana D'Agostino (.300/.348/.550) was the top hitter, but several weak performances left them with a .216 team average (.316 OBP, .330 slugging). 2B Davide Dallospedale (.318/.375/.409) was their only All-Tournament representative.
China beat the USA in round one, but lost to Italy and South Korea. They then lost 3-0 to Cuba in the quarterfinals, keeping it close, before trouncing the Czechs in the finals in a hard-to-gauge performance. C Wei Wang hit .444/.500/1.111 while P Baoling Bai (1-1, 1.69) only allowed 5 hits and one walk in 16 innings while fanning 17.
The Czech Republic struggled on all fronts - they hit .116/.207/.142, fielded .910 (19 errors in six games) and had a team ERA of 8.39. No player had a particularly good tournament on either end of the ball.
Canada lost every game in the first round by at least four runs, three of the four games by at least eight. They slugged .197 as a team and were outscored 42-10 overall, a 3-0 shutout over France in the finale saving them from a last-place finish. No one hit or pitched that well for the team.
France was shutout in four of five games, only scoring against Taiwan.