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2008 World University Championship

From BR Bullpen

The 2008 World University Championship was the 4th World University Championship and was held from July 17 through July 27, 2008 in the Czech Republic. Competing nations were Canada, Taiwan, the Czech Republic, Japan, South Korea, Lithuania and the USA. India was originally to have participated but withdrew.

July 17[edit]

  • South Korea 6, Czech Republic 3. Despite a home run from Šimon Kudernatsch, the host club loses its opener in a game plagued by rain.

July 18[edit]

  • USA 5, South Korea 2. Stephen Strasburg, the only amateur on the 2008 US Olympic team, turns in a gem with 13 strikeouts and no hits in 7 innings but gets a no-decision when South Korea ties the game at 1 in the 8th. Ryan Jackson's 2-run homer in the 9th caps a 4-run rally as the US wins their opener.
  • Taiwan 6, Canada 4. DH Kuo-Min Lin goes 3 for 4 with 2 runs and a RBI to lead Taiwan to a victory.
  • Czech Republic 5, Lithuania 0. The hosts win their first as Boris Bokaj throws 7 shutout innings, giving up 3 hits and 2 walks while sending nine down on strikes.

July 19[edit]

  • USA 8, Czech Republic 2. Mike Minor fans 7 in 6 innings to beat the host Czechs. RF Josh Fellhauer (2 for 3, 2 BB) scores three runs for the USA and 1B Jared Clark (3 for 4) drives in three, doing a lot of damage from the third and fourth slots of the order.
  • South Korea 11, Lithuania 0. The mercy rule is applied for the first time, as South Korea beats Lithuania in a 7-inning game to go to 2-1. Eight different South Korean hitters scored and Bon-beom Koo fanned 10 in 5 innings of relief for the win.
  • Japan 2, Taiwan 1. Japan plays its first game in fine form, despite a 3-for-3 day from Kuo-Min Lin. Shinji Iwata holds the other Taiwan batters to a single hit in 9 innings for the victory.

July 20[edit]

  • USA 30, Lithuania 1. Team USA sets all-time club records for home runs (12), RBI (29) and runs in a romp over Lithuania. Nine Americans went deep. C Micah Gibbs, hitting 9th, scored 5 to tie the USA record and drove in five. Also driving in five was DH Blake Smith, who did not even start the game.
  • Japan 7, Canada 6. Japan again wins a one-run game, this time taking 11 innings to do so. Down 7-5 in the 9th, Japan ties it on a RBI double by Takuya Tsukuura and a RBI single by Kyohei Isakawa. In the 11th, Takeshi Hosoyamada's sacrifice fly scores Tsukuura with the winner.

July 21[edit]

  • Canada 25, Lithuania 0. 7 Canadians scored at least 3 runs, led by 3B Mike Glinka (4). Glinka was one of four Canadians to drive in four as Lithuania has now been outscored 81-1. They only got two hits today.
  • Taiwan 3, Czech Republic 2. Despite a 7-5 edge in hits, the host Czechs lost to Taiwan. Petr Minarik had a shutout through five before Taiwan rallied in the 6th and 7th to win it. A 2-run single by SS Hsien-Hsien Yang was the winning blow. RF Jakub Malik went 3 for 4 for the Czechs.
  • Japan 8, South Korea 4. 2B Hiroki Uemoto went 3 for 5 with two runs to lead Japan to its third victory in a row to remain tied for first.

July 22[edit]

  • USA 4, Canada 3. Canada jumped ahead 3-0 heading into the 8th but the USA rallied to tie it on a walk, single, error and a 2-run single by 2B Christian Colon. 1B Jared Clark doubled to start the bottom of the 11th and came home on a Brandon Kaye wild pitch as Canada blew their upset bid.
  • South Korea 4, Taiwan 3. In another one-run match-up of continental rivals, South Korea beat Taiwan to go to 3-2. Hyun-jun Park fanned 8 in 7 2/3 IP, outdueling Taiwanese Olympian Chen-Chang Lee to move South Korea into third place.
  • Japan 25, Lithuania 0. Lithuania fell to a 106-1 cumulative score as they were no-hit by Shingo Tatsumi, Masanori Fujihara and Masahiro Inui; it was almost a perfect game but for an error. Japan scored 13 in the third inning alone. CF Keijiro Matsumoto was 5 for 7 with 5 runs and 9 RBI and 2B Hiroki Uemoto also scored five times.

July 23[edit]

  • USA 9, Japan 3. In a match-up of previously unbeaten teams, the USA wins in a cakewalk. Chris Hernandez strikes out 9 in 6 1/3 innings for the victory. Seven US hitters score at least one run.
  • Taiwan 7, Lithuania 1. Lithuania got its second run of the tournament and held their opponent to single digits for the second time. 1B Chih-Pei Huang went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI for Taiwan.
  • Canada 4, Czech Republic 0. Mark Hardy turned in a gem, whiffing 15 and allowing 3 hits in 8 innings to help Canada win its second.

July 24[edit]

  • USA 3, Taiwan 2. The US again goes extra innings before pulling out a win. Mike Leake allows one hit in 6 innings and leaves with a 2-0 lead. In the 8th, Taiwan rallied for two off of A.J. Griffin to tie the score. Still 2-all in the bottom of the 10th, RF Blake Smith drove a potential home run ball towards the seats but RF Min-Sih Chen snagged the ball before it could leave the park. The next inning, DH Hunter Morris slammed a homer to end the game.
  • South Korea 5, Canada 4. Yu-kang Heo threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings for the win for South Korea and LF Jin-ho Jung had a 2-run triple. Canada trailed 5-0 going into the 8th when they made it a contest before falling short.
  • Japan 10, Czech Republic 1. Japan took a quick 3-0 lead and the Czechs scored in the first on a Jan Toman walk and Jakub Malik sacrifice fly. Japan scored again in the 4th but there was nothing further until the 9th when they tacked on 6 runs to make it a rout. 1B Takuya Tsukuura drove in four and homered. Reds farmhand Petr Čech had the lone Czech hit.

Standings after Round-Robin[edit]

  • USA 6-0
  • Japan 5-1
  • Korea 4-2
  • Taiwan 3-3
  • Canada 2-4
  • Czech Republic 1-5
  • Lithuania 0-6


  • USA 3, Taiwan 0. Team USA continued its unbeaten summer as ace Stephen Strasburg fans nine in 7 innings, allowing two hits and no runs, and two relievers complete the whitewash as the US advances to the Gold Medal game.
  • Japan 6, South Korea 1. RF Keijiro Matsumoto goes 3 for 5 and Yuki Saito fans 8 in a complete game victory to help Japan get to the championship game.


  • In the Gold Medal game, the US is forced to extra innings for the third time but wins yet again to take Gold. Both starters, Shinji Iwata and Mike Minor, pitch into the 10th inning before being relieved. Minor fans 9 and allows 4 hits while Iwata scatters 9 hits. Masahiro Inui, Kyle Gibson and Tyler Lyons kept up the excellent pitching duel. In the 12th inning, 3B Tommy Mendonca led off with his 4th hit in 4 at-bats and was bunted over. Micah Gibbs drew a free pass. Matt den Dekker singled to right but Keijiro Matsumoto threw home to get Mendonca, catcher Shota Ono holding on to the ball during a collision. PH Hunter Morris, a freshman, then had a broken-bat single to score Gibbs with the game's lone run. Japan got the potential tying run to third base in the bottom of the inning but Kendal Volz got a grounder to end it.
  • Taiwan 7, South Korea 0. In the Bronze Medal game, Taiwan got scoreless pitching from Olympians Chia-Jen Lo and Kai-Wen Cheng and non-Olympian Hung-Cheng Lai. 2B Chih-Hsiang Lin went 3 for 5 with 3 RBI and C Kun-Sheng Lin was 3 for 4 with 3 runs out of the #8 slot in the win.
  • Canada 3, Czech Republic 1. In the 5th/6th place game, the hosts put up a fight but fell to Canada, as they were able to muster just two hits.

Final Standings[edit]

  1. USA
  2. Japan
  3. Taiwan
  4. South Korea
  5. Canada
  6. Czech Republic
  7. Lithuania


  • MVP: Blake Smith, USA
  • Best Defensive Player: Jared Clark, USA