2011 Baseball World Cup
The 2011 Baseball World Cup was held in October of 2011. The 39th Baseball World Cup, it took place in Panama. The Netherlands won its first Baseball World Cup, beating Cuba in the finale - Cuba's third straight Silver Medal. For the first time ever, two Bronze Medals were awarded, as the Bronze Medal game was rained out. Netherlands 1B Curt Smith was named Baseball World Cup MVP. It was the final Baseball World Cup; this was not announced until the IBAF meetings later in 2011 though rumors preceded the Cup.
- Australia is the Oceanic representative. They are 42-48 in past World Cups, having finished 5th (their best ever) in 2009.
- Canada qualified for its performance at the 2010 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament. They are 71-97 in World Cup history, but won Bronze in 2009 for their first Medal ever.
- Cuba is the dominant team in Cup history, coming in at 298-34, though they lost the Gold to the US in both 2007 and 2009. They qualified through the 2010 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament.
- Dominican Republic is 120-92 in past Cups, taking home their only Gold in 1948. This is their first appearance in ten years. They qualified at the 2010 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament.
- Germany is just 2-33 in four prior Cups, but made history by qualifying for their third Cup in a row, thanks to a Bronze Medal in the 2010 European Championship. They have peaked at one win, in both 2007 and 2009.
- Greece is making its World Cup debut, thanks to a fourth-place finish in the 2010 European Championship.
- Italy qualified by winning the 2010 European Championship. They are 53-103 in Cup history with peaks of fourth place in 1974 and 1998.
- Japan peaked at a Silver Medal in 1982. Their composite record coming in was 120-51. They qualified at the 2010 Asian Games.
- South Korea is 88-61 in the history of the Cup. They won their lone title in 1982. They qualified due their play at the 2010 Asian Games.
- Netherlands is 59-113 during their play in the Cups. Their best finishes were fourth-place stints in 2005 and 2007 before fading in 2009. They qualified at the 2010 European Championship.
- Nicaragua enters at 162-129, third in Cup history in wins. They have won the Bronze Medal five times, most recently in 1990. They qualified at the 2010 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament.
- Panama hosts the event for the first time ever. They have a long history in the tournament, with a total record of 129-108. They qualified as hosts.
- Puerto Rico just missed a Medal with a 4th-place finish in 2009. They are 152-118 in prior Cups, with one Gold back in 1951. They qualified at the 2010 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament.
- Chinese Taipei is 91-74 in their Cup history. Their best finish was a Silver Medal in 1984. They won their spot through the 2010 Asian Games.
- United States won the last two Cups to bring their record to 166-74 all-time. Their four Cups rank second to Cuba.
- Venezuela has won three past Cups, third behind Cuba and the USA, but the last one was in 1945. They enter with a 135-79 record in the event. They qualified at the 2010 Pan American Games Qualifiers.
- For rosters, see 2011 Baseball World Cup (Rosters)
|Win: Paolo Espino (1-0) Loss: Meleti Melehes (0-1)|
Greece opened its first Baseball World Cup game by taking a second-inning lead, thanks to a walk and hit batsmen by Paolo Espino as well as three singles. A 2-run single by LF Gus Panagotacos capped the rally. 2004 Olympian Meleti Melehes gave back all three runs in the bottom of the inning on a walk to RF Concepción Rodríguez, a triple by 1B Carlos Quiroz and doubles from 3B Javier Castillo and C Damaso Espino. From there, Paolo Espino and Melehes kept the game even until the 6th.
In the bottom of the 6th, Panama gave the 20,000 in attendance something to cheer about. DH Fernando Seguignol and was bunted over. Rodríguez singled and an error by RF Jason Zachos let Seguignol score and Rodríguez take second. Quiroz grounded into an error by 3B Mike Tonis, a former major leaguer. A wild pitch advanced both runners and after an intentional walk to Castillo, Damaso Espino singled home Rodriguez and Quiroz in to make 6-3. A.J. Brack relieved but allowed a sac fly to CF Luis Castillo. Panama tacked on one more run in the 8th.
Rodríguez and 2B Jose Macias both had 3 hits for Panama, while Rodríguez also had 3 runs and 2 RBI. Damaso Espino drove in three. Paolo Espino fanned 8 and his relievers added four more.
|Win: Andrew Albers (1-0) Loss: Efrain Nieves, Jr. (0-1)|
In a rematch of the 2009 Baseball World Cup Bronze Medal game, Canada again topped Puerto Rico, this time in a convincing fashion. Starter Andrew Albers allowed only one hit in five innings while Puerto Rico scored their lone run in the 7th, after Canada already led 9-0. Canada pounded Efrain Nieves, Jr. from the get-go. In the first, RF Brock Kjeldgaard doubled and LF Jamie Romak walked with one out. 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand walked to load the bases then DH Tim Smith singled; an error by Padres prospect Reymond Fuentes in center made it a 2-run play. 3B Shawn Bowman grounded home Van Ostrand for a 3-0 lead. The rout was on.
Van Ostrand was 2 for 3 with a walk, homer, 3 runs and 3 RBI.
|Win: Shairon Martis (1-0) Loss: Yao-Lin Wang (0-1) Save: Tom Stuifbergen (1)|
In an exciting pitching duel, Nationals farmhand Shairon Martis and Cubs minor leaguer Yao-Lin Wang battled in a close match. Combined, the two allowed nine hits and three runs in 14 innings, with both bullpens following with hitless ball.
In the bottom of the second, the Netherlands got their only runs, but all they needed to win. 1B Curt Smith singled off Wang and 2B Sharlon Schoop hit into a force, then stole second. DH Bryan Engelhardt singled Schoop to third, then stole second as well. 3B Vince Rooi, a former Expos and Pirates minor leaguer who peaked at AA, singled to center for a 2-0 lead.
Taiwan got their lone run in the 4th. SS Po-Ting Hsiao singled for the first hit off Martis. He advanced on a bunt and a grounder, then scored on a single by C Chun-Hsiu Chen of the Indians organization. Neither team got another hit until the 6th. The only other batter to reach scoring position would come in the 8th when Dutch RF Danny Rombley (like Rooi, a former AA player) singled, was bunted over and got stranded. Twins farmhand Tom Stuifbergen relieved Martis and fanned four of the seven batters he faced, allowing one hit, for the save.
|Win: Jhonny Caraballo (1-0) Loss: Chang-ho Lee (0-1) Save: Gabriel Alfaro (1)|
Venezuela and South Korea were involved in one of the more dramatic opening games. In the bottom of the first, Venezuela scored off Jong-huen Park. SS Rodolfo Cardona walked, advanced to third on a single by 1B Willie Vasquez and scored on a grounder by RF Ronald Acuna. In the 4th, LF Arturo Rivas singled, C Luis Alen walked, Park threw a wild pitch and CF Yonathan Sivira doubled for a 2-0 lead. They made it 3-0 in the 5th against reliever Myung-june Yoon, thanks to a solo homer by Acuña.
In the meantime, former Cubs farmhand Jesús Yépez blanked South Korea for five innings. In the 6th, he faded. LF Hae-min Park, the #9 hitter, led off with a single. CF Jong-wook Ko also singled and George Delgado relieved Yépez. Delgado promptly plunked SS Kyoung-min Hur to load the bases. 1B Ji-young Lee hit into a force, then 3B Chang-min Mo grounded in a run. RF Hyun-suk Yung cracked a 2-run double and DH Jae-hwan Kim doubled to put the Asian squad ahead, 4-3.
Venezuela got two on in the 7th but Chang-ho Lee escaped the inning by retiring Acuña on a fly. In the bottom of the 8th, though, 3B Tony Granadillo singled and DH Dirimo Chávez laid down a bunt hit. Another bunt advanced the runners, then Alen grounded in Granadillo to tie the score at four. Hyoun-taek Oh replaced Lee but served up a RBI single to Sivira for a 5-4 Venezuelan edge. In the bottom of the 9th, Park got a two-out hit off reliever Gabriel Alfaro but Ko fanned to end it.
Vasquez and Park each finished with 3 hits and no runs produced, while Hur reached in 3 of 4 plate appearances.
|Win: Juan Pablo López (1-0) Loss: Martin Dewald (0-1) Save: José Luis Sáenz (1)|
Germany comes close, but fails to overcome a slow start in losing to the Nicaraguans in the first game for both teams. If not for Germany's atrocious defense (five errors in the first), they might have won even.
German manager Greg Frady turned to Martin Dewald, the first German native to play in the US independent leagues (other Germans had played in Organized Baseball). CF Dwight Britton and RF Douglas Morales greeted him with opening singles. LF Jilton Calderón hit one to short, where Jendrick Speer erred to let in Britton. SS Ofilio Castro singled. DH Esteban Ramírez hit one to 3B Ludwig Glaser, who made both a fielding and throwing error, letting Morales score. 2B Ronald Garth hit one to Glaser, but the former Angels minor leaguer had another two-error play, this time scoring two runs. Nicaragua led, 4-0, with all the runs scoring on errors. Dewald and Eugen Heilmann would allow only four more Nicaraguan hits, showing that their pitching kept them in it if their defense did not.
Germany got back a run in the second, when 1B Donald Lutz, a Reds minor leaguer, went deep off former Phillies farmhand Berman Espinoza. Germany tied it in the 4th. Glaser tried to redeem himself by opening with a single. With one away, LF Simon Gühring singled. CF Max Kepler drew a walk to load the bases, then Speer emptied them with a double. Espinoza escaped further harm by fanning both CF Sascha Lutz (Donald's brother) and 2B Dominik Wulf.
Nicaragua broke the tie in the 6th, with the game's last run. Calderón doubled and advanced on a ground-out by Castro. Ramírez then delivered a sacrifice fly. Garth doubled, but was stranded when 3B Edgard Montiel fanned. Nicaragua got Britton to scoring position with a two-out double in the 7th before Dewald retired Morales. The only other runner to scoring position in the final 3 innings came in the bottom of the 9th. With two away, Sascha Lutz drew a walk from José Luis Sáenz and was balked over, but Wulf grounded out to end it.
Britton led the game with 3 hits, while Speer had 3 RBI.
|Win: Ángel Castro (1-0) Loss: Tiago Da Silva (0-1)|
Ángel Castro, Runelvys Hernández and Darío Veras combine on a two-hit, 10-strikeout gem to pitch the Dominicans to an opening win. 2B Francesco Imperiali got the only hits for Italy, one off each Castro and Hernández. In the bottom of the second, Brazilian Tiago Da Silva allowed the first run of the game. LF Alexis Gómez doubled, advanced on a fly out and scored on a sacrifice fly by 3B Juan Richardson, a late addition to the roster.
|Win: Freddy Asiel Alvarez (1-0) Loss: Dushan Ruzic (0-1)|
Australia might have made gains in their last couple World Cups, but this contest showed they had a way to go to join the top-flight teams. Freddy Asiel Alvarez and Alberto Soto teamed on a 3-hit, no-walk gem with the Australian ex-major leaguers going a combined 0 for 5. DH Frederich Cepeda hit a one-out, two-run homer in the first off Dushan Ruzic, a star in the 2007 and 2009 World Cups. A balanced Cuban attack featured four homers with big days from 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. (2 for 4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) and SS Erisbel Arruebarruena (2 for 3, 4th-inning grand slam off Ruzic). Ruzic surrendered eight runs in four innings, a far cry from the giant right-hander's performance in the prior two Cups. Australia became the first team to make a mercy rule loss in this Cup, instead of weaker countries like Greece or Germany.
|Win: Shawn Hill (1-0) Loss: Hirofumi Yamanaka (0-1) Save: Jimmy Henderson (1)|
Canada again got strong pitching, though their offense was not quite as sharp in a matchup of the 2007 Bronze Medalists (Japan) and the 2009 Bronze Medalists (Canada).
The Canadians opened with a run in the first. 2B Skyler Stromsmoe drew a walk from Hirofumi Yamanaka, stole second and came on a two-out double by 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand. In the bottom of the 4th, DH Tim Smith hit a light two-out single, but 3B Shawn Bowman and C Cole Armstrong followed with doubles for a 3-0 lead. Canada got no more runs, but they didn't need any more.
|Win: Juan Carlos Sulbaran (1-0) Loss: Tim Karkatselos (0-1)|
The Dutch needed only four innings to rout Greece in a mercy rule game. In their four games ever against Greece, they now had outscored their opponents, 42-0.
Greece almost took the lead in their second and almost scored their first run ever against the Netherlands. With two outs, 45-year-old DH Erik Pappas doubled off Reds farmhand Juan Carlos Sulbaran (4th in the 2011 California League in strikeouts). RF Jason Zachos singled to left and Pappas tried to score, but Dwayne Kemp threw out the veteran at home.
In the bottom of the second, the Netherlands pounded Tim Karkatselos for eight runs, including a two-run homer by SS Mariekson Gregorius and a 3-run homer by 1B Curt Smith. RF Danny Rombley added a 2-run homer and Kemp a 2-run triple in a 9-run third against two relievers.
Overall, Kemp (3 for 4, 2 R, 4 RBI, 3B), Smith (3 for 3, 2B, HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, BB) and 3B Vince Rooi (3 for 4, 3 R, 3 RBI) stood out in a Netherlands offensive that saw seven players score multiple runs. Sulbaran needed just 56 pitches for his shutout.
|Win: Ángel Cuan (1-0) Loss: Chun-Lin Kuo (0-1)|
The hosts got going quickly against Chun-Lin Kuo. CF Luis Castillo opened with a walk, then got singles from 2B Jose Macias and SS Ángel Chávez, both former major leaguers. Up came another former big leaguer, DH Fernando Seguignol. He responded with a grand slam and Panama led 4-0 without having had a batter retired. Their offense continued to produce as the game went on, making up for some lackluster pitching, for a 14-8 win backed by 18 hits.
Among the star batters were Chávez (3 for 3, 2 R) and Seguignol (3 for 4, 2B, HR, BB, 4 R, 4 RBI) for Panama and 2B-SS Han Lin (3 for 5, HR, 2 R, RBI) and CF Kuo-Hui Lo (3 for 5, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI) for Taiwan.
|Win: Adalberto Flores (1-0) Loss: Randy Williams (0-1)|
After being obliterated by Canada in their first game, Puerto Rico rebounded to stun the USA.
The US turned to Todd Redmond, who had also started the opener of the 2010 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament for them. He had a rocky first. CF Reymond Fuentes began with a single, then SS Luis Figueroa walked. RF Hiram Bocachica singled to left and a throwing error by Brett Carroll made it 1-0. 1B Neftali Soto singled home Figueroa, then DH Javier Valentin hit a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 early lead.
There were no more hits until the bottom of the fourth as Julio Rodriguez and Redmond both pitched well. In the 5th, the US staged a failed rally. With one out, RF Brett Jackson walked on a full count and Rodriguez was yanked in favor of Nelvin Fuentes. 2B Joe Thurston singled Jackson to third. Andres Santiago relieved Fuentes and struck out Carroll. 1B Matt Clark drew a walk but DH Chad Tracy hit into an inning-ending force to strand the bases loaded.
In the bottom of the 6th, the United States finally got a run. 3B Tommy Mendonca singled and CF Jordan Danks drew a one-out walk. After SS Jordy Mercer struck out on three pitches, Jackson walked to load the bases. Joe Torres, a former Team USA hurler (1999 World Junior Championship), entered as the 4th Puerto Rican pitcher. He failed to keep the shutout going, serving up a 2-run single to Thurston. Juan Padilla relieved Torres and fanned Carroll on a full count.
The US mounted another rally in the 7th. Clark walked and C Travis D'Arnaud hit a two-out double, but Danks grounded out to end the rally. Jackson singled with one out in the 8th but was stranded as well. Puerto Rico added an insurance run in the top of the 9th, after 7 straight scoreless frames. Bocachica greeted reliever Scott Patterson with a double. After two outs, LF Jesus Feliciano singled home Bocachica for a 4-2 lead.
The insurance run proved critical in the bottom of the 9th as the US rallied to tie it and nearly win. Clark singled off Padilla, then Tracy walked. Mendonca bunted both men over, then Adalberto Flores became the 6th Puerto Rican pitcher. D'Arnaud greeted him with a double that made it 4-3. Danks was intentionally walked. Mercer hit into a game-tying, run-scoring force. Jackson grounded to Soto, who threw home to get PR Andrew Garcia at the plate. Thurston was retired to again strand the bases full for the US.
In the top of the 10th, Figueroa cracked a grand slam off Williams, who had posted just a 1.41 ERA in AAA in 2011. In the bottom of the 10th, Flores went 1-2-3, retiring Clark, backup DH A.J. Pollock and Mendonca, none of them hitting the ball further than the mound, to seal the upset.
|Win: Sung-hoon Choi (1-0) Loss: Dominik Hartinger (0-1)|
While Germany finished the tournament winless, they were clearly not outclassed, as demonstrated by their taking a decent South Korean team to extra innings.
South Korea got on the board first. Facing André Hughes in the second, 3B Chang-min Mo walked, took second on a failed pick-off attempt by C Kai Gronauer and scored on a one-out single by DH Jae-hwan Kim. In the third, Germany took the lead. 1B Rodney Gessmann bunted his way aboard with one out. SS Jendrick Speer singled off Sung-bum Na, then RF Sascha Lutz singled in Gessmann. After a wild pitch by Na, 2B Dominik Wulf laid down a squeeze bunt to bring Speer in. Korea got men on second and third in the bottom of the 3rd but failed to score.
After a quiet 4th and 5th, RF Hyun-suk Yung doubled with one out. Yung tried to steal third and Gronauer's throw was on target, but 3B Ludwig Glaser made yet another error. Jae-hwan Kim singled to tie the game. C Jae-hoon Choi singled. Twins farmhand Markus Solbach relieved Hughes and fanned 2B Sung-won Bak. After a passed ball by Mets prospect Gronauer put both runners in scoring position, LF Hae-min Park (the #9 hitter) cracked a 2-run double to right for a 4-2 lead. Solbach recovered to strike out CF Jong-wook Ko.
Germany tied it in the 7th. CF Max Kepler doubled and Na plunked Gessmann. Jin-woo Im relieved Na. Speer laid down a bunt but an error by 1B Ji-young Lee loaded the bases. Sung-hoon Choi replaced Im. He walked Sascha Lutz to force in Kepler, then walked Wulf with the bases loaded as well to tie it. He recovered against Germany's 3rd and 4th hitters to prevent more damage, getting Glaser to ground into a 1-2-3 double play, then retiring DH Donald Lutz on a pop up.
Korea got a runner to third in the 8th. Solbach walked backup RF Dong-min Han. Jae-hwan Kim hit into an error by Wulf that sent Han to third. Dominik Hartinger was summoned from the bullpen. He got Jae-hoon Choi to fly out to left; Han tried to score on the play but was thrown out at home by LF Simon Gühring.
In the 10th, Germany started with two runners aboard due to the IBAF extra-innings rule. Choi hit Speer to load the bases. Sascha Lutz hit into an out at second, scoring Kepler to make it 5-4. Choi recovered to strike out Wulf. After Lutz stole second, Glaser flew out to right. In the bottom of the 10th, 1B Jin-hyuk No bunted the two runners over. Mo then delivered in the clutch, with a 2-run single to left off Hartinger to end it.
|Win: Chris Cooper (1-0) Loss: Chris Oxspring (0-1)|
In a game whose start was delayed by rain, Australia's offense again failed to score a run. Chris Cooper walked two in the first but LF Tim Kennelly ended the rally with a fly-out. In the 4th, Italy solved Chris Oxspring, who had dominated them back in the 2004 Olympics. LF Lorenzo Avagnina led off the inning with a single. With two away, 3B Juan Carlos Infante doubled him in and then stole third. SS Anthony Granato walked and RF Mario Chiarini doubled Infante home. 40-year-old DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi, 20 years removed from his season in the US minors, doubled home Granato and Chiarini for a 4-0 lead.
Infante finished with 3 hits, a run and a RBI while Chiarini was 2 for 3 with a walk, 2 doubles, 2 runs and a RBI. Cooper, Justin Cicatello, Luca Panerati and Nick Pugliese combined on the five-hit shutout for Italy.
|Win: Carlos Mori (1-0) Loss: Julio Ráudez (0-1) Save: Gabriel Alfaro (2)|
Venezuela started their win against Nicaragua with a run in the first off Julio Raudez. SS Rodolfo Cardona doubled, was bunted over and scored on a grounder by LF Willie Vasquez. Nicaragua tied it in the third on a single by veteran 1B Sandor Guido, two wild pitches by Carlos Mori and a single by CF Dwight Britton.
Venezuela took the lead for good in the 4th. With one out, 2B Dirimo Chávez singled and C Luis Alen hit into an error by Guido. 3B Saúl Torres hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1. Vasquez went deep off Raudez in the 5th for a 3-1 score. Guido hit a homer of his own in the bottom of the fifth to pull Nicaragua back within a run.
In the 6th, Chávez hit a leadoff double off Raudez and Torres hit a one-out double for a 4-2 game. CF Yonathan Sivira doubled as well for a 5-2 score. While both teams had scoring opportunities after that, neither team was able to convert them. They stranded a combined 17 runners on the day (10 for Venezuela, 7 for Nicaragua).
|Win: Norberto González (1-0) Loss: Willy Lebrón (0-1) Save: Yadier Pedroso (1)|
In a contest of the top two Caribbean baseball nations, Cuba won a pitching duel which featured a combined total of seven hits.
Through two innings, neither Cuba's Norberto González nor the Dominican Republic's Willy Lebrón had allowed a runner to second. In the third inning, SS Henry Mateo and CF Freddy Guzmán singled with one out, but González recovered to get 2B Bernie Castro and 1B Willis Otáñez to ground out.
The Dominicans challenged again in the fifth. 3B Juan Richardson opened with their third and last hit, then advanced on a fielder's choice on a bunt by C Alex Castillo. Mateo bunted both runners into scoring position. Guzmán grounded to 1B José Dariel Abreu, who threw home to get Richardson. Castro then grounded out to end the game.
In the bottom of the sixth, Cuba got all the game's runs. With two away, DH Frederich Cepeda singled. LF Alfredo Despaigne hit into an error by Mateo. 3B Yulieski Gourriel singled in Cepeda, then RF Alexei Bell doubled home both runners for a 3-0 lead. Abreu singled as well, giving Cuba all four of its hits in the same inning. Francisco Cruceta then relieved and got veteran catcher Ariel Pestano to fly out. The only Dominican baserunner in the final three innings came with one out in the 9th, when Yadier Pedroso walked LF Alexis Gómez. Pedroso worked the final two innings to save it for González.
|Win: Rob Cordemans (1-0) Loss: Masamitsu Hamano (0-1) Save: David Bergman (1)|
The Orange remained unbeaten, the only European squad to start 3-0 this year. The game's first run came in the third when CF Yoshinobu Kotegawa and Yuichi Tabata hit back-to-back doubles. Those were the only runs allowed by Rob Cordemans in six innings; Cordemans was the only European-raised pitcher to have played in one Asia's big 3 leagues (Taiwan's CPBL).
In the top of the fourth, 2B Sharlon Schoop hit a one-out double off Masamitsu Hamano. DH Bryan Engelhardt singled and an error on the play by 2B Mayo Sakagami tied the game. Hamano tried to pick off Engelhardt but made an error on the throw, putting him on third base instead. 3B Vince Rooi drew one of three walks for the day. Koichi Kotaka was summoned in relief. RF Danny Rombley hit into a fielder's choice, loading the bases. CF Shaldimar Daantji then delivered the game's big hit, a bases-clearing double to left for a 4-2 cushion.
Japan scored once off reliever Diegomar Markwell in the 7th to close it to 4-2. The Netherlands loaded the bases in the 8th but failed to score. In the 9th, Japan's 5th pitcher, Naobumi Mitsuhashi, walked SS Mariekson Gregorius and hit C Sidney de Jong. Yuichiro Utagawa relieved and gave up a RBI double to 1B Curt Smith to put the Netherlands ahead, 5-2, the final score.
David Bergman got the save with 1 2/3 shutout innings; he had gotten the last Dutch win over Japan, back in the 2006 Intercontinental Cup. De Jong and Rombley had also played for the Netherlands in that win.
|Win: Jay Johnson (1-0) Loss: A.J. Brack (0-1)|
Like the Netherlands, Canada remained unbeaten through three games in Pool A. They got their first run in the second when DH Marcus Knecht walked, CF Michael Crouse drew a one-out walk, SS Jonathan Malo singled and 2B Skyler Stromsmoe hit into a run-scoring force. RF Brock Kjeldgaard drew a third walk from A.J. Brack but 1B Jamie Romak was retired to end the inning.
LF Tim Smith opened the 3rd inning with a homer to right. 3B Shawn Bowman followed with a double and C Emerson Frostad had a one-out single for a 3-0 lead. Crouse hit into a force, then scored on a double by Malo to make it 4-0. Greece got their lone runs in the bottom of the 4th. With one out, Mark Hardy walked 2B Chris Demetral and 3B Mike Tonis. An out later, DH Erik Pappas walked and RF Jason Zachos doubled in two runs.
Canada rebuilt their lead in the 5th off Pete Sikaras, on a Crouse triple, Malo RBI single, a hit-by-pitch for Stromsmoe, a 2-run triple by Romak and RBI single by Smith. They got three more runs in the 6th, all on a homer by backup 2B Chris Bisson. In the 9th, they got their final run when Knecht singled in Romak.
Greek pitchers combined for ten walks, two hit batsmen and two wild pitches. Smith finished a triple shy of the cycle while Malo produced four runs and reached in four of five plate appearances from the 9th slot in the batting order.
|Win: Andy Van Hekken (1-0) Loss: Kuan-Ju Chen (0-1)|
The US went ballistic against Kuan-Ju Chen, Kuan-Yu Chen and former White Sox prospect Po-Yu Lin, tagging them for 12 hits, including 5 doubles and 4 home runs. Andy Van Hekken (6 IP) and Jeff Beliveau (1 IP) team up on a fine outing. Among those shining on offense for the US were 1B Matt Clark (3 for 3, BB, 2B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI) and SS Jordy Mercer (3 for 3, 2 2B, HR, BB, SB, 3 R, 3 RBI) as they rebounded from their opening loss to Puerto Rico in fine form. Taiwan remained winless.
|Win: Alberto Acosta (1-0) Loss: Ivan Maldonado (0-1) Save: Yeliar Castro (1)|
The host country kept on rolling, going to 3-0, while Puerto Rico continued their roller-coaster ride (shelled by Canada, upset the USA, lost to Panama).
In the bottom of the first, Puerto Rican starter Ivan Maldonado struggled badly. He began by walking CF Luis Castillo. 2B Jose Macias singled. Maldonado retired SS Ángel Chávez but walked DH Fernando Seguignol to load the bases. LF Jonathan Vega was retired on an infield fly, but RF Concepción Rodríguez delivered a two-run single through the middle for an early Panamanian lead. In the third, they doubled their lead on a single by Macias, a RBI double by Chávez and a two-out RBI single by Rodríguez. Puerto Rican relievers Tomás Santiago, Joe Torres and Jose de la Torre would shut down Panama for the next five innings, but the damage had been done.
Puerto Rico finally got to starter Alberto Acosta in the 6th, after five innings with only two hits and no runs. In the 6th, 1B Neftali Soto hit a one-out double, DH César Crespo followed with a single and LF Jesus Feliciano hit a sacrifice fly. They closed the gap to two in the 8th against relief pitcher Eliecer Navarro on back-to-back doubles by SS Luis Figueroa and RF Hiram Bocachica. Navarro recovered to retire Soto, Crespo and Feliciano to escape further harm. In the 9th, Yeliar Castro went 1-2-3 for the save.
|Win: Hyoun-taek Oh (1-0) Loss: Clayton Tanner (0-1)|
Hyoun-taek Oh (8 IP) and Hyun-jun Lim (1 IP) combine on a 4-hit, 0-walk, 12-strikeout whitewash as Australia has failed to score through three games. While Australia's opening shutout to Cuba was no cause for alarm, being blanked by Italy and South Korea (which got taken to extra innings by Germany a day before) was far more troubling for the team from Down Under. 3B Chang-min Mo led a balance offense with a double, homer, run and RBI. CF Jong-wook Ko and 1B Ji-young Lee each had two hits, a run and two RBI.
Australia had scored 33 runs in their first 3 games in the 2009 World Cup, a far cry from their 0 runs in the first 3 games this year.
|Win: Mario Álvarez (1-0) Loss: Tim Henkenjohann (0-1)|
Germany gets blown out for the first time in the tourney.
Tim Henkenjohann (the first German-raised pitcher to make it to A ball in the US) started and was no match for the Dominican batters. He began by walking CF Freddy Guzmán on four pitches, an ominous beginning. Guzmán stole second, then 2B Bernie Castro singled. 1B Willis Otáñez hit into a run-scoring force, then DH Alexis Gómez singled and RF Víctor Méndez walked on four pitches to load the bases. Philipp Hoffschild relieved Henkenjohann (who had retired only one of five batters). SS Henry Mateo hit into a run-scoring force for a 2-0 lead, then 3B Juan Richardson hit a RBI single. C Alex Castillo followed with a two-run triple and the Dominicans were up, 5-0. They never had to look back.
Henkenjohann (4 R in 1/3 IP), Hoffschild (7 H, 3 R in 1 2/3 IP), Jens Cornelsen (4 R in 1 2/3 IP) and Max Schmitz (2 R in 2 IP) all struggled for Germany, with only youngster Daniel Thieben (1 1/3 shutout, hitless innings) doing well. Mario Álvarez allowed one hit in five shutout innings before Germany scored a couple off reliever Jacobo Meque. Guzmán finished with 3 runs, Castro and Richardson 3 hits apiece and Mateo and Richardson both drove in 3 for the islanders.
|Win: Miguel Lahera (1-0) Loss: Juan Colmenarez (0-1)|
In a match-up of two 2-0 clubs, Cuba easily beat political ally and long-time baseball rival Venezuela.
Venezuelan starter Juan Colmenarez did not even make it out of the first inning. CF Rusney Castillo opened the scoring with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the 1st. 2B Héctor Olivera, Jr. singled then DH Frederich Cepeda doubled. Colmenarez plunked LF Alfredo Despaigne and walked 3B Yulieski Gourriel to force in a second run. RF Alexei Bell hit into a force at home, then 1B José Dariel Abreu singled to right. That was all Cuba would need in a 14-2 romp.
Leading Cuba's strong offense were Castillo (3 for 5, HR), Cepeda (2 for 4, 2B, 3B, R, RBI), Abreu (3 for 4, 2 R, 2 RBI) and SS Erisbel Arruebarruena (3 for 4, 2H, 2 R, 2 RBI). Miguel Lahera did a number on the hill, tossing six shutout innings with four hits, no walks and 8 K's before leaving the contest.
|Win: Alessandro Maestri (1-0) Loss: Elvin Orozco (0-1) Save: Yovani D'Amico (1)|
Italy won its second straight contest with a strong first three innings.
In the bottom of the first, Italy scored first off starter Elvin Orozco. 3B Juan Carlos Infante and SS Anthony Granato singled; with two away, 1B Giuseppe Mazzanti hit a triple to left, plating both men. The next inning, Orozco hit LF Lorenzo Avagnina then walked C Juan Pablo Angrisano on four pitches. CF Paolino Ambrosino bunted the runners over. Infante lined out, then Granato singled in Avagnina for a 3-0 lead.
Nicaragua got two men on in the top of the third but failed to score. In the bottom of the third, Italy built their lead further. DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi singled, then scored on a double by former Mariners minor leaguer Mazzanti. After an out, Avagnina singled and Angrisano hit into a run-scoring force to make it 5-0.
Nicaragua staged a comeback in the fourth. LF Jilton Calderón walked, then 2B Ofilio Castro reached on an error by RF Mario Chiarini. DH Esteban Ramírez drew a walk from Cody Cillo to load the bases . Cillo retired C Marlon Abea and then got 3B Darrel Campbell to hit into a force at home. 1B Sandor Guido delivered in the clutch, though, with a 2-run single. That brought up #9 hitter and SS Iván Marín. Cillo plunked him, then walked CF Dwight Britton to force in a run and make it 5-3. Marco Mazzieri decided it was time to switch hurlers and yanked Cillo in favor of Alessandro Maestri, the first Italy-raised pitcher to make it to AA. He got out of the bases-loaded jam by fanning RF Ramón Flores.
Granato hit a solo homer in the 6th off Juan Pablo López to increase Italy's lead to 6-3. Nicaragua mounted a rally in the 8th. Backup 2B Edgard Montiel doubled and Justin Cicatello relieved Maestri. Ramírez flew out, then Abea singled to put men on the corners. Cicatello got Campbell and Guido to fly out to maintain Italy's lead. Italy had a good chance to build their edge during the bottom of the 8th. Ambrosino walked and Infante laid down a bunt hit. Granato grounded both runners over, then Juan Serrano hit Chiarini to load the bases. Eldo Thomas relieved and retired Ramos Gizzi on a fly. Nicaragua brought in a 6th pitcher, Junior Téllez, who got Mazzanti looking.
In the 9th, Marín opened with a single off Cicatello. Mazzieri turned to Yovani D'Amico, who walked Britton on a full count. He then got a full count on potential go-ahead run and backup RF Douglas Morales, who went down swinging, as did Calderón. Montiel flew out to end the game.
Italy's bullpen of Maestri, Cicatello and D'Amico finished with 5 1/3 shutout innings in relief of Cillo. Granato (3 for 5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) and Mazzanti (3 for 4, 2B, 3B, HBP, R, 3 RBI) led Italy's offense while Guido (3 for 4, 2 RBI) led the charge for the Central American team.
|Win: Jeff Marquez (1-0) Loss: Hiroya Kawamitsu (0-1)|
The US won their rain-out make-up game against Japan in today's only action.
The Americans scored first. In the bottom of the second, Hiroya Kawamitsu allowed one-out singles to LF A.J. Pollock and 3B Tommy Mendonca. CF Jordan Danks hit into a force at home, but C Tuffy Gosewisch cracked a 2-run double to right. Japan tied it in the bottom of the 4th. CF Yoshinobu Kotegawa singled off Jeff Marquez, then LF Takayoshi Kawabata singled and DH Keiji Ikebe was plunked. RF Toshiyuki Hayashi hit a sacrifice fly and 3B Yuichi Tabata grounded in the tying run.
The US retook the lead in the 5th. SS Jordy Mercer drew a one-out walk and RF Brett Jackson singled him to third. Takashi Fujita relieved and walked 2B Andrew Garcia. DH Joe Thurston singled in two runs for a 4-2 lead, knocking out Fujita. In the bottom of the fifth, 2B Kenichi Yokoyama and C Shigeki Nakano singled. After they were bunted over, Kotegawa grounded home Yokoyama.
In the top of the sixth, Danks singled off Hirofumi Yamanaka. Gosewisch bunted him over, then Mercer singled for a 5-3 lead. The US added runs in the 7th (when Danks singled home Thurston) and 8th (Garcia singling in Mercer) to cap the scoring.
|Win: Tom Stuifbergen (1-0) Loss: Andres Santiago (0-1)|
While they had beaten the USA, Puerto Rico looked in danger of not advancing to the top eight round by falling to 1-3, this time losing to the still-unbeaten Netherlands.
In the bottom of the first, Dutch C Sidney de Jong homered off Andres Santiago. Puerto Rico got one of its best chances against Twins farmhand Tom Stuifbergen in the second. 1B Neftali Soto was hit by a pitch and DH Javier Valentin walked. With one away, C Christian Vazquez singled to load the bases, but 3B Jeffrey Domínguez blew the rally by hitting into a 4-6-3 double play. With two outs in the 4th, Puerto Rico got back-to-back singles but Domínguez again ended it with a ground out.
In the bottom of the 4th, SS Mariekson Gregorius singled for the Netherlands; an out later, 1B Curt Smith doubled him home. They padded their lead in the sixth when Smith drew a Juan Padilla walk and DH Bryan Engelhardt went deep. In the 7th, CF Shaldimar Daantji reached on an error by Domínguez and was grounded over. Gregorius and de Jong followed with singles to make it 5-0 and end the scoring.
Stuifbergen allowed 5 hits and 1 walk in 7 shutout innings, while David Bergman tossed two perfect innings to wrap up the win. Gregorius went 3 for 4, while de Jong and Engelhardt both finished with 2 RBI.
|Win: Drew Smyly (1-0) Loss: Theon Bourdaniotis (0-1) Save: Randy Williams (1)|
Drew Smyly (2 H, 7 K in 6 IP), Chuckie Fick (1 H, 1 K in 2 IP) and Randy Williams (0 H, 2 K in 1 IP) held Greece to three hits while the US offense surprisingly sputtered against Theon Bourdaniotis, who had only pitched at the college level in the US.
In the bottom of the first, LF A.J. Pollock and 2B Andrew Garcia led off with singles to put men on the corners, then RF Brett Carroll hit into a run-scoring double play. In the fourth, Carroll reached on an error by 3B Mike Tonis, then 1B Matt Clark homered for a 3-0 lead. Neither team would score again, as Bourdaniotis and Pete Sikaras shut out the US for the next four innings. Pollock was the only player on either side with multiple hits, going 2 for 3 and also getting plunked.
|Win: Nick Bucci (1-0) Loss: Yu-Ching Lin (0-1)|
Nick Bucci and three relievers combine to two-hit Taiwan as Canada's fine pitching continued.
Canada scored their first run off Yu-Ching Lin in the bottom of the second. 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand walked. With one out, 3B Shawn Bowman doubled and C Cole Armstrong followed with a sacrifice fly. Taiwan got their first baserunner in the 4th when Bucci walked SS Po-Ting Hsiao, who was stranded. LF Jamie Romak homered off Lin in the 4th to make it 2-0. Bucci's no-hit bit ended when 1B Chih-Pei Huang opened the 5th with a single. One out later, LF Chia-Yu Lin singled for Taiwan's last hit.
Canada got its other runs in the 6th when Van Ostrand singled with one out and DH Tim Smith homered to right-center to make it 4-0. Canada's bullpen was superb as Andrew Albers tossed perfect ball in the 6th and 7th, Dustin Molleken did so as well in the 8th and Mike Johnson wrapped it up with a perfect 9th.
Bowman finished with more hits (3, 2 of them doubles) than the entire Taiwanese club as Taiwan fell to 0-4 and Canada improved to 4-0.
|Win: Gilberto Méndez (1-0) Loss: Ken Togame (0-1) Save: Yeliar Castro (2)|
The hosts kept up their strongest international performance in some time by beating Japan to stay unbeaten while Japan was winless.
Panama got going in the first against Ken Togame. With one out, 2B Jose Macias walked, SS Ángel Chávez doubled and DH Fernando Seguignol grounded home Macias. Japan challenged in the bottom of the first, when 3B Yuichi Tabata singled with two outs and RF Toshiyuki Hayashi doubled, but Paolo Espino recovered to whiff DH Keiji Ikebe.
In the second, 3B Javier Castillo was hit by a pitch and scored on a double by C Dámaso Espino. Japan made up that run in the bottom of the second. SS Ryoichi Adachi and 1B Kanichi Matoba singled to put men on the corners, then C Shigeki Nakano hit into a run-scoring twin killing. Tomoyuki Kaida relieved Togame to open the third, but allowed a leadoff double to Macias. With one out, Seguignol walked. After another out, RF Concepción Rodríguez singled in Macias for a 3-1 lead.
Japan again battled back to within a run. With two outs in the third, Tabata singled and scored on a Hayashi double. The game remained a one-run affair until the 9th, with neither team mounting a major rally. In the top of the 9th, Panama put it out of reach. Facing Hirofumi Yamanaka after 5 1/3 shutout innings from Masamitsu Hamano, they got a one-out double from catcher Espino. CF Luis Castillo doubled home Espino. Macias drew an intentional walk, then Chávez smacked a 2-run double to right for a 6-2 lead.
Macias reached base in four of five plate appearances and scored three runs. The Panamanian bullpen of Gilberto Méndez, Eliecer Navarro and Yeliar Castro combined to strike out 8 in five hitless innings.
|Win: Yulieski González (1-0) Loss: Hyun-jun Lim (0-1) Save: Yadier Pedroso (2)|
In a duel of the 2008 Olympic finalists, Cuba remained on top of Pool B with their fourth win in four games, riding their pitching to victory.
Chang-ho Lee shut out Cuba for the first three innings but then was replaced by Hyun-jun Lim in the bottom of the 4th for some reason. Lim was not as sharp, allowing a one-out single to LF Alfredo Despaigne and a 2-run homer to 2B Yulieski Gourriel. South Korea got to Yulieski González in the 6th. With two out, 2B Joo-hwan Choi, 3B Chang-min Mo and DH Jae-hwan Kim all singled to cut the gap to one run, 2-1. 1B Ji-young Lee walked to load the bases. Vicyohandri Odelín relieved and retired C Jae-hoon Choi to end the rally.
The other runs came in the bottom of the eighth inning. With one out, DH Frederich Cepeda reached on an error by 1B Lee, then took second on a wild pitch by Seung-wan Moon. Despaigne grounded out and Gourriel was walked intentionally. RF Alexei Bell delivered a 2-run double to left to make that move backfire, giving Cuba their final 4-1 lead.
González, Odelín and Yadier Pedroso combined to strike out 15 for Cuba.
|Win: Ryan Searle (1-0) Loss: Juan Serrano (0-1) Save: Brendan Wise (1)|
Australia finally got a win, tying Nicaragua at 1-3.
Australia's 3-game scoreless drought ended early. With one out in the top of the first, CF Mitch Dening got plunked by Esteban Pérez. DH Justin Huber and 3B Stefan Welch followed with singles and Dening came home with Australia's first run.
The lead was short-lived. In the bottom of the first, Cubs minor leaguer Ryan Searle made a one-out error on a grounder by 2B Edgard Montiel. LF Jilton Calderón singled and DH Esteban Ramírez drew a walk to load the bases. 1B Sandor Guido hit a sacrifice fly to score Montiel, but Ramírez was caught in a run-down trying to advance to second.
Australia looked to have another rally going in the 2nd when 1B Matt Kennelly singled and 2B Brad Harman doubled, but Pérez retired the next three to get out of trouble. In the bottom of the second, Nicaragua went ahead. With two outs, C Janior Montes, SS Iván Marín and CF Dwight Britton rapped three straight singles for a 2-1 lead.
Things were quiet in the third, but Nicaragua had a scoring opportunity in the fourth. 3B Darrel Campbell doubled, then RF Douglas Morales bunted into a fielder's choice, putting men on the corners. They couldn't cash in the chance, though, as Montes bunted a third strike foul. Marín grounded to third and Welch threw home to get Campbell. Former Mariners minor leaguer Britton then went down swinging.
C Joel Naughton led off the fifth for Australia with a game-tying solo homer from the 9th spot in the order. SS James Beresford and Dening both singled and Huber walked to load the bases. Dennis Martinez replaced Pérez with Juan Serrano. Welch hit into a force at home, but LF Tim Kennelly hit a sacrifice fly for a 3-2 lead. RF Tom Brice hit into an inning-ending force. Nicaragua retired it at three in the bottom of the fifth. Montiel singled, then Calderón hit into a Welch error. Ramírez singled home Montiel, They got nothing more as Guido laid down a sacrifice bunt, Campbell hit into a force at third, Morales was intentionally walked and Montes lined out.
In the 6th, Harman hit a one-out double off Serrano and Beresford hit a two-out double to give the Aussies a 4-3 lead. After 5 1/2 innings of back-and-forth leads and rallies, things went quiet as neither team would score again. Only two runners would even be stranded in this period. In the 8th, Campbell led off with a single against Andrew Russell. Morales bunted him over, but both Montes and PH Ofilio Castro grounded out. In the 9th, Montiel drew a one-out walk from Brendan Wise but #3 batter Calderón and cleanup man Ramírez both grounded out to end an exciting game.
Russell and Wise combined on four shutout innings out of Australia's bullpen, while Maynor Mora tossed three perfect innings of relief for Nicaragua.
|Win: Marco Grifantini (1-0) Loss: Eugen Heilmann (0-1)|
Germany turned to Eugen Heilmann, who had gone 9-0 with a 2.12 ERA in the 2011 season for the Paderborn Untouchables, but he was incapable of stopping Italy from the get-go. He began the game by hitting 3B Juan Carlos Infante. SS Anthony Granato grounded into an error by Heilmann, then RF Mario Chiarini singled to load the bases. DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi hit a sacrifice fly. 1B Giuseppe Mazzanti popped up, but LF Lorenzo Avagnina kept things going with a RBI single. Heilmann hit 2B Francesco Imperiali to reload the bases. C Riccardo Bertagnon delivered a 2-run single and Italy led 4-0.
That was all they needed as starter Marco Grifantini tossed five shutout innings with eight strikeouts, two hits and four walks. Ramos Gizzi hit a 2-run homer in the 5th to finish the day with 3 RBI.
|Win: Josmar Carreño (1-0) Loss: Juan Peña (0-1) Save: Gabriel Alfaro (3)|
In a matchup of top Latin powers, Venezuela pulls off a balanced attack to upset the Dominicans, who fall to 2-2.
Venezuela struck first. In the bottom of the second, C Luis Alen got a two-out single off Juan Peña, star of the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games. CF Yonathan Sivira singled Alen to third, then LF Hebert Lara singled him in. Peña had more trouble in the bottom of the third. He walked 2B Oscar Angulo. 1B Willie Vasquez singled and RF Ronald Acuna doubled to make it 2-0. A wild pitch by Peña scored Vasquez. DH Tony Granadillo was intentionally walked then was caught stealing, but Alen doubled in Acuña for a 4-0 lead, knocking out Peña. He was replaced by Runelvys Hernández.
Venezuela increased their lead to 6-0 in the 4th. Lara led off with a single. After an out, Angulo singled. Vasquez fanned. Acuña grounded to short but an error by Chris de la Cruz kept the inning going and scored Lara. 3B Saúl Torres singled to right to score Angulo, chasing Hernández after just one inning. Roberto Novoa and Francisco Cruceta shut out Venezuela for the final 4 1/3 innings but it was too late.
Josmar Carreño had meanwhile shut out the Dominican assault for five innings. He faded in the 6th as the Dominicans tried to get back into the game. 2B Bernie Castro drew a four-pitch walk, 1B Willis Otáñez singled and LF Alexis Gómez walked to load the bases. Luis Sojo called on Jorge Guzman to relieve the flagging Carreño. RF Víctor Méndez lined out but DH Dionys César hit a sacrifice fly for the first Dominican run. A wild pitch advanced the runners, then 3B Juan Richardson singled up the middle to drive them in and make it 6-3. That would be it for the Dominican scoring, though as they only managed one hit in the final three innings against Guzman and Gabriel Alfaro.
|Win: Juan Colmenarez (1-1) Loss: Philipp Hoffschild (0-1)|
Germany gave Venezuela a scare, leading for four innings before folding.
Germany toasted 2007 Baseball World Cup star Jesús Yépez. CF Max Kepler opened with a single, then 3B Dominik Wulf singled; an error on the play by 3B Saúl Torres put both men in scoring position. C Chris Howard hit into a run-scoring fielder's choice, then RF Donald Lutz singled home Wulf. A passed ball by C Juan Fuentes and a balk by Yépez let Howard score, making it 3-0.
Venezuela made it a one-run game in the second against Philipp Hoffschild. Torres, DH Tony Granadillo and CF Yonathan Sivira hit three straight singles, then LF Hebert Lara grounded in Torres after a sacrifice bunt. Germany quickly put their lead back to 3. With two outs, Twins prospect Kepler singled. Wulf and Howard followed with singles for a 4-2 lead. Donald Lutz singled and another Torres error made it 5-2. After 7 hits and 5 runs in two innings against Yépez, though, Germany would be shut out the rest of the way by Juan Colmenarez (1 H, 0 R in 4 IP), Jhonny Caraballo (0 H, 0 R in 1 2/3 IP) and Luis Torres (1 H, 0 R in 1 1/3 IP).
Venezuela finally took the lead in the 5th. 2B Oscar Angulo led off the inning with a single, then 1B Willie Vasquez (no stranger to European pitchers, having played in Italy and the Netherlands since 2005, after his minor league career ended in 2003) homered. After a flyout by RF and cleanup man Ronald Acuna, Torres, Granadillo and Sivira duplicated their second-inning feat of three singles in a row, tying the game at 5. Twins farmhand Markus Solbach relieved Hoffschild but could not stop the bleeding. Fuentes hit into a run-scoring error by Wulf and Lara hit a RBI single. SS Rodolfo Cardona grounded in a run then Angulo doubled for his second hit of the inning, scoring Venezuela's 7th run of the 5th.
Angulo finished 4 for 4 with a walk, double, run and two RBI, while Sivira went 4 for 5 with a run and 2 RBI. In a losing cause, Wulf was 3 for 3 with two runs.
|Win: Sung-hoon Choi (2-0) Loss: Berman Espinoza (0-1) Save: Seung-wan Moon (1)|
South Korea remained the only Asian entry in contention with a win over Nicaragua.
Nicaragua went ahead 1-0 in the first against Jong-huen Park. SS Iván Marín drew a one-out walk then RF Jilton Calderón hit into a Park error and DH Esteban Ramírez walked. 1B Sandor Guido grounded in Marín. In the bottom of the first, 2B Joo-hwan Choi homered off Berman Espinoza to tie it.
The game remained even at one until the bottom of the 4th, both teams blowing opportunities in the 2nd and 3rd (Nicaragua stranding the bases loaded in the 2nd and Korea stranding two runners both innings). In the bottom of the 4th, South Korea took the lead for the first time. C Jae-hoon Choi and LF Hae-min Park both walked, then Joo-hwan Choi smacked a 2-run double.
Nicaragua closed the gap to one in the 5th. CF Dwight Britton singled off Park, stole second and took third on a throwing error by Jae-hoon Choi. He came home on a grounder by Calderón. They had a chance to tie it in the 7th but failed to come through. With one away, LF Douglas Morales singled and Britton walked. PH Ofilio Castro drew a four-pitch walk from Sung-hoon Choi. Calderón's foul pop was caught, bringing up cleanup man Ramírez. Myung-june Yoon came out of the bullpen and got Ramírez to fly out to right.
In the bottom of the 8th, South Korea got some insurance. Facing new pitcher Juan Pablo López, CF Jong-wook Ko singled to right. He was bunted over, but Hae-min Park struck out. That brought up Joo-hwan Choi, who had all of South Korea's 3 RBI to that point. He walked to put two men aboard. Junior Téllez relieved but allowed a RBI single to SS Kyoung-min Hur. 3B Chang-min Mo drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases. Dennis Martinez tried his third pitcher of the inning, José Luis Sáenz. South Korea countered with pinch-hitter Sung-won Buk, who delivered a 2-run single for a 6-2 lead.
Nicaragua wasn't done yet. In the 9th, against Ji-woong Yoon, PH Janior Montes drew a walk, as did Britton. Seung-wan Moon relieved and walked Castro. That brought up the potential tying run in Calderón. His sacrifice fly made it 6-3. Ramírez grounded to Hur, scoring Britton and cutting the score to 6-4. Guido only managed a ground-out, to the day's hero, Joo-hwan Choi, ending it.
|Win: Brendan Wise (1-0) Loss: Roberto Novoa (0-1) Save: Steve Kent (1)|
The Australians won their second straight, while the Dominicans lost their second in a row in an exciting battle.
Australia got on the board in the second when 1B Stefan Welch went deep off Angel Castro. In the third, RF Mitch Dening singled, DH Justin Huber got plunked and LF Tim Kennelly hit a one-out single to drive home Dening. Denny Gonzalez tried switching hurlers in the 4th, bringing in Arnie Muñoz, but he was even worse than Castro. With one out, he allowed a single to CF David Kandilas. Kandilas stole second and SS James Beresford singled him to third. Dening was hit by a pitch, then former major leaguer Huber smacked a 3-run double to left.
The Dominicans did not get to Italian Baseball League hurler Dushan Ruzic until the bottom of the 5th, when he walked SS Henry Mateo and 2B Bernie Castro and allowed a RBI single to LF Alexis Gómez. Australia padded their lead in the 6th when Kandilas drew a walk from Bartolomé Fortunato and Huber remained hot with 2-run homer. Australia got another run in the 8th, off Jacobo Meque, on a walk to 3B Scott Wearne, singles by Beresford and Dening and an error by CF José Campusano.
Up 8-1 after 7 1/2, Australia nearly blew it in the next inning and a half. Following a storm delay, the dazzling Ruzic was lifted in favor of Kable Hogben. Castro walked and stole second, then Gómez struck out. RF Víctor Méndez drew a second Hogben walk. 1B Willis Otáñez hit into an error by Wearne to make it 8-2. DH Dionys César delivered a RBI double and 3B Juan Richardson contributed a sacrifice fly to bring the Dominicans within four. After a four-pitch walk, Hogben was finally yanked in favor of Brendan Wise. He got PH Chris de la Cruz to ground out.
In the 9th, Australia almost got some more insurance. PH Allan De San Miguel hit into an error by de la Cruz (now in at short). After 2B Brad Harman was retired, Wearne hit a fly to left which was dropped by Gómez (the 4th Dominican error) to put two runners in scoring position. Kandilas and Beresford were retired by Darío Veras to prevent more padding of the lead.
That was good for the Dominicans as they scored four times in the bottom of the 9th. Mateo drew an opening walk and was doubled in by Castro. Gómez hit into a Wise error. Méndez struck out, but Otáñez singled home Castro and it was now 8-6. César hit one far to left, not far enough to win it, but enough to bring in Gómez on sacrifice fly. Richardson singled, as did backup C Alex Castillo to tie the game. Wise recovered to get de la Cruz on an inning-ending fly, the second straight Dominican rally he killed.
In the top of the 10th, Roberto Novoa became the 6th Dominican hurler. With two runners on board due to the IBAF extra innings rule, he allowed a single to Beresford and a bases-clearing double to Dening before retiring Huber, Welch and Tim Kennelly. In the bottom of the 10th, Steve Kent relieved Wise. He struck out Gómez but Méndez singled in one of the runners for a 11-9 score. Pitcher Novoa came to the plate (the Dominicans had moved DH César to 1B after Otáñez left for a pinch-runner in the 9th) and promptly struck out as the Dominicans had no one left to bat with. On the third strike, Méndez was caught stealing to end the Dominicans' day on a sour note.
Huber finished with 5 RBI for Australia and Dening with four.
|Win: Freddy Asiel Álvarez (2-0) Loss: Carlos Richetti (0-1)|
Carlos Richetti shut out Cuba for two innings before a two-out solo homer from CF Rusney Castillo, Cuba's leadoff batter, in the third. In the fifth, 1B José Dariel Abreu added another solo dinger to make it 2-0. Cuba added to their lead in the 7th. RF Alexei Bell drew a leadoff walk and Richetti was removed after a strong six innings. He was replaced by Diamondbacks farmhand Andrea Pizziconi. The youngster tossed a wild pitch, then gave up a RBI double to Cuban home run record holder Abreu to make it 3-0.
In the 8th, 19-year-old Pizziconi showed the wildness of youth. He walked 3B Michel Enríquez to open the inning. DH Frederich Cepeda hit into a force, then Pizziconi hit LF Alfredo Despaigne. Gourriel flew out and Bell walked to load the bases. Pizziconi then threw two straight wild pitches, scoring both Cepeda and pinch-runner Giorvis Duvergel for a 5-0 Cuban lead. Italy finally got to Alvarez in the bottom of the 8th. LF Lorenzo Avagnina and 3B Giovanni Pantaleoni both singled, putting men on the corners. Alberto Soto relieved and C Juan Pablo Angrisano hit a sacrifice fly for the lone Italian run of the day.
Castillo finished with 3 hits and fell a double shy of the cycle. Alvarez and Soto combined to walk none. Italy got two hits apiece from Avagnina, Pantaleoni and RF Mario Chiarini, all native Italians on a team noted for its use of ringers in recent years.
|Win: Naobumi Mitsuhashi (1-0) Loss: Yao-Lin Wang (0-2)|
In a matchup of winless Asian teams, Japan gets a complete game (the first of the tournament) from Naobumi Mitsuhashi to come out on top. Mitsuhashi struck out ten while allowing only three hits and one walk to beat Taiwan.
Taiwan did have the lead for a short while. DH Chun-Hsiu Chen of the Indians organization hit a solo homer off Mitsuhashi to open the second, but that was all their offensive output for the day. In the bottom of the third, Japan took the lead against Cubs minor leaguer Yao-Lin Wang. 2B Mayo Sakagami singled. With two down, 3B Yuichi Tabata and DH Toshiyuki Hayashi both walked. 1B Takato Kobayashi then singled in both Sakagami and Tabata to give Japan all the runs they needed.
|Win: Efrain Nieves (1-1) Loss: Max Warren (0-1)|
There was little surprise of the outcome in this contest. Puerto Rico jumped on former Harvard hurler Max Warren from the get-go. In the bottom of the first, CF Reymond Fuentes walked, SS Luis Figueroa singled him to third and RF Hiram Bocachica hit a sacrifice fly. In the second, Greece made three of their four errors. DH Javier Valentin hit into an error by 2B Panagiotis Cheikalis, one of the few actual Greeks on the Greek team. LF Jesus Feliciano hit into an error by 1B Chris Lemonis, then C Yariel Soto hit into a 2-run error by 3B Jason Zachos; Puerto Rico had scored with 3 errors in a row by their opponents.
In the top of the third, Greece got their only run off Efrain Nieves (7 IP, 3 H, 9 K) on walks to RF Ioannis Apostolopoulos, CF A.J. Brack and Warren, followed by a RBI grounder by LF Gus Panagotacos. Those would be the only 3 walks for Nieves.
Puerto Rico kept padding the lead steadily afterwards. Their biggest hit was a two-run homer in the 8th by backup RF César Crespo off Tim Karkatselos, who fared far worse than Warren; Karkatselos allowed six runs in three innings while Warren gave up four (two earned) in five.
|Win: Diegomar Markwell (1-0) Loss: Matt Shoemaker (0-1) Save: David Bergman (2)|
For the first time ever, the Netherlands beat a Team USA stocked with professional players (they had beaten a college edition in the 1998 Baseball World Cup). They thus became the first team to clinch a spot in the top eight round two.
The Netherlands started quickly against Matt Shoemaker, the 2011 Texas League Pitcher of the Year. With one out, RF Kalian Sams walked, then DH Sidney de Jong singled. 1B Curt Smith drove a home run to left for a fast 3-0 lead. The US countered with a run in the second against former AA hurler Diegomar Markwell. LF Brett Carroll walked. 3B Tommy Mendonca hit a potential double play ball to Smith, who threw to SS Mariekson Gregorius to retire Carroll. Gregorius' return throw was off the mark, though, letting Mendonca reach second base. C Tuffy Gosewisch singled in Mendonca.
De Jong, the All-Star catcher in both the 2007 Baseball World Cup and 2009 Baseball World Cup, opened the third with a walk. After Smith flew out, LF Bryan Engelhardt singled and 2B Sharlon Schoop walked. His brother Jonathan Schoop (the third baseman) then came up with a 3-run triple; on the relay back to the infield, SS Andrew Garcia made a run-scoring error, letting Jonathan Schoop score to make it 7-1.
The US rallied to make it a game at least. In the bottom of the third, CF A.J. Pollock homered. With Markwell still holding a 7-2 lead going into the 7th, he finally retired. Garcia and RF Brett Jackson began the inning with singles and Markwell was replaced by another former Blue Jays minor leaguer, Leon Boyd. Boyd threw a wild pitch, then struck out Pollock. 2B Joe Thurston hit a two-run single, but was out trying to stretch it to a double, gunned down by Sams.
In the 9th, the Dutch turned to David Bergman, who had done very well against the US in the 2007 World Cup. He retired PH Jordan Danks on a fly then walked Garcia. Jackson went down swinging for the 8th US K. Garcia stole second and came home on a Pollock single. That brought up Thurston, the #3 hitter. Pollock stole as well and Thurston singled him to third. Up came DH Chad Tracy, the potential winning run. Bergman got the US cleanup man to ground out to Smith to end it.
Thurston finished 4 for 4 with a HBP, double and two RBI, while Smith and Jonathan Schoop both had their 3 RBI for the Netherlands.
|Win: Gustavo Gómez (1-0) Loss: Mike Johnson (0-1)|
Two unbeaten teams squared off and Panama finally proved Canada's pitchers to be human. In doing so, they joined the Netherlands in punching their ticket for round two.
The hosts took the lead in the third. C Dámaso Espino drew a one-out walk from Blue Jays hurler Scott Richmond. After another out, 2B Jose Macias walked and DH Ángel Chávez cracked a 3-run homer. Canada rallied back against Ángel Cuan. In the bottom of the third, SS Jonathan Malo doubled and 2B Skyler Stromsmoe singled. After 7 pick-off attempts to try to get Stromsmoe, RF Brock Kjeldgaard smashed a 2-run double, but the big former pitcher was out trying to make it a triple. In the 4th, CF Michael Crouse went deep off reliever Gustavo Gómez to tie the game.
Panama took the lead for good in the 5th. Team Canada skipper Ernie Whitt removed Richmond due to pitch count concerns, and replaced him with 36-year-old Mike Johnson, who had been with the squad in both the 2004 Olympics and 2008 Olympics as well as the 2009 World Baseball Classic. This time, the veteran just didn't have it. CF Luis Castillo greeted him with a double, then Macias singled. Chávez grounded into an out at the plate. That brought up 1B Fernando Seguignol, Panama's cleanup threat; like Johnson, Seguignol had played in Nippon Pro Baseball four years ago. Fernando got the better of Mike in this match-up, sending a 3-run homer into the seats to give the home fans something to cheer about as Panama had the lead for good.
Castillo and Espino opened the 6th with singles against Johnson. Whitt tried another Johnson, Jay Johnson. Castillo bunted to 3B Shawn Bowman, who made a 3-base, 2-run error to put Panama ahead, 8-3. Macias doubled in Castillo, advanced on a bunt and scored on a fly by Seguignol. In the 8th, Panama padded their lead further. With two away, Seguignol singled, RF Concepción Rodríguez walked and LF Joel Vega singled for a 11-3 lead. Jimmy Henderson came in to pitch and allowed a RBI single to SS Jeffer Patiño to cap the scoring.
Seguignol finished with 3 hits and 4 RBI while Macias scored 3 and Chávez drove in 3. Abraham Atencio tossed 3 shutout innings of relief. Mike Johnson allowed five runs in his one inning of work, taking the loss.
|Win: Jimmy Henderson (1-0) Loss: Berry van Driel (0-1)|
Canada prevails in a matchup of two top contenders despite getting just four hits; the Netherlands falls from the unbeaten ranks, leaving only Cuba and the surprising Panamanians. Canada clinched in a spot in round two.
The Europeans got the lead first. In the bottom of the third, former Reds first-rounder Kyle Lotzkar plunked LF Danny Rombley with two outs. He then missed the strike zone on 12 of his next 13 pitches, issuing walks to SS Mariekson Gregorius, C Sidney de Jong and 1B Curt Smith to force in Rombley. Andrew Albers was summoned to relieve the off-target Lotzkar. DH Bryan Engelhardt, grounded to 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand, but Van Ostrand's underhand toss drew Albers off the bag, letting Engelhardt reach on the error while Gregorius scored. Albers retired 2B Sharlon Schoop to stop the bleeding.
Juan Carlos Sulbaran (like Lotzkar, from the Reds system) blanked Canada through four but C Cole Armstrong homered to lead off the 5th. SS Jonathan Malo drew a one-out walk and CF Brock Kjeldgaard drew a two-out walk. LF Tim Smith grounded one between the legs of Sharlon Schoop, tying the game, each team's second run having came on a defensive mistake.
In the 7th, Canada took the lead against Orlando Yntema. DH Marcus Knecht walked and was bunted over by Malo. Yntema then went wild, tossing a wild pitch, walking 2B Chris Bisson, then tossed another wild pitch to make it 3-2. The Netherlands tied it in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Gregorius walked. Chris Kissock tried to pick him off, but Van Ostrand made his second error of the day, advancing Gregorius. Kissock walked de Jong and Smith singled to load the bases. Mark Hardy relieved but walked pinch-hitter Xander Bogaerts to force in Gregorius. Dustin Molleken tried his hand next and got Sharlon Schoop to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to escape the jam.
The Netherlands turned to a native Canadian, Leon Boyd (one of their two players not born in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with Yntema), to pitch the 8th and he had a 1-2-3 frame. In the bottom of the 8th, Molleken allowed a one-out single to RF Kalian Sams. Sams stole second with two away, but Rombley struck out to end the inning. In the 9th, Knecht drew a one-out walk and Bisson had a two-out single. Berry van Driel relieved Boyd and got Kjeldgaard to fly out to Rombley. In the bottom of the 9th, Curt Smith hit a two-out double off Molleken but Bogaerts (who stayed in at DH) grounded out to Malo.
In the top of the 10th, Bisson bunted the runners over (two runners being in place due to the IBAF Extra Innings Rule). Kjeldgaard was intentionally walked and Tim Smith hit a sacrifice fly. Van Ostrand then flew out to center. In the bottom of the inning, things played out almost identically: Gregorius bunted runners over, de Jong was intentionally walked and their Smith hit a sacrifice fly. Jimmy Henderson relieved (the 6th Canadian pitcher) and retired Bogaerts.
In the 11th, Bowman bunted the runners over and RF Jamie Romak was intentionally walked. Emerson Frostad, who had replaced Armstrong at catcher due to cramps in the 9th inning, delivered the game-winning single to center before Knecht struck out and Malo flew out. In the bottom of the 11th, Henderson retired brothers Sharlon Schoop and 3B Jonathan Schoop. He walked Sams to load the bases, but then got CF Shaldimar Daantji swinging to wrap up a dramatic affair.
Catchers Armstrong and Frostad had three of Canada's four hits while Albers tossed three shutout innings of relief.
|Win: Julio Rodriguez (1-0) Loss: Hiroya Kawamitsu (0-2)|
Puerto Rico remains in the hunt as they improve to 3-3 by beating Japan.
Puerto Rico gets all the runs they need in the first. CF Reymond Fuentes led off with a walk from Hiroya Kawamitsu. SS Luis Figueroa hit a single, then RF Hiram Bocachica grounded into a force at third. After a wild pitch by Kawamitsu, 1B Neftali Soto hit into a run-scoring error by SS Ryoichi Adachi. DH César Crespo hit into another run-scoring error, this one by C Shigeki Nakano. LF Jesus Feliciano singled to make it 3-0 and Puerto Rico was on its way.
|Win: Dalier Hinojosa (1-0) Loss: André Hughes (0-1)|
The winless Germans led Cuba for three innings before Cuba comes back to lock up a spot in the top eight for round 2.
CF Max Kepler began the game with a single against Miguel Alfredo González. One out later, 1B Donald Lutz hit a home run and Germany had a quick 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, CF Rusney Castillo had a leadoff single off André Hughes, DH Frederich Cepeda lashed a one-out single and 2B Yulieski Gourriel had a two-out single to make it 2-1. Hughes faced the minimum in the 2nd and 3rd but allowed a solo homer to LF Alfredo Despaigne (the 2009 Baseball World Cup slugging star) to tie it.
In the top of the 5th, SS Jendrick Speer doubled off Dalier Hinojosa with two outs but Kepler grounded out; Germany wouldn't get another chance to take the lead as Cuba scored twice in the bottom of the inning. Castillo singled. After RF Alexei Bell flew out, Cepeda walked and Despaigne doubled in Castillo. Gourriel hit into a run-scoring fielder's choice that made it 4-2.
Cepeda led off the bottom of the 7th with a double off Hughes, chasing him from the hill after a valiant effort. Teenager Daniel Thieben relieved but allowed singles to all three batters he faced - Despaigne, Gourriel and 1B José Dariel Abreu for a 5-2 deficit. With the bases loaded, Dominik Hartinger entered. He got 3B Michel Enríquez to hit a sacrifice fly and it was 6-2. Backup C Frank Camilo walked and SS Erisbel Arruebarruena hit into a run-scoring force at second. A Castillo single ended the scoring.
Hinojosa and Norberto González struck out 8 in 6 shutout innings of relief. Castillo finished with 3 hits and Gourriel with 3 RBI.
|' South Korea||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||3||X||4||14||1|
|Win: Hyoun-taek Oh (2-0) Loss: Chris Cooper (1-1)|
2B Juan Carlos Infante began the game with a double, then SS Anthony Granato singled. Little did Italy realize that this would be their high point offensively, as Hyoun-taek Oh promptly retired RF Mario Chiarini, DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi and 1B Giuseppe Mazzanti (Chiarini and Mazzanti by strikeout) on his way to his second gem of the Cup (following his effort against Australia).
Chris Cooper matched Oh 0 for 0 for half the game. In the bottom of the fifth, though, catcher Jae-hoon Choi hit a leadoff home run to give Oh all the support he would need. Korea added insurance in the 8th to end the pitching duel. DH Jae-hwan Kim led off with a single against Luca Panerati. Justin Cicatello relieved and tried to pick off Kim, but instead wound up with an error that sent him to second. PH Jin-hyuk No singled. RF Jin-hyuk No grounded into a run-scoring error by Granato. After a sacrifice bunt by CF Jong-wook Ko, Jae-hoon Choi hit a 2-run single for the final 4-0 margin.
|Win: Chris Oxspring (1-1) Loss: Carlos Mory (1-1)|
Is this the same Australian offense that was shut out in its first three games? And the same Venezuelan team that had only lost to Cuba? Yes and yes, though it didn't look like it.
Australia pounded Carlos Mory (2 R in 1 IP), Jesús Reyes (6 R in 2 1/3 IP) and George Delgado (7 R in 1 IP) as Luis Sojo could not find a pitcher to stop the Aussies. The game was halted partway into the 5th due to the mercy rule. While not dazzling, Chris Oxspring (7 H, 0 BB, 4 K in 5 IP) fared well enough to get a shutout win.
Among the stellar Australian batters were CF Mitch Dening (2 for 4, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI), DH Justin Huber (2 for 3, HR, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI), 1B Stefan Welch (2 for 3, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI) and RF Tom Brice (2 for 4, HR, R, 3 RBI).
|Win: Willy Lebrón (1-1) Loss: Julio Raudez (0-2)|
The Dominicans stay alive thanks to a rout of Nicaragua.
Nicaragua held the lead briefly. CF Dwight Britton began the game with a walk from Willy Lebrón, then moved to third when Lebrón botched a pick-off attempt. RF Jilton Calderón walked and 2B Ofilio Castro hit into a run-scoring double play. That was all Lebrón and Juan Peña would allow.
LF Dionys César put the Dominicans ahead with a two-run double off Julio Raudez in the bottom of the first and they did not look back. DH Alexis Gómez finished 4 for 4 with 2 runs and 2 RBI while César was 3 for 3 with two doubles, 2 runs and 4 RBI and seven Dominicans had multiple hits in a game that only lasted six innings due to the mercy rule.
|Win: Shawn Hill (2-0) Loss: Todd Redmond (0-1)|
At Rod Carew Stadium, the US bats go silent and the team is on the brink of elimination; all it will take now is a Puerto Rican win against Taiwan or a US loss to Panama. 2004 Olympian Shawn Hill was the star of the day.
In the second, the team from up north scored three times off Todd Redmond. 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand walked, C Emerson Frostad singled and RF Brock Kjeldgaard smacked a 3-run home run. Hill shut out the US for six innings before a solo homer by 1B Matt Clark in the bottom of the 7th; it was the third and last hit off Hill in 6 1/3 IP before Chris Kissock relieved him and finished the fine pitching display with 2 2/3 innings of one-hit shutout ball.
Canada tacked on some insurance in the 9th against Randy Williams. 3B Chris Bisson walked, then 2B Skyler Stromsmoe hit into a Williams error. DH Tim Smith delivered a 2-run single. Two outs later, Kjeldgaard doubled home Smith for his 4th RBI of the day. DH Brett Jackson finished with two of the four US hits.
To add injury to insult, the US lost catcher Travis D'Arnaud for the remainder of the tournament due to a thumb injury.
|Win: Tomoyuki Kaida (1-0) Loss: Pete Sikaras (0-1) Save: Masamitsu Hamano (1)|
Japan beats Greece and locks up 6th place in Pool A with a relatively meaningless victory.
RF Mitsugu Kitamichi led off the game with a single off Pete Sikaras, then stole second. CF Takayoshi Kawabata grounded him to third and LF Yoshinobu Kotegawa doubled him in. Greece tied it in the bottom of the first. C Stephen Palos singled against Ken Togame but was caught stealing. With two outs, LF Gus Panagotacos walked, 1B Chris Lemonis singled and DH Christoforos Rompinson walked. With the bases loaded, 3B Jason Zachos singled home Panagotacos. Togame escaped further harm by getting SS Mike Tonis to hit into a force.
In the bottom of the second, RF Tim Karkatselos drew a one-out walk and Palos and Panagotacos had two-out singles. Kogame walked Lemonis to force in a run. Tomoyuki Kaida was summoned from the pen and got Rompinson on an inning-ending grounder. Japan tied it in the 4th. 3B Yuichi Tabata was hit by a pitch from Sikaras, stole second and scored on a two-out double by C Takahito Matsuda.
Japan took the lead for good in the 6th. 1B Takato Kobayashi hit a one-out double. PH Ryoichi Adachi singled Kobayashi to third, then stole second. Matsuda was issued an intentional walk. PH Mayo Sakagami delivered a 2-run single for a 4-2 lead. Kitamichi walked to reload the bases, but Sikaras escaped the jam with no more runs.
In the top of the 8th, Masuda reached on an error by Zachos. Sakagami (who stayed in at 2B) bunted him over, then Kitamichi hit a RBI triple. Karkatselos moved to the mound to replace Sikaras (119 pitches thrown) and Kawabata met with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-2. Greece closed the gap in the bottom of the 8th. Koichi Kotaka relieved Kaida, who had been stellar (5 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K). Lemonis drew a walk. Palos, who finished 3 for 5, grounded Lemonis over. A home run by Zachos brought Greece within two again, 6-4, and knocked out Kotaka.
Japan padded their lead in the 9th. DH Toshiyuki Hayashi tripled and Tabata drove him home with a single. Kobayashi hit into an error by Tonis. Adachihit into a run-scoring force to make it 8-4. Nakano singled and Sakagami walked to load the bases. PH Kanichi Matoba then hit a sacrifice fly to end the scoring.
|Win: Kuan-Yu Chen (1-0) Loss: Ivan Maldonado (0-2) Save: Yao-Hsun Yang (1)|
Puerto Rico blows their chance at clinching a spot in the next round by losing to previously winless Taiwan.
Taiwan got their decisive runs early. In the second inning, DH Chun-Hsiu Chen singled off AAA veteran Ivan Maldonado and C Kuan-Wei Yang homered. They added an insurance run in the 5th on a single by RF Wei-Ting Lin, who stole second and scored on a single by SS Po-Ting Hsiao.
Yokohama BayStars minor leaguer Kuan-Yu Chen blanked Puerto Rico (with three major leaguers and some current minor leaguers) for five innings. In the 6th, he allowed the only Puerto Rican win. CF Reymond Fuentes hit a one-out single and SS Luis Figueroa walked. RF Hiram Bocachica hit into a force at second, then 1B Neftali Soto singled home the Padres prospect to make it 3-1. Former Rockies farmhand Ching-Lung Lo relieved and retired DH César Crespo on a comebacker to the hill to end the rally.
Puerto Rico got their only other rally in the 8th. Fuentes laid down a bunt single with one out against Lo. Nippon Pro Baseball pitcher Yao-Hsun Yang relieved and got Figueroa to fly out. He plunked Bocachica but cleanup man Soto fouled out to end the threat as Puerto Rico blew their chance to advance. Now they had to trust Panama to beat the US tomorrow to move on.
|Win: Rob Cordemans (2-0) Loss: Alberto Acosta (1-1)|
The hosts fall from the ranks of the unbeaten in front of a home crowd of 7,500. Bruce Chen throws out the first pitch.
In the bottom of the first, Panama scored off four-time Olympian Rob Cordemans. SS Ángel Chávez hit a two-out double and DH Fernando Seguignol followed with a RBI single. The Netherlands tied it in the top of the second, also striking with two away. 2B Sharlon Schoop doubled and his brother, 3B Jonathan Schoop, singled him home. In the bottom of the second, Panama retook the lead. Cordemans issued a one-out walk to LF Joel Vega. SS Jeffer Patiño singled but C Dámaso Espino struck out. CF Luis Castillo singled in Vega, but Dutch C Sidney de Jong threw him out trying to take second on the throw home.
In the third, the Orange went ahead for good. RF Kalian Sams drew a walk from Alberto Acosta. CF Shaldimar Daantji bunted to Acosta, but his throw to second resulted in an error by Jose Macias. LF Danny Rombley laid down a two-strike sacrifice bunt. SS Mariekson Gregorius grounded in Sams. De Jong singled in Daantji for a 3-2 lead. 1B Curt Smith singled as well, then DH Bryan Engelhardt cracked a 2-run double to center.
In the bottom of the third, Panama kept up their pace of one run an inning. With two outs, Seguignol singled. So did RF Concepción Rodríguez and 1B Carlos Quiroz to score Seguignol, but de Jong again showed off his arm, gunning down Rodríguez, who was trying to take third on the throw home.
After that, Cordemans and his Panamanian counterparts (Acosta and Gilberto Méndez) tossed shutout ball in the 4th and 5th. In the sixth, the Schoop brothers were back to their tricks. Sharlon walked and Jonathan singled him to third. On a double steal, Sharlon swiped home. Jonathan was then picked off by Méndez, the second time he was picked off and the third time a Dutch infielder was today (Gregorius was picked off in the first).
After retiring seven in a row in the 4th, 5th and 6th, Cordemans got the first batter of the 7th and then ran into trouble. Espino singled on a play just missed by Cordemans. Castillo grounded one off Cordemans' leg; it was deflected to Gregorius, who just missed throwing out the Panamanian leadoff man. After 119 pitches, Cordemans was yanked by Brian Farley in favor of Berry van Driel. He got some great defense from Rombley, who made a catch in foul territory on a Macias fly then made a shoestring grab of a fly from Chávez.
In the 8th, Seguignol singled off van Driel but was thrown out trying to second by Rombley. As if three great defensive plays in two innings wasn't enough, the Danny Rombley show continued in the 9th with a solo homer off Gustavo González to end the scoring.
Seguignol had 3 hits, but the stories of the day were the Dutch defensive efforts of Rombley (5 putouts) and de Jong (two runners thrown despite no steal attempts). Rombley hadn't hurt his day with the solo home run or the crucial two-strike sacrifice.
|Win: Seung-wan Moon (1-0) Loss: Ángel Castro (0-1)|
In a crucial game for both teams, the Dominicans suffered their second extra-inning loss in three days.
The Dominicans clearly were better for the first eight innings. In the bottom of the first, CF Freddy Guzmán led off with a homer off Chang-ho Lee. In the second, RF Víctor Méndez homered and DH Alexis Gómez doubled. C Alex Castillo laid down a sacrifice bunt, then Lee was replaced by Sung-hoon Choi. SS Henry Mateo grounded to his counterpart, Kyoung-min Hur, who threw home to get Gómez, a crucial play in retrospect. Guzmán followed with a single but 2B Bernie Castro hit an inning-ending grounder.
Méndez and Gómez got things rolling in the bottom of the 4th as well, both singling. Castillo tried to bunt on a 0-2 count and bunted foul, another bad play for the American club looking back. Mateo grounded the runners over, then Guzmán delivered a 2-run single for his third hit in the first four innings.
The pitchers controlled the game from the 5th through the 8th. For South Korea, Choi (5th), Myung-june Yoon (6th and 7th) and Sung-bum Na (8th) did their job. For the Dominican Republic, Mario Álvarez (6 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K), Francisco Cruceta (1 2/3 perfect innings) and Arnie Muñoz (1/3 perfect inning) shut out South Korea through 8.
In the top of the 9th, manager Denny Gonzalez turned to closer Darío Veras, who had saved the Gold Medal Game of both the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games and 2010 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament. The 38-year-old former major leaguer didn't do the trick this time, though. 2B Joo-hwan Choi singled for just the 4th Korean hit. Pinch-hitter Eui-jun Sung doubled, then 3B Chang-min Mo singled to make it 4-1. Veras recovered to retire DH Jae-hwan Kim and 1B Ji-young Lee. Needing only one more out, he served up a first-pitch, 3-run homer to LF Hae-min Park to tie the contest. Veras had allowed more hits in 2/3 of an inning as the first 3 Dominican hurlers in 8 innings.
Jin-woo Im went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 9th. With two men aboard due to the extra innings rule to open the 10th, Korea bunted the runners over. New pitcher Ángel Castro struck out Mo and intentionally walked Jae-hwan Kim. He then walked Ji-young Lee on a full count to force in the go-ahead run. Hae-min Park didn't provide any more heroics, striking out. In the bottom of the 10th, the Dominicans had Guzmán lay down a sacrifice against Ji-woong Yoon despite 3 hits to that point. The bunt didn't work as C Jae-hoon Choi threw to third for the force there. A wild pitch put men on second and third. Castro drew a 9-pitch walk to load the bases. Korea next tried Seung-wan Moon (the 7th Korean pitcher and 13th hurler altogether). He struck out both 1B Willis Otáñez and 3B Juan Richardson to lock up the Korean victory.
|Win: Gabriel Alfaro (1-0) Loss: Nick Pugliese (0-1)|
Venezuela and Italy battled it out in a gave that went ten innings before a victor emerged.
Venezuela scored quickly off Tiago Da Silva. DH Oscar Angulo and SS Rodolfo Cardona opened with singles. With one out, they advanced on a botched pick-off by Da Silva. RF Ronald Acuna hit a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0. Italy tied it in the second when 1B Giuseppe Mazzanti homered off Jorge Guzman.
In the 4th, Venezuela retook the lead. 3B Saúl Torres singled and advanced on a grounder by 1B Tony Granadillo and a wild pitch. After a walk to 2B Dirimo Chávez, C Luis Alen singled in Torres. Alessandro Maestri relieved Da Silva and escaped further harm as Venezuela stranded two runners for the third time in the first four innings (they stranded two more in the 5th).
In the 6th, Italy got the lead for the first time. RF Mario Chiarini doubled, took third on a wild pitch from Guzman and scored on a single by DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi; Ramos Gizzi was out trying to stretch the hit into a double. After a four-pitch walk to Mazzanti, Guzman was relieved by Luis Torres. Torres walked LF Lorenzo Avagnina on four pitches. Luis Sojo next tried Jhonny Caraballo. He walked pinch-hitter Giovanni Pantaleoni on five pitches, meaning Venezuelan pitchers had thrown one strike in their last 13 pitches. After a strikeout by C Juan Pablo Angrisano, CF Paolino Ambrosino drew the fourth Venezuelan walk of the inning, making it 3-2.
Italy padded their lead in the 7th. With one out, Chiarini walked and Ramos Gizzi singled him to third. Mazzanti delivered a sacrifice fly for a 4-2 lead. LF Willie Vasquez took Maestri deep in the bottom of the 7th to make it a one-run affair once again. In the 9th, Italy almost added insurance; with two away, Chiarini singled and Ramos Gizzi walked, but star slugger Mazzanti flew out.
Venezuela tied it in the bottom of the 9th. CF Yonathan Sivira tried to bunt his way on, but failed against Cody Cillo. Angulo drew a walk on a full count and Hebert Lara pinch-ran. Cardona singled Lara to third. Luca Panerati relieved. Vasquez grounded in Lara to tie it at four, then Nick Pugliese came in and fanned cleanup hitter Acuña to send it to extra innings.
In the 10th, Granato bunted over the two starting runners (due to the IBAF extra-innings rule). Chiarini struck out on three pitches and Ramos Gizzi was intentionally walked to load the bases. Mazzanti made that move backfire with a 2-run single for a 6-4 lead for the Azzurri. Avagnina grounded out to Granadillo to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 10th, the seesaw battle continued. Sivira stole third to put men on the corners, then Pugliese plunked Cardona. Yovany D'Amico relieved (the 6th Italian pitcher). After a rain delay, he got Vasquez (a fellow Venezuelan who had played in Italy) on an infield fly but walked Acuña to make it 6-5. PH Arturo Rivas stepped in for Saúl Torres. A wild pitch by D'Amico tied the score. Rivas then ended the drama with a single to left to drive in Cardona with the winner.
For the losing side, Mazzanti was 3 for 4 with a walk, homer, two runs and four RBI as the game's big star.
|Win: Miguel Lahera (2-0) Loss: José Luis Sáenz (0-2)|
In a major mismatch, Cuba dominated Nicaragua. They scored three runs before making an out and did not allow a run.
CF Rusney Castillo opened the game by singling off José Luis Sáenz. RF Alexei Bell and DH Frederich Cepeda both contributed RBI doubles, then LF Alfredo Despaigne had a run-scoring single to make it 3-0 with no outs. Cuba loaded the bases with one out before Sáenz escaped more harm. In the 6th, 1B José Dariel Abreu singled off Maynor Mora. With one out, C Ariel Pestano walked. With two outs, Castillo singled in Abreu, taking second on the throw home. Bell then had a 2-run single.
Abreu finished 4 for 4 with a run, Castillo 3 for 5 with a double, 2 runs and a RBI and Bell 2 for 4 with a double, run and 3 RBI. Miguel Lahera tossed five shutout innings, fanning six and allowing 3 hits and a walk. Jonder Martínez went the final four innings with 3 hits, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts to complete the whitewash.
|Win: Justin Erasmus (1-0) Loss: Martin Dewald (0-2) Save: Andrew Russell (1)|
Australia wins its fourth straight after losing shutouts in their first three games.
The Germans took an early lead against Clayton Tanner. CF Max Kepler led off the game with a homer. SS Jendrick Speer and 2B Dominik Wulf both singled. A fly-out by 1B Donald Lutz advanced Speer to third. After a strikeout by Tanner, Speer scored while Wulf was being caught in a run-down for the third out.
In the bottom of the first, Australia pounded Martin Dewald for 5 runs. SS James Beresford singled, CF Mitch Dening doubled and DH Justin Huber hit a RBI double. 1B Stefan Welch grounded in Dening and LF Tim Kennelly singled home Huber. RF Tom Brice walked, then C Joel Naughton doubled to make it 4-2. 3B Scott Wearne grounded home Brice.
Australia never looked back, though Germany showed a fairly productive offense.
Key performers for Australia included Andrew Russell (retiring all six batters he faced for the save) and Dening (3 for 4, BB, 2B, SB, 2 R, RBI). For Germany, Wulf went 3 for 4 with a run and Donald Lutz drove in three.
|Win: Yu-Hsun Chen (1-0) Loss: Tim Karkatselos (0-2)|
Greece had an absolutely horrific ending to their 0-7 tournament, with 7 errors and only one hit. Their lone hit came in the first, when 2B Panagiotis Cheikalis singled. Otherwise, Chun-Lin Kuo, Hao-Chun Chiu and Yu-Hsun Chen combined on a one-hit shutout in a six-inning mercy rule romp. SS Po-Ting Hsiao scored four times for Taiwan, while 2B Han Lin had 3 hits. For Greece, Cheikalis, C/P Christoforos Rompinson and SS Ioannis Apostolopoulos combined for all 7 errors.
|Win: Andy Van Hekken (2-0) Loss: Saúl González (0-1)|
The hosts suffer their worst loss of round one, a shutout to the US, which advances to the second round. The defending champions were the last team to qualify.
Former major leaguer Andy Van Hekken squared off with former Marlins minor leaguer Saúl González. Through two, they both pitched shutout ball in front of 4,000 Panamanian fans. In the third, the visitors took the lead for good. SS Andrew Garcia walked and came home on a double by RF Brett Jackson. LF A.J. Pollock walked then 2B Joe Thurston singled home Jackson. In the 4th, the US scored twice off Abraham Atencio - 3B Tommy Mendonca hit a leadoff homer and Pollock and Thurston had back-to-back two-out doubles. Scoring ended in the 6th with a solo homer by Jackson off Gustavo Gómez.
Thurston (3 for 5, 2 2B, 2 RBI) and Jackson (3 for 5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) led the US offense. Pitching to contact, Van Hekken struck out none and walked none in 8 innings of 5-hit shutout ball against a lineup with three former big leaguers. Scott Patterson had a 1-2-3 9th, with the only US strikeout. No Panamanian player had multiple hits.
- Canada, 6-1 - advanced to top eight round-robin (2-1 vs. other qualifiers)
- Netherlands, 6-1 - advanced to top eight round-robin (2-1)
- Panama, 5-2 - advanced to top eight round-robin (1-2)
- United States, 4-3 - advanced to top eight round-robin (1-2)
- Puerto Rico, 3-4
- Japan, 2-5
- Chinese Taipei, 2-5
- Greece, 0-7
- Cuba, 7-0 - advanced to top eight round-robin (3-0 vs. other qualifiers)
- Venezuela, 5-2 - advanced to top eight round-robin (1-2)
- South Korea, 5-2 - advanced to top eight round-robin (1-2)
- Australia, 4-3 - advanced to top eight round-robin (1-2)
- Dominican Republic, 3-4
- Italy, 3-4
- Nicaragua, 1-6
- Germany, 0-7
Due to expected rain in Panama City, today's games were moved to Chitré or Santiago.
|Win: Ryan Searle (2-0) Loss: Nick Bucci (0-1)|
After winning their pool in round one, Canada started round two badly. SS James Beresford hit into an opening error by 2B Skyler Stromsmoe. CF Mitch Dening flew out, then DH Justin Huber walked. Nick Bucci got 1B Stefan Welch to foul out, but LF Tim Kennelly singled home Beresford for a 1-0 lead for Australia.
Australia almost scored in the second as well; with two outs, 2B Brad Harman walked, Beresford singled and Dening walked but Huber struck out. In the third, Welch led off with a single and was picked off. Kennelly homered to left for a 2-0 lead; Bucci was chased from the hill after just 2 2/3 innings. Reliever Scott Richmond fared worse. In the 4th, he allowed back-to-back singles to 3B Scott Wearne and Harman. Richmond threw a wild pitch, then Beresford delivered a 2-run double. Dening tripled him home but was stranded there as Huber, Welch and Kennelly (the 3-4-5 hitters) all were retired. Australia now had a solid 5-0 edge.
Canada got their best chance in the bottom of the 4th. Searle hit RF Brock Kjeldgaard and LF Tim Smith. 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand got Canada's first hit, a single to right. With the bases loaded and none out, Canada still failed to score. 3B Shawn Bowman grounded into a force at home, then DH Jamie Romak hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
Australia got another run in the 5th off reliever Mark Hardy. RF Tom Brice greeted him with a single and C Joel Naughton walked. Wearne bunted the runners over and #9 hitter Harman was walked intentionally. Beresford then hit into a run-scoring force at second. In the 6th, Huber opened with a walk from Hardy. After Welch flew out, Kennelly doubled and Brice walked to load the bases. Naughton's sacrifice fly gave Australia a 7-0 lead.
Canada got a second hit in the 6th when Smith hit a two-out double. C Cole Armstrong hit a two-out double in the 7th for their last hit. With one out in the 8th, Searle was relieved by Andrew Russell, who retired five of the six batters he faced to complete the dominant pitching performance.
Kennelly finished with 3 hits, Beresford with 3 RBI.
|Win: Tom Stuifbergen (2-0) Loss: Jong-huen Park (0-1)|
At Estadio Rico Cedeño, Tom Stuifbergen tosses eight shutout innings while Sharlon Schoop hits a 3-run homer in the 6th for support. The Netherlands holds possession of second place after today's action, trailing Cuba by a game.
Tom Stuifbergen and Jong-huen Park threw goose eggs after three innings. In the 4th, South Korea got its bast knock against Stuifbergen. With one out, 3B Chang-min Mo and 1B Ji-young Lee singled. RF Hyun-suk Yang walked to load the bases. Stuifbergen recovered and retired 14 of the next 15 batters. LF Hae-min Park hit an infield fly then C Jae-hoon Choi lined out to 1B Curt Smith to end the Korean 4th-inning rally.
The Netherlands broke the shutout in the 5th. With one out, 3B Jonathan Schoop drew a walk from Park and RF Kalian Sams followed with a 2-run homer to center. In the sixth, SS Mariekson Gregorius led off with a single for the only European entry left but the Amsterdam native was caught stealing. C Sidney de Jong walked. Smith flew out, then Sung-bum Na relieved Park. The move did not work as DH Bryan Engelhardt singled. Korea next tried Jin-woo Im, who promptly served up the 3-run homer to 2B Sharlon Schoop.
After his impressive eight-inning stint, Stuifbergen was replaced by Orlando Yntema, who allowed a solo homer to Mo for the only Korean run of the day.
|Win: Paolo Espino (2-0) Loss: Carlos Mory (1-2)|
The hosts kept up their run against stronger baseball powers with another easy win.
Venezuela scored first, when 3B Dirimo Chávez hit a two-out homer in the second off Paolo Espino. Panama took the lead for good in the top of the third, though. C Dámaso Espino singled with one out against Carlos Mory. CF Luis Castillo walked and 2B Jose Macias hit a RBI single. SS Ángel Chávez hit a two-run single, but was out trying to advance further on the play.
In the 5th, Panama turned it into a rout with a 7-run inning featured three 2-run doubles - by DH David González (off Mory), 1B Carlos Quiroz (against Juan Colmenarez) and Dámaso Espino (off Colmenarez).
Ángel Chávez finished 4 for 6 with 2 runs and 3 RBI while Dámaso Espino was 3 for 4 with a run and 2 RBI. Paolo Espino fanned 8 in six innings to improve to 2-0. SS Rodolfo Cardona led Venezuela offensively - 2 for 5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
|Win: Norberto González (2-0) Loss: Jeff Marquez (1-1) Save: Yadier Pedroso (3)|
Cuba and the US met in a rematch of the 2007 and 2009 Baseball World Cup Gold Medal games. This time, Cuba came out ahead for some measure of revenge as they remained unbeaten and kept up a very good chance of returning to the Gold Medal game.
The US got two men on the first against Freddy Asiel Álvarez but failed to score. In the bottom of the first, Cuba pounded Jeff Marquez. CF Rusney Castillo and RF Alexei Bell opened with singles and advanced on a wild pitch. DH Frederich Cepeda singled them in, then LF Alfredo Despaigne singled. Yulieski Gourriel made it five straight hits to open the game. 1B José Dariel Abreu hit into a run-scoring double play for a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the second, US third baseman Tommy Mendonca began a great day with a solo shot. The US took the lead briefly in the third. DH Brett Jackson singled. LF A.J. Pollock struck out, 2B Joe Thurston walked and 1B Matt Clark flew out, advancing both runners. RF Brett Carroll delivered a 2-run single to tie the game. Alfonso Urquiola turned to reliever Norberto González, who served up a RBI double to Mendonca before C Tuffy Gosewisch flew out.
Cuba took the lead for good in the third. Cepeda singled then Despaigne smacked one over the left field fence to give Cuba a 5-4 lead. Marquez struck out Gourriel, Abreu singled and 3B Michel Enríquez grounded Abreu over. Veteran catcher Ariel Pestano singled in Abreu and took second on the throw home. SS Erisbel Arruebarruena also hit a RBI single and Cuba was ahead, 7-4. Marquez was yanked after 3 innings, 11 hits and 7 runs, as Ernie Young replaced him with Chuckie Fick. Fick would respond with 3 shutout innings.
The US pulled within a run in the top of the 5th. With two outs, Clark singled, Carroll doubled and Mendonca remained the star with a 2-run single. Urquiola replaced González with Vicyohandri Odelín. In the bottom of the 5th, Gourriel and Abreu led off with singles but Enríquez hit into a double play and Pestano hit a pop foul-out.
Cuba got an insurance run in the 7th against new pitcher Pete Andrelczyk. With two away, Gourriel singled and Abreu doubled him home for a 8-6 edge. The US countered with a run in the 8th off Yadier Pedroso. CF Jordan Danks hit a two-out single. SS Jordy Mercer doubled to left and an error by Despaigne on the play let Danks score. Pedroso recovered to fan Jackson.
Pedroso struck out the side in the 9th, getting Pollock, Thurston and Clark to seal his third save. He whiffed 7 in 3 innings to give Cuban hurlers 12 Ks on the day. Castillo, Cepeda, Gourriel and Abreu each had 3 hits for the winners. In a losing cause, the big star was clearly Mendonca (3 for 4, 4 RBI, a triple shy of the cycle).
- Australia vs. Netherlands - The game was tied at 1-1 in the 7th as Dushan Ruzic and Shairon Martis were engaged in a pitcher's duel. Rain then postponed the completion of the game.
- Venezuela vs. United States - Rained out
- Panama vs. Cuba - Rained out
- South Korea vs. Canada - Rained out
(Games shortened to 7 innings due to condensed schedule resulting from yesterday's rainouts - except for stalled-in-progress Australia-Netherlands game)
|Win: David Bergman (1-0) Loss: Andrew Russell (0-1)|
This game began yesterday at Estadio Omar Torrijos. The Netherlands went with Shairon Martis, who was on 10 days' rest due to a sore shoulder after his first game. Australia scored in the second. RF Tom Brice, who had played in the Netherlands in 2011, led off with a single and Martis plunked C Allan de San Miguel. 3B Scott Wearne struck out but 2B Brad Harman doubled in Brice. SS James Beresford grounded to 3B Jonathan Schoop, who threw home to get De San Miguel.
In the bottom of the second, the Europeans tied it. They faced Dushan Ruzic, who had pitched in Europe for the past four years, three of those in the Netherlands. He excelled this game against his former teammates, fanning LF Danny Rombley three times and CF Shaldimar Daantji twice. 1B Curt Smith led off the second with a single. With one out, 2B Sharlon Schoop doubled and his brother Jonathan grounded in Smith.
Martis and Ruzic then got into their duel, tossing shutout ball for the rest of their outings. Ruzic went 1-2-3 in the third, fourth and fifth. In the bottom of the 6th, SS Mariekson Gregorius doubled, ending a run of 13 straight outs by Ruzic. Catcher Sidney de Jong hit a liner that was snared by Beresford. In the 7th, Harman singled off Martis with one out, his third hit of the contest (no other player had more than one). Diegomar Markwell relieved and fanned Beresford but allowed a single to CF Mitch Dening, sending Harman to third. After a strike to DH Justin Huber, the Netherlands was saved by rain, which fell for 2 hours and 47 minutes before the game was delayed from the 12th to the 13th.
Concluding yesterday's rain-stalled game, the Netherlands replaced Markwell with David Bergman, who retired Huber on a grounder back to the mound to get out of the jam. The Orange then scored quickly off new hurler Andrew Russell, who was no match for Ruzic (6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 8 K). Smith was plunked, then DH Bryan Engelhardt singled. Russell tried to pick off Smith but wound up with an error that advanced both runners. Sharlon Schoop grounded one back to the mound to score Smith with the game-winner.
Bergman went 1-2-3 in the top of the 8th but ran into trouble in the bottom of the 9th. Backup C Joel Naughton singled and David Kandilas pinch-ran. Wearne bunted Kandilas over. Harman grounded to short and Kandilas made a gamble for third but was retired as Gregorius tossed to Jonathan Schoop. Harman stole second, but Beresford grounded out to Smith to end it.
|Win: Jeff Beliveau (1-0) Loss: Clayton Tanner (0-2) Save: Scott Patterson (1)|
The story was pitching as two minor league left-handers traded goose eggs for five innings, Drew Smyly (1.18 in 8 games in AA for Detroit in 2011) for the US and Clayton Tanner (6-10, 4.18 between AA and AAA for San Francisco and Cincinnati in 2011) for Australia.
The US challenged early. In the bottom of the first, RF Brett Jackson led off with a double and was bunted over by SS Jordy Mercer but was stranded. The next batter to get past first came in the 4th on singles by Australian LF Tim Kennelly and RF Tom Brice; nothing came of those, either. Jeff Beliveau relieved Smyly in the top of the 6th and continued the fine US pitching.
In the bottom of the sixth, the US ended the 0-0 duel. CF A.J. Pollock hit into an error by 3B Scott Wearne. Jackson (then 2 for 2) bunted Pollock over. Mercer and 2B Joe Thurston followed with singles for a 1-0 lead. A sacrifice fly by 1B Chad Tracy put the US ahead, 2-0.
Australia rallied in the 7th. With one out, Brice doubled to finish the day 3 for 3, with half of his country's hits. Scott Patterson relieved and Joel Naughton pinch-hit; Naughton won the battle of the newcomers with a RBI single. Wearne ended it by lining into a 1-3 double play.
|Win: Kyle Lotzkar (1-0) Loss: Yozmar Carreno (1-1)|
Canada cruised past Venezuela with a three-hit shutout.
The northern squad exploded for five runs in the first. LF Chris Bisson opened with a single against Yozmar Carreno. 2B Skyler Stromsmoe grounded him over and RF Tim Smith drew a walk. DH Jimmy Van Ostrand singled in Bisson. 3B Shawn Bowman flew out, but the next two batters did more damage. 1B Emerson Frostad hit a two-run double and CF Brock Kjeldgaard hit a home run that traveled over 400 feet for a quick 5-0 lead.
|Win: Andrew Albers (2-0) Loss: Hyoun-taek Oh (2-1)|
Canada's second shutout of the day keeps their hopes of a trip to the Gold Medal game alive.
The game was delayed for 75 minutes by rain. Both clubs turned to pitchers who had done well so far in the Cup. South Korea turned to Hyoun-taek Oh, who had shut out both Australia (8 IP) and Italy (7 2/3 IP, 14 K) while Canada countered with Andrew Albers (1 H, 0 R in 5 IP versus Puerto Rico, 2 shutout relief innings against Taiwan, 3 shutout innings against the Netherlands). Through four innings, neither hurler allowed a run. Canada had a good opportunity with two outs in the third. LF Chris Bisson singled, as did 2B Skyler Stromsmoe. Oh plunked RF Tim Smith but recovered to fan 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand to end the threat.
In the 5th, Canada broke the deadlock. SS Jonathan Malo led off with a single against Oh, who was yanked after four shutout innings with 8 strikeouts, 5 hits and no walks. Sung-hoon Choi relieved. Bisson bunted one back to Choi, whose throw to first was too high for an error. Choi fanned Stromsmoe, but Smith had a RBI single through the middle for the winning hit. Van Ostrand flew to center, where Jong-wook Ko dropped the ball for a run-scoring error. C Emerson Frostad singled in Smith. 3B Shawn Bowman struck out looking but Choi threw a wild pitch that made it 4-0.
Dustin Molleken tossed the last two innings for Canada after relieving Albers; while not perfect (2 walks, one hit), he did complete the team's shutout as Albers and Mollen (5 H, 3 BB, 4 K, 0 R) outdueled Oh and Choi (7 H, 1 BB, 12 K, 4 R, only 1 ER).
|Win: Chang-ho Lee (1-1) Loss: Gilberto Méndez (1-1) Save: Ji-woong Yoon (1)|
Panama's hopes of a trip to the Gold Medal game are ended by the only remaining Asian team.
Panama got on the board with one out in the first as 2B Jose Macias took Sung-bum Na deep. In the second, RF Concepción Rodríguez and LF Carlos Quiroz singled to put men on the corners. Chang-ho Lee relieved Na and 3B Javier Castillo hit into a run-scoring force. Korea got a run back in the third against Pirates farmhand Eliecer Navarro, on one-out singles by 2B Joo-hwan Choi, RF Dong-min Han and SS Kyoung-min Hur. In the 5th, 1B Fernando Seguignol homered off Lee, Panama's only run off the winning pitcher.
Panama led 3-1 entering the 6th, when Korea staged their comeback. With one out, 1B Ji-young Lee homered. Navarro walked 3B Chang-min Mo and was relieved by Gilberto Méndez. The veteran was not effective, walking LF Hyun-suk Yung and allowing a run-scoring single to C Jae-hoon Choi. Panama next tried closer Yeliar Castro. He fanned CF Jong-wook Ko. Choi stole second, then Joo-hwan Choi smacked the decisive 2-run double that put Korea ahead 5-3.
In the 7th, Panama had their last shot. Against Seung-wan Moon, SS Ángel Chávez singled. Seguignol lined out and PH Carlos Muñoz hit into a force-out. Moon threw a wild pitch then walked Rodríguez to put the potential tying run aboard. Quiroz singled in Muñoz to bring Panama with a run and put the potential winning run on. Korea tried Ji-woong Yoon as their next pitcher. He retired PH César Quintero on a pop-up to end the contest.
|Win: Orlando Yntema (1-0) Loss: Miguel Alfredo González (0-1) Save: Leon Boyd (1)|
The Dutch upset Cuba to become the first European team to a Baseball World Cup Gold Medal Game (Britain won in 1938, when only two teams participated so there was no Gold Medal game). The Netherlands also clinched their best finish ever, never having been higher than 4th before. It was the second win ever for the Netherlands against Cuba in 13 World Cup games, having done so in 2007.
Cuba got two on in the first against Orlando Yntema, with a one-out walk to RF Alexei Bell and a two-out single by LF Alfredo Despaigne, but Yntema retired 2B Yulieski Gourriel to end the inning. Miguel Alfredo González walked 1B Curt Smith to open the second and RF Bryan Engelhardt followed with a homer to put the Netherlands ahead.
Cuba moved within a run in the 4th against Yntema. DH Frederich Cepeda doubled, as did Despaigne to make it 2-1. Gourriel singled and Cuba had runners on the corners, but Yntema recovered. The former Giants farmhand struck out 1B José Dariel Abreu and retired PH Giorvis Duvergel and PH Yosvani Alarcón on grounders.
The Netherlands ended the scoring in the 5th. C Shawn Zarraga hit a one-out single and CF Kalian Sams muscled one out for a 4-1 lead, chasing González. In the bottom of the 6th, Leon Boyd replaced Yntema on the hill. He started on a rocky note, walking Despaigne and allowing a Gourriel single. Boyd retired Abreu on a fly, backup 3B Michel Enríquez on a liner to right and Alarcón on a strikeout to end the inning. The former Blue Jays minor leaguer who started his post-collegiate career in Belgium's First Division was sharper in the 7th. He fanned SS Erisbel Arruebarruena then got ground outs from CF Rusney Castillo and Bell to seal the key win for the Dutch.
Gourriel and Despaigne each had two hits for the losers, Engelhardt two for the winners. Yntema and Boyd had combined to hold Cuba to one run while Engelhardt and Sams had provided the offense with their two 2-run shots.
(As on October 13, games are reduced to 7 innings due to the condensed schedule)
|Win: Vicyohandri Odelín (1-0) Loss: Shawn Hill (2-1)|
In a battle for the other spot in the finale, Cuba batters Canada to advance as Canada returns to the Bronze Medal game.
Cuba got all the runs they needed in the top of the first, against Shawn Hill, the star of two prior outings. CF Rusney Castillo opened with a triple and RF Alexei Bell singled him home. DH Frederich Cepeda delivered a RBI double to left. With one out, 2B Yulieski Gourriel hit a run-scoring double to make it 3-0. Canada got two runs against Yadier Pedroso in the 5th but it was all they could muster. Rain again was a problem, causing a delay of nearly an hour in the fifth.
Cepeda finishes a home run shy of the cycle and had 2 runs and 2 RBI. In a losing effort, Canadian C Cole Armstrong was 3 for 3. Vicyohandri Odelín tossed three shutout innings of relief. Hill allowed 8 hits and 5 runs in 2 2/3 IP.
|Win: Matt Shoemaker (1-1) Loss: Jong-huen Park (0-2) Save: Pete Andrelczyk (1)|
The US kept its Bronze Medal Game hopes alive thanks to strong pitching.
RF Brett Jackson opened the game with a single off submariner Jong-huen Park. He stole second, then scored on a one-out single by DH Joe Thurston. An inning later, 3B Tommy Mendonca and CF Jordan Danks singled. With one out, 2B Andrew Garcia drew a walk, then Jackson launched a sacrifice fly.
After five shutout innings by Matt Shoemaker (2 H, 1 BB, 4 K), South Korea made it 2-1 in the 6th. Facing relief pitcher Royce Ring, DH Sung-won Buk singled. Backup SS Jin-hyuk No doubled him to third. Pete Andrelczyk was summoned by Ernie Young to try to quench the fire. 1B Ji-young Lee hit a run-scoring grounder. 3B Chang-min Mo grounded to SS Jordy Mercer, who threw home to get No. Backup RF Dong-min Han struck out to end the threat.
The US got some insurance in the top of the 7th. With one out, LF A.J. Pollock doubled. Mercer hit into an error by his counterpart, No. Thurston was retired on an infield fly but 1B Matt Clark singled home Pollock for the insurance. Andrelczyk allowed only a two-out walk in the bottom of the 7th.
|Win: Steve Kent (1-0) Loss: Abraham Atencio (0-1)|
The hosts fall again as Australia heads to the 5th/6th place game.
SS James Beresford began the contest with a single and a steal against Alberto Acosta. Two outs later, 1B Stefan Welch singled him in. In the bottom of the first, Panama tied it against Chris Oxspring. The 2004 Olympic star walked 2B Jose Macias with one out, then allowed back-to-back singled to SS Ángel Chávez and 1B Fernando Seguignol.
Panama went ahead in the second. RF Concepción Rodríguez singled, advanced on two grounders then scored on a wild pitch. Australia retook the lead in the third. Beresford singled and advanced on a grounder by CF Mitch Dening. After DH Justin Huber grounded out, Welch doubled home Beresford. LF Tim Kennelly walked and RF Tom Brice singled in Welch for a 3-2 lead.
Oxspring and Gustavo González pitched shutout ball for the next three innings. Australia had a chance in the 5th, though. With two away, a wild González plunked 2B Brad Harman and walked Beresford and Dening. #3 hitter Huber lined out to left to blow a chance for insurance. That proved critical in the bottom of the 7th. Reliever Brendan Wise walked LF Carlos Quiroz and 3B Javier Castillo bunted Quiroz over. Einar Díaz had Dámaso Espino pinch-hit and the veteran minor leaguer singled Quiroz to third. Jon Deeble replaced Wise with Steve Kent, who allowed a game-tying sacrifice fly to CF Luis Castillo. Macias grounded out and the game went into early extra innings (due to the shortened games following the weather-altered schedule).
In the top of the 8th, Australia loaded the bases with one out against Abraham Atencio. Former major leaguer Huber struck out versus new pitcher Gustavo Gómez, but Welch hit a 2-run single to finish the day with 3 hits and 4 RBI as the big star; he produced all five of Australia's runs. In the bottom of the 8th, Beresford made a crucial run-scoring error while trying for a double play, but Kent struck out former big leaguer Chávez, the potential winning run, to wrap it up.
|Win: Justin Cassel (1-0) Loss: Gabriel Alfaro (1-1) Save: Scott Patterson (2)|
The United States moved on to the Bronze Medal Game but needed a late rally to do so.
In the bottom of the first, Venezuelan 1B Willie Vasquez went deep off Todd Redmond. In the third, C Juan Fuentes doubled and scored when CF Yonathan Sivira hit into a Redmond error. In the top of the fourth, the US moved within a run on singles by DH Matt Clark, 3B Tommy Mendonca and RF Brett Carroll against Jesús Yépez. In the bottom of the 4th, Vasquez again homered for a 3-1 lead. Venezuela made it 4-1 in the 5th on another dinger off Redmond, this one from leadoff hitter and SS Rodolfo Cardona.
Yépez opened the 7th and last inning by walking CF Jordan Danks, his 4-1 lead still intact. Luis Sojo took out Yépez and brought in closer Gabriel Alfaro, but the former Blue Jays farmhand did not close it out successfully. He walked LF A.J. Pollock and struck out C Tuffy Gosewisch. 2B Joe Thurston then singled to load the bases. 1B Chad Tracy singled to close it to 4-2 and Clark tied it with a 2-run single. SS Jordy Mercer then delivered the big blast, a 3-run homer to left field to seal the US ticket to the Bronze Medal game.
Clark finished 2 for 2 with two walks, 2 runs and 2 RBI, while Thurston had 3 hits for the North American team.
|Win: Miguel Lahera (3-0) Loss: Ángel Cuan (1-1)|
Panama went ahead in the first against Miguel Lahera. CF Luis Castillo walked and stole second; with two outs, he scored on a double by DH Fernando Seguignol. RF Concepción Rodríguez followed with a RBI double of his own. Ángel Cuan retired the first six Cubans he faced but unraveled in the bottom of the third. 3B Rudy Reyes began with a double then C Frank Morejon singled. SS Erisbel Arruebarruena hit a RBI single, then CF Rusney Castillo bunted into a run-scoring error by Cuan that tied it. RF Alexei Bell cracked a 2-run triple to put Cuba ahead, then DH Frederich Cepeda greeted reliever Francis Moreno with a RBI single. Cuba ended the scoring in the bottom of the 4th. With two away, Arruebarruena singled, Castillo hit a RBI double and Bell played Castillo with a single. Cuba kept up its strong showing as it advanced to the finale.
|Win: Arshwin Asjes (1-0) Loss: Jorge Guzman (0-1)|
The Netherlands maintained its run heading into the finals.
The Dutch scored twice in the opening frame off Jorge Guzman. With one out, CF Kalian Sams walked and stole second. An out later, 1B Curt Smith hit into a two-base, run-scoring error by 3B Saúl Torres. DH Bryan Engelhardt singled in Smith. In the third, Sams singled and stole second, then C Sidney de Jong singled him home. Smith hit a 2-run homer and the rout was on.
Engelhardt finished 4 for 5 with a run and 3 RBI, while Sams scored three runs and Smith drove in three. Arshwin Asjes made his first appearance of the Cup (as the Dutch staff had been so strong he had never been called out of the bullpen) and went the distance for the win. Venezuelan defense (or lack thereof) was also part of the story, as their team had five errors, two apiece by Torres and 2B Oscar Angulo.
- Gold Medal game:
|Win: Rob Cordemans (3-0) Loss: Yulieski González (1-1) Save: David Bergman (3)|
The event was a rematch of the 2010 Intercontinental Cup finale, though the outcome was the opposite.
The start of the game was delayed for 3 hours and 40 minutes by rain. Finally, the skies over Panama City cleared enough for the 4,500 in attendance to see the big event. 36-year-old Rob Cordemans, the four-time Olympian and five-time Hoofdklasse Pitcher of the Year, was on his game. Through three innings, he fanned five and allowed only a hit batsmen. Meanwhile, Yulieski González (15-0 in Cuba in 2007-2008 was not as sharp, allowing LF Dwayne Kemp and 1B Curt Smith to reach in the first, though he did strike out the other three batters that frame.
In the fourth, Cordemans cracked first. DH Frederich Cepeda doubled for the first Cuban hit, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by LF Alfredo Despaigne. In the bottom of the 4th, the Dutch went ahead for good. C Sidney de Jong drew a leadoff walk and Smith singled. DH Bryan Engelhardt singled home de Jong. Alfonso Urquiola yanked González in favor of Freddy Asiel Alvarez, last season's ERA leader in Cuba. 2B Sharlon Schoop bunted the runners over and 3B Jonathan Schoop singled home tournament MVP Smith with what proved to be the winning run. CF Kalian Sams got plunked but RF Danny Rombley went down swinging and Kemp lined one back to the mound.
In the 6th, Sharlon Schoop made a leaping grab of a liner by CF Rusney Castillo to rob him of a hit. In the bottom of the 6th, Sharlon Schoop was hit and Jonathan Schoop bunted him over. Sams walked. Rombley grounded to SS Erisbel Arruebarruena, who retired Sams at second on the force but then dropped the ball before he could throw out Rombley at first. Kemp failed to give the Europeans some insurance as he popped one back to Alvarez, the second rally the former Cubs farmhand ended.
Despaigne opened the 7th with a fly to left which Kemp misplayed for a two-base error, but Cordemans got three former Cuban MVPs - 2B Yulieski Gourriel (2004-2005, 2005-2006), 1B José Dariel Abreu (2010-2011) and 3B Michel Enríquez (1998-1999) in order to escape the jam. The Netherlands threatened again in the bottom of the 7th. De Jong drew a one-out walk and Engelhardt hit a two-out single to send him to third. Sharlon Schoop flew out to end that bid.
In its seventh, the Dutch again came close to a run. With one out, Sidney de Jong walked and moved to third base on a 2-out single by Bryan Engelhardt. But again, two runners were left behind when Sharlon Schoop also went after the first pitch and flied out. After 7 1/3 innings of one-hit ball against Cuba, Cordemans allowed a pinch-hit double to Rudy Reyes in the 8th. His superb day ended as he was relieved by Juan Carlos Sulbaran. Castillo grounded to SS Mariekson Gregorius, who was able to hold Reyes while Castillo reached. RF Alexei Bell and Cepeda both flew out to Kemp as Cuba stranded two in one of their best shots of the day.
In the 9th, Despaigne opened by flying out. Gourriel singled and Sulbaran was replaced by David Bergman, who had two saves so far this Cup. The 2007 Hoofdklasse Pitcher of the Year got 2010-2011 Cuban MVP Abreu to fly out to the busy Kemp. Enríquez singled to put the potential go-ahead run aboard. That brought up pinch-hitter Héctor Olivera Jr. On Bergman's first offering, Olivera lined to Jonathan Schoop. The historic game ended a minute before midnight with the biggest tournament victory in Netherlands team history to this point.
The stars of the day were Cordemans (2 H, 1 R in 7 1/3 IP), Alvarez (0 R in 5 IP) and Smith (2 for 3, BB, R).
- Bronze Medal game: United States vs. Canada. Two hours of heavy rain forced the game to be canceled. Both teams were awarded a Bronze Medal.
- 5th/6th place game:
|Win: Kable Hogben (1-0) Loss: Ji-woong Yoon (0-1) Save: Steve Kent (2)|
Australia completed its comeback from an 0-3 start as balanced pitching and a balanced offense carry them past South Korea. They match their best finish ever.
Australia scored in the bottom of the first off Myung-june Yoon. SS James Beresford led off with a single, then CF Mitch Dening hit into a force at second. DH Justin Huber flew out, but 1B Stefan Welch singled Dening to third. The Aussies then pulled off a delayed double steal, with Dening (20 steals in 2011) swiping home. Korea tied it in the third against Paul Mildren. With one out, C Jae-hoon Choi doubled; an out later, 2B Joo-hwan Choi singled him home.
Dening again did the damage in the bottom of the third, with a solo homer against reliever Ji-woong Yoon. They added an insurance run in the 4th. LF Tim Kennelly singled and stole second; with two outs, 3B Scott Wearne singled him home. Korea moved within a run in the 5th but would get no closer. Kable Hogben walked DH Sung-won Bak and CF Jong-wook Ko singled. Jae-hoon Choi flew out but LF Hae-min Park walked to load the bags. Joo-hwan Choi hit into a run-scoring force then stole second. SS Kyoung-min Hur ended the rally with a ground out.
Neither team got another serious rally. Steve Kent tossed three shutout innings for the save.
- 7th/8th place game:
|Win: Juan Colmenarez (2-1) Loss: Gustavo Gómez (1-1)|
The hosts finish on a rough note, their third loss in three days after a strong start to the event.
Venezuela scored in each of the first five innings. In the top of the first, SS Rodolfo Cardona drew a one-out walk from Gustavo Gómez and advanced on a wild pitch. 1B Willie Vasquez walked, RF Ronald Acuna singled and DH Arturo Rivas hit into a run-scoring force. In the second, 2B Tony Granadillo and CF Yonathan Sivira hit back-to-back doubles, knocking out Gómez. In the bottom of the second, RF Carlos Quiroz homered off Juan Colmenarez to bring the home team within a run, 2-1.
In the third, Venezuela scored a run off Gilberto Méndez. Vasquez singled, Acuña hit into an error by 3B Javier Castillo to send Vasquez to third base. Rivas singled home Vasquez to make it 3-1. In the fourth, they put the game out of reach. Sivira singled and stole second, then C Juan Aponte singled. LF Hebert Lara hit into a run-scoring error by 2B Jose Macias. Cardona doubled in Aponte, Vasquez singled home Lara and Acuña singled in Cardona for a 6-1 lead.
In the top of the 5th, Venezuela got their final run, this one off Abraham Atencio. Granadillo hit a leadoff single. With one out, Aponte singled and Lara doubled home Granadillo. Panama got as close as they would in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Castillo singled. C César Quintero singled as well and SS Jeffer Patiño singled to load the bases. Macias was retired, then DH David González hit a two-run double to make it 8-3.
- 1. Netherlands
- 2. Cuba
- 3. Canada
- 4. United States
- 5. Australia
- 6. South Korea
- 7. Venezuela
- 8. Panama
- 9. Dominican Republic - tie
- 9. Puerto Rico - tie
- 9. Italy - tie
- 12. Japan
- 13. Chinese Taipei
- 14. Nicaragua
- 15. Germany - tie
- 15. Greece - tie
Awards and Honors
- MVP: Curt Smith, Netherlands 1B (.375/.438/.700, 13 R, 13 RBI, 3 HR in 12 G)
- Outstanding Defensive Player: Yulieski Gourriel, Cuba 2B (24 PO, 31 A, 10 DP, 1 E in 12 G)
- C: Dámaso Espino, Panama (.389/.405/.528)
- 1B: José Dariel Abreu, Cuba (.442/.478/.721, 10 R, 3 HR in 11 G; 1.000 FLD)
- 2B: Joe Thurston, USA (.439/.489/.585, 10 RBI, 3 SB in 10 G; 1.000 FLD)
- SS: Jonathan Malo, Canada (.382/.447/.441, 1.000 FLD)
- 3B: Chang-min Mo, South Korea (.300/.391/.526, 1.000 FLD)
- OF: Rusney Castillo, Cuba (.489/.500/.800, 11 R in 11 G)
- OF: Tom Brice, Australia (.424/.457/.545)
- OF: Concepción Rodríguez, Panama (.410/.520/.564, 8 BB in 12 G)
- DH: Fernando Seguignol, Panama (.447/.522/.763, 10 R, 13 RBI, 3 HR in 11 G)
- SP: Hyoun-taek Oh, South Korea (2-1, 0.40, 35 K, 1 BB in 22 2/3 IP)
- RP: Yadier Pedroso, Cuba (3 Sv, 1.69, 17 K in 10 2/3 IP)
- Australia might have finished 5th at 7-5 with their late run of 7 wins in their final 9 games, but they were outscored 57-56. Their top offensive performer was All-Star OF Tom Brice (.424/.457/.545) while Ryan Searle (2-0, 0.73) and Andrew Russell (0-1, Sv, 1 UER in 7 IP) led the pitchers.
- Canada duplicated their 2009 World Cup success, again earning a Bronze. They were 8-3 and outscored opponents 55-36. They only had one All-Star, SS Jonathan Malo (.382/.447/.441, 1.000 FLD). Other key contributors were corner outfielder Tim Smith (.361/.489/.583), catchers Cole Armstrong (.320/.400/.640) and Emerson Frostad (.409/.435/.455), pitcher Andrew Albers (2-0, 0 R, 7 H in 15 IP) and reliever Dustin Molleken (one unearned run in 8 IP). A low point was 2010 star Jamie Romak, who was 2 for 32.
- Cuba was a strong 10-2, only losing to the champion Netherlands, to get their third straight Silver Medal. They outscored opponents, 79-23, similar to the champs. They had three All-Stars, tying Panama for the most of any team: 1B José Dariel Abreu (.442/.478/.721, 10 R, 3 HR in 11 G), OF Rusney Castillo(.489/.500/.800, 11 R in 11 G) and RP Yadier Pedroso (3 Sv, 1.69, 17 K in 10 2/3 IP). They had no weak spots either on offense or pitching. Other key contributors included DH Frederich Cepeda (.386/.480/.705, 13 R in 12 G), SP Miguel Lahera (3-0, 1.06), SP Freddy Asiel Alvarez (2-0, 1.96), RP Vicyohandri Odelín (1-0, 0 R in 6 IP) and 2B Yulieski Gourriel (.293/.375/.463, 10 R, 11 RBI in 12 G), the last of whom was named the tourney's best defensive player.
- Dominican Republic was just 3-4 despite outscoring opponents 52-28, a combination of blowout wins and close losses. Bad managerial moves and bullpen work were also likely a factor. Víctor Méndez (.417/.516/.708, 8 R, 8 RBI in 7 G) and Dionys César (.450/.458/.600, 7 RBI in 8 G) wielded the big bats) while the staff was paced by Mario Álvarez (1-0, 0 R, 4 H in 11 IP) and Francisco Cruceta (0 R, 1 H, 0 BB in 5 IP) were stellar on the pitching front. Key negatives included bad defense (13 errors in 7 G) and closer Darío Veras (7 R in 3 1/3 IP).
- Germany went 0-7 and was outscored 58-26 but lost by only a run to Nicaragua and South Korea, showing that they could be competitive. They got strong offensive performances from two of their players active in the US, 1B Donald Lutz (.348/.407/.739) and CF Max Kepler (.348/.464/.522) but others did not fare as well with the bat, including Chris Howard (2 for 16, 2B, 3 BB) and Mets farmhand C Kai Gronauer (2 for 20, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 RBI), a key performer in past international tournaments. Gronauer at least provided superb defense (2 SB in 8 attempts), which was not the case for 3B Ludwig Glaser (5 E, .700 FLD). On the mound, Max Schmitz was the ace (3 R, 1 ER in 8 IP). The team ERA was 6.33 with several hurlers far worse than the mean - Philipp Hoffschild (0-1, 15.00, 17 H in 6 IP), Martin Dewald (0-2, 9.72), Tim Henkenjohann (4 R in 1/3 IP), Jens Cornelsen (9.82 ERA) and Daniel Thieben (3 R in 1 1/3 IP).
- Greece also was 0-7, but was far less competitive than Germany. They had more errors (25) than runs (10) and were outscored 76-10. Jason Zachos (.375/.444/.625, 6 RBI) was easily their top hitter. Particularly poor performances came from five-year AAA player Nick Theodorou (0 for 17, 2 BB) and former major leaguer Mike Tonis (1 for 17, 6 E, .750 fielding). Max Warren (0-1, 2.70) had their best ERA but it was somewhat deceptive as 4 of the 7 runs he allowed were unearned. The worst hurlers were Christoforos Rompinson (16 R, 11 H, 7 BB in 3 2/3 IP) and Tim Karkatselos (0-2, 23 H, 22 R in 8 1/3 IP).
- Italy was as close to the middle of the pack as a team could be, going 3-4 with a 27-28 run differential. Two native Italians, OF Mario Chiarini (.346/.452/.538, 6 R) and 1B Giuseppe Mazzanti (.292/.400/.542, 7 RBI), paced the offense. On the mound, the leadership came from Marco Grifantini (1-0, 0 R, 8 K in 5 2/3 IP) and Chris Cooper (1-1, 0.77).
- Japan sputtered a 2-5, showing competent pitching and defense (32 runs allowed) but an offense worse than Germany's (just 20 runs scored). Their top performer was Tomoyuki Kaida (1-0, 0.96) while no hitter stood out in a good way. In a bad way, there were countless examples like IF Kenichi Yokoyama (1 for 11), IF Yohei Kawato (1 for 12, 2 BB) and DH Keiji Ikebe (2 for 16, 2 BB, 0 R, 0 RBI). Koichi Kotaka (3 R in 2/3 IP) and Hirofumi Yamanaka (0-1, 11.37) were among a couple pitchers who faltered.
- Netherlands went 11-1 for their historic title, with a 74-22 run differential, almost identical numbers to the Cuban team they beat in the finale. Their lone loss was by a single run to third-place Canada. The team had stellar pitching throughout the rotation, with no ERA over 5. Among the ace hurlers were Tom Stuifbergen (2-0, Sv, 0 R in 17 IP), Juan Carlos Sulbaran (1-0, 0.68), Shairon Martis (1-0, 1.35), Leon Boyd (Sv, 0 R in 5 2/3 IP) and David Bergman (1-0, 3 Sv, 1.04). One cannot forget the star of the finale, Rob Cordemans (3-0, 2.29), even his ERA was a bit higher. The offense was not nearly as balanced, with 6 of the 9 regulars hitting under .220. Two hitters really carried the attack - MVP and 1B Curt Smith (.375/.438/.700, 13 R, 13 RBI, 3 HR in 12 G) and DH Bryan Engelhardt (.425/.439/.700, 10 RBI in 11 G). The defense was superb, as they made only 4 errors for the tournament, fielding .990 as a team.
- Nicaragua was the worst of the non-European teams, going 1-6 and being outscored 47-18. They hit only .219, with numerous starters under the Mendoza Line. CF Dwight Britton was practically a one-man show, at .478/.586/.565. The top pitcher was Mainor Mora (1 H, 2 R in 7 IP). Not faring as well on the hill were Julio Raudez (0-2, 11.74) and Eldo Thomas (9 H, 6 R in 1 2/3 IP).
- Panama had one of the top offenses, but the hosts struggled on the pitching end. They had a 71-59 run differential and a 6-6 record while finishing 8th. They tied for the most All-Stars with Cuba, placing three players on the All-Star team: C Dámaso Espino (.389/.405/.528), OF Concepción Rodríguez (.410/.520/.564, 8 BB in 12 G) and DH Fernando Seguignol (.447/.522/.763, 10 R, 13 RBI, 3 HR in 11 G). A fourth key contributor were SS Ángel Chávez (.378/.391/.600, 7 2B). Their top pitchers were closer Yeliar Castro (2 H, 10 K, 1 BB, 0 R in 6 2/3 IP, 2 Sv) and Gustavo González (1 R in 7 IP). Not faring as well on the hill were Gilberto Méndez (12 R in 9 1/3 IP) and Ángel Cuan (1-1, 11 R, 17 H in 10 IP).
- Puerto Rico was 3-4 and was outscored, 28-26, just missing the second round due to their loss to Taiwan. They could count an upset win over the US. The offense was carried by CF Reymond Fuentes (.375/.423/.423, 2 A, 6 R in 6 G) and DH César Crespo (.278/.350/.611) while IF Wilberto Ortiz (0 for 13, BB) and DH Javier Valentin (0 for 10, BB) did not produce. On the mound, Julio Rodriguez (1-0, 3 H, 15 K, 0 R in 9 1/3 IP) and Adalberto Flores (1-0, 0 R in 4 IP) were the aces while Ivan Maldonado was 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA.
- South Korea went 6-6, finishing 6th, the best of the Asian entries. They scored 37 runs while allowing 43. They had two All-Stars in 3B Chang-min Mo (.300/.391/.526) and P Hyoun-taek Oh (2-1, 0.40, 35 K, 1 BB in 22 2/3 IP). Others providing good offense included DH Jae-hwan Kim (.333/.517/.381) and C Joo-hwan Choi (.359/.375/.487, 8 RBI in 10 G). Ji-woong Yoon struggled on the mound with 5 walks and 4 runs in 4 2/3 IP, going 0-1 with a save.
- Chinese Taipei started off 0-5 before winning their last two games, including spoiling Puerto Rico's bid for the second round. IF Han Lin (.318/.375/.545) led the hitters while the top pitchers were Yu-Hsun Chen (1-0, 1 H, 0 R in 3 IP) and Yao-Lin Wang (0-2, 3.60).
- United States was a disappointing 7-4 to get a Bronze after winning Gold the prior two Cups. They outscored opponents 59-39, not having the offense or pitching of the Netherlands or Cuba. They did have some outstanding performers - All-Star 2B-DH Joe Thurston (.439/.489/.585, 10 RBI, 3 SB in 10 G; 1.000 FLD), RF Brett Jackson (.412/.462/.588), SS Jordy Mercer (.345/.387/.655) and DH-1B Matt Clark (.342/.457/.632, 9 R, 9 RBI) all shone on offense. On the other hand, they got dismal work from 1B Chad Tracy (.115/.172/.154), C Travis d'Arnaud (3 for 16, 3 2B), C Tuffy Gosewisch (.217/.217/.304), 2B Andrew Garcia (4 for 20, 3 BB) and LF Brett Carroll (.214/.290/.250); Carroll, at least, would turn things around in the 2011 Pan American Games. Among the staff, there was also a mix of superb and stumbling turns. Drew Smyly (1-0, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 H, 13 K in 11 IP), Andy Van Hekken (2-0, 0.64), Chuckie Fick (0 R, 4 H, 0 BB in 7 1/3 IP) and Justin Cassel (1-0, 0 R in 5 IP) all did well while Jeff Marquez (1-1, 10.00, 16 H in 9 IP), Matt Shoemaker (1-1, 7.88) and original closer Randy Williams (0-1, Sv, 7 R in 3 1/3 IP) performed far worse.
- Venezuela finished 7th despite the same record (6-6) and a far worse run differential (53-89) than the team they beat in the 7th/8th place game, Panama. The offense was led by CF Yonathan Sivira (.417/.462/.500) and 1B Willie Vasquez (.341/.396/.682, 5 HR, 11 RBI in 12 G). Luis Azocar (0 R in 6 2/3 IP) was a bright spot on a weak staff. Six hurlers had ERAs over 7, with the high marks coming from George Delgado (21 H, 16 R in 8 IP) and Josmar Carreño (1-1, 14.21).
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