Archive | October, 2010

Mexico: Saraperos Visit With Mexican President Calderon

By Bruce Baskin

The Mexican League champion Saltillo Saraperos had a visit Friday from Mexican president Felipe Calderon, who was in Saltillo to help inaugurate the city’s new Chrysler plant.

The president rode in a new Chrysler with his young son as well as Saraperos owner Don Alvaro Ley and team president Sergio Ley to their visit with several Saltillo players, coaches and general manager Eduardo Valenzuela. Coahuila governor Humberto Moreira was also on hand.

The group chatted for several minutes about baseball, its history in Saltillo and the meaning of the Saraperos’ two championships. “We think the promotion of this sport in fundamental in society,” said Alvaro Ley. “It’s undeniably necessary to not only help in the fight against delinquency, but also in generating education and creating a positive activity for the community.”

Calderon received a Saraperos jersey with his name and the number 200 (celebrating Mexico’s Bicentennial) and a jersey for his wife with the number 100 to mark the centenary of the 1910 Revolution.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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Taiwan: Intercontinental Cup Day 8 Results

The winner of the Netherlands/Taiwan match up was headed to the gold medal game, and they didn’t disappoint. The Dutch used a 10th inning walk off home run to propel them into the gold medal game. Cuba stayed undefeated with a comeback win against Italy, and South Korea finally got on the board with a win in the medal round with a victory over Japan. In the classification round, Nicaragua took 7th place with a win over the Czech Republic; and Thailand edged Hong Kong for 9th place.

Netherlands 5, Taiwan 3 (10)

Box Score

With the winner set to take on Cuba in the gold medal game, the Netherlands and Taiwan played an exciting game. Mariekson Gregorius propelled the Dutch team to the championship game with a walk off 2-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning. The game went to extra frames with the score tied at 2.  The IBAF’s extra inning rules took over and Taiwan went up by a run in the top of the 10th on a RBI single by Chih-Sheng Lin.

The Dutch team bounced back quickly.  With runners placed at 1st and 2nd base, Taiwan pitcher Ching-Lung Lo got wild throwing a wild pitch to advance the runners. Now on 3rd base, Shaldimar Daantji would score the tying run on a passed ball. Gregorius then came through with the 2-run home run sending the Lo pitch over the right field fence to end the game.

The Netherlands had built up a 2-0 lead, but it was quickly erased in the 7th in

ning on a 2-run double by Kuo-Ching Kao. Dutch reliever Orlando Yntema picked up his second victory of the tournament after going 3 innings allowing just 1 run on 1 hit and 2 walks. Starter Diegomar Markwell pitched well but got a no-decision after going 6.2 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk.

Cuba 5, Italy 3

Box Score

Cuba stayed perfect with a 5-3 victory over Italy in a tune up for the gold medal game. Cuba trailed 3-0 after 4.5 innings, but used a 5 run 5th to take the lead and eventually the win. Alessandro Vaglio provided Italy with an early cushion with a 2-run single.  Italy got a later run in the 5th on a wild pitch.  Cuba came storming back in the 5th. Rudith Orlando and Hector Olivera both drove in a run to cut the lead to 5-3.  They kept the pressure on as they loaded the bases down only a run.  Alex Malleta came through with a 2-run single to put Cuba on top. Later in the inning they would get an insurance run when Yohandri Urgelles hit a sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 5-3.

Dalier Hinojosa came in in the 5th inning and pitched the final 4.2 scoreless innings to pick up his 2nd win of the tournament. Hinojosa gave up 3 hits, didn’t walk a batter, and struck out 5 after relieving starter Vladimir Garcia. Yovany D’Amico took the loss for Italy going only 2/3 of an inning while giving up 3 runs on 3 hits.

Cuba will now take on the Netherlands in the gold medal game, and Italy will play for 3rd.

Japan 1, South Korea 8

Box Score

After what has to be thought of as a disappointing showing for South Korea so far, they came back strong with a big win over Japan. South Korea scored 7 runs in the first 3 innings to take control of the game. Korean starter Hyun June Park went the distance allowing only 1 run on 7 hits and 1 walk. Jae Hwan Kim led the way offensively with a home run and 3 hits in 4 at bats. The two teams will meet again on Sunday for 5th place.

Final Medal Round Standings :

  1. Cuba 5-0
  2. Netherlands 3-2
  3. Taiwan 3-2
  4. Italy 2-3
  5. South Korea 1-4
  6. Japan 1-4

7th Place Game:

Czech Republic 5, Nicaragua 11

Box Score

Nicaragua used a quick start to defeat the Czech Republic to take 7th place at the 2010 Intercontinental Cup. Nicaragua pounded out 14 hits led by Cesar Granera who went 3-for-5 with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored. Nicaragua used 3 run innings in the 6th and 8th to put the game out of reach. Igna Pena Centeno went 5 solid innings to pick up the win. He gave up 2 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk while striking out 8.  Czech starter Radim Chroust didn’t fair as well. He went only 1.2 innings giving up 5 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks to take the loss.

9th Place Game:

Thailand 6, Hong Kong 5

Box Score

Thailand overcame a 3 run deficit to take 9th place at the 2010 Intercontinental Cup. Srisaipet Jirapod drove in 2 including the game winning run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 8th. Tsz Chun Heung pitched 8 innings giving up 6 runs (4 earned) on 4 hits and 4 walks to pick up the loss for Hong Kong. Kanjanavis Kamolphan pitched 4 strong innings of relief for Thailand giving up 2 unearned runs on 3 hits to pick up the win.

Schedule:
For 5th Place:

  • South Korea – Japan

Bronze Medal Game:

  • Taiwan – Italy

Championship Game:

  • Cuba – Netherlands

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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Taiwan: 2010 Intercontinental Cup Day 7 Results

There are only a couple more days left in the 2010 Intercontinental Cup. With a victory over Japan, Cuba secured a spot in the gold medal game while staying undefeated. They will square off with either the Netherlands or Taiwan in the championship. The Dutch will face off with Taiwan on Saturday with the winner advancing to the gold medal game to face Cuba. South Korea continued its disappointing showing losing again. This time it was to the Netherlands 3-1.

Cuba 4, Japan 1

Box Score

Cuba continued to dominate defeating Japan 4-1. Cuba stayed undefeated in the tournament with the win.  Japan took the early lead in the top of the third when Yuhei Nakamura scored on a wild pitch, but that was all Japan would get. The Cuban pitching staff shut down the Japanese hitters the rest of the way. Starter Yulieski Gonzalez went 7 strong innings, allowed the 1 run, 5 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 12 to pick up his 2nd victory of the tournament.  Yadier Pedroso finished off the game with 2 strong innings for his 2nd save of the tourney. Cuba responded quickly scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 3rd on a Giorvis Duvergel RBI double and a sacrifice fly by Alexei Bell. Cuba picked up insurance runs in the 4th and 7th on RBI singles. Shigeru Kaga went 6.1 innings allowing all 4 runs on 12 hits to take the loss and even his record at 1-1.

South Korea 1, Netherlands 3

Box Score

The Netherlands positioned themselves 1 win away from the gold medal game with a victory over South Korea. The loss sent South Korea’s record in the medal round to 0-4. The Dutch got off to a quick start with a 2-run triple by Sharlon Schoop.  The pitching staff took care of the rest. Leon Boyd started and went 4.1 innings allowing only 1 unearned run on 5 hits while striking out 6. David Bergman came in to relieve Boyd in the 5th and finished the game going 4.2 innings allowing only 1 hit to pick up the win. Wong Jun Ko went 5 innings for South Korea giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks. The Netherlands will now face off with Taiwan for a chance to face Cuba in the gold medal game.

Italy 2, Taiwan 6

Box Score

Taiwan will play for a chance at the gold medal game with a win over Italy.  Taiwan jumped out early in the bottom of the first scoring 3 runs on an RBI double, a wild pitch, and an RBI single.  Italy answered in the 2nd inning with 2 runs of its own, but they would never get any closer.  Taiwan immediately pulled ahead again with 2 more runs in the bottom of the 2nd.  The Taiwanese pitching staff did the rest. Wei-Lun Pan went 7 strong innings allowing only 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out 8. Yi-Hao Lin finished the game allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk. Italian starter Sandy Patrone didn’t last long. He was finished after 2/3 of an inning allowing 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks.

Medal Round Standings:

  1. Cuba 4-0
  2. Taiwan 3-1
  3. Netherlands 2-2
  4. Italy 2-2
  5. Japan 1-3
  6. South Korea 0-4

Classification Round:

Thailand 3, Czech Republic 13

Box Score

The Czech Republic defeated Thailand in the semifinals to determine places 7-10 at the 2010 Intercontinental Cup.  The game was close until the Czech Republic broke it open with 6 runs in the 4th inning. The Czech team pounded out 12 hits in the rout.  Petr Minarik picked up the victory in relief running his record to 2-1 for the tournament. Kanjanavis Kamolphan took the loss. The Czech Republic will now take on Nicaragua in the 7th-8th place game while Thailand will face Hong Kong for the 9th-10th place game.

Hong Kong 2, Nicaragua 12

Box Score

Nicaragua pounded out 15 hits en route to a 12-2 victory over Hong Kong. Cesar Riva Granera hit a home run going 2-for-3. Jos Tellez Vanegas went 5 innings allowing only 1 run to pick up the victory while striking out 7. Nicaragua will now face off with the Czech Republic in the 7th-8th place game.

Schedule:
Medal Round:

  • Netherlands – Taiwan
  • Cuba – Italy
  • Japan – South Korea

9th Place Game:

  • Thailand – Hong Kong

7th Place Game:

  • Czech Republic – Nicaragua

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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Poland: Polish National Team Makes Trip to Ostrava, Czech Republic

by John Dobkowski

Polish National Team in OstravaUnder new leadership from the Polish
Baseball Association and new head coach Arkadiusz Zurkowski (Gepardy Zory)
things will be a little different in Polish baseball. This past weekend 18
players made the trip to Ostrava, Czech Republic to play 3 games against
Arrows Juniors, Klasik Frýdek-Místek (2nd League Czech Republic) and
Arrows first team. The trip was an opportunity for first-year coach
Arkadiusz to train players and see what he has going into next year’s
European Championship Qualifiers Tournament. His assistant coaches on the
trip were Michal Lisko (Ostrava Arrows), Martin Kucera (Ostrava Arrows).
John Dobkowski (Gauting Indians) was a special advisor as well as a new
player on the team. The players who participated with their 2010 club are
listed below. Notable missing players for this trip are Marek Deska,
Gracjan Kraszewski and Mike Glinka.

Polish Roster in Ostrava:

* Gracjan Bielecki (Stal Kutno)
* Mariusz Blonkowski (Comets Mazowsze)
* Piotr Cedzy?ski (Stal Kutno)
* John Dobkowski(Gauting Indians; Germany)
* Jakub Garbacz (Gepardy Zory)
* Mariusz Grzanowski (Stal Kutno)
* Rafa? Kali?ski (Stal Kutno)
* Jakub Kolasi?ski (Stal Kutno)
* Karol Lapczyk (Gepardy Zory)
* Piotr Miko?ajczyk (Stal Kutno)
* Grzegorz Motas (Gepardy Zory)
* ?ukasz Nolbrzak (Baseball Wroclaw)
* Przemys?aw Paluch (Silesia Rybnik)
* Mateusz Pniewski (Comets Mazowsze)
* Ariel Rainko (Gepardy Zory)
* ?ukasz Snopek (Deby Osielsko)
* Artur Szymura (Silesia Rybnik)
* Adam Zieli?ski (Deby Osielsko)

Results:
Thursday, October 21
Polish National Team – Arrows Juniors 2-9

Friday, October 22
Polish National Team – Klasik Frýdek-Místek 4-3

Saturday, October 23
Polish National Team – Arrows First Team 10-11

Photos of the matches, provided by Tomáš Svach:
http://picasaweb.google.com/arrows.ostrava/PolskaRepre2010#

Photo: Tomáš Svach
Courtesy Baseball.pl

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Mexico: Financial Problems Force Early Veracruz Winter League Playoffs

By Bruce Baskin

A difficult economy made worse by game cancellations caused by pounding rains this fall have forced the Veracruz Winter League (or LIV) to cut its regular season short and go into its playoffs early. The LIV schedule originally projected the regular season to run from August 26 through November 18, with teams playing a record 70 games each. However, the LIV website reports that the league office decided to conclude the regular season on October 14 with playoff games to begin two days later.

Defending champion Los Tuxtlas took first place (and the top playoff seed) with a 29-9 record while Santa Rosa came in second at 24-11. Originally, a six-team playoff field was envisioned for the LIV, but with the shortened regular season, the league revised the format to include the top eight clubs in the 12-team standings. Los Tuxtlas topped Veracruz in five games to win their semifinal series and reach the Finals, while Xalapa leads Santa Rosa by a 3-2 margin in their semi set.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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Taiwan: Intercontinental Cup Day 6 Results

The medal round began at the 2010 Intercontinental Cup in Taiwan with 3 games on the slate.  The 2 European teams of the day faired differently and there was a big battle between Asian powers. In Game 1 of the day, pitting the #1 seeds against one another, Cuba kept up its winning ways by defeating the Netherlands.  Italy defeated Asian powerhouse South Korea in Game 2 to push its record to 2-1. Game 3 pitted Asian powers Japan and host Taiwan against each other with Taiwan walking away with the victory.

Netherlands 3, Cuba 6

Box Score

Cuba stayed undefeated with a 6-3 victory over the Netherlands in the battle of #1 seeds. Cuba used a late rally to push past the Dutch team who was poised to take down the #1 team in the World Rankings. Cuba got off to a quick start in the first inning with a Giorvis Duvergel (1-for-4) solo home run. They added another run in the 2nd inning when Jose Abreu (1-for-4) drove in a run with a ground out to second base. The Netherlands quickly responded with 2 runs of their own in the with RBI singles by Eugene Kingsale (2-for-4) and Sidney de Jong (1-for-4).  The Netherlands added one more in the 5th to take a 3-2 lead, but it was short lived. In the 7th inning, Cuba roared back to take the lead 5-3 on a solo home run from Jose Abreu and a Hector Olivera 2-run triple. Cuba finished off the scoring in the 8th inning. Alexei Bell tripled and scored on a wild pitch by Dutch pitcher Dennis Neuman. Dutch starter Tom Stuifbergen lasted 6.1 innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7.  Arschwin Asjes took the loss for the Netherlands going 0.2 of an inning and giving up 2 runs. Jonder Martinez came in during the 5th inning and finished the game going 4.1 innings, allowing 2 hits, no walks, and striking out 1 to pick up the win.

Italy 5, South Korea 2

Box Score

European Champion Italy continued it’s impressive run at the Intercontinental Cup defeating 2008 Olympic Champion South Korea in the first game of the medal round.  The win improves Italy’s record to 2-1 and drops South Korea to 0-3. Korea got on the board early with a run in the top of the 1st inning on Han Joon Yoo’s RBI fielder’s choice, but Italy bounced back with two of their own in the bottom of the frame. A 2-run single by Laidel Chapelli put Italy on top in the bottom of the first, and that is where the score would stay until late in the game. In the top of the 7th, Korea found its way back to tie the game at 1. Joo Hwan Choi sent a sacrifice fly to center field tying the game. But once again, the lead would not last as South Korea’s bullpen could not hold. Again Italy responded with 2 runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Joe Mazzuca scored on a throwing error by the pitcher as Italy regained the lead. Later in the inning Mario Chiarini would give them an insurance run with a RBI single.  Italy would go on to add another insurance run on a RBI single by Alessandro Vaglio in the bottom of the 8th. South Korean starter Tae Soo Cho lasted only 2/3 of an inning giving up 2 runs. Seong Hyun Kim took over and went 5.1 innings giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and 4 walks to take the loss. Italian starter Christopher Cooper went 5 strong innings giving up 1 run on 5 hits but didn’t factor into the decision. Marco Grifantini picked up the win in relief pitching a scoreless 8th.  Alessandro Maestri picked up his first save of the tournament with a perfect 9th.

Japan 5, Taiwan 12

Box Score

Taiwan was down twice in the game with the first time being 4-0. They were never out of the game though, as their offense pounded out 14 hits and the Japanese defense committed 4 errors on the game. Taiwan starter Hung-Wen Chen couldn’t get out of the 2nd inning lasting only an inning and a third. During that time he gave up 4 runs on 5 hits as Japan jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the 2nd inning. It didn’t last long. Japanese starter Toshihiro Iwao lasted only 2 innings and left with the game tied at 4 after giving up 4 runs (only 1 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks. Japan would quickly retake the lead 5-4 with a run in the 3rd, but once again Taiwan would take advantage of the faulty Japanese defense and score 3 runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning. They led 7-5 and never looked back. Chih-Kang Kao finished the day 2-for-3 with 2RBI and 2 runs scored. Six Korean hitters finished with 2 hits on the day as they pounded the Japanese pitching staff. Hideki Sunaga took the loss for Japan going 1.2 innings, giving up 4 runs (1 earned), on 2 hits, and striking out 1. Yu-Ching Lin pitched 5.1 scoreless innings and picked up the win for Taiwan. He gave up only 1 hit and struck out 6 along the way. Medal Round Standings:

  1. Cuba 3-0
  2. Italy 2-1
  3. Taiwan 2-1
  4. Japan 1-2
  5. Netherlands 1-2
  6. South Korea 0-3

Schedule Round 2, Day 7:

  • Japan – Cuba
  • South Korea – Netherlands
  • Italy – Taiwan

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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New Zealand: Baseball has Arrived

NEW ZEALAND – Baseball will begin this year in colleges in Auckland. Ten schools will compete over 6 weeks in the inaugural College Baseball Auckland Championship.  This is a groundbreaking step in introducing the game to people in New Zealand.

The games begin October 27 and will continue for the next 5 Fridays at venues around Auckland such as Lloyd Elsmore Park, Crossfields, and St. Kentigerns College. The 10 teams that will compete in the first Championship will be King’s College, Pakuranga College, Howick College, St. Kentigerns, Sir Edmund Hillary College, One Tree Hill College, Auckland Grammar School, Waiheke High School, Macleans College and Glendowie College.

Teams will receive coaching from top coaches in New Zealand and the national body will provide equipment and umpires for games.

The Championship is set for December 1, with a rain out day of December 8.  The teams will be in two pools with the winner of Pool A playing the winner of Pool B for the Championship.

Over twenty schools have expressed interest for next year, and Baseball New Zealand will ensure that all areas are represented when the competition is open to all ages in 2011.

Schedule Wednesday October 27th:

  • Macleans College vs. Howick College
  • Auckland Grammar School vs. Pakuranga College
  • King’s College vs. Glendowie College
  • Waiheke High School vs. St. Kentigern College
  • Macleans College vs.Waiheke High School

You can find more information on the new collegiate championship and other baseball happenings in New Zealand at www.baseballnz.org.

I’d also like to thank Jose Jerez for the email linking me to Baseball NZ. We are always grateful for leads on stories about baseball around the world.

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Taiwan: Intercontinental Cup Day 5 Results

The Intercontinental Cup finished up the preliminary round with a batch of games on Wednesday. Once again, three of the four games were shutouts with one being a shortened perfect game. South Korea defeated the Czech Republic to deny them a spot in the 2nd round. Japan, Italy, and the Netherlands all finished in a tie in Group A, so they will enter round 2 with 1-1 records.  Cuba finished 4-0 in Round 1 so they will start Round 2 with a 2-0 record. Taiwan will start Round 2 with a 1-1 record while South Korea will start at 0-2.

Hong Kong 0, Cuba 20

Box Score

Cuban pitcher Dalier Hinojosa pitched 5 perfect innings striking out 7 along the way. He needed only 47 pitches to get through the 5 innings. Cuba simply over powered Hong Kong on both sides of the ball. Hong Kong starter Tsz Chun Heung gave up all 20 runs in 4 innings allowing 21 hits. Every Cuban starter had at least 2 hits as Giorvis Duvergel led the way going 3-for-5 with a grand slam, 4 RBI, and 4 runs scored. Cuba will face the Netherlands in the first game of Round 2.

Czech Republic 0, South Korea 9

Box Score

South Korea defeated the Czech Republic advancing to the 2nd round. South Korea jumped on top early and never let up. Wong Jun Ko pitched 6 shutout innings giving up only 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 4 to earn the victory. Ji Young Lee led the way offensively going 4-for-4 with a double, 2 RBI, and 1 run scored. South Korea pounded out 14 hits tagging Czech starter Martin Schneider for 3 runs in 3 innings. The South Korean pitching staff only gave up 2 hits in the game shutting down the Czech offense.

Thailand 2, Netherlands 7

Box Score

The Netherlands kept up their winning ways with a 7-2 victory over Thailand. Thailand stayed winless in the tournament and will not advance to the 2nd round. Dutch starter Kevin Heijstek pitched very well going 5 innings, allowing only 1 hit, striking out 8, and throwing only 56 pitches. Lead off hitter and shortstop Mariekson Gregorius kept the offense moving for the Dutch going 4-for-5 with a double, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored. Danny Rombley drove in 2 and scored 2 with 2 hits, including a triple. Jason Halman scored 2 runs while picking up 3 hits, including 2 doubles. Meeboonrod Nattapong picked up the loss going 6 innings giving up 6 runs on 11 hits.

Japan 0, Italy 3

Box Score

Italian starter Cody Cillo was fantastic going 8 innings allowing 2 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 6 to pick up the victory over Japan. Yovany D’Amico pitched a perfect 9th inning to pick up the save. Juan Carlos Infante led the Italian offense with 3 hits in 5 AB’s driving in a run and scoring once.  Jairo Ramos added a RBI single. Japan starter Katsuki Akagawa lasted only 3.2 innings giving up all 3 runs, only 1 was earned, on 7 hits and 3 walks. The Japanese bullpen shut down Italy the rest of the way, but the damage was done.

The win for Italy also helped the Netherlands.  Due to the tie-breaker rules, the Dutch would gain the #1 seed in the Group.

Final Standings for Round 1:
Group A:

  1. Cuba 4-0
  2. Taiwan 3-1
  3. South Korea 2-2
  4. Czech Republic 1-3
  5. Hong Kong 0-4

Group B:

  1. Netherlands 3-1
  2. Japan 3-1
  3. Italy 3-1
  4. Nicaragua 1-3
  5. Thailand 0-4

Schedule Round 2, Day 6:

  • Netherlands – Cuba
  • South Korea – Italy
  • Japan– Taiwan

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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Mexico: Mayos Shuffle Deck After Slow Start

By Bruce Baskin

The Navojoa Mayos won just twice in their first eleven Mexican Pacific League games this season, but the team is not going to stand pat waiting for things to get better by themselves.

One move made out of necessity was the placement of third baseman Wes Timmons (pictured) on the disabled list after the Braves farmhand was injured by a pitch last week. Timmons, who was hitting .350 at the time of his injury, is out for 4 to 5 weeks and has been replaced on the Mayos roster by veteran Mexican third sacker Abel Martinez, who has recovered from a nose injury that delayed the start of his season. Martinez, who hit .311 with 11 homers in 87 games for Quintana Roo last summer, went 1-for-5 Sunday in his first game for Navojoa.

The Mayos have also brought in imports Ryan Shealy and Tike Redman. Shealy, a first baseman in the Red Sox system, went 3-for-5 in his first two games. Redman is a longtime minor league outfielder who batted .355 in 62 games for Tabasco in the Mexican League this year. He has yet to play for Navojoa.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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Mexico: USA Wins COPABE Pan Am ‘AA’ 16U Youth Championships

USA takes gold with 11-4 win over MEX

Team finishes 9-0 and wins their fifth straight title

LAGOS DE MORENO, Mexico — The U.S. overcame an early deficit to defeat Mexico, 11-4, winning the gold medal Sunday in front of a standing-room only crowd at Pan American Stadium. Adrian Marin scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on a defensive miscue, and the U.S. would go on to score the final seven runs of the game.
Mexico jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against left-hander Ivan Pelaez. A two-run homer by Ramon Urias put Mexico on the board, and Miguel Rodriguez singled and scored on a double-play later in the inning. Pelaez would settle down after the first inning, not allowing another run in his four innings of work for Team USA on the day.

The U.S. bats answered with singled tallies in the second and fourth innings against Mexico right-hander Roberto Osuna. Chris Chinea doubled and scored in the second inning, and brought home another run with an RBI single in the fourth. They took the lead in the fifth inning, when Corey Seager brought home a run with an RBI double and later scored on a passed ball to make it 4-3.

Mexico tied it with an unearned run in the fifth against Felipe Perez, as Urias grounded into a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on an error before scoring on a single by Rodriguez. Perez would go on to earn the win for Team USA, as both of his wins in the tournament came against Mexico. Perez worked three innings, allowing one unearned run while striking out five.

Marin started a two-out rally in the seventh that allowed the U.S. to take the lead. The right-fielder singled and advanced to third on another single by Corey Seager. When the throw from the right fielder skipped past the infield, Marin was able to slide into home safely with the go-ahead run and give the U.S. a 5-4 lead.

They would add two more in the eighth before pulling away with four runs in the ninth to put the game out of reach. Timmy Lopes brought home a run with a sacrifice fly, and Marin walked with the bases loaded to extend the lead to three in the eighth. Solo home runs by Matt Olson and Chris Chinea started the rally in the ninth before Alex Bregman capped off the scoring with two-run single.

Troy Conyers added two innings of scoreless relief for Team USA, getting the final out on a ground ball off the bat of Jose Cardona. The left-hander made four appearences in the tournament, not allowing a run in five innings of work as the closer for the U.S.

Bregman took home tournament MVP honors, finishing 22-for-39 (.564) with 17 runs scored, two homers and 17 RBI over nine games. He was also award for most runs scored in the tournament and highest batting average. Bregman (2B), Matt Olson (1B), Corey Seager (SS) and Albert Almora (CF) were named to the All-Tournament Team.

As a team, the U.S. established a new 16U records in hits with 143, besting the 122 the team scored in 1998. They also established a new record in runs scored (127), topping the previous high of 119 set in 2006.

The team finishes with a perfect 9-0 record in the tournament, extending the Team USA 16U win streak to 40 games overall. The 16U team has not lost since 2005, when they fell to Cuba in the gold-medal game. It is their fifth consecutive 16U championship.

Courtesy: USABaseball.com

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Taiwan: Brother Elephants Win Taiwan Series

TAIWAN – The Brother Elephants finished off their sweep of the Sinon Bulls to capture after rain shut down the series for several days. The Elephants bounced back from a 2009 season that saw them lose the Taiwan Series in 7 games and then go through a horrific gambling scandal that cost their manager and several players their careers. The victory tied the Elephants with the Uni-President Lions for tops in the league with 7 titles.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, Game 4 was more of Jim Magrane. After tossing a gem in Game 1, Magrane came back to toss another gem in Game 4 to pick up the victory. The Bulls to to him early with a run in the 1st on a sacrifice fly by Yi-Chuan Lin. That was all the Bulls would get. Magrane would go the distance giving up only the 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 4.  Magrane would be named the Series MVP going 2-0 in his 2 starts.

The Elephants struck back quickly with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st, and they never looked back. Bulls starter Juan Pena gave up a 3-run home run to Ssu-Chi Chou and they were off and running. Pena only lasted 2 innings giving up 4 runs on 6 hits. Shih-Hao Huang would add to the lead in the 3rd with a 2-run double off of Bulls pitcher Itsuki Shoda who went 3 innings following starter Pena. Magrane did the rest putting away the Bulls to close out the Series.

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

Game 1: Brother Elephants 3, Sinon Bulls 2
Game 2: Brother Elephants 3, Sinon Bulls 1
Game 3: Brother Elephants 3, Sinon Bulls 0
Game 4: Brother Elephants 6, Sinon Bulls 1

(Brother Elephants win series 4-0)

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Taiwan: Intercontinental Cup Results Day 4

Day 4 at the Intercontinental Cup saw two blowouts, two close games, and two teams get their first win. In the first games of the day, the Czech Republic and Nicaragua both picked up win number 1 with big wins in shortened games. The evening games were much more exciting with one coming down to a 9th inning comeback as Japan and Cuba both won.

Czech Republic 16, Hong Kong 0

Box Score

The Czech Republic got into the win column with a big win over Hong Kong. They pounded out 21 hits en route to the victory. Left fielder Michal Ondracek (AVG Draci Brno) set the table at the top of the order going 3-for-5 with 2 RBI, 3 runs scored, and a stolen base. Jakub Hajtmar (AVG Draci Brno) had 3 hits and 3 RBI, and second baseman Petr Zyma (Eagles Prague) chipped in with 2 hits and 3 RBI. All 9 starters had at least 1 hit. Czech starter Petr Minarik (AVG Draci Brno) went 5 innings allowing only 2 hits while walking 2 and striking out 9 to pick up the victory. Tsz Wu had 2 of the 3 hits for Hong Kong in the loss while Ta Pong Chow took the loss going 4.2 innings giving up 14 hits and 10 runs.

Nicaragua 18, Thailand 3

Box Score

Nicaragua scored early and often on their way to picking up their first win in the tournament. After 3 innings Nicaragua led 11-2, and they just kept hitting piling up 20 hits on the day. Every starter had at least 1 hit and 1 RBI with DH H. Lopez leading the way going 4-for-5 with 3 runs scored.  Jose Garcia went 5 innings to pick up the win giving up 3 runs on 5 hits. Sihamat Wissaroot lasted only 2 innings giving up 6 runs on 6 hits to take the loss. Neither team will advance to the 2nd round.

Japan 2, Netherlands 1

Box Score

The Netherlands held a 1-0 lead into the 9th inning only to see their hopes of pulling off the upset dashed. With 2 outs in the top of the 9th, back up catcher Tsubasa Aizawa came through with a double to drive in 2 runs. Aizawa only came into the game in the 3rd inning after starter Tomoya Ichikawa had to leave the game after a collision with Dutch outfielder Danny Rombley. The Netherlands got on the board early in the 3rd after Danny Rombley tripled in Bryan Engelhardt who had singled to start the inning. Japan starter Shota Oba went 5 solid innings giving up 1 run on only 3 hits and 1 walk. Yusuke Uemura pitched a scoreless 9th to pick up the win. Dutch starter Robb Cordemans pitched well too. He went 5.1 scoreless innings giving up only 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5. Dennis Neuman picked up the loss after giving up the double to Aizawa in the 9th inning.

Cuba 2, Taiwan 0

Box Score

Cuba used solid pitching and timely hitting to pick up a victory over Taiwan. Cuba started by picking up an unearned run in the 6th inning. Hector Olivera started the inning off by reaching on an error by the Taiwan third baseman. After a flyout and a strikeout, Olivera stole second base. After a single advanced him to third base, Yulieski Gourriel singled to centerfield driving in Olivera with the first run of the game. Yulieski Gourriel would drive in the only other run of the game with an infield single in the 8th inning as Cuba’s pitching staff shut down Taiwan. Miguel Gonzalez went 6 strong innings giving up only 3 hits, walking 4, and striking out 7 to pick up the victory. Yadier Pedroso pitched the final 3 innings striking out 5 and allowing only 2 hits to pick up the save. Chih-Lung Huang pitched well for Taiwan but took the loss. He went 7.2 innings giving up 2 runs, only 1 unearned, on 7 hits while striking out 8.

Standings:
Group A:

  1. Cuba 3-0
  2. Taiwan 3-1
  3. South Korea 1-2
  4. Czech Republic 1-2
  5. Hong Kong 0-3

Group B:

  1. Japan 3-0
  2. Netherlands 2-1
  3. Italy 2-1
  4. Nicaragua 1-3
  5. Thailand 0-3

Schedule Day 4:

  • Hong Kong – Cuba
  • South Korea – Czech Republic
  • Netherlands – Thailand
  • Italy – Japan

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Mexico: YAQUIS PLACE RUGGIANO, SELLERS ON DL; CLARK ALSO AILING

By Bruce Baskin

Outfielder Justin Ruggiano  has been placed on the disabled list by the Obregon Yaquis. The 28-year-old Ruggiano, who hit .287 with 15 homers and 24 stolen bases with Durham of the Class AAA International League last summer, was batting .278 for the Yaquis before going on the DL last week for an undisclosed reason. Braves minor league first baseman Barbaro Canizares has been brought in as a replacement. Canizares hit .341 for AAA Gwinnett in 2010.

The Yaquis also put shortstop Justin Sellers on the DL due to right shoulder ailments. Sellers, who hit .285 with 14 homers in 85 games for the Dodgers’ AAA affiliate in Albuquerque this year, was just 2-for-13 for Obregon in four games before being shelved. Sellers was replaced on the Yaquis roster by pitcher Luis Mendoza, who went 10-9 for the Royals’ AAA Omaha affiliate and pitched four times for Kansas City.

Another ailing extranero, outfielder Doug Clark (pictured), has taken the past week off for what the Yaquis’ team website called “health causes.” Clark, who has played the last three years in Korea, was batting .316 in five games before sitting down October 18.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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Taiwan: Intercontinental Cup Day 3 Results

It was shutout day at the Intercontinental Cup with 3 of the 4 games resulting in shutouts. Cuba, Japan, and Taiwan all pitched shutouts while Italy punched its ticket to the medal round with a victory over Nicaragua.

Italy 5, Nicaragua 2

Box Score

Italy won in dramatic fashion on Monday afternoon as Juan Carlos Infante crushed a walk off 3-run home run with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th to lead Italy to victory over Nicaragua at Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung City. RBI doubles by Alex Sambucci and Jairo Ramos Gizzi put Italy on top early, but Nicaragua battled back to tie the game with Carlos Urbin Reyas’ RBI single in the top of the 8th inning.

The tie wouldn’t last long.  Infante came up with 2 men on and launched the 1-0 pitched over the right field fence to end the game in dramatic fashion. Tiago Da Silva pitched a strong game for Italy going 6.2 inning allowing only 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 7.  Nicaragua starter Igna Pena Centeno pitched good as well going 5 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks, but neither factored into the decision.

Japan 15, Thailand 0

Box Score

Japan routed Thailand in 5 innings pounding out 15 hits along the way. However, the big stat of the day was from the pitchers mound where Japan starter Shoki Kasahara went all 5 innings not allowing a hit.  He allowed 2 walks and struck out 5 batters along the way. Takahiro Iwamoto led the way offensively going 3-for-3 with a home run, a triple, 2 RBIs, and 2 runs scored.

Hong Kong 0, Taiwan 10

Box Score

Taiwan shut out Hong Kong in a 7 inning game as the host country won its 3rd game in 3 days. Chen-Hua Lin went the distance allowing only 2 hits along the way to pick up the victory. Chun-Hsiu Chen went 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored, 3 RBI, 2 doubles, and a triple. Chih-Sheng Lin also chipped in with 3 hits, 2 runs scored, 2 RBI, and 2 triples. In total Taiwan pounded out 17 hits along the way.

Cuba 3, South Korea 0

Box Score

Cuba handed South Korea its 2nd loss in 3 games on Monday. Norge Vera went 6 strong innings allowing only 3 hits to earn the victory while Yulieski Gonzalez pitched the final 3 frames to earn the save. Alfredo Despaigne led the way offensively going 4-for-4 with an RBI. Yulieski Gourriel also pitched in with 3 hits, a home run, 2 RBIs, and a run scored. Next up for Cuba will be Taiwan on Tuesday.

Standings:
Group A:

  1. Taiwan 3-0
  2. Cuba 2-0
  3. South Korea 1-2
  4. Czech Republic 0-2
  5. Hong Kong 0-2

Group B:

  1. Japan 2-0
  2. Netherlands 2-0
  3. Italy 2-1
  4. Thailand 0-2
  5. Nicaragua 0-3

Schedule Day 4:

  • Hong Kong – Czech Republic
  • Thailand – Nicaragua
  • Netherlands – Japan
  • Taiwan – Cuba

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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Mexico: Teen Prospect Heredia Won’t Pitch for Venados this Winter

By Bruce Baskin

According to Puro Beisbol editor Fernando Ballasteros, Pittsburgh Pirates 16-year-old pitching prospect Luis “El Mariachi” Heredia will not be suiting up for his hometown Mazatlan Venados this winter because of the poor relationship between the team and its former general manager, Jesus “Chino” Valdez.

Valdez, who was replaced as Venados GM in the offseason by ex-pitcher Andres Cruz less than a year after being named the Mexican Pacific League’s GM of the Year, is the Pirates’ scouting supervisor in Mexico and a close friend of Heredia, who signed with Pittsburgh for $3 million in August. Ballasteros quotes Rene Gayo, the Pirates’ head scout in Latin America, as saying that if Valdez had continued as Mazatlan’s GM, Heredia would already be in a Deer uniform.

Heredia has been pitching for Pittsburgh’s instructional team in Florida and will be heading to the Pirates’ Dominican Republic complex for further work. Pirates director of player development Kyle Stark told MLB.com, “Heredia, as a young 16-year-old, has fit in, which says something for someone so young.”

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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BBM TO SUPPLY INFO ON MEXICAN TEAMS TO “BASEBALL BLUEBOOK” IN 2011

Baseball Mexico will be providing information to America’s longest-running sports directory publication for their 2011 edition. The Baseball Bluebook, which was first published in 1909, will collaborate with BBM to list team information for both the Mexican and Mexican Pacific leagues in the Bluebook’s Professional edition, which will be available next March.

“This is a real honor,” says BBM editor Bruce Baskin. “I’ve known of the Baseball Bluebook since I was a kid in the 1970’s and it’s great to actually be a part of it for 2011.” Chuck Murphy, who has been president of the Class A Florida State League since 1990, told the St. Petersburg Times in September, “We called it the ‘Bible of Baseball’…Everybody had to have a Bluebook. If you didn’t have a Bluebook, you didn’t have all the information you needed to run a ballclub.”

The Baseball Bluebook is now owned and operated by Dennis Wubbena of the southwest Missouri town of Fair Grove. Its website can be found athttp://www.baseballbluebook.com/.

This is a great honor for Baseball Mexico.  Be sure to head on over and check out the latest info on baseball in Mexico.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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Korea: KBO Names ROY and MVP

The Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards were handed out in the KBO.

There was no surprise that Lotte Giants slugger Lee Dae-ho won the MVP. Lee won the triple crown in the KBO for the 2nd time in his career. He led the lead with 44 home runs, 133 RBIs, and he hit .364.  He also posted a .667 SLG and .444 OBP. It was another stellar year for Lee despite the Giants quick exit from the playoffs once again.

The ROY was handed out to Doosan catcher Yang Eui-ji. Yang appeared in 127 games for Doosan.  He drove in 68 runs, hit 20 home runs, and posted a .267 average.  Yang also posted a .348 OBP and a .471 SLG.

Photo courtesy Osen

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France: Rouen Huskies Win French Elite Title

After the Savigny Lions forced a Game 4 with a 8-7 victory over the Rouen Huskies, but it was not to be. Rouen came back in Game 4 to win the French Elite Title for the 7th time.

Rouen 7, Savigny 8 (12)

Savigny stayed alive with a win in a long Game 3 8-7 in 12 innings.  The game was suspended Saturday due to a lack of light with the score tied 7-7 after 10 innings. Savigny took the win on a solo home run by Tim Stewart in the top of the 12th.  The see-saw battle started with Savigny jumping on top 3-0 in the first inning.  Rouen responded with 3 runs of its own in the bottom of the 3rd and took the lead with 4 runs in the 5th. Savigny continued to battle back.  They climbed right back in the game with 2 runs in the 6th, and tied the game with a single run in the 7th and 8th. Vincent Ferreira led the way for Savigny with 3 RBIs.  Joris Bert (4 hits) and Anthony Piquet (3 RBIs) led the way for Rouen in the loss.

Rouen 5, Savigny 1

Rouen bounced back after the Game 3 loss to win their 7th French Elite Championship with a 5-1 victory over Savigny. Anthony Piquet picked up his 2nd win of the series for Rouen going 9 innings allowing only 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks. Boris Marche would drive in what would be the winning run in the 3rd inning on a hit by pitch with the bases loaded.  Joris Bert went 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored while Luc Piquet added 3 hits and an RBI for Rouen.

Joris Bert was named MVP going 9-for-15 in the series.  With his 2 wins and 3.37 ERA, Anthony Piquet was named the top pitcher. Aaron Hornostaj was named the top hitter to round out the awards.

SERIES RECAP:

Game 1: Rouen 16, Savigny 4
Game 2: Rouen 10, Savigny 5

Game 3: Savigny 8, Rouen 7
Game 4: Rouen 5, Savigny 1

(Rouen wins series 3-1)

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Taiwan: Intercontinental Cup Day 2 Results

Day 2 of the Intercontinental Cup was played on Sunday.  The Netherlands took control of Group B with a victory over Nicaragua.  Italy got in the win column with a win over Thailand, and so did South Korea with a crushing defeat over Hong Kong while the Czech Republic was shut out once again.

South Korea 17, Hong Kong 2

The South Korean offense banged out 15 hits en route to a big victory. Every starter had at least 1 hit while Min Byung Hun (4 runs), Hur Kyoung-Min, Kim Jae Hwan (4 RBIs), Choi Joo Hwan, Wood Dong Gyun, and Kim Min Sik all had 2 hits apiece. South Korea used Johnny All Staff as 5 pitchers pitched 1 inning apiece in the blowout.

Czech Republic 0, Taiwan 6

Once again the Czech Republic was unable to put a run on the board being shut out by Taiwan this time 6-0. Taiwan pounded out 13 hits led by Chen Yung-Chi’s who went 3-for-3 with 4 RBIs. Taiwan starter Pan Wei-Lun went 3 innings striking out 4. Reliever Liao Wen-Yang went 2 innings to pick up the victory.

Thailand 6, Italy 15

Italy jumped out early to a 7-0 lead and cruised to victory over Thailand to even their record at 1-1. Starter Sandy Patrone went 5.2 innings giving up 6 runs (only 4 earned), 8 hits, no walks, and struck out 6 to pick up the win. Jario Ramos went 4-for-5 at the plate scoring 3 runs and driving in 1. Mario Chiarini added 3 hits as well scoring 3 and driving in 1.  Thailand committed 5 errors as starter Kanjanavis Kamolphan went only 2.1 innings giving up 7 earned runs on 6 hits and 3 walks while picking up the loss.

Nicaragua 1, Netherlands 6

The Netherlands stayed undefeated while Nicaragua continues without a win after a 6-1 loss. Eugene Kingsale led the offense for the Netherlands going 2-for-3 with 2 walks from the lead off spot. Shalddimar Daantji went 3-for-3 on the night driving in 1 run. Jason Gonzalez led the way for Nicaragua going 2-for-4 and scoring the only run after hitting a triple in the 8th inning.

Schedule, Monday October 25, Day 3:

  • Italy – Nicaragua
  • Japan – Thailand
  • Hong Kong – Taiwan
  • Cuba – South Korea

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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Taiwan: Intercontinental Cup Day 1

TAIWAN – Alfredo Despaigne clubbed a pair of home runs and Freddy Alvarez pitched five scoreless innings to help Cuba open the 2010 Intercontinental Cup Saturday with an 18-0 rout over the Czech Republic at the Tou Lui Baseball Stadium in central Taiwan.

Despaigne drilled a two-run shot in the second off Czech starter Petr Minarik to give the Big Red Machine a commanding 8-0 lead. The 24-year-old outfielder, who captured his second consecutive Cuban League MVP award earlier this year, added a three-run blast in the fifth.

Alvarez (1-0) allowed three singles and four strikeouts in a short, dominating outing. The 21-year-old Villa Clara right-hander induced a staggering 10 groundouts from opposing hitters.

Cuba plated five runs on seven hits in the opening frame to set the tone for the lopsided contest. Alexeis Bell and Yulieski Gourriel highlighted the early fireworks with back-to-back RBI doubles.

Pinch-hitter Yoenis Cespedes’ two-bagger in the sixth plated three scores as skipper Higinio Velez’ squad finished off the rout against the overmatched European team.

Reliever Robelio Carrillo overcame a leadoff walk with a 6-4-3 double play and a strikeout to seal the six-inning affair that ended prematurely due to the 10-run rule.

TAIWAN 11, SOUTH KOREA 5
Lin Chih-Sheng and Chen Chun-Hsiu both went deep to lead the host nation past South Korea at the jam-packed Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung. Lin smacked a solo homer in the third en route to a 3-for-4 game, while Chen pumped of a partisan crowd of 15,300 two frames later with a three-run shot. Chen Hung-Wen (1-0) scattered three runs over six-plus innings to earn the tournament-opening win.

NETHERLANDS 10, ITALY 0
The Dutch sent 11 batters to the plate in a marathon eight-run second to beat Italy 10-0 at the Tou Lui Baseball Stadium. Eugene Kingsale and Curt Smith keyed the early uprising with a pair of two-run hits, and veteran slugger Raily Legito added a solo home run. Reliever Orlando Yntema (1-0) worked two scoreless innings to nab the win in his debut for manager Jim Stoeckel’s squad.

JAPAN 8, NICARAGUA 0
Taishi Nakagawa tallied three three hits and Shigeru Kaga tossed seven strong innings to help Japan subdue Nicaragua at the Intercontinental Baseball Stadium. Nakagawa reached base four times, scored twice and collected an RBI as the Japanese broke open a scoreless affair with a three-run fourth. Kaga (1-0) limited opposing hitters to four hits to notch the win before giving way to relievers Daiki Kiyohara and Yusuke Uemura.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24:
Hong Kong vs South Korea
Taiwan vs Czech Republic
Italy vs Thailand
Netherlands vs Nicaragua

Official tournamet website: http://ibaf2010.pixnet.net/blog

Photo courtesy of Ferrini/FIBS

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Taiwan: Brother Elephants Lead Series 3-0

TAIWAN – Orlando Roman tossed a complete game shutout and the Brother Elephants moved closer to their first Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) in seven years with a 3-0 victory Tuesday night against the Sinon Bulls in Game 3 of the Taiwan Series.
Roman (1-0) picked up his first postseason win at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium with a stellar outing against the slumping Bulls. The American right-hander, who went 12-7 with six complete games during the regular season, limited the mighty Sinon sluggers to three hits and four walks while tallying seven strikeouts.

The Elephants tagged Sinon starter Lin Ying-jeh with a run in the fifth to break a scoreless deadlock. Chang Chih-hao reached on a double with two outs before Yeh Jung-chang’s clutch base hit plated the go-ahead score. The underdogs, which limped into the playoffs after dropped their last three games of the regular season added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth to move within one win of their first title since 2003.

Lin (0-1) was saddled with the setback despite allowing a lone score over 6 1/3 frames.

Sinon won five of their final seven contests to finish the regular season, but has struggled to deliver key hits in three consecutive losses.

The Brother franchise took the series opener, 3-2, as Roman came out of the bullpen with two on and two outs in the eighth to retire Lin Yi-chuan on a flyout to protect a two-run lead at Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung. The Bulls offensive struggles continued in Game 2 as the Elephants claimed a suspenseful 3-1 win as Carlos Castillo (1-0) threw a complete game six-hitter to notch the win at the Douliou Baseball Stadium.

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

Game 1: Brother Elephants 3, Sinon Bulls 2
Game 2: Brother Elephants 3, Sinon Bulls 1
Game 3: Brother Elephants 3, Sinon Bulls 0
Game 4: at Hsinchuang, Thursday
Game 5: at Taoyuan, Friday*
Game 6: at Taichung, Saturday*
Game 7: at Kaohsiung County, Sunday*

(Brother Elephants leads series 3-0)

* If necessary

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Czech Republic: AVG Draci Brno Wins 16th Straight Title

CZECH REPUBLIC – Jan Jablonka and Pavel Budsky combined to drive in five runs, and Martin Schneider pitched six solid innings to help AVG Draci Brno capture its 16th consecutive Czech League crown with a 9-2 victory over Technika Brno in a winner-take-all Game 5 last Sunday at the AVG Arena.

Jablonka tallied three RBIs with a pair of doubles while Budsky, who reached on a walk, single and a two-bagger, joined Michal Ondracek with two RBIs.

Martin Schneider (1-0) scattered two runs and five hits with a walk and three strikeous to post the title-clinching win. Draci closer Wayne Ough fanned seven in three dominant relief frames to collect his third save of the finals.

Technika starter Daniel Mraz (0-1) was charged with the loss after surrendering seven runs and nine hits.

Draci claimed a key 7-2 win in Game 3 a day earlier to grab a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-five series. Radim Chroust drilled a pair of long balls and Ough added a late home run as the long-time champion moved within one win of maintaining one of the longest baseball dynasties in Europe.

Pat Ahearne (2-0) went the distance allowing two scores and 11 hits. The right-hander posted a 4-0 record and a 1.93 ERA during this year’s postseason.

Technika won a low-scoring 2-1 thriller in Game 4 in the first game Sunday to force a championship showdown. Trevor Caughey (2-0) put the team on his back with a sterling complete game outing with 13 strikeous, and singled home two early scores with the lumber. The American finished the postseason with a .419 batting average and five RBIs.

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

Game 1: AVG Draci Brno 2, Technika Brno 1
Game 2: Technika Brno 5, AVG Draci Brno 1
Game 3: AVG Draci Brno 7, Technika Brno 2
Game 4: Technika Brno 2, AVG Draci Brno 1
Game 5: AVG Draci Brno 9, Technika Brno 2

(AVG Draci Brno wins series 3-2)

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Switzerland: Bern Defeats Therwil, Wins Swiss Title

SWITZERLAND – John Baum and Johnny Perigos drilled back-to-back, game-changing RBI doubles and the Bern Cardinals captured their fifth Swiss championship in six years with a 7-3 road win against the Therwil Flyers last Saturday. Bern took the best-of-five title series, 3-2.

The Flyers, which snapped the Cardinals four-year reign in last year’s finals, tagged Bern starter Tobias Imboden with two first-inning runs to the delight of a partisan crowd at Kanelmatt 1 in Therwil. However, the visitors clawed their way back into the game.

A bases-loaded walk by Therwil starter Hide Oshima made it a one-run affair, and the Cardinals used “small” ball to pull even in the fourth.

Bern tasted its first share of the lead when Seth Suplin smacked his fifth long ball of the championship series – a solo homer – an inning later. Two frames later, a costly defensive gaffe followed by a pair of two-baggers staked the Cardinals to a 6-2 advantage.

Both squads traded scores before the home team put together one final rally. But, Imboden induced a groundout off the bat of American slugger JB Tucker with two runners on the sacks to clinch the league crown.

The newly-crowned Swiss champion, which opened the 2010 season without several key players, lost their first four games before regaining their swagger and reaching their sixth consecutive title series.

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

Game 1: Bern Cardinals 8, Therwil Flyers 3
Game 2: Therwil Flyers 9, Bern Cardinals 8
Game 3: Therwil Flyers 10, Bern Cardinals 9
Game 4: Bern Cardinals 7, Therwil Flyers 6
Game 5: Bern Cardinals 7, Therwil Flyers 3

(Bern Cardinals win series 3-2)

Photo courtesy of Bern Cardinals

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