SEOUL, South Korea – In front of a small crowd of around 100 at Jamsil Baseball Stadium, Venezuela got in the win column with a 6-3 win over Australia bouncing back from a one run loss to host South Korea on Friday at the IBAF 18U Baseball World Championships.
Venezuela got a solid start from Carlos Indriago who went 6.2 scoreless innings allowing 6 hits. He pitched in and out of trouble a few times but over powered most of the Aussie hitters. However, the Venezuela bullpen couldn’t keep Australia at bay in the bottom of the 9th as they took advantage of some wildness by Venezuelan Jhorman Cabrera to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Cabrera would give up 3 runs on 1 hit and 4 walks.
The 9th inning was electric. After two straight swinging strike outs, Cabrera walked the next two hitters. That was followed up by a throwing error from the third baseman on what should have ended the game. Instead, Australia scored two runs and had runners at 2nd and 3rd with two outs. Venezuela then decided to walk the next hitter intentionally to load the bases and set up a force at any base. Only Cabrera couldn’t find the strike zone and again walked a batter this time walking in the tying run.
The wildness must have stayed on the mound as the Australian reliever Matt Wilson didn’t fare too well in the 10th inning. He was wild immediately throwing a wild pitch allowing the runners to advance to 2nd and 3rd (extra innings start with runners at 1st and 2nd base).
The next batter grounded out to the second baseman but with the infield in the runner couldn’t score. However, the next batter hit a high chopper that would have been a routine play had the infield not been in to cut off the run. It bounded over the short stops head and into left field plating the first run of the inning. Another wild pitch and Venezuela had a 2-run lead, but they weren’t done. They scored one last run on a throwing error by the Australian second baseman.
Australian center fielder Elliott Hargreaves had a nice day. He doubled and stole third in the 7th inning but couldn’t come around to score. He finished the day 2-for-5 with a pair of stolen bases. He really showed a lot of raw talent today with some good speed and awareness of the game, but was over matched in the 9th inning by the closer’s 85+ mph fastball.
The end of the game was exciting as the small but vocal crowd supporting Australia came to life in the 9th inning. You could feel the tension and excitement in the air as they rallied to tie the game. The emotions on the players was what everyone lives to see in this game. Their pure enjoyment of the moment is the greatest part of this game and one of the many reasons why I still watch.
Italy 3, Canada 4
In other morning action, the comeback kids did it again. Canada once again scored a pair of runs in the 9th inning this time winning the game a day after scoring two in the 9th to tie the game against Japan.
Canada got a nice outing from reliever Brock Dykxhoorn who threw four shutout innings to hold off Italy and pick up the win. Davide Anselmi took the loss in 4.1 innings of relief allowing 3 runs (2 ER) on 7 hits.
Mitchell Triolo had a great game for Canada at the plate going 3-for-3 with 2 doubles and 3 runs scored. Luca Pulzetti had a good day at the plate for Italy going 3-for-5.