SEOUL, South Korea – The 2012 IBAF 18U Baseball World Championships continue this week in Seoul as 12 teams are battling it out for the title. Over the weekend there were some very exciting games. Here is a recap.
Colombia 1, USA 11 (7)
The USA showed patience at the plate and speed on the base paths as they worked 12 walks (and 3 hit-by-pitches) to go along with 10 stolen bases.
From the get go, the USA was off to the races on the bases. Lead off hitter Ryan Boldt (0-for-0/4 BB/ 5 SB) worked a lead off walk and promptly stole second base. Dominic Nunez (1-for-4/1 RBI) moved him to third with a ground ball to first base, and then Boldt scored on a double by Reese McGuire (1-for-2/3RBI). However they weren’t done. The next hitter Jeremy Martinez (1-for-2/3RBI) got hit by a pitch and before you could blink both Martinez and McGuire put on a double steal. Andrew McGuire then walked to load the bases before the Colombia pitcher unleashed a wild pitch scoring the second USA run.
That wasn’t all. Another walk and bases loaded wild pitch scored the third USA run. Using their speed and showing good eyes at the plate, the USA scored 3 runs on 1 hit in the bottom of the first. That’s how the game would continue.
The big blow for the USA came in the 3rd inning as they scored 4 runs, 3 of which came home on a Jeremy Martinez bases loaded triple.
Stephen Gonsalves looked good on the mound for the USA going the distance allowing just 1 run on 6 hits while striking out 8 to pick up the win. Arturo Pena didn’t get out of the first for Colombia taking the loss giving up 3 runs in 0.2 innings.
Czech Republic 1, Italy 12 (7)
In the battle of Europeans, Italy came out on top with a blowout win. Italy pounded out 13 hits led by Mattia Mercuri who picked up 3 hits including 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, and 4 RBI. Alberto Mineo chipped in 3 hits of his own along with 2 doubles and 3 RBI.
Gabriele Quattrini pitched well for Italy going 6 innings giving up just 1 unearned run on 2 hits to pick up the win. Viktor Smidt took the loss going only 2 innings allowing 8 runs (all unearned) on 6 hits.
Italy took advantage of a 2 out error in the 2nd inning to score 7 unearned runs and put the game away early.
Netherlands 3, Venezuela 8
The Netherlands dropped their 3rd straight game in the tournament as Venezuela improved to 2-1.
Wilson Garcia had a big day at the plate for Venezuela going 3-for-4 with a double, triple, RBI, and 2 runs scored. Seven different batters drove in a run for Venezuela.
Alexis Rivero picked up the win going 5.2 innings allowing 3 runs on 3 hits. Kaj Timmermans took the loss lasing 5.1 innings allowing 7 runs on 7 hits.
No hitter collected more than 1 hit for the Netherlands.
South Korea 7, Australia 1
Australia held close until late in the game when South Korea scored 2 runs in the 8th and 9th innings to put the game away. Australia jumped out on top in the bottom of the first inning scoring a run, but South Korea starter Hyun Sik Jang shut them down for the next 6 innings giving up the 1 run on 9 hits while striking out 7. Lewis Thorpe pitched well for Australia but took the loss giving up 3 runs (2 ER) in 5.1 innings on 9 hits while striking out 7.
Elliot Hargreaves continued his hot hitting picking up 2 hits and getting robbed of an extra base hit by South Korea right fielder who made a great catch up against the wall. Cameron Warner drove in the run in the first with a single up the middle. He finished the game 2-for-4 with a RBI and a double .
South Korea third baseman Young Jun Yoo had a big day at the plate. He finished the day going 3-for-4 with 1 RBI, 2 runs scored, and 2 stolen bases. Jun Suk Song also added 3 hits including 2 triples driving in 2 runs.
Canada 5, Chinese Taipei 6
In what was the most exciting game at Mokdong Baseball Stadium on Sunday, Chinese Taipei battled back from a 5-0 deficit to pick up a walk-off win against previously unbeaten Canada.
Canada picked up 2 runs in both the 2nd and 3rd innings to take a 4-0 lead. They added a 5th run in the 4th inning on a Mitchell Triolo solo home run to left field.
Cal Quantrill pitched a good game for Canada tossing 7.1 innings allowing just 3 runs on 7 hits. Dayton Dawe took the loss in relief.
Chinese Taipei started their comeback in the 5th inning when they scored 2 runs on a Yu Pin Sen bases loaded 2-run single to right field. They tied the game in the 8th inning when the picked up a 2-run single from Yu Ming Chen to pull withing a single run. Chia Wei Yang followed up with a RBI single tying the game at 5 to set up the dramatic finish in the 9th.
It looked like Canada might break the tie in the top of the 9th. A routine fly ball to left field was dropped and Canada started with a runner at second base. After a ground out moved the runner to third, the next hitter walked putting runners at the corners with 1 out. Then with the infield in, the runner at third made what seemed like a poor base running decision as he went on a ground ball to first and was out by 4 steps. Jen Ho Tseng then went to work getting the final out. Tseng was throwing as hard as anyone in the tournament reaching 95 mph on the radar gun.
In the bottom of the 9th, Tsung Hsien Lee walked with one out. He was sacrificed to second, and with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, first baseman Chih Chieh Su came up with the big walk off single up the middle driving in the winning run.
Panama 0, Japan 8
Ryuhei Johma pitched great for Japan shutting down Panama for 7 innings allowing only 3 hits to pick up the win.
Tomoya Mori (2-for-4/RBI), Shohei Otani (2-for-5/RBI), Hiroki Takahashi (2-for-5), and Kohei Sasagawa (3-for-3/3 runs scored) led Japan offensively as they pounded out a total of 13 hits in the win.
Hector Salazar took the loss for Panama pitching 3.2 innings allowing 3 runs (2 ER) on 5 hits. Panama managed only 3 hits in the game against the strong Japanese pitching.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.