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WBSC Europe Announces New Super 6 Baseball Tournament

Recently the WBSC Europe announces new Super 6 Baseball Tournament for 2018. The new tournament will feature the top 6 teams in both baseball and softball for an event in Hoofddorp, Netherlands.

The event will take place from September 18-23. The six teams that will comprise the baseball tournament will be The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, and Belgium. These six nations placed in the top 6 of the 2016 European Baseball Championship.

The event will showcase the best Europe has to offer in baseball.

It is not clear if this will be an event that is played after every European Championship. The next Euro Championship is in 2019, a year before the Tokyo Olympics.

WBSC Europe Announces New Super 6 Baseball Tournament

Stay tuned here for more developments on the Super 6.

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Puerto Rico Wins 2018 Caribbean Series

Puerto Rico won the 2018 Caribbean Series last night with a strong late inning comeback over the Dominican Republic. The win for Puerto Rico is the second in a row at the Caribbean Series.

Puerto Rico trailed 4-1 heading into the bottom of the 7th inning when they exploded for five runs. It all got started when Dominican reliever Raul Valdes got wild and walked two of the first three hitters of the inning. He was pulled for Ramon Ramirez who promptly uncoorked a wild pitch moving the two Puerto Rico runners to second and third. A Ruben Gotay single made the score 4-3 beginning the comeback.

Dayron Varona singled to follow up Gotay. Both would then come around to score on the big blast of the inning, a 3-run home run by Jonathan Morales. The home run gave Puerto Rico a 6-4 lead and they wouldn’t look back from there.

Puerto Rico went on to score three more runs in the bottom of the 8th inning. The final score wound up being 9-4 as Puerto Rico scored 8 unanswered runs in the final 2.5 innings.

Andres Santiago picked up the win in relief tossing two scoreless innings. Ramon Ramirez took the loss giving up 2 earned without getting an out.

The win is the second straight for both Puerto Rico and the team that represented them, Criollos de Caguas. It is the clubs fifth Caribbean Series title overall and Puerto Rico’s 16th putting it just behind the Dominican Republic (19) for the overall lead. However, the Dominican Republic has not won a title since 2012.

For more on the Caribbean Series, click here.

Puerto Rico Wins 2018 Caribbean Series

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Semifinals Set for 2018 Caribbean Series

The semifinals of the 2018 Caribbean Series begin this afternoon with a match between two teams that finished the pool play 2-2, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

Puerto Rico finished up pool play yesterday with a 6-3 loss to Cuba. They will now face off with a rested Venezuela club who they defeated 12-7 on Monday. That game will be at 3 PM ET this afternoon.

In the nightcap, Cuba, who finished pool play with a best 3-1 record, will face off with the only team they have not beaten yet in the Dominican Republic. Cuba took its only loss on Monday night with a 7-1 defeat to the same Dominican team. The winners of both will face off with one another on Thursday night for the championship.

Host Mexico was the only team not to make the semifinal despite getting a win on Tuesday night against the Dominican Republic. They finished the tournament with a 1-3 record.

For more on the Caribbean Series, click here.

Semifinals 2018 Caribbean Series

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2018 Caribbean Series Underway; Cuba off to 2-0 Start

The 2018 Caribbean Series kicked off on Friday in Guadalajara, Mexico after being moved from Venezuela earlier on. The series is in Day 3 today and will run through Thursday February 8th when the championship game will be held.

So far Cuba is off to a 2-0 start after downing both Venezuela and Mexico on the first two days of play. They will play their third game on Monday against the Dominican Republic who currently sits at 1-1 after defeating Puerto Rico earlier today.

The teams playing in the 2018 edition of the tournament include the defending champion from Puerto Rico, a five-time champion from the Dominican Republic, and a two-time champ from Mexico. The complete list includes:

Cuba – Alazanes de Granma

Mexico – Tomateros de Culiacan

Puerto Rico – Criollos de Caguas

Dominican Republic – Aguilas Cibaenas

Venezuela – Caribes de Anzoategui

2018 Caribbean Series

2018 Caribbean Series Schedule:

Friday February 2
Venezuela 4 vs Cuba 6
Puerto Rico 7 vs Mexico 4

Saturday February 3
Dominican Republic 4 vs Venezuela 15
Mexico 4 vs Cuba 5

Sunday February 4
Dominican Republic 6 vs Puerto Rico 3
Venezuela vs Mexico 9PM ET

Monday February 5
Puerto Rico vs Venezuela 3PM ET
Cuba vs Dominican Republic 9PM ET

Tuesday February 6
Cuba vs Puerto Rico 3PM ET
Mexico vs Dominican Republic 9PM ET

Wednesday February 7
TBD vs TBD 3PM ET
TBD vs TBD 9PM ET

Thursday February 8
TBD vs TBD 9PM ET

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National High School Invitational Teams Announced

DURHAM, N.C. – USA Baseball has released the field for the annual 16-team National High School Invitational that will take place from March 28-31. This is the seventh time the event has been held, and six teams are returning that have participated in the past, including defending champion Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, CA).

Also returning to the event is two-time champion Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, CA). They are just one of three California teams in the 16-team field. Florida leads the way with four teams entered, with Arizona the only other state with more than one. Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, and Mississippi round out the event all with a single team participating.

The 2016 North Carolina 4-A baseball state runner-ups, Green Hope High School (Cary, NC) will serve as the host this year. The event will take place at the National Training Complex in Cary, NC. The event is a single-elimination championship tournament.

2018 National High School Invitational First Round Schedule:
Hanover vs. John Curtis (9:30 a.m. – Field 3)
George Jenkins vs. Mount Carmel (10:30 a.m. – Field 4)
Orange Lutheran vs. Florence (11:30 a.m. – Coleman Field)
American Heritage vs. Santiago (12:30 p.m. – Field 3)
Hattiesburg vs. Calvary Christian (1:30 p.m. – Field 4)
Mountain Ridge vs. Trinity Prep (2:30 p.m. – Coleman Field)
Sandra Day O’Connor vs. Mater Dei (3:30 p.m. – Field 3)
Walton vs. Green Hope (6:07 p.m. – Coleman Field)

You can view the 2018 NHSI Selection Show below.

For more on the National High School Invitational, click here.

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Chinese Taipei wins 2017 World Port Tournament

Chinese Taipei wins 2017 World Port Tournament with a 3-2 extra inning win over Japan. It is Chinese Taipei’s 2nd title in Rotterdam after winning in 2011 over Cuba. That is the 7th medal for Chinese Taipei. Japan won its 2nd medal and 2nd silver.

The game got exciting in the top of the 9th when Japan tied it at 2 to force extra innings. Ryoto Maeda came through in the 9th with an RBI single for Japan just after a catcher’s interference call put runners on the corners. Japan had a chance to take the lead but Togo Tada grounded out ending the inning.

It remained tied until the bottom of the 10th inning when Chinese Taipei put runners at 1st and 2nd. Then perhaps the biggest play of the game happened. Chia Yu Lin hit a fly ball to left field which would have been the 2nd out of the inning, but leftfielder Yudai Nakanishi dropped the ball which loaded the bases. The next batter Hsin Chuan Wang singled up the middle to bring home the winning run.

Chinese Taipei used five pitchers. Cheng Ho Wang picked up the win pitching 3.1 innings of relief. Takahiro Yamamoto took the loss for Japan tossing 1.1 innings of relief giving up the winning run.

Individual Awards:

Best hitter: Takuya Okura – Japan (.423 avg)

Home Run King: Yi Hung Chen – Chinese Taipei (1)

Best Pitcher: Daisuke Yamagami – Japan (2-0/0,60 ERA/15 k’s in 15 IP)

MVP: Dwayne Kemp – Netherlands (.421 avg/6 RBI)

Most Popular: Koya Araki – Japan (led tournament with 7 runs scored)

Press Award: Shurendell Mujica – Curacao (.429 avg/5 RBI)

Final 2017 World Port Tournament Standings:

  1. Chinese Taipei
  2. Japan
  3. Curacao
  4. Netherlands
  5. Cuba

For more information on the tournament go to WorldPortTournament.nl or for more posts on the tournament from us click here.

Chinese Taipei Wins 2017 World Port Tournament

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International Tournaments Need Tweaking

International Tournaments Need TweakingThere are some international baseball tournaments that need tweaking. Before I get into the post, let me start by saying that I love the World Port Tournament. I feel it is a great event that aids in the effort to help grow the game of baseball through Europe and other places as teams come from all over the world. It is near the top of my list of tournaments to see, but I feel this edition shows that it needs some tweaking.

If you have followed along with our posts on the tournament or just the tournament itself, you saw how Curacao struggled to win in the round robin. They went 0-4 in the round robin and would go on to win only 1 game in the tournament. Yet they finished 3rd.

There is no way a team that went 0-4 in round robin and 1-5 overall in a tournament should finish 3rd ahead of two teams that won a combined 5 games just in the round robin.

When I initially saw the structure I was wondering why the no. 1 and no. 2 seeds played each other right away while the no. 5 seed didn’t play in the first round of the playoffs.

I feel that they need to go to a standard double elimination bracket where the no. 1 seed has a bye in the first round. This way you have something to play for with that no. 1 seed. Everyone as it sits has a chance to make the finals with 2 straight wins. But why should that be the case for both a winless no.5 seed and a possibly undefeated no. 1 seed?

Perhaps there is something I do not know about scheduling that makes this a necessity, but one little tweak could make this tournament so much better.

This isn’t the only international tournament structure that seems to be a little off. The Caribbean Series is another that could use a little tweaking. We saw a team that finished 1-3 in the round robin make the championship and win this past winter.

There needs to be more emphasis put on the round robin games, but that is just my 2 cents. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.

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Haarlem Baseball Week is Back in 2018

Haarlem Baseball Week 2018As the World Port Tournament was going strong in Rotterdam, another biannual Dutch baseball tournament regained life as the Haarlem Baseball Week will return in 2018.

The tournament appeared dead in the water not long ago after it announced it did not have the funding to put on another edition of the tournament that has been running every other year since 1961. However, with help from some baseball supporters and the Dutch Baseball Association (KNBSB) the tournament is back for at least one more edition.

It was announced that the tournament would begin on July 13 or 14, and it would continue through July 22.

This is great news for international baseball. Each tournament like this only helps to promote the game in an area where, while it is growing, it is needed. Anytime international teams can come together and engage in a week long tournament of this caliber, it only helps to solidify the momentum that the sport has created over the past few decades in places like Euopre.

This will be the 29th edition of the tournament which has been dominated by the United States over the years. In 2016 teams from Australia, Netherlands, Curacao, Chinese Taipei, and Japan battled it out for the title. The host Dutch won its 4th title and will return to defend its title.

The announcement was seen through a tweet from the tournaments Twitter account @honkbalweek

Follow news as it breaks on the Haarlem Baseball Week here. As teams announce their intention to play, we will bring it to you. It is also a possibility that we will take our #BaseballJourneyman tag to Haarlem and be there at the tournament. Stay tuned for more information as the time nears.

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Japan and Chinese Taipei in Championship at World Port

Japan Chinese Taipei Championship World PortJapan and Chinese Taipei face off in the championship of the World Port Tournament today. Japan is looking for its first gold medal in the event having only made the championship once before in 1985. Chinese Taipei is looking for its 2nd gold after winning in 2011.

Japan had to get here through Curacao, and they did so in grand fashion winning 15-0. Japan scored early and often en route to the win. They pounded out 15 hits while limiting Curacao to just 6.

Japan and Chinese Taipei split their two matches so far. Japan won the first match 2-1 on Tuesday. Chinese Taipei go their payback on Friday downing Japan 4-2 to earn its way into the championship game. And now they are here for a winner-take-all championship.

Netherlands Take 4th Place

In the 4th/5th place game, the host Dutch took down Cuba 3-1. The Netherlands pounded out 10 hits to pick up the victory behind 4 solid outings from the pitching staff. Diego Markwell started and went 3.1 scoreless innings. Jim Ploeger picked up the win in relief going 2.2 innings allowing just 1 run. The game was finished off by Kevin Kelly and Mike Bolsenbroek who picked up the save.

Through a weird way the tournament was set up Curacao, who finished 1-5, will gain 3rd place. More on this later in anther post.

2017 World Port Tournament Schedule for the Weekend:

Thursday July 6
Game A: Chinese Taipei 4, Netherlands 3
Game B: Cuba 2,  Japan 5

Friday July 7
Game C: Cuba 3, Curacao 5
Game D: Japan 2, Chinese Taipei 4 (Chinese Taipei to championship)

Saturday July 8
Game E: Cuba 1, Netherlands 3 (4th & 5th place)
Game F: Japan 15, Curacao 0 (Japan to championship)

Sunday July 9
Championship Japan vs  Chinese Taipei

For more information on the tournament go to WorldPortTournament.nl or for more posts on the tournament from us click here.

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Japan has Won Four Straight at World Port

Cuba WPTThe playoffs are set in the 2017 World Port Tournament, and Japan is on a tear just 1 win away from the championship match.

On Wednesday Japan downed the Netherlands 7-3 to claim a spot in the No. 1 vs No. 2 game.  The game wasn’t as close as it might seem. Japan took a 7-0 lead going into the bottom of the 9th inning. Despite the Dutch scoring 3 runs, only 1 was earned.

Daiskuke Yamagami pitched great for Japan getting the start. He went 6.0 scoreless innings allowing just 2 hits while striking out 6. He was backed by a 12 hit attack from his teammates. Nine hitters had at least 1 hit in the game for Japan.

But Japan did not stop with defeating the Dutch. Earlier today Japan downed Cuba avenging its only loss so far in the tournament. Japan lost its first game of the event to Cuba and has not lost since.

Japan now looks to be set to face off with the Dutch once again. The Netherlands is playing Chinese Taipei with the winner advancing to face Japan. The loser of that game will go onto play in the 4th/5th place game tomorrow.

In other action Cuba will face off with Curacao tomorrow. The loser of that game will play the loser of Chinese Taipei/Netherlands in the 4th/5th place game. The winner will still be alive and will have to win one more game to get into the championship.

Right now Japan is set up nicely to at least advance to the championship, but nothing is set in stone. With so much talent in the tournament it is still anyone’s game.

Final Pool Play Standings:

  1. Cuba 3-1
  2. Japan 3-1
  3. Chinese Taipei 2-2
  4. Netherlands 2-2
  5. Curacao 0-4

2017 World Port Tournament Schedule for the Weekend:

Thursday July 6
Game A: Chinese Taipei vs Netherlands
Game B: Cuba vs Japan

Friday July 7
Game C: Cuba vs Curacao
Game D: Japan vs A Winner (winner to championship)

Saturday July 8
Game E: Loser C vs Loser of D (4th & 5th place)
Game F: Loser D vs Winner C (winner to championship)

Sunday July 9
Championship Game Winner F vs Winner D

For more information on the tournament go to WorldPortTournament.nl or for more posts on the tournament from us click here.

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2017 World Port Tournament Standings

The 2017 World Port Tournament standings have Cuba at the top as the tournament enters the last day of pool play today with a pair of games. First off, Chinese Taipei will take on Curacao and Japan will square off with the Netherlands.

This is a big game for both Japan and the host Dutch. A win would put the Dutch in first place going into the playoff round after their win over Cuba who right now sits atop the standings at 3-1. Japan would secure the second seed with a win. Both teams are 2-1 at the moment.

The other match is already over with Curacao losing its 4th game of the tournament 6-3 to Chinese Taipei. Curacao still has a chance to improve its record but will be the 5th seed going into the playoffs. They will face off with the loser of the No. 1 vs No. 2 game. Chinese Taipei will face off with the loser from the late game today in the No. 3 vs No. 4 game.

Current 2017 World Port Tournament Standings:

  1. Cuba 3-1
  2. Netherlands 2-1
  3. Japan 2-1
  4. Chinese Taipei 2-2
  5. Curacao 0-4

For more articles on the tournament click here.

For Tournament Results click here.

2017 World Port Tournament Standings

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Cuba Leads After Day 2 at World Port Tournament

Day 2 is in the books at the 2017 World Port Tournament. Cuba stayed unbeaten, and Curacao remained without a win after losing to the Netherlands in 13 innings.

Game 1 of the day pitted the host Dutch against Curacao in what turned into a thriller. The game started off as a pitching duel with the game tied at 2 after 9 innings. Then starting in the 11th inning the flood gates opened and runs started pouring in. This was in coordination with the international tie-breaking rules that put the last two batters at 1st and 2nd base to start the inning.

First let’s talk about how we got to extra innings. Rob Cordemans pitched well but did not get the win. He went 8.0 innings allowing 7 hits, 2 runs, and struck out 6. Ruderly Manuel matched Cordemans for 7+ innings. He tossed 7.2 innings allowing just 2 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks. He struck out 5 and like his counterpart did not factor into the decision.

After both teams worked through a scoreless 10th, the tie-breaking rules went into place. The Netherlands started off by scoring two runs in the top of the 11th. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, Boekhoudt was walked to load the bases setting up the double play. However, Dutch first baseman Dudley Leonora did not follow the script for Curacao. Leonora singled up the middle driving in 2 runs to give the Netherlands a 4-2 lead.

Curacao would tie the game in the bottom half of the inning. Again after a sacrifice runners sat at 2nd and 3rd. However, the Dutch pitcher did not walk the next hitter to load the bases and he induced the batter to ground out without a run scoring. So with 2 outs, down by 2, and 2 runners on, Edinho Meyer came through with a huge game-tying triple.

As they went to the 12th, both teams would again score two runs. The Dutch got their two on a 2-out triple by Garia. Curacao would tie it up again with the first run coming home on a Reangelo Beaumont sacrifice fly and then the tying run scoring on a pinch-hit RBI single from Levis Carolus.

The Netherlands would take command in the 13th inning. Dwayne Kemp led off the inning with a single scoring the first run of the inning. Curacao would then load the bases after a sacrifice bunt and Nick Urbanus would drive in a run on a fielder’s choice. Then a throwing error allowed Kemp to score before the Dutch finished off the 4-run 13th inning with a RBI single from Rowen Van Hoek.

Curacao came back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning, but it wasn’t enough to extend the game once again. The Netherlands would take the victory 10-7 pushing them to an even 1-1 record.

Game 2 of the day saw Japan makings its first appearance in the tournament against Cuba. Cuba would use a 4-run 3rd inning to pull ahead to stay and go on to win 8-4 keeping them perfect.

Geonel Guitierrez got the start for Cuba and lasted just 4.2 innings. He only gave up 1 run on 6 hits but did not pitch 5 to pick up the win. Instead, Adrian Rajiv Sosa got the win in relief despite giving up 3 runs in 2.2 innings of work.

Takahiro Yamamoto got the start for Japan going 3.0 innings of shutout ball. He allowed just 3 hits while striking out 2. Reliever Kazuma Okada did not fare as well as Yamamoto. Okada pitched 2.0 innings but gave up 5 runs on 5 hits.

Japan did not help itself defensively committing 6 errors en route to allowing 4 unearned runs which would be the difference in the game.

Osvaldo Vazquez went 3-for-5 with a double for Cuba. Frank Camilo Morejon scored twice, drove in a run, and went 2-for-4 helping Cuba to the win.

Japan leadoff hitter Hiroto Kobukata went 4-for-5, scored twice, and drove in a run setting the table well for Japan. Shortstop Masaki Otani drove in a run and went 2-for-3 in the loss.

Day 2 World Port Tournament Standings:

  1. Cuba 2-0
  2. Chinese Taipei 1-0
  3. Netherlands 1-1
  4. Japan 0-1
  5. Curacao 0-2

Follow our updates on World Port Tournament here.

Day 2 World Port Tournament

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Chinese Taipei Shocks Host Netherlands with 9th Inning Comeback

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands – Chinese Taipei upset the Netherlands in Game 2 of the 2017 World Port Tournament by scoring 2 in the top of the 9th inning to win 2-1.

Both starters pitched well. Diego Markwell tossed 7.0 shutout innings and looked on pace to pick up a win. He gave up just 5 hits and walked 2. Yao Tso Kao also pitched well for Chinese Taipei. Kao went 5.0 innings allowing just 1 unearned run. He gave up just 2 hits while striking out 5. Chih Hung Cheng picked up the win finishing off the final 4.0 innings for Chinese Taipei. He gave up 2 hit and struck out 3.

Berry van Driel pitched a scoreless 8th inning, but then the wheels came off in the 9th. Loek Van Mil came on to close out the game but didn’t make it through the inning.

Chia Wei Huang led off the 9th inning for Chinese Taipei with a single. He would advance to second on a ground out and then to third base on a passed ball. With 1 out and down 1-0, Chun Kai Liao singled to center to tie the game. The next batter would single through the right side putting runners at the corners for Tzu Chieh Lin who would hit a sacrifice fly to right to give Chinese Taipei the lead 2-1. That was all they could muster, but it was all they needed as Cheng would finish off the Dutch in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the comeback win.

In Day 2 action the Dutch return to play Curacao and Japan gets its first action against Cuba.

2017 World Port Tournament Day 1 Standings:

  1. Cuba 1-0
  2. Chinese Taipei 1-0
  3. Curacao 0-2
  4. Netherlands 0-1
  5. Japan 0-0

Full Box Score

Keep up with our World Port Tournament Updates

Chinese Taipei Upsets Netherlands

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World Port Tournament Opens with Cuba Win

The 2017 World Port Tournament opened with a Cuba win on Saturday afternoon in Rotterdam defeating Curacao 3-2.

Curacao pounded out 11 hits in the game, but they could only scratch out 2 runs against the Cuba staff. But it was the defense that was the downfall. Curacao allowed only 1 earned run committing 3 errors in the game.

Cuba got on the board in the first. Curacao starter Marverich Lourens lasted just 1.1 innings. While he did not give up a hit, and only 1 earned run, he walked 5, threw a crucial wild pitch, and hit a batter. After getting an out, Lourens walked the next two hitters. He then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the runners to move up a base. Cuba clean up hitter Osvaldo Vazquez drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly. Lourens would get out of the inning despite walking another and hitting a batter.

Curacao would tie it up in the 3rd inning scoring an unearned run of its own. But the string of unearned runs would continue in the bottom of the 3rd as Cuba would regain the lead scoring its second run of the game. After Vazquez walked, he moved to third on an error by Curacao second baseman and would wind up scoring on a ground out to third. Cuba would add another unearned run in the bottom of the 5th making it 3-1, but Curacao wasn’t done.

In the top of the 9th, Curacao strung together 3 singles to score a run cutting the lead to one. But with runners at first and second, Ardley Jansen, who went 3-for-5 in the game, flew out to end the threat and the game.

World Port Tournament Top Performers:

Curacao:

Shurendell Mujica went 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI.

Rojean Cleofa went 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Temesh Lourns pitched 4.2 innings in relief allowing 2 unearned runs but took the loss.

Cuba:

Edilse Silva was the only hitter with more than one hit. He went 2-for-3 with a run scored.

Yoalkis Crus pitched 8 innings allowing just 1 unearned run to pick up the win. He gave up 8 hits and struck out 6.

Alexander Rodriguez picked up the save pitching the 9th despite giving up a run.

Full Box Score

Continue to follow here for more updates.

World Port Tournament Cuba

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USA advances to semifinals of World Baseball Classic

Team USA advances to the semifinals with a 6-3 defeat of the defending champion Dominican Republic. It was an instant classic, and the first time the USA has beaten the DR in the World Baseball Classic.

It didn’t start well for Team USA falling behind 2-0 after an inning of play. Brandon Crawford didn’t help the American effort throwing a ball away in the first allowing 1 of the runs scored to be unearned. USA starter Danny Duffy pitched well despite giving up 6 hits in 4.0 innings of work. In the 2nd inning Duffy allowed a lead off single from Gregory Polanco. Then Welington Castillo doubled putting runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Duffy, though, would work his way out of it without giving up a run. That was a huge boost for Team USA.

In the next half inning the USA would tie the game. The first run came around after Giancarlo Stanton singled to start the inning. With Stanton running, Johnathan Lucroy singled up the middle putting runners at the corners. Ian Kinsler would knock in the first run with a ground out, then two batters later Christian Yelich doubled in the gap to bring Kinsler around from first to tie the game.

But the big blow came an inning later. In what is clearly one of the hardest balls hit in recent memory, Giancarlo Stanton hit a 2-run laser of a home run to left giving the USA a 4-2 lead. And something you have to see.

But that may not have been the play of the game. Up 4-2 in the bottom of the 7th, Manny Machado led off for the Dominican Republic. He hit a blast to center field that was about to cut the lead in half, until the new Captain America Adam Jones made one of the most spectacular catches. Again, it is something you have to see.

Jones timed it perfectly and robbed a ball that was going a few rows deep. The next batter, Robinson Cano, did hit a solo home run that cut the lead to 4-3. Without Jones’ catch the game would have been tied.

The USA extended its lead in the 8th on a 2-run double by Andrew McCutchen, which is a player that the Americans really need to get going at the plate. His double really sealed the game for the USA.

Notable Performances:

Sam Dyson pitched 1.2 innings in relief shutting down the DR bats at a key time in the game.

Gregory Polanco quietly went 3-for-4 with a double.

Dellin Betances was unhittable once again. He pitched an inning in relief striking out 2.

Jumbo Diaz also struck out 2 in an inning of work.

Full Box Score

The USA will now face off with Japan in one semifinal game on Tuesday. The other semifinal match up will be the Netherlands and Puerto Rico on Monday. The winners will face each other for the 2017 World Baseball Classic Championship on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

USA advances semifinals

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WBC: USA comes up short; Puerto Rico advances to semifinals

An late rally was not enough to overcome a huge error for Team USA as Puerto Rico advances to semifinals of the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Puerto Rico is looking to do one better than its runner-up finish in the 2013 WBC, and now they have their chance.

Team USA and Marcus Stroman came out as flat as you could in the bottom of the 1st inning. At the same time, Puerto Rico came out rolling. Six straight singles to start the game led to a 4-0 lead after an inning. Angel Pagan, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Carlos Beltran, Yadier Molina, and Javier Baez all singled to start the game. Eddie Rosario drove in the 4th run of the game with a sacrifice fly that turned into a double play. Molina over slide the bag at 3rd base and Nolan Arenado held the tag completing the double play which was huge in getting the USA out of the jam.

In the top of the 2nd the USA came right back. Arenado led off the inning with a double and was driven home almost immediately on a RBI single by Eric Hosmer. After a walk, Seth Lugo would pitch his way out of the inning with a double play ground ball helping his cause.

Stroman really settled down after the first inning. He didn’t give up another hit until Puerto Rico came through with 2 infield singles in the bottom of the 5th which prompted Jim Leyland to pull Stroman after 4.2 innings of work. Mychal Givens came into relieve Stroman and got out of the inning getting Molina to fly out.

Buster Posey cut the lead to 2 with a solo blast in the top of the 5th inning. The lead was cut further in the 6th on a Captain America, sorry Adam Jones, solo shot making it 4-3.

It got a bit more exciting in the 6th inning. Andrew Miller was called on to relieve Givens with no outs and 2 runners on. And Miller finally looked like Miller getting the first 2 hitters to strike out. Then with runners at 2nd and 3rd after a double steal, Miller got Angel Pagan to ground to 3rd base. Arenado made a great stop on a bad hop, but then threw the ball away allowing 2 runs to score for Puerto Rico.

The USA rallied in the top of the 9th. Arenado led off with a walk and was followed by an Eric Hosmer single. That brought up Buster Posey, who already homered, as the tying run. Edwin Diaz would get Posey swinging on a 3-2 count, but he wasn’t out of the inning. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch with Paul Goldschmidt at the plate. Diaz then sent Goldschmidt down swinging, and Brandon Crawford represented Team USA’s last hope. Crawford came up huge with a 2-run triple just beating the throw at 3rd.

Replay showed Crawford was out at third, but with no replay it was up to Josh Harrison to try and tie it up for Team USA. But Diaz got Harrison swinging to end the inning and put Puerto Rico in the semifinals.

With the win Puerto Rico earns a trip to Los Angeles. Team USA will have to defeat defending champion Dominican Republic on Saturday for a trip to L.A.

Full Box Score

Puerto Rico advances to semifinals

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Tiebreaker Rules at World Baseball Classic make for exciting times

Excitement is still alive thanks to the tiebreaker rules at the World Baseball Classic.

In Pool F in San Diego, everyone is still alive for a semifinal birth in Los Angeles.

Current Pool F Standings:

  1. United States 1-0
  2. Puerto Rico 1-0
  3. Dominican Republic 1-1
  4. Venezuela 0-2

Even without a win so far Venezuela is still alive, although they need a lot more help than others. There are 3 games remaining in the round robin pool play.

Remaining Schedule Pool F:

Friday March 17th 10 PM EDT
USA vs Puerto Rico

Saturday Marth 18th 3:30 PM EDT
Puerto Rico vs Venezula

Saturday March 19th 10 PM EST
USA vs Dominican Republic

Sunday March 20th 6 PM EDT
*Tiebreaker Game
*if necessary

Now I know just looking at this does not give you a clear picture of what might and can happen over the next 2 days of play. But thanks to Michael Liu and Twitter (follow him @liuchiahow), he has come up with this great little chart on what could happen. Of course this does not go into the tiebreaker rules of runs allowed, blah, blah, blah. But it is a little too early to get into all of that. Just look at what happened to Mexico when you do that prematurely.

So no matter what happens over the next 2 days of play, it is going to be exciting just like the rest of this WBC. You can catch all the action on MLB Network, MLB.tv, or ESPN Deportes. These last 2 days of Pool F are going to be exciting ones that I wouldn’t want to miss if I were you.

tiebreaker rules World Baseball Classic

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WBC: Dominican Republic downs Venezuela 3-0

Dominican Republic vs. Venezuela: DR Stays Alive at the WBC

The Dominican Republic bounced back after its first loss at a World Baseball Classic since 2009 with a 3-0 win over Venezuela. The win puts the Dominican Republic back in the hunt for a semifinal birth, but then thanks to the tiebreaker system so is Venezuela. But we will get to that later.

Venezuela 0, Dominican Republic 3

The game was a pitcher’s duel for the first 4+ innings as it remained scoreless. Both starters went 4.1 innings. Starting for Venezuela was Jhoulys Chacin, who recently signed with the Padres. So getting his first start in Petco, Chacin gave up 1 run on 3 hits. The lone run came on a Gregory Polanco solo home run in the 5th giving the Dominican a 1-0 lead.

Edinson Volquez got the start for the Dominican Republic going 4.1 shutout innings. He gave up 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 6. The Dominican bullpen dominated the rest of the weay. Between Fernando Abad (W, 1-0), Hansel Robles, Dellin Betances, Jesus Colome, and Jeurys Familia (S, 1) the bullpen gave up 4 hits and struck out 8 to secure the much needed victory.

Robinson Cano made it a 2-0 game with a RBI single in the 7th. Then, Nelson Cruz helped extend the lead with his 2nd homer of the WBC, a solo shot in the 8th inning.

Notable Performers:

Ender Inciarte went 2-for-4 for Venezuela with a double from the lead off spot.

Yangervis Solarte came in for Odubel Herrera in the 7th and finished the game going 2-for-2 for Venezuela.

Full Box Score

Dominican Republic vs. Venezuela

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WBC: USA defeats Venezuela using a pair of homers in the 8th inning

In a match up full of MLB All-Stars using a 3-run 8th inning to mount a comeback in yet one more exciting game during the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Team USA defeats Venezuela

Felix Hernandez did just what everyone thought he would do. He shut down the USA bats for 5.0 innings of shutout ball. He gave up just 3 hits while striking out 3. In the bottom of the 3rd, the USA loaded the bases with just 1 out. Up to bat was Adam Jones (the new Captain America?). Hernandez fooled Jones on a 2-2 count  getting him to reach for a pitch and ground weakly to second baseman Jose Altuve who was quick to turn the double play ending the inning. The other four innings pitched by Hernandez went 1-2-3.

It took an error on Rougned Odor, playing out of position at third, for the USA to break through. A Jonathan Lucroy sacrifice fly cut the lead in half at 2-1.

A half inning earlier Odor gave Venezuela a 2-0 lead on a solo home run to right.

But the USA took over in the bottom of the 8th inning. Leading off the inning for Team USA was once again Adam Jones. This time he wasn’t fooled by a pitch and on a 2-2 pitch he tied the game up with a home run to left center. But they weren’t done.

Christian Yelich singled up the middle. Then with one out Eric Hosmer blasted one into the stands in right center field giving the USA a 4-2 lead.

Notable Performers:

Getting his first WBC start, Alex Bregman picked up a pair of hits and a walk in 4 plate appearances.

Ian Kinsler went 2-for-5 in the lead off spot for Team USA.

Drew Smyly pitched 4.2 innings getting the start for Team USA. He gave up 1 unearned run on 3 hits while striking out 8.

Pat Neshek picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief while Luke Gregerson picked up the save.

Pool F Standings from San Diego:

  1. United States 1-0
  2. Puerto Rico 1-0
  3. Dominican Republic 0-1
  4. Venezuela 0-1

USA defeats Venezuela

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Adrian Gonzalez Slams WBC over botched tiebreaker decision

The only real negative news coming out of the World Baseball Classic comes to us from Los Angeles as Adrian Gonzalez slams WBC.

I get it. He was upset over what happened in Jalisco when the tournament officials misinformed some others that Mexico had made it into the tiebreaker game. But here is the thing, the situation was made right, and by the rules the right teams played in the tiebreaker.

One of the Tweets from Gonzalez taking a shot at the WBC.

Then it was followed by another.

However, unfortunately for Gonzalez and Mexico that original calculation was incorrect. I will not go into the details of the system. Instead I will leave that up to Gabriel Fidler over at ExtraInnings who did a nice blog post explaining. You can find that here.

But the most shocking Tweets came from a reporter from the LA Times.

And another shot at the WBC…

But here is the thing. First of all, Adrian you are 34 years old. In four years you will be 38. Let’s be honest with one another. You probably won’t be asked back for the 2021 WBC. Sure you could continue to be a pivotal player for Mexico, but chances are you are going to be at the tail end of your career. You are only signed through next year in LA, and you might want to worry about keeping your spot at first base with the youngster Cody Bellinger on the upswing.

And in case you have missed it, this edition of the WBC has been the best ever. More and more people are watching it and discovering how great the game is internationally. So, perhaps we could put out petty gripes behind us one day and do what needs to be done, grow the game. Sure the WBC isn’t the World Cup. Then again the World Cup has been going on for almost 90 years. The WBC has been around for just over a decade. Give it some time and for the love of baseball, help it grow. You are a legend in Mexico, and perhaps LA, and your support will only help it grow. Sometimes we have to put aside our differences and move forward like grown men to do what is best for the sport. Too often things do not change unless something goes wrong. Your situation will help the WBC grow not only internationally, but as an event.

With all that being said, good luck to the Dodgers this year and good luck to Mexico in the next go around of the WBC. With or without you. Hopefully, it will be with you.

Adrian Gonzalez Slams WBC

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WBC: Japan and Netherlands advance to semifinals

Japan and Netherlands advance to semifinals in Los Angeles at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Netherlands 14, Cuba 1

The Netherlands jumped on Cuba early and often scoring multiple runs in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th inning en route to a 14-1 drubbing that ended after 7 innings due to the run rule.

The Dutch hit 4 home runs in the victory. Two of those came from slugger Wladimir Balentien who hit a 3-run shot in the first inning and a solo shot in the 3rd inning. Yurendell Decaster hit a 2-run shot in the 3rd inning, and the final shot came in the 7th from Kailan Sams.

Decaster drove in 4 runs and Jurickson Profar chipped in with 3 hits scoring 2 runs. Despite all the offense, perhaps the best performance came from starter, Diego Markwell. Markwell went 6.0 innings giving up just 1 run on 4 hits. It was his first start in the 2017 WBC after giving the Netherlands 3 solid starts in 2013.

Shairon Martis finished off the game with a scoreless inning. There wasn’t much to write home about for Cuba in the loss. Willian Saavedra was the only Cuba hitter with more than 1 hit. He went 2-for-3 with a double.

The win combined with Japan’s win over Cuba gave the Netherlands and Japan a birth in the semifinals in Los Angeles. Both teams will travel to Los Angeles and wait to see who they will play out of the pool currently playing in San Diego. The single elimination championship round will begin on Monday March 20th with the Netherlands facing the winner from Pool F. Japan will play the next day against the runner up from Pool F with the winners from both games playing for the title.

Full Box Score

Final Pool E Standings from Tokyo:

  1. Japan 3-0
  2. Netherlands 2-1
  3. Israel 1-2
  4. Cuba 0-3

 

Japan Netherlands advance semifinals

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WBC: Puerto Rico defeated Dominican Republic led by Yadier Molina

In the battle between two of the hottest teams in Pool F in San Diego, Puerto Rico defeated Dominican Republic 3-1 handing the Dominican its first loss dating back to the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

In a rematch of the 2013 Championship, Puerto Rico rewrote the ending led by the ageless Yadier Molina. Molina did it all in the game. He hit a solo home run in the 6th inning giving Puerto Rico a 3-1 lead that it would hold onto. He also drove in the first run of the game with a single to left, and he threw out a runner at a pivotal time late in the game.

With 2 outs in the top of the 8th inning, Nelson Cruz walked putting the tying run at the plate for the Dominican. At the plate would be Adrian Beltre. Perhaps trying to get things moving in the right direction, Beltre is hitting 0.091 during this WBC, Cruz set off for second base. The play will be one that will go down in WBC history as a fan favorite for a long long time. Cruz was out by so much that Javier Baez never even looked while making the tag and started celebrating before he made the tag. It is something you just have to see.

But that might not have been the biggest play of the game. In the top of the 1st inning, the Dominican Republic loaded the bases with nobody out. Jean Segura led off with a single. He was followed by a Manny Machado double, and then a Robinson Cano walk. It did not look good for Puerto Rico. After getting Jose Bautista to strike out, Carlos Santana lined into one of the best double plays of the WBC.

Santana flew out to right fielder Eddie Rosario who then threw a one hop strike to Molina at the plate to double up Segura trying to tag up and score. Molina and Puerto Rico erupted in celebration and the play seemed to not only excite the Puerto Rico dugout, but at the same time showed the Dominican Republic they were vulnerable.

Notable Performers:

Nelson Cruz accounted for the only Dominican run with a solo blast in the 2nd inning.

Carlos Martinez pitched well even though he took the loss. He went 4.0 innings giving up just 2 runs, 1 earned, on 3 hits.

Gregory Polanco was the only Dominican hitter with more than 1 hit. He doubled and stole a base.

Full Box Score

Puerto Rico defeated Dominican Republic

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How have our World Baseball Classic predictions been so far?

Back just before the start of the tournament, we made 2017 World Baseball Classic predictions. Today we want to take a look at how those are going and perhaps make some updates on Round 2.

Pool A

We predicted the Netherlands and South Korea would make it out of Pool A. We were half wrong. We expected South Korea to have a better showing, like most everyone else. We did say that Israel would come close to advancing, but I don’t think anyone saw them going 3-0. My feeling was they would come close to beating South Korea and be outs away from advancing. Turns out they would best South Korea and win the whole pool.

Pool B

I think this was the easiest pool to predict. We predicted this right down to the records for all teams. Japan and Cuba advanced. Australia missed out on Round 2 by a single run losing to Cuba 4-3.

Pool C

We got the top 2 right, but did not see Colombia putting up such a great fight. They nearly beat the USA in the first game, beat Canada, and then came inches away from defeating the Dominican Republic. We thought Canada would get by Colombia, but they did not. Canada was rather disappointing in the 2017 WBC and now will have to qualify for the 2021 edition.

Pool D

It almost came down to exactly how we thought it might. We predicted it would be Puerto Rico (although at 2-1 not 3-0) and Venezuela making it to Round 2. We also thought that this would be the pool that would need to play the tiebreaker game, check. This was perhaps the most exciting round, which says a lot with how exciting this tournament has been.

We are sticking to the rest of our predictions. So far we predicted 7 of the 8 in Round 2, and we are sticking to our predictions of the semifinals consisting of USA, Dominican Republic, Japan, Netherlands. That is going out on a limb saying that Puerto Rico will not advance since they have been one of the hottest teams.

It has been a fun WBC so far with so many exciting games and plays, and I have the feeling it will only get better from here on out.

World Baseball Classic predictions

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WBC: Japan defeats Cuba with help from error

Japan defeats Cuba in a thriller in Tokyo.

The game was tied at 5 in the bottom of the 8th inning when a simple play turned more difficult than expected resulting in an error by first baseman Willian Saavedra as he could not come up with a throw from shortstop Alexander Ayala.

The error allowed Nobuhiro Matsuda to reach with 1 out. The next batter, Shogo Akiyama, wasted no time in singling to left putting runners at the corners with 1 out. After a sacrifice fly to right by Seiichi Uchikawa put Japan up 6-5, Tetsuto Yamada hit the first pitch he saw into the left field stands for his second home run of the game and an 8-5 Japan lead.

Yamada had a huge game for Japan. He drove in 3 runs, scored 4 more, and finished the game 3-for-4 with a double and 2 homers.

It was a back and forth game all night long. Cuba took an early 2-1 lead in the 2nd inning on a Yurisbel Gracial home run. However, the top of the Cuba lineup went a combined 0-for-12. It wasn’t until the lineup got to the cleanup hitter Alfredo Despaigne that they started to see production. Despaigne went 3-for-4 scoring twice. But 8 of the 10 total hits from Cuba came from just 3 hitters, Despaigne(3), Gracial (2), and Yosvani Alarcon (3-for-4)

Neither started pitched well. Both gave up 4 runs in 4 innings of work. The difference was the error made by Cuba that opened the door for Japan.

The loss does not eliminate Cuba from a possible semifinal birth, but they do remain the only team in Pool E without a win. Cuba will need a win against the Netherlands in a rather quick turnaround in order to hope for a Japan win over Israel and a 3-way tie at 1-2. Then they just have to hope to win the run differential and make it into the tiebreaker game.

Full Box Score

Round 2 Pool E Standings:

  1. Japan 2-0
  2. Netherlands 1-1
  3. Israel 1-1
  4. Cuba 0-2

Japan defeats Cuba

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Polls

Who will win the 2017 World Baseball Classic?

  • Puerto Rico (31%, 27 Votes)
  • Dominican Republic (13%, 11 Votes)
  • USA (13%, 11 Votes)
  • Mexico (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Other (8%, 7 Votes)
  • Cuba (8%, 7 Votes)
  • Venezuela (6%, 5 Votes)
  • Netherlands (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Japan (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Chinese Taipei (1%, 1 Votes)
  • South Korea (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Canada (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 88

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