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Premier 12: Japan Announces it will form Dream Team

With the Premier 12 making its debut this coming November in Japan and Taiwan, a few teams are not taking this for granted and going all out to make an impact.

Former big leaguer Carlos Guillen has been named the manager for the No. 10 ranked Venezuela club. His first big test at the helm will be the inaugural Premier 12 event.

Another big announcement came down today when Samurai Japan leader Hiroki Kokubo announced he will form a dream team with Japan’s biggest names to compete. The tournament will take place from November 8-21.

The even will be the first of its kind with the top 12 ranking international teams invited to the tournament. Competing will be: No. 1 Japan, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Cuba, No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 5 Netherlands, No. 6 Dominican Republic, No. 7 Canada, No. 8 South Korea, No. 9 Puerto Rico, No. 10 Venezuela, No. 11 Italy, and No. 12 Mexico. The event will give away millions in US$ prize money and also the most world ranking points of any international event.

The semifinals and finals of the event will be hosted by Japan at the Tokyo Dome. Who will come out on top remains to be seen but it will definitely be worth watching.

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Japan Replaces USA in 2015 World Port Tournament

Team USA has pulled out of the biannual World Port Tournament for 2015. Due to a full schedule Team USA has decided it will not participate. Japan will replace them in Rotterdam for the biannual event.

The four other teams participating will be the host Netherlands, Curacao, Cuba, and Chinese Taipei. The 2015 tournament will take place in Rotterdam from June 18-26.

This will be only Japan’s third time in the tournament that has been dominated by Cuba over the years. However, the hosts have won two of the last three events including 2013.

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Teams Set for 2015 Caribbean Series in San Juan, Puerto Rico

The 2015 Caribbean Series will begin in just a few short days in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The series will be held at Hiram Bithorn Stadium which may be familiar to many of you since the Montreal Expos played part of their home games there in 2003 and 2004 before moving to Washington D.C. It has also hosted many other events including parts of the World Baseball Classic and a regular season series between the New York Mets and Florida Marlins in 2010.

The tournament will follow the format with two phases. The first phase will last from February 2-6 and consist of a single round-robin competition. The standings will then be decided after this round and the fifth placed team will be eliminated. The top four will continue on to play a semifinal and final round the following two days.

The field is set and ready to go. Here are the teams that will be participating in this years Caribbean Series.

Mexico – Tomateros de Culiacan – Culiacan has not been here for eleven years but they return after defeating the Charros de Jalisco in the championship. They are looking for their third Series championship having won in 2002 and 1996.

Dominican Republic – Gigantes del Cibao – This is their first Dominican championship having finished as runner-ups three separate times. They look to bring the title back to the Dominican after a two year absence.

Cuba – Vegueros de Pinar del Rio – The Vegueros won the Cuban National Series 53 last year. The league runs too long for the current champion to participate in the Caribbean Series, so last year’s winner competes. This was their fourth Cuban championship.

Puerto Rico – Cangrejeros de Santurce – The Cangrejeros will host the tournament in their home park after winning their thirteenth championship. They have won five Caribbean Series titles including the last for their country in 2000.

Venezuela – Caribes de Anzoategui – The Caribes swept through the LVBP winning every phase to earn a trip back to the Caribbean Series where they last competed in 2011. They are looking for their first Caribbean Series championship and the first for Venezuela since 2009.

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Groups Set for 2015 European Cups

The Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) announced the groupings for the 2015 European Cups to take place in Paris and Rotterdam this coming summer. The tournaments will take place between June 1-7, 2015 with Paris UC and Curacao Neptunus playing as hosts. The winners of each pool will face off with one another in August for the European Club Championship.

T&A San Marino is the returning club champion after defeating Rimini in last year’s championship. They will head to Paris to defend their title.


Heidenheim Heidekoepfe (Germany)
KNTU Elizavetgrad (Ukraine)
Senart Templiers (France)
Curacao Neptunus (Netherlands)
Rimini Pirates (Italy)
Draci Brno (Czech Republic).


Amsterdam Pirates (Netherlands)
Paris Universitie Club (France)
T&A San Marino (San Marino)
Moscow North Stars (Russia)
Solingen Alligators (Germany)
Fortitudo Bologna (Italy).

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USA Baseball Reveals Field for 2015 National High School Invitational

Press Release USA Baseball

The field for the fourth annual USA Baseball National High School Invitational announced

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball announced the 16 teams that will compete in the fourth annual USA Baseball National High School Invitational, held March 25 to 28, at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The premier event on the high school baseball calendar again features some of the top teams and individual talents from across the nation. Baseball America, the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary are partnering with USA Baseball in hosting and presenting the event.

“The National High School Invitation continues to bring together some of the top programs and talents from around the U.S. for a one-of-a-kind high school baseball experience,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball’s executive director/CEO. “In just three years, the NHSI has quickly become the premier event on the high school baseball calendar and we are thrilled to partner with the Town of Cary, the Greater Raleigh Sports and our media partner, Baseball America, on the 2015 edition.”

Local powerhouse, Leesville Road High School in Raleigh, N.C., will serve as the host of the tournament for the first time. The Pride finished 2014 with a 17-6 overall record and advanced to the second round of the NCHSAA 4A state playoffs.

De Soto Central High School (Southaven, Miss.), Loyalsock Township High School (Williamsport, Pa.) and Puyallup High School (Puyallup, Wash.) represent, for the first time ever, the states of Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Washington at the National High School Invitational.

A. Crawford Mosley High School (Lynn Haven, Fla.), St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Trinity Preparatory School (Winter Park, Fla.) will look to bring the trophy back to the Sunshine State after The First Academy (Orlando, Fla.) claimed the NHSI title in 2014.

The state of California will be well-represented again with four schools traveling to Cary: College Park High School (Pleasant Hill, Calif.), Huntington Beach High School (Huntington Beach, Calif.), JSerra Catholic School (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and San Clemente High School (San Clemente, Calif.).

Rounding out the field are a pair of schools from Georgia in Lambert High School (Suwanee, Ga.) and Whitewater High School (Fayetteville, Ga.), as well as representatives from Arizona: Horizon High School (Scottsdale, Ariz.); Tennessee: Farragut High School (Knoxville, Tenn.); and Texas: College Station High School (College Station, Texas).

The NHSI will be a single-elimination championship tournament, with each participating team guaranteed to play four games. An event schedule will be announced as part of an eight-week video series, beginning on January 8, detailing the first round matchups with analysis from USA Baseball’s panel of baseball experts.

For more information on the 2015 National High School Invitational, coaches education and general USA Baseball information, please visit

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Nations Revealed for Inaugural Premier 12 World Baseball Championship


LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) unveiled the line-up of the world’s best-ranked nations that have qualified for the first-ever “Premier 12” — the new flagship pro baseball world championship that will feature the National Teams from baseball’s 12 highest-ranked nations and become baseball’s highest-ranked international competition, awarding US$ multi-millions in prize money.

The Top 12 nations that have secured a place in the inaugural Premier 12 in 2015 is headlined by No. 1 Japan, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Cuba, No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 5 Netherlands, No. 6 Dominican Republic, No. 7 Canada, No. 8 South Korea, No. 9 Puerto Rico, No. 10 Venezuela, No. 11 Italy and No. 12. Mexico.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari celebrated baseball’s first-ever collection of Premier 12 nations.

“WBSC congratulates the 2015 Class of Premier 12 nations,” Fraccari said. “These nations represent baseball’s best that will unite and deliver an exciting – and unmatched competitive parity – at the inaugural Premier 12. Any one of these elite nations can come out victorious in 2015 and leave The Premier 12 as the reigning World Champions.”

The unveiling of baseball’s most powerful bloc of nations follows the end-of-the-year calculation of the Official 2014 WBSC World Baseball Rankings, as the final standings of the rankings in the year preceding The Premier 12 serve as the exclusive qualifying method into the international baseball showcase. (See Complete/Final 2014 WBSC World Baseball Rankings.)

The release of the 2014 WBSC World Baseball Rankings also marks the historic rise of the Japanese National Baseball Team, Samurai Japan, which for the first time ever is the world No. 1, surpassing 2013 leader USA.

The inaugural Premier 12 participants will represent a global spread that includes the entire western hemisphere — North-, Central- and South America, and the Caribbean — Asia, and Northern and Southern Europe.  Oceania’s No. 14 Australia, which had been ranked as high as No. 10 in 2012, was just 8.96 rankings points behind No. 12 Mexico.

The Premier 12 logo, and 2015 tournament dates, are expected to be unveiled at an upcoming press conference.

Following the 2015 Premier 12, the world championship platform that unites the world’s 12 best nations will be rolled out every four years.

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Cuba Wins 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games

VERACRUZ, Mexico – Cuba, No. 3 in the world, defeated No. 18 Nicaragua 9-3 in the championship of the Central American and Caribbean Games (CACG) to regain its title. It was Cuba’s 15th title in 18 attempts at the CACG.

New reforms in Cuba allowed several players return after playing professionally in Japan. Three national team players, Alfredo Despaigne, Frederich Cepeda and Yulieski Gourriel, returned after the end of the NPB season to play for Cuba and help lead them to the title. The players were given special permission to play in Japan if they returned to the national team after the end of the season in Japan.

Defending CACG champions the Dominican Republic finished off Puerto Rico 8-1 in the bronze medal game.

Mexico got a much needed 5th place which vaults them to 12th in the final international world rankings of the year. This allows them to play in the inaugural Premier 12 Pro Baseball World Championships in 2015. The new tournament will be hosted by Chinese Taipei next November.


1. Cuba
2. Nicaragua
3. Dominican Republic
4. Puerto Rico
5. Mexico
6. Venezuela
7. Panama
8. Guatemala

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Haarlem Baseball Week Announces Schedule for 2014

The schedule for the 2014 Haarlem Baseball Week has been announced. The tournament kicks off with the USA facing off with Japan. Day 2 has a full schedule of games with all four teams playing kicking off with the USA taking on Chinese Taipei. The last game of Day 2 features the host Netherlands taking on Japan.

The four team tournament has each team facing each other twice before the each team is reseeded and a single elimination tournament begins on Day 9. The ten day tournament ends with the championship game on July 20th.

Date: Time*: Nr.: Home team: Away team: Final result:
11-07-2014 19:00 1 USA Japan
12-07-2014 14:00 2 Chinese Taipei USA
12-07-2014 19:00 3 Japan Netherlands
13-07-2014 14:00 4 Netherlands USA
14-07-2014 19:00 5 Chinese Taipei Japan
15-07-2014 14:00 6 Japan USA
15-07-2014 19:00 7 Netherlands Chinese Taipei
16-07-2014 14:00 8 Japan Chinese Taipei
16-07-2014 19:00 9 USA Netherlands
17-07-2014 19:00 10 Chinese Taipei Netherlands
18-07-2014 14:00 11 USA Chinese Taipei
18-07-2014 19:00 12 Netherlands Japan
19-07-2014 14:00 13 No. 2 No. 3
19-07-2014 19:00 14 No. 1 No. 4
20-07-2014 14:00 15 Final
* All times are subject to change.

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Haarlem Baseball Week Announces First Participating Teams for 2014

The 27th edition of Haarlem Baseball Week will take place this summer from July 11-20. So far three international teams have been announced including the USA, Japan, and Chinese Taipei. The Dutch National Team will be the fourth team in the tournament while the fifth and sixth teams are still in progress.

Canada, Australia and Puerto Rico have been contacted to fill out the last two spots in the tournament. An announcement will be made later on when the details are finalized.

As soon as the final two teams are announced, we will bring it to you here.

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Hosts Announced for a few Upcoming Baseball World Cups

Hosting rights for some of the upcoming youth Baseball World Cups were announced recently. The WBSC’s International Baseball executives announced the hosts in Prague, Czech Republic.

The 21U Baseball World Cup will debut later this year and it will be hosted by Taichung, Chinese Taipei. Taichung was host to the 18U BWC in 2013. Twelve countries will participate in the inaugural event from November 7-16.

The executives also voted to include a limited number of 23U players for the initial tournament. Each national team will have the option to use up to three players in a game at a time.

Japan was chosen to host the next 18U Baseball World Cup to take place in 2015. Koshien Stadium, which is known was the “Mecca of Japanese Baseball”, will be the centerpiece for the tournament. Home of the Hanshin Tigers, Koshien Stadium is Japan’s oldest ballpark having been built in 1924.

The 2017 18U Baseball World Cup was granted to Canada. Canada hosted the event in 2010 in Thunder Bay, so it is not new to hosting these big international events.

Events to be held later in 2014 include the 21U Baseball World Cup in Taichung, 15U in La Paz, Mexico, and the Women’s Baseball World Cup to take place in Japan.

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European Cup Playoffs in Rouen and Zurich This Weekend

The European Cup Playoffs kick off this weekend in both Rouen, France and Zurich, Switzerland.

Two teams, Rouen Huskies (FRA) and Bern Cardinals (SUI) are looking to defend the A-Pool spots for their federations. While the other teams are looking to get into the A-Pool.

Rouen will host the Borgerhout Squirrels (BEL), the North Stars SDUSHOR (RUS), and the Huskies.

In Zurich, the Cardinals will host the Senart Templiers (FRA) and KNTU Elizavetgrad (UKR)

2013 European Cup Playoff Schedule:

Rouen, France
Friday, September 20, 2013:
5:00 pm North Stars – Borgerhout Squirrels

Saturday, September 21, 2013:
5:00 pm Borgerhout Squirrels – Rouen Huskies

Sunday, September 22, 2013:
2:00 pm Rouen Huskies – North Stars

Zurich, Switzerland
Friday, September 20, 2013:
7:00 pm Bern Cardinals – Templiers Senart

Saturday, September 21, 2013:
2:00 pm Templiers Senart – KNTU Elizavetgrad (Zurich)

Sunday, September 22, 2013:
2:00 pm KNTU Elizavetgrad – Bern Cardinals (Zurich)

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2013 Sri Lanka Baseball Classic Set for this Weekend

The 2013 Sri Lanka Baseball Classic will be played this weekend. Six teams will compete for the title this year at the new Japan Sri Lanka Friendship Baseball Ground.

The top 100 players in Sri Lanka will be on hand to battle it out. The Sri Lanka Amateur Baseball Softball Association is putting on the tournament and has invited Major League Baseball to send representatives to see the top talent in the country.

The six teams competing are the Green Wolves, Black Hawks, Golden Lions, Red Scorpions, Blue Sharks, and White Stalions. Each team is led by an experience coach. Attractive cash prizes will be awarded for the top two teams, along with top player awards.

The opening ceremony will be September 19 at 8:30 am and will be attended by all six teams. The first pitch will be delivered by Sri Lankan cricketer Mahela Jayewardena.

For more information on baseball in Sri Lanka, visit the Sri Lanka Amateur Baseball Softball Association Website.

2013 Sri Lanka Baseball Classic Schedule:

Group A
Thursday September 19
9:00 am Golden Lions vs Red Scorpions
3:00 pm Green Wolves vs Golden Lions

Friday September 20
12:00 pm Green Wolves vs Red Scorpions

Group B
Thursday September 19
12:00 pm Black Hawks vs White Stalions

Friday September 20
9:00 am Blue Sharks vs Black Hawks
3:00 pm Blue Sharks vs White Stalions

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Cuba Picks Up Walk Off Win Over Host Chinese Taipei at 2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup

TAICHUNG, Chinese Taipei – The semifinal round robin play has begun at the 2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup. The top three teams in each group from round 1 advanced and now are playing a second round robin. However, they carry with them the record they had against their own group.

Several of the teams headed into the round needing to win the first game to even have a chance. South Korea and Venezuela headed into round 2 with a 0-2 record. Three losses and you are going to be out. Cuba and Chinese Taipei faced each other in what was a big game for both as each had a 1-1 record.

 Venezuela 5, USA 15 (7)

The USA bats came alive in a big win for the Red, White, and Blue. Team USA pounded out 18 hits and took advantage of five Venezuela errors.

Scott Hurst led the way with four hits on the day. Jeffery Schwartz doubled and drove in four runs while going 3-for-5. Michael Rivera went 3-for-3 with a double.

The win keeps Team USA in the running for the championship for a second straight year. But there are still two games remaining.

South Korea 0, Japan 10 (7)

In a huge game between bitter rivals, Japan remained undefeated with a 10-0 shellacking of Korea.

Yuki Matsui picked up the win for Japan pitching six shutout innings. He gave up just four hits and struck out six to keep Japan in the running for the championship.

Ryo Watanabe raised his average to .455 by going 4-for-4. He drove in two runs, scored three, and doubled to lead the offense for Japan. Yasuhito Uchida chipped in with three hits of his own.

Chinese Taipei 0, Cuba 1

Cuba took advantage of a ninth inning error to eek out a 1-0 walk off win over host Chinese Taipei. Yusnier Diaz, who had gone hitless in eleven at bats in the tournament, came through with a RBI single giving Cuba a much needed win.

Both starters pitched great. Lin Cheng-hsien went seven innings for Chinese Taipei giving up just four hits while striking out six. Ariel Diaz matched him. He tossed 7.2 innings allowing seven hits while striking out seven.

The win keeps Cuba in the running for the championship and makes it much more difficult for Chinese Taipei who now sits with a 1-2 record. They must win out and hope to get some help.

2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup Round 2 Standings:

1. Japan 3-0
2. USA 3-0
3. Cuba 2-1
4, Chinese Taipei 1-2
5. South Korea 0-3
6. Venezuela 0-3

Round 2 Schedule:

Thursday September 5
Venezuela 5, USA 15 (7)
South Korea 0, Japan 10 (7)
Chinese Taipei 0, Cuba 1

Friday September 6
South Korea vs Venezuela
Cuba vs Japan
Chinese Taipei vs USA

Saturday September 7
Venezuela vs Cuba
South Korea vs Chinese Taipei
USA vs Japan

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Round 2 Teams are Set at 2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup

TAICHUNG, Chinese Taipei – The first round of the 2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup is over. After being delayed by rain for two straight days, the teams played five games in four days in a round robin format. The top three teams in each group have advanced into the second round where they will carry with them their record against the teams in their own group and will now play a game against each team from the other group. At the end of the round, the two teams with the best record will play for the title.

There were no upsets on Wednesday, but there was a good close game between Cuba and Australia. Cuba took an early 3-0 lead but Australia staged a comeback in the seventh inning scoring twice. However, that was as close as they would come falling 3-2.

Advancing to the next round are Japan, Chinese Taipei, and Venezuela from Group A. Cuba, South Korea, and the USA advanced from Group B. Four of the six teams were in the second round last year. Venezuela and Cuba replaced Canada and Colombia in this years round 2.

2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup Scores & Standings:

Wednesday September 4
Czech Republic 2, Venezuela 6
Canada 5, Japan 7
South Korea 17, Italy 4 (8)
Cuba 3, Australia 2
USA 12, Colombia 6
Mexico 5, Chinese Taipei 17 (7)

2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup Round 1 Standings:

Group A
1. Japan 5-0
2. Chinese Taipei 4-1
3. Venezuela 3-2
4. Canada 2-3
5. Mexico 1-4
6. Czech Republic 0-5

Group B
1. USA 4-1
2. Cuba 4-1
3. South Korea 3-2
4. Australia 2-3
5. Colombia 1-4
6. Italy 1-4

2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup Round 2 Standings:

1. Japan 2-0
2. USA 2-0
3. Chinese Taipei 1-1
4. Cuba 1-1
5. South Korea 0-2
6. Venezuela 0-2

Round 2 Schedule:

Thursday September 5
Venezuela vs USA
South Korea vs Japan
Chinese Taipei vs Cuba

Friday September 6
South Korea vs Venezuela
Cuba vs Japan
Chinese Taipei vs USA

Saturday September 7
Venezuela vs Cuba
South Korea vs Chinese Taipei
USA vs Japan

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2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup: USA Ends Day with Walk-Off Against Cuba; Second Round Spots Up for Grabs

TAICHUNG, Chinese Taipei – Day 3 of the 2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup had a lot of excitement in store setting up different scenarios of who will advance to Round 2 after the action on Wednesday.

Group A Action:

Japan continues to be the top team in Group A. On Tuesday Japan rolled through the Czech Republic as they pounded out 21 hits en route to a 15-0 route. Japan’s pitching was just as dominating too. Three pitchers combined to allow just a single hit, no walks, and struck out 11 in six innings.

Chinese Taipei stayed a game behind Japan in the race for the second round. They dispatched Venezuela in seven innings 10-0. The loss for Venezuela put them in a tie for the final playoff spot at 2-2 with Canada.

Canada rebounded after a disappointing two loss day on Monday to defeat Mexico 11-4. It was a must win game for Canada if they look to get back to the championship game for the second year in a row. They have an uphill climb though. On the final day they will face Japan while Venezuela will face off with the winless Czech Republic.

With the loss to Canada on Tuesday, Mexico is virtually eliminated from the next round. They will finish the round against Chinese Taipei on Wednesday.

Group B Action:

Group B saw the most action on Tuesday. It all started off with a close game between South Korea and USA. In a big game for both, the USA was able to pull out the win behind a strong pitching performance from Brady Aiken. Aiken tossed 5.2 innings allowing just one run to pick up the win.

The USA kept the mojo going in the last game of the day against Cuba. It was a back and forth game between the two rivals. Cuba took a quick 3-0 lead in the second inning and held on to that lead until the seventh inning when the USA broke through for three runs to make it 5-3. Cuba wouldn’t go away though tying the game in the top of the ninth inning. Then the magic happened.

Bryson Brigman (3-for-4), who has already won two world championships – 16U in 2010 and 18U in 2012, led off the bottom of the ninth with a single. Cole Tucker then came through with a two-strike sacrifice to move Brigman to second. After an intentional walk to set up the double play, Michael Rivera (2-for-5/3 RBI) came through with the biggest hit of the day. Rivera singled through the right side to bring home Brigman with the walk-off win for Team USA.

The win was huge for Team USA. It gives them the lead in Group B and with a win on Wednesday they will head into the second round as the #1 seed. The top three teams in both groups will advance to another round robin. The top two teams after that round robin will then play for the championship.

While the USA was busy picking up two big wins in the day, Australia was busy doing just the opposite. After a huge 1-0 win over USA in the opening game, Australia has dropped to 2-2 after losing twice on Tuesday. Italy upset Australia early in the day 7-4. Then later in the day, Australia fell to South Korea 4-0 dropping them to 2-2 in the tournament.

Australia is now in a fight to advance to the next round with South Korea. Australia will play Cuba in the final game while South Korea will take on one win Italy.

Both Italy and Colombia picked up their first wins of the tournament on Day 3, but at 1-3 both are on the outside looking in for the next round.

The first round finishes up on Wednesday with each team having one game left. Spots for the second round are still up for grabs.

2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup Scores & Standings:

Sunday September 1
Australia 9, Colombia 4
Japan 4, Chinese Taipei 1
Canada 16, Czech Republic 3
Italy 0, USA 8
Mexico 5, Venezuela 6
Cuba 2, South Korea 1

Monday September 2
Japan 11, Mexico 0 (7)
Venezuela 7, Canada 5
Chinese Taipei 16, Czech Republic (5)
Colombia 0, South Korea 4
Italy 0, Cuba 15 (6)
USA 0, Australia 1
Venezuela 0, Japan 7
Czech Republic 2, Mexico 12 (7)
Chinese Taipei 4, Canada 2

Tuesday September 3
South Korea 1, USA 2
Australia 4, Italy 7
Colombia 0, Cuba 10 (7)
Mexico 4, Canada 11
Czech Republic 0, Japan 15 (6)
Venezuela 0, Chinese Taipei 10 (7)
Australia 0, South Korea 4
Italy 4, Colombia 6
Cuba 5, USA 6

Wednesday September 4
Czech Republic vs Venezuela
Canada vs Japan
South Korea vs Italy
Cuba vs Australia
USA vs Colombia
Mexico vs Chinese Taipei

2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup Standings:

Group A
1. Japan 4-0
2. Chinese Taipei 3-1
3. Canada 2-2
4. Venezuela 2-2
5. Mexico 1-3
6. Czech Republic 0-4

Group B
1. USA 3-1
2. Cuba 3-1
3. South Korea 2-2
4. Australia 2-2
5. Colombia 1-3
6. Italy 1-3

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2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup Scores and Standings

After two straight days of rain delays, the IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup finally kicked off on Sunday September 1 with a slate of six games. The tournament’s first round has been shortened to just four days putting a little bit more strain on everyone’s pitching staffs.

Through the first two days of action, we have seen some exciting games and upsets.

Day 1 Action:

Australia started off the tournament strong with a win over Colombia. Australia got the game started off strong with a four run first inning and didn’t look back. Colombia is coming off a 4th place finish in the 2012 edition of the tournament.

In the 2012 tournament, Japan defeated Chinese Taipei twice. This year was more of the same as Japan once again defeated the host team. Japan has started off hot and leads Group A so far in the first round.

Venezuela used a comeback to down Mexico 6-5 in both teams opening match. But perhaps the game of the day was the final game between Cuba, who didn’t play in the 2012 tournament, and South Korea who finished 5th in last year’s tournament.

Cuba only collected three hits but held South Korea to just one run to win 2-1. Both runs scored by Cuba were unearned. Korea starter Lim Ji-Seob pitched great striking out 16 in seven innings but took the loss.

Day 2 Action:

The second day of the tournament was full of game action with nine games played as a few teams had to play a double header.

Japan stayed undefeated with a pair of wins over Mexico and Venezuela.  Last year’s runner-up Canada, has really struggled so far. After a big win on Day 1, Canada dropped a pair of games on Day 2.

But the biggest upset of the day was Australia defeating the defending champion USA 1-0.  Lewis Thorpe pitched great shutting down the US for 5.2 innings. He was followed up with great performances from Lachlan Madden (2.1 IP) and Shaun Wright (1.0 IP/S, 1).

2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup Scores & Standings:

Sunday September 1
Australia 9, Colombia 4
Japan 4, Chinese Taipei 1
Canada 16, Czech Republic 3
Italy 0, USA 8
Mexico 5, Venezuela 6
Cuba 2, South Korea 1

Monday September 2
Japan 11, Mexico 0 (7)
Venezuela 7, Canada 5
Chinese Taipei 16, Czech Republic (5)
Colombia 0, South Korea 4
Italy 0, Cuba 15 (6)
USA 0, Australia 1
Venezuela 0, Japan 7
Czech Republic 2, Mexico 12 (7)
Chinese Taipei 4, Canada 2

Tuesday September 3
South Korea vs USA
Australia vs Italy
Colombia vs Cuba
Mexico vs Canada
Czech Republic vs Japan
Venezuela vs Chinese Taipei
Australia vs South Korea
Italy vs Colombia
Cuba vs USA

Wednesday September 4
Czech Republic vs Venezuela
Canada vs Japan
South Korea vs Italy
Cuba vs Australia
USA vs Colombia
Mexico vs Chinese Taipei

2013 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup Standings:

Group A
1. Japan 3-0
2. Chinese Taipei 2-1
3. Venezuela 2-1
4. Canada 1-2
5. Mexico 1-2
6. Czech Republic 0-3

Group B
1. Australia 2-0
2. Cuba 2-0
3. South Korea 1-1
4. USA 1-1
5. Colombia 0-2
6. Italy 0-2

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LLWS: Rematch Between Mexico and Japan for International Championship

WILLIAMSPORT, Pennsylvania – The International Championship Game is set and we will have a rematch of one of the better games in the tournament so far.

Mexico defeated Panama (Latin America) 4-2 in seven innings on Thursday to set up a rematch against Japan in the International Championship Game.

Jorge Romero had a huge game for Mexico. He pitched three innings in relief to earn the win giving up just four hits. He also had the biggest hit of the game. In the top of the seventh with one out, Romero hit a two-run home run to give Mexico a 4-2 lead.

Mexico’s bats were quiet until the fifth inning. Down 1-0, Brandon Montes (2-for-3) homered to tie the game at one. As the inning continued, Alexander Artalejo singled in the go ahead run.

Panama wouldn’t stay down for long. In the bottom of the fifth inning they tied the game. Jean Mar Sanchez (2-for-2) led off the inning with a single. He was quickly sacrificed to second base. Juan Crisp (2-for-2) singled putting runners at the corners with one out when Jordan Agrazal came through. On a 2-1 count, Agrazal hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Sanchez with the tying run.

And that is where the score would stay until the big Romero home run.

Panama fell short once again. In 2012, it made it to the International Championship Game after knocking out Mexico. However, this year Mexico got its revenge and will face off with Japan once again.

Japan defeated Mexico in their first match up 5-2 after getting three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to break a 2-2 tie. The two will play for a chance at the Little League World Series Championship Game on Saturday.

On the United States side, the Northwest and New England will play on Friday for a chance at the US Championship Game.  New England won the first match between these two teams 9-7 after holding off a late rally from the Northwest. New England led the game 9-1 but Northwest would come back late to make it a close game.

The winner will play the West in the US Championship Game on Saturday afternoon.

2013 Little League World Series Schedule:

Friday August 23
3:00 pm Northwest vs New England

Saturday August 24
10:30 am Challenger Game
12:30 pm International Championship – Japan vs Mexico
3:00 pm United States Championship – West vs Northwest/New England

Sunday August 25
11:00 am Third Place Game
3:00 pm World Series Championship

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USA Announces 2013 18U National Team

Players will compete in the IBAF ‘AAA’/18U World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan

By USA Baseball

FULLERTON, Calif. – USA Baseball announced the 20 players named to the 2013 18U National Team immediately following play at the 2013 USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials in Fullerton, Calif. Players competed over five days for the final spots.

For the second consecutive year, the 18U National Team hosted trials at California State University, Fullerton near Los Angeles. Trials also included games at Long Beach State’s Blair Field, Dodger Stadium and the University of San Diego’s Fowler Park. The 2012 18U National Team that won the IBAF 18U World Championships conducted their final trials at Cal State Fullerton, as well.

These 20 players will compete in the 2013 IBAF Junior ‘AAA’/18U World Cup in Taichung, which begins on Aug. 30 with medal round competition on Sept. 8.

The 18U National Team will be managed by newly named Penn State head coach, Rob Cooper. Cooper served as an assistant coach on two USA Baseball Collegiate National Teams. He will be joined in the dugout by pitching coach Mike Maack, and assistants Eric Munson and Kevin Wilson.

The team administration will be overseen by 18U National Team director, Brant Ust, with the assistance of 18U National Team coordinator, Mark Dvoroznak. Steve Domzalski, from Wayne State University, will serve as the athletic trainer, and USA Baseball’s Cody Wilcoxson will travel as the team’s press officer.

For more information on the 18U National Team, please visit

The 20-man 2013 USA Baseball 18U National Team roster is as follows:

Name, Position, Hometown
Brady Aiken, LHP, Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.
Bryson Brigman, IF/OF, San Jose, Calif.
Joe DeMers, RHP, Martinez, Calif.
Alex Destino, LHP/OF, Weaverville, N.C.
Jack Flaherty, IF/RHP, Burbank, Calif.
Marvin Gorgas, RHP/IF, East Hampton, Conn.
Adam Haseley, OF/LHP, Windermere, Fla.
Scott Hurst, OF, Glendora, Calif.
Kel Johnson, OF, Palmetto, Ga.
Trace Loehr, IF, Milwaukie, Ore.
Mac Marshall, LHP, Parkview, Ga.
Keaton McKinney, RHP/IF, Ankeny, Iowa
Jacob Nix, RHP, Los Alamitos, Calif.
Luis Ortiz, RHP, Sanger, Calif.
Jakson Reetz, C/OF/RHP, Hickman, Neb.
Michael Rivera, C, Venice, Fla.
JJ Schwarz, C, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Justus Sheffield, LHP, Tullahoma, Tenn.
Lane Thomas, OF, Knoxville, Tenn.
Cole Tucker, IF, Phoenix, Ariz.

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Panama wins 2013 Senior League World Series

BANGOR, Maine – Despite having both their manager and starting catcher suspended for the 2013 Senior League World Series Championship Game, the team from Panama representing Latin America would come out on top.

Luis Alonso and manager Azael Dominguez were ejected from the semifinal game against the U.S. Southeast because Alonso was using an illegal bat. The ejections came with a one game suspension meaning both would miss out on the championship game.

But the U.S. East was without their starting catcher as well. Earlier in the tournament, Eric Duerr was hurt on a play at the plate requiring him to be removed on a stretcher. Duerr was at the championship game but was wearing a neck brace as he cheered on his teammates.

So with each team minus their starting catcher, and one of their top bats, it would come down to a pitching duel and a miscue to decide the World Series champion.

Javier Garcia started and pitched brilliantly for Panama. All day he gave the East hitters fits with his curve ball. He pitched a complete game, gave up one unearned run, gave up just four hits, and struck out nine. Not only did he have the slow big breaking ball working, he was also bringing some heat. All day he was around the 87-88 mph range, but in the final inning sensing the championship he was touching 91.

Garcia’s counterpart on the mound for the East, Alex Pechin, pitched great as well. Pechin went the distance as well giving up two runs on seven hits. He did it more with location and movement than overpowering speed. But all afternoon he had Panama hitters off balance.

The East got the scoring started in the bottom of the fourth inning. After a one out double by Joseph Zirolli (1-for-3), the next hitter grounded into a fielder’s choice that had Zirolli dead to rights at third base. However, the Panama third baseman dropped the ball on the slide and the runners were safe at first and third.

After a walk loaded the bases, Eric Takoushian (2-for-3) grounded out to first base to drive in the first run of the game. Garcia would get out of the inning allowing only the one run.

Pechin held Panama scoreless until the top of the sixth inning. Abel Gallardo (2-for-3) singled to start the inning. The next hitter walked and a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third with just one out. Edgardo Sandoval (2-for-3) then hit an infield single to tie the game at one.

Pechin then really buckled down. With two runners on and one out, Panama’s best hitter strolled to the plate in pitcher Garcia. He was coming off a 4-for-5 game in the semifinals and could have put Panama in front with a huge hit. However, Pechin was up to the task and got him to pop out to second base.

It looked like Pechin would pitch out of the inning. Then the miscue came that caused the East the ballgame. On a fastball a little high and outside, the East catcher allowed the ball bounce out of his glove. The ball bounced away just far enough to allow the runner from third to score the go ahead run.

Panama scored the tying and winning run in the semifinals on a wild pitch and a throwing error that came all on the same play. Now in the championship game they took advantage of a passed ball to score what became the winning run.

The East made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh putting the first two runners on and then sacrificing them over. But Garcia dug deep hitting 91 on the radar gun on his 91st pitch. He would end the threat and the game giving Panama its first title since 2000.

It was not the first time that this Panama team had sent players to the US for a Little League championship. A few years earlier seven of the players on the team competed in Williamsport in the 2010 Little League World Series. That team would finish 1-2 losing to the eventual champions Japan in pool play.

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2013 Little League World Series Underway

WILLIAMSPORT, Pennsylvania – Each team in the 2013 Little League World Series has played a game as the tournament heats up this weekend. Over the first two days, there were some close games, some blowouts, and a no-hitter.

Grant Holman of the U.S. West (Chula Vista, CA.) tossed the first no-hitter of the 2013 Little League World Series against the Great Lakes (Grosse Pointe, MI.). Holman threw seven innings striking out 13 without allowing a hit. He walked one.

The game between the West and Great Lakes was an exciting one even without the no-hitter. Neither team could score in the regulation six innings. But then the West broke it open with three runs in the top of the seventh inning. Patrick Archer came up with the big two-run single to put the West on top.

He didn’t throw a no-hitter, but Great Lakes starter Chad Lorkowski pitched great too. He pitched six innings allowing just one hit and striking out 12.

Another exciting game was between the U.S. Southeast (Nashville, TN.) and New England (Westport, CT.). With the game tied 1-1, the Southeast picked up a run to take the lead in the top of the fifth. However, New England came right back with two runs of its own in the bottom of the fifth and held on for a 3-2 win.

In some other action:

Mexico blew out Australia 12-0. It was the first game Australia has ever played in the LLWS. Also sending a team to Williamsport for the first time is the Czech Republic. They got their tournament started with a 7-3 loss to Japan.

The double elimination tournament continues through next Thursday before the pool championship games are played on Saturday August 24.

You can catch each game on ESPN, ESPN2, or ABC all week long.

2013 Little League World Series Standings:

United States Pool:

1. Mid-Atlantic 1-0
1. New England 1-0
1. Northwest 1-0
1. West 1-0
5. Great Lakes 0-1
5. Midwest 0-1
5. Southeast 0-1
5. Southwest 0-1

International Pool:

1. Asia-Pacific 1-0
1. Latin America 1-0
1. Japan 1-0
1. Mexico 1-0
5. Australia 0-1
5. Canada 0-1
5. Caribbean 0-1
5. Europe & Africa 0-1

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Asia-Pacific Faces U.S. West in 2013 Junior League World Series Championship Game

TAYLOR, Michigan – The Championship Game for the 2013 Junior League World Series is set.

In the International Championship Game, Asia-Pacific continued its dominance downing Latin America 11-0. Asia-Pacific has yet to lose a game. They have outscored their opponents 64-9.

The United States Championship Game was a bit closer. The U.S. West got its revenge over its lone loss to the U.S. Southeast with a 7-3 win in the US Championship Game on Friday. The West has won several close games including twice winning 2-1. They will look to slow down the big bats from Asia-Pacific.

United States Pool Standings:

1. Southeast – Tennessee 3-1
1. West – Arizona 3-1
3. Central – Indiana 1-1
3. Southwest – Louisiana 2-2
5. East – New York 0-4

International Pool Standings:

1. Asia-Pacific – Chinese Taipei 4-0
2. Latin America – Curacao 3-1
3. Puerto Rico 2-2
4. Europe & Africa – Czech Republic 1-3
5. Canada 0-4

2013 Junior League World Series Schedule:

Friday August 16
4:00 pm International Championship – Asia-Pacific 11, Latin America 0
7:00 pm United States Championship – U.S. Southeast 3, U.S. West 7

Saturday August 17
2:00 pm World Championship Game – Asia-Pacific vs U.S. West
Live on

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Latin America Faces U.S. East in the 2013 Senior League World Series Final

BANGOR, Maine – The Championship Game is set for the 2013 Senior League World Series as the U.S. East from Pennsylvania will face off with the team from Latin America, Panama.

The U.S. East handed the U.S. West its first loss of the tournament in the semifinal round, while Latin America needed extra inning to finally take down the U.S. Southeast 5-4.

U.S. East 9, U.S. West 4

The East team scored in only two innings, but they made the most of them scoring four runs in the top of the first inning and then coming back in the seventh with five more runs to put the game out of reach.

The first three hitters of the game singled for the East loading the bases. A walk drove in the first run of the game. After a double play, the East collected another three straight singles and would finish the inning up 4-0.

All four runs came off the West pitcher Trestan Nakamura who lasted just 0.2 innings. Reliever Brandon Henderson came in to pitch some solid relief. He shut down the East for the next five innings and then got bitten by the error bug behind him in the seventh inning.

The West battled back to pull with in a run. Then in the top of the seventh the East loaded the bases with two outs. And one little error opened the flood gates for the East to score five runs and put the game out of reach.

The big hit of the inning came from Christopher Tucker (1-for-4) who cleared the bases with a three-run triple. It was a team effort on offense for the East as every single hitter up at least one hit. Tucker Reese and Jake Freeman both collected two hits going 2-for-4.

U.S. Southeast 5, Latin America 5 (12)

It was the longest game in terms of time to be played in Bangor at the World Series. Lasting  4 hours, 6 minutes to eclipse the previous record of 3 hours, 28 minutes in 2007. It came in at the second longest innings wise at 11.2 innings just a third of an inning off the record.

The Southeast scored a run in the top of the seventh to tie the game at two apiece and to push the game into extra innings. They picked up another run in the ninth inning only to see Latin America tie it again and keep the game going.

Then once again the Southeast would get a run in the top of the twelfth inning. This time Latin America would not only tie it, but end it with a walk off wild pitch.

Latin America had runners at second and third with two outs. Jesse Ibarra had already walked a hitter and uncorked a wild pitch in the inning. Then he unleashed a second wild pitch. That allowed the runner to score from third to tie the game, but when the throw back to Ibarra from the catcher got away, the runner on second came all the way around to score the winning run.

It was a heartbreaking way to lose in the semifinals of the Senior League World Series.

Both starters pitched well. Tyler Avret tossed six innings giving up just two runs on six hits for the Southeast. Edgardo Sandoval pitched 5.1 innings for Latin America allowing just one run on four hits. He struck out seven.

Elliot Melton (3-for-6) and Isaiah Davila (3-for-7) both had nice days at the plate for Southeast.

For Latin America, Javier Garcia had a nice day. He went 4-for-5 scoring a run and driving in another. Starting pitcher Sandoval added two hits at the plate as well.

2013 Senior League World Series Schedule:

Championship Game – Saturday August 17
2:00 pm Latin America vs U.S. East
Live on ESPNU

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2013 Junior League World Series Semifinals Set

TAYLOR, Michigan – The semifinals are set for the 2013 Junior League World Series after pool play ended on Thursday. Only one team made it through pool play undefeated, Asia-Pacific.

In the United States Pool, the Southeast and West advance after both finished 3-1 in pool play. The West enters the semifinals coming off a 7-5 win over the Southwest. While the Southeast will be fully rested after having Thursday off.

In the International Pool, Asia-Pacific (Chinese Taipei) finished undefeated after dominating Canada on Thursday. The other team to advance to the semifinals is Latin America who finished at 3-1.

In their first match, the Southeast defeated the West 3-1 on Day 1 of the tournament. Tennessee used Johnny All Staff pitching against the West in game one. It used five pitchers with none of them going more than 1.2 innings. The will face off again tonight at 7 pm.

In the International Pool, Asia-Pacific dominated Latin America in their earlier match up. Asia-Pacific won 13-2 just two days ago handing Latin America its only loss.

United States Pool Standings:

1. Southeast – Tennessee 3-1
1. West – Arizona 3-1
3. Central – Indiana 1-1
3. Southwest – Louisiana 2-2
5. East – New York 0-4

International Pool Standings:

1. Asia-Pacific – Chinese Taipei 4-0
2. Latin America – Curacao 3-1
3. Puerto Rico 2-2
4. Europe & Africa – Czech Republic 1-3
5. Canada 0-4

2013 Junior League World Series Schedule:

Friday August 16
4:00 pm International Championship – Asia-Pacific vs Latin America
7:00 pm United States Championship – U.S. Southeast vs U.S. West

Saturday August 17
2:00 pm World Championship Game – Live on

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2013 Senior League World Series Semifinals Set

BANGOR, Maine – The 2013 Senior League World Series is down the final four teams after some exciting must win games on Thursday.

In Pool A, the Host Maine team had to win to advance. However, they were facing the only undefeated team in the pool, U.S. West. Maine couldn’t hold up and they were ousted finishing with a 2-2 record. The loss allowed the U.S. Southeast to advance behind the undefeated West after they won their must win game.

In Pool B, the U.S. Southwest had to win to have a chance to advance and they too were playing an undefeated team. And just like Maine, they would go down and fail to advance.

Asia-Pacific 1, U.S. Southeast 2

Needing to win to have a chance to advance, the Southeast came up huge with a walk-off win over Asia-Pacific.

With the score tied at one apiece in the bottom of the seventh, Kevin Hyatt, who had a big day going 3-for-3, led off the inning with a single. He was quickly replaced by courtesy runner Luke Wiles. Wiles was moved to second, on what became a huge play, when the Asia-Pacific pitcher balked. This put Wiles in scoring position and on the next pitch Jesse Ibarra (1-for-3) came up with the big hit.

Ibarra lined a singled to right field allowing Wiles to come around and score the winning run for the Southeast.

Knowing they had to win, they did just that and this put pressure on Maine to do just the same in order to force a tiebreaker to see who advances.

U.S. Southwest , Latin America 2

With a win the U.S. Southwest had a chance to advance via the tiebreaker, but that was all meaningless after they dropped the game Thursday to Latin America.

The Southwest jumped out on top of the undefeated Latin America team 1-0 in the top of the first. Lead-off hitter Rickey Villarreal walked to lead off the game. Two batters later he would come around to score on a double by Sergio Macias. However they would only be able to collect one more hit the entire game.

Airon Franco was brilliant on the hill for Latin America. He tossed 5.2 innings allowing just one run on two hits. After the first inning, he completely shut down the Southwest offense.

The Latin America offense was stifled until the bottom of the fifth inning when it finally mounted a comeback. Jose Lopez (2-for-3) singled to start the inning. He was followed by a Luis Mendoza (1-for-2) walk and a Abel Frias (1-for-2) bunt single to load the bases with no outs.

Gertudis Tello (1-for-2) then singled in the tying run putting Latin America on the scoreboard. The final run of the game would come on a Luis Alonso ground out to third base. The inning would soon be over with no more damage, but that is all Latin America would need.

Europe & Africa 8, U.S. Central 4

In the battle of the win-less teams, the team from Italy (Europe & Africa) came out victorious.

A seven run top of the first set the tone and gave Europe & Africa a lead that the Central could not overcome in the end. The big hit in the first came off the bat of Davide Azzali (1-for-1) who tripled in a pair of runs

The Central pitching staff struggled with control all day. They walked nine Europe & Africa hitters and hit another.

On the other side Alberto Fossa pitched great for Euopre & Africa. He pitched four innings giving up just two hits while striking out four. The Central bats couldn’t get on the board until his relief was put in.

Host Maine 1, U.S. West 11 (5)

In what was a must win game for Maine, the West dominated the contest blowing the host team out to cut their tournament short.

Tyler Kushima pitched great for the West. He went the distance allowing just one run on six hits. He struck out three.

The lone run for Maine came off the bat of Jordan Derrah (1-for-3) who hit a solo home run in the third inning. Justin Courtney (1-for-2) had the only other extra base hit for Maine with a double.

Colby Hirano led the offense for the West scoring four times. He went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and even stole two bases. Kawaiola Takemura added a pair of hits going 2-for-2 with two runs scored and two RBI.

2013 Senior League World Series Schedule:

Semifinals – Friday August 16
11:30 am U.S. East vs U.S. West
2:30 pm U.S. Southeast vs Latin America

Championship Game – Saturday August 17
2:00 pm Live on ESPNU

2013 Senior League World Series Standings:

Pool A:

1. U.S. West 4-0
2. U.S. Southeast 3-1
3. Host Maine 2-2
4. Asia-Pacific 1-3
5. Canada 0-4

Pool B:

1. Latin America 4-0
2. U.S. East 3-1
3. U.S. Southwest 2-2
4. Europe & Africa 1-3
4. U.S. Central 0-4


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