Tag Archive | "Baseball World Cup"

USA Edges Australia At Baseball World Cup


ITALY – Trevor Plouffe smacked a walk-off solo home run and the United States earned the top seed in Pool G with a 4-3 win against Australia Monday in a see-saw 2009 IBAF Baseball Work Cup makeup game at Gianni Falchi Stadium in Bologna.

Team USA (7-0;9-1), riding a nine-game winning streak, will begin the final round of the tournament Tuesday against Venezuela in Firenze, Italy.

Australia (5-2;7-3) took the early lead in the second when Luke Hughes scored after teammate Tim Kennelly was picked off first and retired in a rundown. From there, Aussie starter David Welch blanked the hard-hitting Americans until the sixth when skipper Eddie Rodriguez’ squad pulled ahead.

Justin Smoak socked his tournament-leading ninth long ball to knot the score, and Jon Weber drove home Josh Kroeger with a run-scoring fielder’s choice to make the score 2-1.

Hughes scored on a throwing error by U.S. third baseman Pedro Alvarez in the seventh, and Daniel Berg added an RBI sacrifice fly in the same frame to give Australia a 3-2 lead. Then, Plouffe took matters into his own hands.

The American shortstop, who has hit safely in nine consecutive games, tied the score in the bottom of the inning with an RBI groundout. Two frames later, Plouffe drilled a 1-2 offering from reliever Tim Cox over the left field fence to end the game.

U.S. starter Cory Luebke (pictured) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, while striking out five in a no-decision effort. Jason Childers tossed two innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts, and Ehren Wasserman (1-0) collected the final two outs to notch the win.

ITALY 7 – NETHERLANDS ANTILLES 6

Mario Chiarini ripped a game-tying double and Juan Carlos Infante followed moments later with a walk-off sacrifice fly to lift Italy past the Netherlands, 7-6, Monday in a makeup game at Comunale Palladio in Vicenza.

The Antilles (0-7;1-9) trailed 5-4 heading into the eighth but crossed the plate twice to grab a 6-5 lead. Mirieldo Trinidad tripled to right field with one out, and raced home on a wild pitch to knot the score. Pinch-hitter Jair Josepha singled up the middle, stole second, and scored on a single by Andley Simmons to right field when Italian catcher Juan Angrisano could not hold onto the throw from Chiarini.

Yovany D’Amico (2-0) allowed a lone hit in 1 1/3 innings to secure the win, while Johannes Gregorius Sr. (0-3) was pinned with the loss.

Italy finished the tournament with a 2-5 record after receiving a bye in the opening round.

Photo courtesy of Marco Vasini/IBAF

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USA Rips Italy At Baseball World Cup


ITALY – Justin Smoak jacked two more home runs and the United States marched into the third round of the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup with a methodical 12-3 win against Italy Sunday in Torino.

Team USA (6-0;8-1), which has captured eight consecutive wins after a tournament-opening loss to Venezuela, will meet Australia in a makeup game Monday to determine the top-seed in Pool G.

The Texas Rangers top hitting prospect – who leads the tournament with eight dingers – tagged Italian starter Sandy Patrone for a three-run drive in the third to break a scoreless deadlock.

3RD ROUND QUALIFIERS
1. Winner of USA/Australia
2. Loser of USA/Australia
3. Canada
4. Chinese Taipei

Italy (1-5;1-5) answered back in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single by Davide Dallospedale to make the score 3-1. However, the Americans used the long ball the next inning to go up by four.

Pedro ALvarez reached on a walk to start the inning, but was erased on Jason Castro’s twin-killing groundout. Tug Hulett followed with a base hit to right field before Buck Coats drilled a two-run homer to left center.

United States starter Kasey Kiker (pictured) walked the first three batters he faced in the fourth before getting replaced by Lucas Harrell. However, the Chicago White Sox right-hander walked Jack Santora to force in a run, and Italy plated another score on a double play groundout to cut the lead to 5-3.

Smoak led off the fifth with a solo blast down the left field line, and RBI hits by Alvarez and Castro put Team USA ahead, 8-3. A two-run triple by Hulett sparked a three-run seventh before Trevor Plouffe homered in the ninth to seal the win.

Harrell (2-0) worked three hitless innings to collect the win allowing one walk while striking out four.

In other action Sunday, Australia beat Mexico 6-5, while Canada slipped past Chinese Taipei (5-3) and Japan whipped the Netherlands Antilles, 10-1.

POOL G RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Australia 19 – Netherlands Antilles 6
Chinese Taipei 5 – Italy 2
Japan 9 – Mexico 3
United States 8 – Canada 0

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Mexico 6 – Italy 3
Australia 5 – Canada 3
Chinese Taipei at Japan (ppd)
United States 11 – Netherlands Antilles 1

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

Chinese Taipei 5 – Australia 4
United States 4 – Japan 2
Canada at Mexico (ppd)
Netherlands Antilles at Italy (ppd)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Chinese Taipei 3 – Japan 1
Canada 4 – Mexico 2

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

United States 14 – Chinese Taipei 3
Australia 5 – Italy 4
Canada 3 – Japan 2
Mexico 9 – Netherlands Antilles 8

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Canada 19 – Netherlands Antilles 2
Italy 6 – Japan 4
Chinese Taipei 1 – Mexico 0
United States vs Australia (ppd)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

United States 7 – Mexico 3
Australia 5 – Japan 0
Canada 16 – Italy 7
Chinese Taipei 12 – Netherlands Antilles 3

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

Australia 6 – Mexico 5
Canada 5 – Chinese Taipei 3
Japan 10 – Netherlands Antilles 1
United States 12 – Italy 3

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

Italy vs Netherlands Antilles (Makeup Game)
United States vs Australia (Makeup Game)

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
USA 06 00
Australia 05 01
Canada 05 02
C.Taipei 05 02
Mexico 02 05
Japan 02 05
Italy 01 05
N.Antilles 00 06

Photo courtesy of Ratti/FIBS

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Cuba Edges Dutch At Baseball World Cup


NETHERLANDS – Alfredo Despaigne cracked a game-winning solo home run in th eighth and Cuba knocked off the Netherlands 5-3 Sunday in a key Pool F matchup at Family Stadium in Rotterdam.

Despite their first setback in seven games, the Dutch (6-1;6-1) earned the top seed in the group with Puerto Rico (6-1;8-2) finishing second, and Cuba (6-1;9-1) in the third spot. Venezuela (3-4;6-4), which topped Great Britain 6-1, claimed the final third round berth.

Cuba struck first in the third on a bases-clearing double off the bat of Yosvany Peraza to grab a 3-0 lead. But the Dutch closed the gap to 3-1 on a leadoff solo dinger by Sharlon Schoop in the bottom of the same inning.

3RD ROUND QUALIFIERS
1. Netherlands
2. Puerto Rico
3. Cuba
4. Venezuela

Despaigne slugged his six long ball of the tournament with one out in the eighth to increase the Cubans lead to 4-1, and Luis Navas added an RBI double later in the frame to give the Big Red Machine a four run cushion.

The Dutch made things interesting in the bottom of the eighth when Hainley Statia followed a single by Danny Rombley with a two-run shot. But Cuba summoned the legendary Pedro Lazo to the mound and the crafty veteran retired the next five batters to end the game.

Yulieski Gonzalez allowed four hits and three scores over 7 1/3 innings to secure the win.

In other action Sunday, Puerto Rico pounded Nicaragua 16-0, and South Korea nipped Spain 2-1.

POOL F RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Netherlands 4 – South Korea 2
Cuba 6 – Great Britain 0
Venezuela 7 – Nicaragua 4
Puerto Rico 12 – Spain 2

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

South Korea 15 – Great Britain 5
Spain 8 – Venezuela 1
Cuba 4 – Nicaragua 1
Netherlands 5 – Puerto Rico 2

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

No Games Scheduled.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Cuba 10 – Venezuela 0
Puerto Rico 3 – South Korea 2
Netherlands 10 – Spain 5
Nicaragua 4 – Great Britain 1

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

Puerto Rico 5 – Great Britain 4
Netherlands 8 – Venezuela 5
Cuba 10 – Spain 0
South Korea 7 – Nicaragua 2

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Netherlands 6 – Great Britain 0
Puerto Rico 5 – Cuba 2
Venezuela 4 – South Korea 1
Nicaragua 9 – Spain 5

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Netherlands 8 – Nicaragua 4
Cuba 5 – South Korea 1
Puerto Rico 5 – Venezuela 3
Spain 10 – Great Britain 3

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

Puerto Rico 16 – Nicaragua 0
Cuba 5 – Netherlands 3
Venezuela 6 – Great Britain 1
South Korea 2 – Spain 1

FINAL STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
Dutch 06 01
P.Rico 06 01
Cuba 06 01
Venezuela 03 04
S.Korea 03 04
Nicaragua 02 05
Spain 02 05
Great Britain 00 07

Photo courtesy of Diego Lazaro

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USA Topples Mexico At Baseball World Cup


ITALY – Buck Coats and Daniel Descalso both homered and the United States toppled Mexico 7-3 Saturday in a 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup matchup at Comunale Palladio in Vicenza.

Team USA (5-0;7-1) opened the scoring in the second on a run-scoring double by Lucas May (pictured), and increased the lead in the fourth on Jon Weber’s RBI fielder’s choice. The Americans added two runs in the fifth on a solo shot by Descalso and a base hit off the bat of Terry Tiffee.

Mexico (2-4;5-4) got back into the game in the fifth with a pair of runs, but Coats jacked a solo dinger the next inning to make the score 5-2.

An RBI sacrifice fly by Edgar Quintero in the sixth closed the gap to 5-3 before the Americans finished the scoring with two runs in the seventh. Tiffee knocked home the first run with a double to right field, and Pedro Alvarez added a run-scoring sacrifice Fly to deep right field.

Trevor Reckling (2-0) scattered two hits and one earned run over five frames to notch the win.

AUSTRALIA BLANKS JAPAN

Adam Blackley and Brendan Wise combined on a six-hit shutout and Australia beat Mexico 5-0 Saturday in Bologna.

Australia (4-1;6-2) plated the only runs it would need in the fourth to break a scoreless tie. An RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of Stefan Welch gave the Aussies a 1-0 lead, and Joel Naughton added a run-scoring single to finish off the two-run frame.

Luke Hughes and Naughton drove in a run apiece in the fifth, and Chris Snelling smacked a solo home run in the ninth to seal the win.

Blackley worked 6 2/3 scoreless innings allowing five hits and striking out four to get the win, while Wise tossed one-hit ball over the final 2 1/3 frames to preserve the shutout.

TAIWAN TROUNCES NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Ken-Wei Lin cracked a pair of home runs and Chinese Taipei unleashed a 19-hit attack to rout the Netherlands Antilles 12-3 Saturday in Novara.

Taiwan (5-1;6-3) went on top in the first on a three-run dinger by Hung-Yu Lin, but the Caribbean side knotted the game with three scores in the bottom of the inning highilghted by a two-run drive by Lorvin Louisa.

A two-run single by Han Lin in the third gave the Taiwanese the lead for good. Ken-Wei Lin homered in the fourth, and the Asian squad rolled to the lopsided victory.

CANADA ERUPTS LATE TO POUND ITALY

Emerson Frostad’s grand slam highlighted a seven-run seventh and Canada scored 13 late runs to beat Italy 16-7 Saturday in Reggio Emilia.

Mario Chiarini’s three-run triple ignited a five-run opening frame for the Italians, but Canada answered back in the bottom of the inning on a three-run double off the bat of Chris Robinson.

Italy (1-4;1-4) tacked on another score in the fifth to go ahead 6-3, but the Canadians poured it on with seven runs in the seventh, and sox scores in the eight to capture the blowout win.

POOL G RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Australia 19 – Netherlands Antilles 6
Chinese Taipei 5 – Italy 2
Japan 9 – Mexico 3
United States 8 – Canada 0

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Mexico 6 – Italy 3
Australia 5 – Canada 3
Chinese Taipei at Japan (ppd)
United States 11 – Netherlands Antilles 1

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

Chinese Taipei 5 – Australia 4
United States 4 – Japan 2
Canada at Mexico (ppd)
Netherlands Antilles at Italy (ppd)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Chinese Taipei 3 – Japan 1
Canada 4 – Mexico 2

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

United States 14 – Chinese Taipei 3
Australia 5 – Italy 4
Canada 3 – Japan 2
Mexico 9 – Netherlands Antilles 8

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Canada 19 – Netherlands Antilles 2
Italy 6 – Japan 4
Chinese Taipei 1 – Mexico 0
United States vs Australia (ppd)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

United States 7 – Mexico 3
Australia 5 – Japan 0
Canada 16 – Italy 7
Chinese Taipei 12 – Netherlands Antilles 3

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

Australia vs Mexico
Canada vs Chinese Taipei
Japan vs Netherlands Antilles
Italy vs United States

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
USA 05 00
C.Taipei 05 01
Australia 04 01
Canada 04 02
Mexico 02 04
Italy 01 04
Japan 01 05
N.Antilles 00 05

Photo courtesy of Andre Cormier

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Cuba Stops Korea At Baseball World Cup


NETHERLANDS – Freddy Alvarez pitched one-run ball over seven innings and Cuba tallied three third-inning scores to beat South Korea 5-1 Saturday in a 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup game at Family Stadium in Rotterdam.

Cuba (5-1;8-1) will battle the Dutch (6-0;6-0) on Sunday in a key second round matchup.

Yulieski Gourriel’s RBI single gave the Cubans a short-lived lead in the opening frame. But Jong-Wook Ko tripled with one out in the bottom of the same inning and jogged home on a run-scoring base hit by Yong-Kyu Choi to tie the game.

A two-run double by Leonys Martin with two outs in the second put the Cubans back on top, 3-1. Michel Enriquez followed with an RBI single through the left side to cap the three-run frame.

Cuba added its final run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Gourriel, and Alvarez teamed with reliever Jonder Martinez to shutout the Koreans the final eight innings.

DUTCH USE LATE RALLY TO STOP NICARAGUA

The Netherlands hit three home runs in the final two innings to rally past Nicaragua 8-4 Saturday in a suspense-filled Baseball World Cup encounter in Amsterdam.

Nicaragua (2-4;5-4) grabbed a quick 1-0 lead in the second on a run-scoring double by Justo Rivas. However, the Dutch answered back an inning later on an RBI groundout off the bat of Sidney de Jong.

The Dutch (6-0;6-0) pulled ahead in the fourth on Danny Rombley’s double to the gap in left center. But Nicaragua went back on top, 4-2, in the bottom of the inning on a three-run shot by Sandor Guido.

The score remained unchanged until the eighth when Curt Smith opened the frame with a solo homer. Yurendell DeCaster added a three-run bomb later in the inning to give the Dutch a 6-4 advantage.

The EUropean heavyweight put the game away in the ninth when de Jong led off with a long ball to left field, and Rombley closed the scoring with an RBI single.

PUERTO RICO STOPS VENEZUELA

Miguel Abreu and Luis Matos combined for five hits and four RBIs to help Puerto Rico foil upset-minded Venezuela 5-3 Saturday at Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem.

Abreu followed a leadoff walk by Angel Sanchez in the third with a two-base hit to right field. Matos hit a sacrifice fly to center field to give the Caribbean squad the early lead.

Puerto Rico (5-1;7-2) stretched its lead to 3-0 the next inning. Sanchez drilled a run-scoring single up the middle, and Abreu added an RBI sacrifice fly.

Venezuela (2-4;5-4) made it a one-run game with a pair of scores in the seventh, but the South Americans should have plated much more.

A trio of one-out singles loaded the bases before a flyout threatened to kill the rally. But, back-to-back RBI hits by Dirimo Chavez and Lino Connel cut the lead to 3-2 before cleanup hitter Rene Reyes grounded out with the sacks still full to end the inning.

Abreu tacked on a pair of insurance scores in the eighth with a two-run single, and Connel drove in the final run of the contest with a base hit in the ninth.

SPAIN RALLIES LATE TO FOIL GREAT BRITAIN

Paco Figueroa homered and tallied three hits and Spain scored seven late unanswered runs to beat Great Britain 10-3 Saturday at Family Stadium in Rotterdam.

Spain (2-4;3-6) built a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third before the British plated a score on an RBI infield hit by Samuel Whitehead. The Spainards loaded the sacks in both the sixth and seventh frames but managed to push across just one run.

Great Britain (0-6;1-8) pulled even in the seventh on RBIs by Aeden McQueary-Ennis and Evan Romanchuk, but Figueroa hit a solo homer in the eight and Dewis Navarro added an RBI double two batters later to give Spain a 5-3 lead.

The Spanish squad tacked on five more runs in the ninth highlighted by a two-run single by Figueroa to claim their third win in nine games.

POOL F RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Netherlands 4 – South Korea 2
Cuba 6 – Great Britain 0
Venezuela 7 – Nicaragua 4
Puerto Rico 12 – Spain 2

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

South Korea 15 – Great Britain 5
Spain 8 – Venezuela 1
Cuba 4 – Nicaragua 1
Netherlands 5 – Puerto Rico 2

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

No Games Scheduled.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Cuba 10 – Venezuela 0
Puerto Rico 3 – South Korea 2
Netherlands 10 – Spain 5
Nicaragua 4 – Great Britain 1

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

Puerto Rico 5 – Great Britain 4
Netherlands 8 – Venezuela 5
Cuba 10 – Spain 0
South Korea 7 – Nicaragua 2

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Netherlands 6 – Great Britain 0
Puerto Rico 5 – Cuba 2
Venezuela 4 – South Korea 1
Nicaragua 9 – Spain 5

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Netherlands 8 – Nicaragua 4
Cuba 5 – South Korea 1
Puerto Rico 5 – Venezuela 3
Spain 10 – Great Britain 3

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

Nicaragua vs Puerto Rico
Netherlands vs Cuba
Venezuela vs Great Britain
South Korea vs Spain

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
Dutch 06 00
P.Rico 05 01
Cuba 05 01
Venezuela 02 04
S.Korea 02 04
Nicaragua 02 04
Spain 02 04
Great Britain 00 06

Photo courtesy of Diego Lazaro

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Italy Subdues Japan At Baseball World Cup


ITALY – Mario Chiarini and Leonardo Zileri both homered and Italy captued its first win at the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup with a 6-4 win against Japan Friday in Novara.

Japan opened the scoring in the second on a two-run single by Kenji Suzuki, but the Italians used the long ball to get back into the game.

Chiarini slugged a two-out solo drive in the fourth to put Italy on the board, and Zileri added a solo homer the following inning to knot the score. The Japanese loaded the bases in the sixth but came away empty-handed when reliever Yovany D’Amico retired Hisayoshi Chono on a comebacker to the mound.

Italy loaded the bases in the sixth and took the lead when Chiarini was hit by an inside pitch to force in a run. Francesco Imperiali added a three-run double later in the inning to give the Italians a 6-2 advantage.

Japan plated a pair of scores in the ninth to get back into the game, and loaded the bases with just one out. But relif pitcher Franklin Torres, who surrendered back-to-back singles after replacing Brandon Camardese, regrouped to strikeout the next two hitters to end the threat and the game.

TAIWAN SLIPS PAST MEXICO

Pinch-runner Chia-Hao Chang sprinted home on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th and Chinese Taipei edged Mexico 1-0 in a low-scoring affair in Verona.

Mexico loaded the sacks in the top of the inning but Yu-Ching Lin (2-0) struck out Cristian Presichi and Jesus Cota to keep the game scoreless.

Taiwanese starter Yen-Feng Lin scattered three hits over nine solid frames, while Mexican starting pitcher Oscar Rivera struck out 11 and gave up four hits in 6 1/3 innings.

CANADA TROUNCES NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

The Canadians pounded 17 hits en route to a lopsided 19-2 rout over the Netherlands Antilles Friday in Godo.

Shawn Bowman, Jimmy Van Ostrand and Brett Lawrie all drilled home runs for the Maple Leafs who had six players with two or more hits in a game stopped after six innings due to the mercy rule.

Brooks McNiven allowed two runs and four hits with five strikeouts to pick up the win.

BAD WEATHER COOLS OFF USA BATS

Due to inclement weather in the area, Friday’s IBAF Baseball World Cup Round 2 match-up between Team USA (4-0/6-1) and Australia (3-1/5-2) was postponed. The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) will announce the makeup date and venue at a later time.

POOL G RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Australia 19 – Netherlands Antilles 6
Chinese Taipei 5 – Italy 2
Japan 9 – Mexico 3
United States 8 – Canada 0

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Mexico 6 – Italy 3
Australia 5 – Canada 3
Chinese Taipei at Japan (ppd)
United States 11 – Netherlands Antilles 1

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

Chinese Taipei 5 – Australia 4
United States 4 – Japan 2
Canada at Mexico (ppd)
Netherlands Antilles at Italy (ppd)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Chinese Taipei 3 – Japan 1
Canada 4 – Mexico 2

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

United States 14 – Chinese Taipei 3
Australia 5 – Italy 4
Canada 3 – Japan 2
Mexico 9 – Netherlands Antilles 8

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Canada 19 – Netherlands Antilles 2
Italy 6 – Japan 4
Chinese Taipei 1 – Mexico 0
United States vs Australia (ppd)

Saturday, September 19

Mexico vs United States
Japan vs Australia
Canada vs Italy
Netherlands Antilles vs Chinese Taipei

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
USA 04 00
C.Taipei 04 01
Australia 03 01
Canada 03 02
Mexico 02 03
Italy 01 03
Japan 01 04
N.Antilles 00 04

Photo courtesy of Ratti/FIBS

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Puerto Rico Upsets Cuba At Baseball World Cup


NETHERLANDS – Luis Matos led off the eight with a go-ahead solo home run, and Jose Valentin banged home a pair of insurance runs with a clutch two-base hit in the same frame to lift Puerto Rico past Cuba, 5-2, Friday at the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup at Sportpark Ookmeer in Amsterdam.

Cuba (4-1/7-1), which entered the contest riding a seven-game winning streak, dropped to third place in Group F behind the Netherlands (5-0/5-0) and Puerto Rico (4-1/6-2). The Cubans and the Dutch will clash on Sunday in Rotterdam.

Puerto Rico grabbed the early lead on a run-scoring single by Irving Falu in the third, but Alfredo Despaigne’s solo homer the following inning knotted the score.

A catcher’s interference call on veteran Cuban catcher Ariel Pestano loaded the bases for the Caribbean squad in the fifth, and reliever Yadier Pedroso hit Matos to force in a run before striking out Carlos Rivera to end the inning.

Cuba racked up four hits in the bottom of the same inning – including a leadoff solo home run by Pestano – but managed to cross the plate only once. Luis Navas reached on a single with no outs, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hector Olivera. Michel Enriquez followed with a base hit but Puerto Rican leftfielder Miguel Abrea tossed a 270 feet strike to nail Navas at the plate.

DUTCH TOP BRITISH TO STAY UNBEATEN

The Dutch used a strong outing by Tom Stuifbergen to beat Great Britain 6-0 to grab sole possession of the top spot in the group.

Stuifbergen allowed seven hits and struck out five over seven scoreless innings to earn the win. Relievers Arschwin Asjes and Leon Boyd tossed an inning each to preserve the shutout win.

VENEZUELA HANDCUFFS SOUTH KOREA

Orlando Perdomo tossed five innings of no-hit ball and Dirimo Chavez homered to lead Venezuela past South Korea 4-1 at Pim Muiler Stadium in Haarlem.

Perdomo, who walked six and fanned three, departed after allowing one run in five no-hit innings. Relievers Robert Zarate and Jose Rodriguez combined to shutdown the Koreans on one hit over the final four frames.

NICARAGUA POWERS PAST SPAIN

Juan Oviedo and Justo Rivas both homered and Nicaragua hammered six extra-base hits to beat Spain 9-5 at Sportpark Ookmeer in Amsterdam.

POOL F RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Netherlands 4 – South Korea 2
Cuba 6 – Great Britain 0
Venezuela 7 – Nicaragua 4
Puerto Rico 12 – Spain 2

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

South Korea 15 – Great Britain 5
Spain 8 – Venezuela 1
Cuba 4 – Nicaragua 1
Netherlands 5 – Puerto Rico 2

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

No Games Scheduled.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Cuba 10 – Venezuela 0
Puerto Rico 3 – South Korea 2
Netherlands 10 – Spain 5
Nicaragua 4 – Great Britain 1

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

Puerto Rico 5 – Great Britain 4
Netherlands 8 – Venezuela 5
Cuba 10 – Spain 0
South Korea 7 – Nicaragua 2

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Netherlands 6 – Great Britain 0
Puerto Rico 5 – Cuba 2
Venezuela 4 – South Korea 1
Nicaragua 9 – Spain 5

Saturday, September 19

Nicaragua vs Netherlands
South Korea vs Cuba
Venezuela vs Puerto Rico
Great Britain vs Spain

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
Dutch 05 00
P.Rico 04 01
Cuba 04 01
Venezuela 02 03
S.Korea 02 03
Nicaragua 02 03
Spain 01 04
Great Britain 00 05

Photo courtesy of Diego Lazaro

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USA Routs Taiwan At Baseball World Cup


ITALY – Pedro Alvarez jacked three home runs and the United States swatted six long balls to rout Chinese Taipei 14-3 Thursday in a second round matchup at the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup in Torino.

Team USA (4-0/6-1) roughed up Taiwanese starter Chu-Chien Hsu for seven runs in the opening frame with Alvarez doing most of the damage with a three-run drive to right field. But the American sluggers and the talented Pittsburgh Pirates farmhand were just getting started.

Jon Weber pushed the score to 9-0 in the second with a two-run bomb off reliever Wang-Yi Lin, and Alvarez added his second homer to give skipper Eddie Rodriguez’ squad a commanding ten-run lead.

Terry Tiffee joined the long ball derby with a leadoff blast to begin the fourth, and Alvarez followed a single by Weber with a two-run shot before Lucas May finished the power showcase with a solo home run.

Taiwan (3-1) scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth with Hung-Yu Lin launching a two-run drive off USA starter Todd Redmond.

AUSTRALIA 5 – ITALY 4

Chris Snelling delivered a walk-off RBI single and Australia rallied from an early four-run deficit to edge Italy Thursday in Parma.

Italy (0-3) took the lead in the first on a run-scoring hit by Jairo Ramos, and stretched the lead to 4-0 an inning later on a three-run double by Juan Carlos Infante.

Australia (3-1) started on the comeback trail in the second on James Beresford’s RBI two-bagger, and Luke Hughes added another run-scoring double in the third. Beresford plated a run in the fourth with a sacrifice fly before Nicholas Kimpton tied the game with a solo homer.

Dushan Ruzic picked up the win with a dazzling outing from the bullpen. The 6’8″ right-hander allowed a meager two hits over seven scoreless frames to pave the way for the Aussies come-from-behind win.

CANADA 3 – JAPAN 2

Rene Tosoni sprinted home on an error in the bottom of the 11th and Canada captured a nerve-wrenching 3-2 win against Japan Thursday in Bologna.

Japan plated an unearned run in the third on Yoshinobu Kotegawa’s RBI groundout, but the Canadians pulled even on a run-scoring base hit by Brett Lawrie. The score stayed unchanged until the 11th when both squads capitalized on the IBAF extra-innings rule.

An RBI single with the sacks load put Japan on to briefly, 2-1, until Emerson Frostad bases-loaded single tied the game and Tosoni scored the winning run on an error by Japanese catcher Ryo Saeki.

POOL G RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Australia 19 – Netherlands Antilles 6
Chinese Taipei 5 – Italy 2
Japan 9 – Mexico 3
United States 8 – Canada 0

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Mexico 6 – Italy 3
Australia 5 – Canada 3
Chinese Taipei at Japan (Rescheduled)
United States 11 – Netherlands Antilles 1

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

Chinese Taipei 5 – Australia 4
United States 4 – Japan 2
Canada at Mexico (Rescheduled)
Netherlands Antilles at Italy (Rescheduled)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Chinese Taipei 3 – Japan 1
Canada 4 – Mexico 2

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

United States 14 – Chinese Taipei 3
Australia 5 – Italy 4
Canada 3 – Japan 2
Mexico 9 – Netherlands Antilles 8

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
USA 04 00
C.Taipei 03 01
Australia 03 01
Japan 01 03
Canada 02 02
Mexico 02 02
Italy 00 03
N.Antilles 00 03

Photo courtesy of Ratti/FIBS

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Baseball World Cup: Dutch Still Perfect


NETHERLANDS – Miguel Gonzalez tossed two-hit ball for seven scoreless innings, and Cuba erupted for eight late runs to beat Spain 10-0 Thursday in a second round matchup at the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup in Amsterdam.

Cuba (4-0/7-0) broke a scoreless deadlock in the second on a two-run single by Jose Abreu, but Spanish starter Pedro Belmonte limited manager Esteban Lombillo’s hard-hitting sluggers to just a lone hit over the next four innings.

A run-scoring base hit off the bat of Hector Olivera in the seventh gave the Cubans a 3-0 lead, and long balls by Yulieski Gourriel and Ariel Pestano highlighted a five-run eighth as the Big Red Machine captured their seventh consecutive win at this year’s tournament.

Gonzalez walked three and struck out five in another stellar outing by the Cuban pitching corps. Relievers Vladimir Garcia and Jonder Martinez each worked an inning while notching a pair of strikeouts apiece.

NETHERLANDS 8 – VENEZUELA 5

Sidney de Jong and Curt Smith each had three hits and the Dutch remained perfect at the Baseball World Cup with a victory Thursday against Nicaragua at Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem.

Bryan Engelhardt’s RBI single in the third put the Orange and Black in front, 3-0. However, Nicaragua knotted the score with a three-run fourth highlighted by a solo drive off the bat of Rene Reyes.

The Dutch (3-0) took the lead for good in the bottom of the same inning, and tacked on four more scores over the next three frames to seal the win.

David Bergman allowed two runs and a pair of hits in four relief innings to pick up the win, while Kenley Jansen collected the final four outs to earn the save.

SOUTH KOREA 7 – NICARAGUA 2

Yong-Kyu Choi’s three-run double highlighted a six-run fifth to help South Korea beat Nicaragua 7-2 Thursday at Family Stadium in Rotterdam.

South Korea struck first when Young-Hun Cho drilled a solo home run in the fourth, but Nicaragua answered back in the bottom of the frame with RBIs by Justo Rivas and Sandor Guido to take a 2-1 lead.

Nicaragua gift-wrapped the win for the Koreans in the fifth with three defensive mistakes that led to six unearned runs.

PUERTO RICO 5 – GREAT BRITAIN 4

Alex Cintron singled home Luis Matos with the go-ahead score in the fifth and Puerto Rico nipped Great Britain Thursday at Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem.

Puerto Rico took the early lead in the second on a two-run double by Stephen Morales, but the British crossed the plate four times in the fourth with Sam Wiley plating two scores with a single to the gap in left center.

The Caribbean squad pulled even in the bottom of the same frame on run-scoring hits by Irving Falu and Miguel Abreu, and Cintron drove in the winning run the following inning.

POOL F RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Netherlands 4 – South Korea 2
Cuba 6 – Great Britain 0
Venezuela 7 – Nicaragua 4
Puerto Rico 12 – Spain 2

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

South Korea 15 – Great Britain 5
Spain 8 – Venezuela 1
Cuba 4 – Nicaragua 1
Netherlands 5 – Puerto Rico 2

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

No Games Scheduled.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Cuba 10 – Venezuela 0
Puerto Rico 3 – South Korea 2
Netherlands 10 – Spain 5
Nicaragua 4 – Great Britain 1

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

Puerto Rico 5 – Great Britain 4
Netherlands 8 – Venezuela 5
Cuba 10 – Spain 0
South Korea 7 – Nicaragua 2

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
Cuba 04 00
Dutch 04 00
P.Rico 03 01
S.Korea 02 02
Nicaragua 01 03
Spain 01 03
Venezuela 01 03
Great Britain 00 04

Photo courtesy of Ratti/FIBS

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Taiwan, Canada Win At Baseball World Cup


SAN MARINO – Chih-Lung Huang tossed a nifty 10-inning gem and Hung-Yu Lin delivered a clutch two-run single in extra-innings to help Taiwan remain unbeaten in the second round with a narrow 3-1 win against Japan in a low-scoring Baseball World Cup matchup Wednesday in San Marino.

Taiwan (3-0/4-2) grabbed the early lead in the opening frame when Hung-Yu Lin drove home Han Lin with a single to left field. The score remained unchanged until the sixth when the Japanese came alongside.

Shoh Aranami reached on a two-base hit and scampered to third on an errant throw by rightfielder Chung-Chun Wu. One out later, Hisayoshi Chono hit an 0-1 pitch into left field to knot the score.

Both Huang and his Japanese counterpart, Tomohisa Otani, silenced opposing hitters until the ninth when Japan brought in reliever Hirotoshi Masui.

With the IBAF extra-inning rule in effect, with each team starting the frame with runners on first and second, Taiwan sacrificed both runners into scoring position and Hung-Yu Lin followed with the game-winning hit.

Japan (1-2/3-3) had a chance to stay alive in the bottom of the 10th, but Chono drilled a line drive to right field with runners on second and third that turned into a game-ending double play when Wu made the catch and caught Aranami off the bag at second to finish off the win.

CANADA 4 – MEXICO 2

The Canadians used strong pitching to build a 4-0 lead against Mexico, and then held off a late rally to claim their first win of the second round Wednesday in a Pool G matchup at Godo.

Canada (1-2/4-2) got off to a fast start as Adam Stern and Rene Tosoni opened the game with a single and double, respectively. Brett Lawrie plated the first run with an RBI sacrifice fly, and Tim Smith capped the two-run opening frame with a run-scoring single through the right side.

Cole Armstrong reached on a two-out walk in the second for the Maple leafs, and moved to second on a wild pitch by Mexican starter Rafael Diaz. Shawn Bowman followed with a base hit to left field to make the score 3-0.

Bowman stroked his second RBI single of the game in the sixth to stretch the lead to 4-0, but Saul Soto followed a leadoff single by Jesus Cota in the eighth with a two-run homer to cut the lead in half.

Mexico (1-2/4-2) staged a two-out rally in the ninth with a single and a walk. However, relief pitcher Robert Swindle struck out Cota to end the game.

POOL G RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Australia 19 – Netherlands Antilles 6
Chinese Taipei 5 – Italy 2
Japan 9 – Mexico 3
United States 8 – Canada 0

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Mexico 6 – Italy 3
Australia 5 – Canada 3
Chinese Taipei at Japan (Rescheduled)
United States 11 – Netherlands Antilles 1

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

Chinese Taipei 5 – Australia 4
United States 4 – Japan 2
Canada at Mexico (Rescheduled)
Netherlands Antilles at Italy (Rescheduled)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Chinese Taipei 3 – Japan 1
Canada 4 – Mexico 2

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
USA 03 00
C.Taipei 02 00
Australia 02 01
Japan 01 01
Mexico 01 01
Canada 00 02
Italy 00 02
N.Antilles 00 02

Photo courtesy of IBAF Baseball World Cup website

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Baseball World Cup: Cuba Blanks Venezuela


NETHERLANDS – Norge Vera and Yadier Pedroso combined on a four-hit shutout and Cuba remained unbeaten at the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup with a convincing 10-0 win against Venezuela Wednesday at Sportpark Ookmeer in Amsterdam.

Cuba (3-0/6-0) jumped all over Venezuelan starter Jose Escalona in the first. Hector Olivera singled to leadoff the inning, and raced all the way home from first on a two-base hit by Michel Enriquez. Yoennis Cepedes added an RBI sacrifice fly before Jose Abreu finished off the three-run rally with a run-scoring single.

A solo homer by Alfredo Despaigne in the third gave the Cubans a 4-0 lead, and the Big Red machine loaded the sacks in the sixth. However, reliever Jose Rodriguez replaced Escalona and struck out Enriquez looking to end the threat and inning.

The Cubans added a pair of scores in the seventh on a two-run triple by Abreu, and chased Rodriguez with four runs in the ninth to capture their sixth straight win at this year’s tournament.

Vera picked up the win in a dazzling seven-inning stint that included just four hits and 10 strikeouts. Pedroso worked the final inning while racking up two strikeouts.

PUERTO RICO 3 – SOUTH KOREA 2

Mario Santiago pitched seven strong innings and Alex Cintron hit a key two-run double to lead Puerto Rico to a hard-fought 3-2 victory against South Korea Wednesday in the second round of the IBAF Baseball World Cup at Familie Stadion in Rotterdam.

Puerto Rico (2-1/4-2) took a quick lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by Luis Matos, but the Asian squad pulled even in the fourth on a run-scoring double off the bat of Young-Hun Cho.

Matos followed a leadoff walk by Irving Falu in the bottom of the same inning with a bunt single, and one out later Raul Casanova reached on a walk to load the bases. Korean starter Seung-Lak Son fanned Ruben Gotay on four pitches before Cintron delivered the game-winning hit to give Puerto Rico a 3-1 lead.

South Korea (1-2/2-4) made it a one-run game in the eighth despite facing four different pitchers. However, Richard Rodriguez struck out Bon-Ki Shin to end the inning, and worked around a walk and single in the ninth to seal the win.

NETHERLANDS 10 – SPAIN 5

Eugene Kingsale reached base four times and the Dutch remained perfect in the second round with a 10-5 win against Spain Wednesday at Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem.

The Dutch (3-0) struck quick in the opening frame as Kingsale tripled and jogged home on Yurendell DeCaster’s RBI single. Sidney de Jong added a sacrifice fly to give the orange and Black a 2-0 lead.

Raily Legito had two hits in the second, and five different Dutch hitters drove in a run, as the European heavyweight plated nine runs to put Spain (1-2/2-4) in an 0-9 hole. But, a pair of scores in the third, and a three-run fourth highlighted by a two-run single by Emmanuel Febles put the Spaniards right back in the game.

Kingsale pushed the lead to 10-5 in the eighth with a two-out RBI double, and former Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Diego Markwell slammed the door on Spain with three scoreless relief innings to seal the win and pick up the save.

NICARAGUA 4 – GREAT BRITAIN 1

Diego Garcia tossed a complete-game five hitter and Nicaragua claimed their first win of the second round against Great Britain Wednesday at Familie Stadion in Rotterdam.

Nicaragua (1-2/4-2) rapped four hits and crossed the plate three times in the second off British starter Brian Essery. The Europeans got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Sam Wiley scored on an RBi fielder’s choice by Chris Falls.

Both Garcia and Essery traded goose eggs until the seventh when the South American squad tacked on their final run. Sandor Guido led off with a single up the middle, and moved to second on Mario Holman’s sacrifice bunt. Adolfo Matamoros, who finished the game with three hits, smacked a double into left field to drive in Guido.

Garcia allowed a run and five hits while striking out three in an impressive nine-inning outing.

POOL F RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Netherlands 4 – South Korea 2
Cuba 6 – Great Britain 0
Venezuela 7 – Nicaragua 4
Puerto Rico 12 – Spain 2

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

South Korea 15 – Great Britain 5
Spain 8 – Venezuela 1
Cuba 4 – Nicaragua 1
Netherlands 5 – Puerto Rico 2

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

No Games Scheduled.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Cuba 10 – Venezuela 0
Puerto Rico 3 – South Korea 2
Netherlands 10 – Spain 5
Nicaragua 4 – Great Britain 1

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

Puerto Rico vs Great Britain (Haarlem)
Netherlands vs Venezuela (Haarlem)
Spain vs Cuba (Amsterdam)
Nicaragua vs South Korea (Rotterdam)

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
Cuba 03 00
Dutch 03 00
P.Rico 02 01
Nicaragua 01 02
S.Korea 01 02
Spain 01 02
Venezuela 01 02
Great Britain 00 03

Photo courtesy of BaseballdeCuba.com

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Justin Smoak Stays Hot At Baseball World Cup


ITALY – Good pitching beats good hitting…most of the time.

Team USA managed only four hits against Japan Tuesday, but jacked a pair of long balls to capture a rugged 4-2 win to remain unbeaten in the second round of the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup.

The U.S. (3-0/5-1) threatened to take the lead in te second when third baseman Pedro Alvarez smacked a two-out double to right field. But after Jason Castro reached on a walk, Japanese starter Hiroyuki Kamegawa retired Tug Hulett on a foul pop-up to the catcher to end the inning.

The Americans, which have launched a tournament-high 14 homers, chased Kamegawa in the third with another impressive power display. Justin Smoak connected for his fifth long ball – a two-run shot – and one out later, Terry Tiffee added a solo drive to give Team USA a 3-0 lead.

Japan (1-1/3-2) had a chance to get on the board in the fourth after Hisayoshi Chono opened the frame with a leadoff double. However, U.S. starter Brad Lincoln retired the next three batters to escape the jam unscathed.

Buck Coats reached on a walk to open the fifth for Team USA, and swiped second base with no outs. But, Japanese reliever Toru Anan sat down Trevor Plouffe on a foul pop-up to third base, walked Smoak, and headed back into the dugout after getting Josh Kroeger to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Lincoln worked out of another jam in the sixth to keep Japan off the board. Ikuhiro Kiyota sprinted to first on an infield hit, and raced to second on a throwing error by Alvarez. The American hurler struck out Yoshinobu Kotegawa on three pitches, but Chono reached on another infield hit to put runners on the corners. Keiji Ikebe hit a liner to centerfielder Buck Coats who gunned down Kiyota at the plate to end the inning.

Team USA added a run in the seventh on an RBI double by Plouffe to make the score 4-0. Japan used a pair of doubles in the bottom of the frame to cross the plate, and Go Yamaoka stroked run-scoring double in the ninth to tally the final score of the game.

CHINESE TAIPEI 5 – AUSTRALIA 4

Pinch-hitter Hung-Yu Lin drilled a walk-off, two-run homer in the 10th to lift Taiwan past Australia Tuesday in second round action at the Baseball World Cup.

Taiwan (2-0/3-2), which avenged a 7-5 loss to Australia in the opening round, grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second on a solo drive by centerfielder Ken-Wei Lin. But the Aussies tied the game an inning later on Chris Snelling’s RBI single.

Both offenses struggled against opposing pitchers the final six innings of regulation. Australian starter David Welch fanned 13 in seven strong innings in which he allowed a lone run on four hits. Wen-Yang Liao worked nine solid frames for Taiwan before getting yanked after a throwing error in the 10th.

Australia (2-1/4-2) capitalized on Liao’s errant throw to take a 4-1 lead. But down to their last three outs, the Asian squad parlayed an error by shortstop James Beresford into two runs, and Hung-Yu Lin followed with a game-winning blast to finish off the comeback.

Yu-Ching Lin (1-0) collected the final two outs to earn the win for Taiwan.

CANADA (0-2/3-2) – MEXICO (1-1/4-1)

Postponed due to rain.

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES (0-2/2-3) – ITALY (0-2/0-2)

Postponed due to rain.

POOL G RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Australia 19 – Netherlands Antilles 6
Chinese Taipei 5 – Italy 2
Japan 9 – Mexico 3
United States 8 – Canada 0

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Mexico 6 – Italy 3
Australia 5 – Canada 3
Chinese Taipei at Japan (Rain)
United States 11 – Netherlands Antilles 1

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

Chinese Taipei 5 – Australia 4
United States 4 – Japan 2
Canada at Mexico (Rescheduled)
Netherlands Antilles at Italy (Rescheduled)

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
USA 03 00
C.Taipei 02 00
Australia 02 01
Japan 01 01
Mexico 01 01
Canada 00 02
Italy 00 02
N.Antilles 00 02

Photo courtesy of Diego Lazaro

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Italy Seeking Win At Baseball World Cup


An old coach in the mid-80s once told me that “for every a**-kicking a team gives, expect one in return down the road.” If only he was still alive today to watch the squad that USA Baseball assembled for this year’s Baseball World Cup.

Betting against Cuba in an international tournament is as ridiculous as betting on the New York Yankess to trim their payroll to a $100 million annually. But,  if Team USA keeps showcasing dominant pitching and an abundance of extra-base hits – Cuba might find itselves the underdogs if both teams reach the title game.

What about the job that former Tenneessee Vols skipper Rod Delmonico has done with the Dutch squad? The days of this European powerhouse sneaking up on over-confident opponents are history, yet the Orange and Black keep posting wins.

I still have my doubts about the depth of the Australian pitching staff, but the Aussies have some legit hitters who will not fade away easily. Canada has gotten off to a rough start in the second round, but this is another solid team that could get hot and make a title run. I would not call it an upset, but Canada should rebound against Mexico in a big way.

POOL G MATCHUPS:

• NETHERLANDS ANTILLES (0-2/2-3) – ITALY (0-2/0-2)

If familiarity breeds confidence, Italy should be in good shape with a Dutch Antilles squad littered with players from the IBL’s T&A San Marino club. The Italians are in a must-win situation against a good-hitting Caribbean team who would like nothing more than to engage the host in a high-scoring affair. This should be the game when italy’s hitting and pitching finally starts clicking.

• AUSTRALIA (2-0/4-1) – CHINESE TAIPEI (1-0/3-1)

The Aussies won the first matchup against Taiwan by a meager two runs and this encounter should be another tussle between a pair of squads who look solid enough to advance to the next round. It will be interesting to see if Australia’s bat can catch fire against a young Taiwanese pitching staff that has been much stronger than expected. Still, the Aussies should have too much offensive firepower for the Asian squad to match.

• CANADA (0-2/3-2) – MEXICO (1-1/4-1)

This game will test the character of a Canadian squad that played well enough to win against Australia, but came up short. Mexico’s bats have cooled off significantly in the second round and Mexican pitchers have struggled against good-hitting lineups like the one Canada has. Canada is the favorite but the South of the border squad is a dangerous bunch when Jesus Cota and company are smacking long balls.

• JAPAN (1-0/3-1) – UNITED STATES (2-0/4-1)

The Americans appear as though they are hitting softball-size baseballs, and Japan’s pitching thus far in the tourney has been decent at best. Baseball is a funny game, and it’s rare for so many guys to be swinging the bats so well at the same time. There remains a hiccup or two along the championship road, but this group is starting to look like a “special” team.

Photo courtesy of Ratti/Fibs

Marvin Moore is a former European baseball coach and Managing Editor at BaseballdeWorld.

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Baseball World Cup: USA Thumps Antilles


ITALY – Kasey Kiker and Lucas Harrell combined on a two-hitter, and Justin Smoak cracked two of the Americans four home runs as the United States continued their march to the Baseball World Cup third round with a 11-1 thumping of the Netherlands Antilles Monday in Verona.

The Netherlands Antilles (0-2) manufactured a run in the second off the left-handed Texas Rangers farmhand to grab a 1-0 lead. But Lucas May opened the third with a solo homer to knot the score.

Kiker, who obliterated left-handed hitters (.178/.341/.244) at Double-A Frisco in 2009, struck out Rafael Jozefa to start the bottom of the frame. However, the southpaw found the strike zone just once en route to loading the sacks before escaping the jam on a flyout and strikeout.

Team USA (2-0) pulled away with a four-run fifth. Jon Weber sparked the uprising with a leadoff solo blast, and Trevor Plouffe’s RBI double plated May for a 3-1 advantage. Smoak, who had played in just 14 pro games coming into 2009, launched a two-run homer to right field to pad the Americans lead.

Smoak was bruising the ball again in the seventh as the United States put the game away with a seven-run frame. Regarded as the top Rangers prospect, the switch-hitter drilled a three-run dinger to stretch the lead to 8-1 as the Americans tacked on three more scores to improve their overall record in this year’s tournament to 4-1.

Harrell (1-0) pitched three solid relief innings, allowing just one hit, to get credit fo the win.

AUSTRALIA 5 – CANADA 3 (10 INNINGS)

A crucial fielding error by Canadian shortstop Terrance Dayleg led to a pair of unearned scores in the 10th, and Australia squeaked past Canada 5-3 in a hotly-contested matchup Monday at the Baseball World Cup in Novara.

Australia (2-0) wasted a golden scoring threat in the opening frame. Canadian starter Jamie Richmond hit leadoff man Nicholas Kimpton and Brad Harman followed with a single to right center. But, three consecutive flyouts later the game was still scoreless.

Canada (0-2) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by Shawn Bowman. The score remained unchanged until the fifth when Kimpton drove home Joel Naughton to tie the game at 1-all.

Both lineups struggled to muster up any offense until the ninth. Luke Hughes smacked a one-out solo homer to give the Aussies a one-run cushion, but Rene Tosoni led off the bottom of the frame with a solo drive to send the game into extra-innings.

With the IBAF tiebreaker rule – runners placed on first and second base to start the inning – in effect, Harman moved the runners up one base with a sacrifice bunt, and Daniel Berg followed with an RBI single to give Australia the lead.

A strikeout, double steal, and an intentional walk loaded the bases with two outs for pinch-hitter Andrew Graham. The first baseman hit a sharp grounder that got past Dayleg for two unearned runs.

Canada added a run in the bottom of the inning but were denied the comeback. Australia’s fifth pitcher, reliever Matt Williams, fanned Milwaukee Brewers top prospect Brett Lawrie with a runner on third to end the game.

MEXICO 6 – ITALY 3

Ivan Terrazas broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth with a two-run homer and Mexico beat Italy 6-3 Monday in a key Pool G matchup in Bologna.

Italy (0-2) loaded the bases with two outs in the first but came away empty when Juan Carlos Infante hit a comebacker to the pitcher to end the threat.

Mexico (1-1) capitalized on a shaky start by Italian pitcher Marco Grifantini, who forced in a run with two walks, to take a one-run lead in the bottom of the inning. Terrazas put his team ahead 2-1 with a run-scoring hit in the second, and Italy crossed the plate in the thid on a solo home run off the bat of Jairo Ramos.

The Italians knotted the score in the sixth on an RBI sacrifice fly by Joseph Mazzuca, but Terrazas homered to right field with a runner on base to give Mexico the lead for good.

Italy closed the gap to 4-3 on Mario Chiarini’s RBI groundout in the seventh, but Mexico countered with two scores an inning later to seal the cruial win.

Arturo Lopez tossed 2 2/3 strong middle relief innings to get the win, while closer Hector Navarro worked a 1-2-3 ninth to record the save.

CHINESE TAIPEI – JAPAN
Rained Out. Rescheduled for Sept. 16.

POOL G RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Australia 19 – Netherlands Antilles 6
Chinese Taipei 5 – Italy 2
Japan 9 – Mexico 3
United States 8 – Canada 0

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Mexico 6 – Italy 3
Australia 5 – Canada 3
Chinese Taipei at Japan (Rain)
United States 11 – Netherlands Antilles 1

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

Australia at Chinese Taipei (Godo)
Japan at United States (Macerata)
Canada at Mexico (Torino)
Netherlands Antilles at Italy (Vicenza)

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
Australia 02 00
USA 02 00
C.Taipei 01 00
Japan 01 00
Mexico 01 01
Canada 00 02
Italy 00 02
N.Antilles 00 02

Photo courtesy of IBAF Baseball World Cup website

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Baseball World Cup: Spain Upsets Venezuela


NETHERLANDS – Eric Gonzalez turned in his second strong outing of the tournament, and Spain upset previously unbeaten Venezuela 8-1 Monday in the second round of the 2009 Baseball World Cup at Sportpark Ookmeer in Amsterdam.

Spain (1-1) tagged Venezuelan starter Jose Rojas for three runs in the opening frame. Dewis Navarro singled with the bases loaded to plate two runs, and an error on leftfielder Wuilliams Vazquez on the same play allowed Luis Perez to sprint home all the way from first base.

Coach Mauro Mazzotti’s squad chased Rojas in the second with another score, but left the bases loaded when reliever Johan Lopez retired Navarro on a flyout to center field to escape the jam.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez (2-0) was having his way with a hard-hitting Venezuelan lineup that batted .347 in three opening round wins. The San Diego Padres prospect, who limited South Africa to just two hits in five innings last week, blanked the South American squad before departing in the sixth with one out and a runner on second base.

Venezuela (1-1) crossed the plate on an RBI double by Michael Sandoval off reliever Remigio Leal moments later, but the Spaniards countered with three runs in the bottom of the inning highlighted by a two-run drive off the bat of Luis Perez to finish off the upset win.

CUBA 4 – NICARAGUA 1

Yulieski Gourriel and Alfredo Despaigne both drilled clutch home runs to lead Cuba past Nicaragua, 4-1, Monday at Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem.

Both squads struggled at the plate to start the game as Cuban starter Yulieski Gonzalez and his counterpart, Elvin Orozco, traded goose eggs. The Nicaraguan hurler, who did not allow a hit over the first five frames, worked out of a major jam in the second to keep the game scoreless.

Orozco missed on a pair of full count pitches to walk Frederich Cepeda and Despaigne to open the inning. But an infield pop-up by Yoennis Cespedes, followed by an inning-ending double play groundball off the bat of Ariel Borrero, kept the scoreless deadlock unchanged.

Gourriel unknotted the score with a two-run long ball in the sixth before Nicaragua cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Jimmy Morales Gonzales.

Cuba added a pair of key insurance scores in the ninth when Despaigne jacked the first pitch he saw from reliever Julio Raudez over the left field fence to seal the tough win for the international baseball heavyweight.

Gonzalez (2-0) scattered one run and four hits over 5 2/3 innings to notch the win, while Pedro L. Lazo worked the final 3 1/3 scoreless innings with two hits and six strikeouts.

NETHERLANDS 5 – PUERTO RICO 2

Rob Cordemans tossed five shutout innings and the Dutch captured their second straight win in the second round of the Baseball World Cup with a 5-2 victory against Puerto Rico Monday in Rotterdam.

The European heavyweight raced out to an early 1-0 lead in the second on Hainley Statia’s run-scoring double to the gap in left center, and pushed the score to 4-0 with a three-run fifth.

An RBI infield hit by Eugene Kingsale gave American skipper Rod Delmonico’s team a 5-0 cushion in the seventh. Puerto Rico rallied for two scores in the ninth off Dutch reliever Leon Boyd before closer Dennis Neumann retired Luis Matos on a line drive out to center field with the bases loaded to seal the win.

SOUTH KOREA 15 – GREAT BRITAIN 5

KIM Hun-Gon and Jong-Wook Ko combined for seven RBIs, and South Korea scored 10 late runs to beat Great Britain 15-5 Monday at Sportpark Ookmeer in Amsterdam.

The United Kingdom (0-2) took a 1-0 lead in the second when Korean starter Hee-Girl Kim walked Jason Holowaty with the sacks full to force in a run. But the Asian squad knotted the score in the third on Eui-Ji Yang’s RBI single, and went ahead later in the frame on a two-run double by Bon-ki Shin.

South Korea (1-1) added a pair of runs in the sixth to build a 5-1 advantage before Great Britain came alongside with a four-run seventh highlighted by Sam Wiley’s two-run double.  However, a pair of costly errors helped the Koreans plate six scores in the bottom of the same inning, and Hun-Gon Kim clubbed a three-run blast in the eight to cement the win.

Hyun-June Park (1-0) allowed a run and three hits in two relief innings to pick up the win.

POOL F RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Netherlands 4 – South Korea 2
Cuba 6 – Great Britain 0
Venezuela 7 – Nicaragua 4
Puerto Rico 12 – Spain 2

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

South Korea 15 – Great Britain 5
Spain 8 – Venezuela 1
Cuba 4 – Nicaragua 1
Netherlands 5 – Puerto Rico 2

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

No Games Scheduled.

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
Cuba 02 00
Dutch 02 00
P.Rico 01 01
Venezuela 01 01
S.Korea 01 01
Spain 01 01
G.Britain 00 02
Nicaragua 00 02

Photo courtesy of Diego Lazaro

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USA Pitchers Dominant At Baseball World Cup


SWITZERLAND – San Diego Padres prospect Cory Luebeke became the second Team USA pitcher in as many days to reach double digits in strikeouts with 10 on Sunday against Canada. California Angels prospect Trevor Reckling tied the mark of former Dodger and Cubs pitcher Burt Hooten with 11 strikeouts Sunday against China. Hooten fanned 11 consecutive batters in 1970. Luebeke joined Reckling, Ben McDonald (1988) and Hank Woodman (2003) as the only USA pitchers to reach double digits in the World Cup.

NETHERLANDS CLAIM RARE WIN ONE FOR HOST TEAM
The Netherlands comeback win Sunday against South Korea was just the second win for a host country in this World Cup. Spain went 1-2 in Barcelona, while the Czech Republic, Sweden and Croatia all went 0-3. Italy dropped their home opener Sunday to Chinese Taipei, giving the host country a 2-12 record in the tournamant. Cuba’s win in 2003 was the only time in the last nine events the World Cup has been won by the host country.

JAPAN CHRISTENS NEW STADIUM WITH WIN
Japan defeated Mexico in the inaugural game at Parma’s new Aldo Notari Stadium, named after the late IBAF President. Australia and Italy will meet in the second game at the new ballpark on Thursday.

DUTCH CATCHER CONTINUES INTERNATIONAL HEROICS
Catcher Sidney de Jong, who led the Dutch team in hitting (5-fo-10) at the World Baseball Classic last spring, continued his success on the international stage Sunday with a game-winning, three-run homer against South Korea.

DUTCH ADD JERSEY SPONSOR
Argos Oil will be sponsoring the Dutch team during the Baseball World Cup. The name of the Rotterdam-Hoogvliet company will be displayed on the jersey sleeves of the Dutch players and coaches.

AUSSIES CONTINUE TO HIT AWAY
Australia continued their assault on opposing pitchers Sunday, and have scored 50 runs with 11 home runs in their first four games. Philadelphia Phillies prospect Tim Kennelly has three homers and 9 RBIs, while Minnesota Twins prospect James Beresford leads the team with nine hits. Overall, six Twins prospects are on the roster for Australia.

NICARAGUA INFIELDER STAYS RED-HOT
Nicaragua’s 3-1 start has been led by the torrid hitting of third baseman Jimmy Morales, who has slugged five home runs in four games, and went 4-for-5 at the plate Sunday. The 31-year-old corner infielder played in the Dodgers organization (1998-2000) for Great Falls and San Bernadino, and has played for Granada in the Nicaraguan Professional League for the past nine seasons. In three seasons in the minor leagues, Morales hit 20 HR with 180 RBIs and a .295 batting average.

Photo courtesy of Diego Lazaro

Press Release: IBAF

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Venezuela Still Perfect At Baseball World Cup


The opening day of the second round featured every home team winning except Italy. The odds of this happening, again, are slim but the race to the next round will be anything but predictable.

Team USA and Cuba remain the favorites to reach the title game later this month, but teams like Venezuela, Australia, Nicaragua, Mexico and Canada are “in it to win it” as well. One huge question mark is if both the European bets have enough hitting to reach the third round?

A win by the Dutch against Puerto Rico today will give the Orange and Black the inside track to the next round, but Italy does not have it so good.

The Italians will have to hit much better than they did against Taiwan on Sunday, and a win against Mexico tonight is crucial for the final round host. However, the only things certain in long tournaments are the uncertain.

POOL F MATCHUPS:

• GREAT BRITAIN (1-3) – SOUTH KOREA (1-3)

The British are struggling at the plate which has overshadowed some decent pitching outings by Brian Essery and Stephen Spragg. Can the young Koreans, which had the Dutch on the ropes until L&D Amsterdam Pirates backstop Sidney de Jong rescued the host with a late three-run bomb, regroup in time to stay in the hunt for the third round? I think so.

• VENEZUELA (4-0) – SPAIN (1-3)

Unbeaten Venezuela has been the surprise of the tournament thus far. The fifth-place squad in last year’s America’s Cup has knocked off both the USA and Nicaragua, but could be primed for an upset against a Spanish squad that has more than a few capable hitters. If Spain can avoid allowing Venezuela the big inning – which doomed Germany – the Baseball World Cup will have one less undefeated team.

• CUBA (4-0) – NICARAGUA (3-1)

This should be a fun game to watch with so many free-swinging hitters eyeing the fences. Nicaraguan third baseman Jimmy Morales did not go deep against Venezuela, but he did rack up four hits. Cuba’s Alfredo Despaigne and Yulieski Gourriel are both due for a “monster” game. This matchup has all the makings of Texas shootout, but it’s not smart to bet against Cuba.

• PUERTO RICO (3-1) – NETHERLANDS (0-1)

The Dutch would have been hard-pressed to reach the next round with a loss to South Korea on Sunday, and now an inconsistent but talented Puerto Rican team will challenge American skipper Rod Delmonico’s squad. It is shaping up to be a five-team race for the four third round slots so the loser of this game will have an uphill battle to advance to Italian soil.

POOL G MATCHUPS:

• ITALY (0-1) – MEXICO (3-1)

Call me dumbfounded that Italian starter Tiago Da Silva did not shutdown Taiwan. Italy finds itself in an early must-win situation, and Mexico is a much better hitting group than the youthful Asians. A slugfest favors the Latin sluggers so this matchup will be won or lost on the mound for the Europeans.

• AUSTRALIA (3-1) – CANADA (3-1)

This is an interesting matchup between two squads who both have good shots at advancing to the third round. Australia took batting practice against an overmatched Netherlands Antilles group, while Canada will be happy to face any pitcher not named Cory Luebke. The Aussies played in a much tougher group than the Canadians in the first round and will take the field as slight favorites.

• CHINESE TAIPEI (2-2) – JAPAN (3-1)

This All-Asian matchup has some bragging rights on the line, but Japan’s squad of industrial leaguers are gaining more confidence with each win. The competition in the Baseball World Cup keeps getting stronger, but Japan’s amateurs keeps on winning. Taiwan has a dangerous squad but Japan is playing too well for an upset.

• UNITED STATES (3-1) – NETHERLANDS ANTILLES (2-2)

What can you say about the starting pitchers of Team USA? Two years ago, the Americans thought they could dethrone Cuba before they actually won the Gold. It’s a good bet this year’s team is looking forward to meeting the Big Red Machine. The Netherlands Antilles can hit the ball, but USA baseball has put together a talented bunch to try and repeat as World Cup champion.

Photo courtesy of Diego Lazaro

Marvin Moore is a former European baseball coach and Managing Editor at BaseballdeWorld.

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Baseball World Cup: USA Whips Canada


ITALY – Cory Luebke tossed no-hit ball for 7 2/3 innings and Team USA opened the second round of the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup with an impressive 8-0 win over previously unbeaten Canada at Reggio Emilia.

The Americans plated four runs off Canadian starter Chris Begg in the first to take control of the game early. Josk Kroeger’s RBI fielder’s choice put the U.S. on the board, and a two-run double by Terry Tiffee stretched the lead to 3-0. Jon Weber capped the four-run frame with an RBI two-base hit down the left field line.

Three consecutive one-out doubles by Kroeger, Tiffee and Weber in the third pushed the lead to 6-0. Weber delivered an RBI single in the fifth for the Americans, and Pittsburgh Pirates prized minor leaguer Pedro Alvarez added a solo homer in the seventh.

But the spotlight on this night belonged to Luebke. The San Diego Padres farmhand retired the first nine batters he faced before hitting Adam Stern to start the fourth. The 24-year-old lefty responded by sitting down the next eight hitters until Stern reached on a walk to begin the seventh.

Luebke, who racked up 10 strikeouts, took a no-hitter into the eighth before Chris Robinson singled to centerfield with two outs. Team USA skipper Eddie Rodriguez brought in Filipino-American reliever Geno Espineli who collected the final four outs to preserve the one-hit shutout.

CHINESE TAIPEI 5 – ITALY 2

Yen-Feng Lin and three relievers combined to limit Italy to four hits and Chinese Taipei opened the second round of the Baseball World Cup with a 5-2 win Sunday in Firenze.

Taiwan struck first when Tai-Yung Kuo led off the third with a solo home run off Italian starter Tiago Da Silva. The Asian bet added a pair of scores to go on top, 3-0, before Italy retaliated an inning later on an RBI base hit by Leonardo Zileri.

A leadoff single by Chih-Hsiang Lin to start the eighth, followed by a sacrifice bunt and Chung-Chun Wu’s run-scoring hit, increased the Taiwanese lead to 4-1. Zileri crossed the plate in the bottom of the same frame on a single through the right side by Jack Santora, but
Chia-Hao Chang answered with an RBI hit in the ninth to seal the win for Taiwan.

Lin (1-0) tossed six impressive frames of one-run ball with two hits and four strikeouts to get the win. Ching-Ming Wang worked a perfect ninth to earn the save.

Da Silva (0-1), the 2009 Italian Baseball League ERA leader who was dominant against the Dutch in a recent exhibition game, took the loss after giving up four hits and three runs in a disappointing four-inning stint.

AUSTRALIA 19 – NETHERLANDS ANTILLES 6

Tim Kennelly and Joel Naughton paced an 20-hit attack with four hits apiece, and Australia routed the Netherlands Antilles 19-6 Sunday in second round Baseball World Cup action from Piacenza.

The Aussies grabbed a quick lead in the first on a two-run homer by Luke Hughes. Kennelly followed with a triple to the wall in center field but was stranded when Stefan Welch grounded out to second base to end the inning.

Naughton doubled and raced home on Nicholas Kimpton’s RBI single the next inning, and Australia took control of the game in the fourth with a seven-run outburst. Welch started the onslaught with a three-run drive off Antilles starter Andley Simmons to stretch the lead to 6-0. A two-run double off the bat of Brad Harman capped the game-deciding frame.

The Antilles tallied their first run of the game in the fourth, and plated five scores the following inning highlighted by a two-run dinger off the bat of U.S. minor leaguer Raywendley Van Gurp. However, Australia erupted for nine hits and eight runs in the bottom of the fifth to blow the game wide open.

JAPAN 9 – MEXICO 3

Keiji Ikebe smacked a late home run and Japan opened the second round of the Baseball World Cup with an impressive 9-3 win over previously unbeaten Mexico Sunday in Parma.

The Japanese broke a scoreless tie with a three-run fourth. Mexico got on the board in the fifth, and pulled even an inning later on a two-run dinger off the bat of Saul Soto. However, Japan responded with a trio of run-scoring hits in the bottom of the sixth before Ikebe jacked a three-run bomb in the eighth to seal the win.

Hirofumi Yamanaka (1-0) came out of the bullpen to notch the win, while Jaciel Acosta (0-1) was charged with the loss.

POOL G RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Australia 19 – Netherlands Antilles 6
Chinese Taipei 5 – Italy 2
Japan 9 – Mexico 3
United States 8 – Canada 0

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Italy at Mexico (Bologna)
Australia at Canada (Novara)
Chinese Taipei at Japan (San Marino)
United States at Netherlands Antilles (Verona)

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
Australia 01 00
C.Taipei 01 00
Japan 01 00
USA 01 00
Canada 00 01
Italy 00 01
Mexico 00 01
N.Antilles 00 01

Photo courtesy of FIBS

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Baseball World Cup: Cuba Stops British


THE NETHERLANDS – Freddy Alvarez tossed a complete game two-hit shutout and Cuba opened the second round of the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup with a 6-0 victory Sunday against Great Britain at Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem.

The unbeaten Cubans smacked a pair of long balls to pull ahead in the second. Yoennis Cespedes (pictured) homered to left field with one out to break a scoreless deadlock, and Ariel Pestano followed a single by Ariel Borrero with a two-run drive to right field for an early 3-0 lead.

In a ballgame that was much tighter than expected, British hurlers Stephen Spragg and Paul Waterman limited Cuba’s talented sluggers to just a pair of singles over five innings until the eighth.

Great Britain reliever Craig Pycock replaced Waterman with the sacks full and walked Borrero to force in a score. Hector Olivera added another insurance run with a sacrifice fly, and Michel Enriquez finished off the three-run inning with an RBI single up the middle.

Alvarez (1-0) turned in a brilliant two-hit masterpiece with nine strikeouts to keep Cuba on a collision course with the United States.

VENEZUELA 7 – NICARAGUA 4

Luis Landaeta homered and drove in three runs to help Venezuela beat Nicaragua and remain unbeaten at the 2009 Baseball World Cup Sunday at Familiestadion in Rotterdam.

The Venezuelans wasted little time in roughing up Nicaraguan starter Alvaro Aguilar. Leadoff hitter Dirimo Chavez reached on an infield hit to start the contest, stole second, and scored on Rene Reyes run-scoring single up the middle. Landaeta made it 2-0 with a line drive hit to left field, and Wuilliams Vazquez and Jonathan Sivira finished off the inning with an RBI apiece.

Landaeta, who had three hits in the game, clubbed a two-run shot in the third to make the score 6-0. Venezuelan starter Jacobo Sequera blanked Nicaragua on five hits over 5 2/3 innings before departing.

An RBI fielder’s choice by Juan Blandon finally got Nicaragua on the board in the seventh, but Reyes connected for his second RBI hit of the game in the bottom of the frame to give Venezuela a 7-1 cushion.

Jimmy Morales, who hit five dingers in three first round games, doubled home Darrel Lewis in the eighth, and later scored on Danilo Sotelo’s RBI single to cut the lead to 7-3. Nicaragua added a run in the ninth and had the tying run at the plate. But, Jose Rodriguez retired Sotelo on an infield pop-up to end the game.

NETHERLANDS 4, SOUTH KOREA 2

Sidney de Jong jacked a dramatic three-run homer in the eighth, and the Dutch national team foiled upset-minded South Korea 4-2 Sunday at the 2009 Baseball World Cup at Sportpark Ookmeer in Amsterdam.

South Korea (0-1), which advanced to the second round as the 13th seed, grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third off Dutch starter Tom Stuifbergen. A run-scoring double to the gap in right center by Ho-Sin Lee plated Boung-Gon Jeung, and Jong-Wook Ko followed with an RBI groundout.

The Dutch answered back with a score in the fourth. Raily Legito, who reached on a fielder’s choice, motored home on a triple off the bat of Sharlon Schoop to make the score 2-1.

The score remained unchanged until the eighth when the Dutch, which had been limited to three hits by Korean starter Ji-Woong Yoon, opened the frame with back-to-back hits. Reliever Kyung-Eun Noh replaced Yoon but served up a game-winning, three-run bomb to de Jong.

Diegomar Markwell (1-0) came out of the bullpen to toss 3 2/3 scoreless innings to get the win, while Dennis Neuman worked the ninth to earn the save.

PUERTO RICO 12 – SPAIN 2

Carlos Rivera drove in three runs and Puerto Rico raced out to a 9-0 lead en route to an easy 12-2 victory against Spain Sunday night in Amsterdam.

The Caribbean squad chased Spanish starter Yoel Hernandez in the opening frame. Jose Valentin homered to right field with one out, and Rivera added an RBI single. A wild pitch and two walks later, Jose Cruz took the ball for Spain and induced an inning-ending double play groundball of the bat of Miguel Abreu.

The Spanish reliever registered two quick outs to open the second before a pair of walks ignited a seven-run rally. Rivera stroked a two-run single to start the scoring spree, and Angel Sanchez ended the big inning with a two-run base hit to give Puerto Rico a commanding 9-0 lead.

A two-run shot by Luis Perez in the third put Spain on the board, but Puerto tacked on two more scores in the fourth, and sealed the lopsided win with a final run in the sixth.

Luis Atilano (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings to pick up the win.

POOL F RESULTS/SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Netherlands 4 – South Korea 2
Cuba 6 – Great Britain 0
Venezuela 7 – Nicaragua 4
Puerto Rico 12 – Spain 2

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Great Britain at South Korea (Amsterdam)
Venezuela at Spain (Amsterdam)
Cuba at Nicaragua (Haarlem)
Puerto Rico at Netherlands (Rotterdam)

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
Cuba 01 00
Dutch 01 00
P.Rico 01 00
Venezuela 01 00
G.Britain 01 00
Nicaragua 00 01
S.Korea 00 01
Spain 00 01

Photo courtesy of Diego Lazaro

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Baseball World Cup: Pool G Preview


ITALY – The second round of the 2009 Baseball World Cup begins on Sunday with Pool G action from historic Italy. The top four squads from the eight-team group will advance to the third round of the IBAF tournament.

The reigning World Cup champion United States will open defense of their title in earnest against Canada at Reggio Emilia. Other games on tap has Austalia butting heads with the Netherlands Antilles in Piacenza; Mexico and Japan battling in Parma, and Italy meeting Taiwan in Firenza.

THE CONTENDERS

UNITED STATES – Pedro Alvarez and Justin Smoak are two of the top young prospects in the U.S. minor leagues, and USA Baseball has assembled a talented cast that has all the ingredients to reach the championship game. The only question remaining is how many guys will get hot at the plate at the same time.

MEXICO – Who needs Adrian Gonzalez? This Mexican squad has more than a few long ball hitters, and boasted a top-notch pitching unit in the opening round. The pitching remains a question mark, but not their hitting.

CANADA – Weak first round group or not, the Canadians are playing some good baseball for former major league backstop Ernie Whitt. Canada just missed out on the final eight two years ago, but not this time around.

AUSTRALIA – The Aussies are another good-hitting team with suspect pitching. Coach Jon Deeble knows how to get the best out of his team so I will be very surprised if Australia is not near the top of this group when all is said and done.

ITALY – Surprised? The Italians have upgraded their pitching corps since the last World Cup and playing in familiar ballparks should be an advantage. The loss of top hitter Giuseppe Mazzanti hurts, but Italy should be in the race for the fourth seed to advance to the next round.

JAPAN – Even with a group of Industrial League All-Stars, Japan continues to make noise at the World Cup. A final eight berth remains a possibility if the Japanese have enough arms for the long run.

THE PRETENDERS

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES – A nice hitting squad which will cause more than a few teams some problems. However, this Caribbean ship just does not have enough pitching to go very far in an extended tourney like the World Cup.

CHINESE TAIPEI – There is no quit in these young and talented guys, and an upset is not only a possibility, it will happen.

POOL G SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Netherlands Antilles at Australia (Piacenza)
Chinese Taipei at Italy (Firenza)
Mexico at Japan (Parma)
Canada at United States (Reggio Emilia)

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Italy at Mexico (Bologna)
Australia at Canada (Novara)
Chinese Taipei at Japan (San Marino)
United States at Netherlands Antilles (Verona)

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

Australia at Chinese Taipei (Godo)
Japan at United States (Macerata)
Canada at Mexico (Torino)
Netherlands Antilles at Italy (Vicenza)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

No Games Scheduled

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

United States at Chinese Taipei (Torino)
Japan at Canada (Bologna)
Italy at Australia (Parma)
Netherlands Antilles at Mexico (San Marino)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Canada at Netherlands Antilles (Godo)
Japan at Italy (Novara)
Australia at United States (Piacenza)
Mexico at Chinese Taipei (Verona)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Australia at Japan (Bologna)
Chinese Taipei at Netherlands Antilles (Novara)
Italy at Canada (Reggio Emilia)
United States at Mexico (Vicenza)

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

Mexico at Australia (Macerata)
Chinese Taipei at Canada (Parma)
Netherlands Antilles at Japan (Verona)
United States at Italy (Torino)

Photo courtesy of IBAF Baseball World Cup website

Marvin Moore is a former European coach and Managing Editor at BaseballdeWorld.

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Baseball World Cup: Pool F Preview


NETHERLANDS – The second round of the 2009 Baseball World Cup will get underway on Sunday with Pool F action from scenic Holland. The top four squads from the eight-team group will advance to the third round of the IBAF tournament.

Gold medal favorite Cuba will begin their quest to reclaim the top prize that the USA wrestled away in 2007 when they meet Great Britain in Haarlem. Other games features a twinbill in Amsterdam (Netherlands-South Korea and Spain-Puerto Rico), and a heavyweight showdown in Rotterdam pitting a pair of unbeaten teams, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

THE CONTENDERS

CUBA – Remains the favorite due to an abundance of prime-time hitters who relish the spotlight and clutch hitting opportunities. However, the Cuban pitching corps is not as deep in past years, and closer Vladimir Garcia struggled against Spain. The Big Red Machine is still an ultra-talented bunch but winning the World Cup crown will not be a cake walk.

VENEZUELA – Can these guys mash the ball or what? From top to bottom, this is a good hitting team. The power surge may not continue, but if this squad gets decent pitching they will hit their way into the next round.

NICARAGUA – Third baseman Jimmy Morales has gotten most of the attention with five long balls in three games, but this is a well-balanced unit of capable hitters and quality arms. I will be shocked if this squad does not make the final eight.

NETHERLANDS – The darlings of the World Baseball Classic will not be sneaking up on anymore teams. American skipper Rod Delmonico did a masterful job with the Dutch this past spring, and the veteran skipper will need even more magic in the World Cup. Can this team win a slugfest?

PUERTO RICO – A pre-World Cup favorite to reach the third round, this Caribbean squad had looked anything but a contender before routing South Africa on Saturday. With a roster stock full of ballplayers with legit skills, don’t count out manager Eduardo Perez’ boys just yet.

THE PRETENDERS

SPAIN – I expect to see more Spanish League pitchers get recruited for the top leagues in Italy and the Netherlands after the World Cup ends. Mauro Mazzotti is one of the top coaches in all of Europe, and the Spaniards are going to knock off one, maybe two of the “big” boys.

SOUTH KOREA – The Koreans are the sixth best team in the group because of some “electric” arms, but too much speed and not enough power bodes well only in low-scoring affairs.

GREAT BRITAIN – The British seem a shell of the 2007 European Championship bronze medal squad, but the longer this team stay together, the more competitive they might become.

POOL F SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

South Korea at Netherlands (Amsterdam)
Great Britain at Cuba (Haarlem)
Nicaragua at Venezuela (Rotterdam)
Spain at Puerto Rico (Amsterdam)

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Great Britain at South Korea (Amsterdam)
Venezuela at Spain (Amsterdam)
Cuba at Nicaragua (Haarlem)
Puerto Rico at Netherlands (Rotterdam)

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

No Games Scheduled

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

South Korea at Puerto Rico (Rotterdam)
Nicaragua at Great Britain (Rotterdam)
Netherlands at Spain (Haarlem)
Venezuela at Cuba (Amsterdam)

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

Great Britain at Puerto Rico (Haarlem)
Venezuela at Netherlands (Haarlem)
Cuba at Spain (Amsterdam)
South Korea at Nicaragua (Rotterdam)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Nicaragua at Spain (Amsterdam)
Puerto Rico at Cuba (Amsterdam)
South Korea at Venezuela (Haarlem)
Netherlands at Great Britain (Rotterdam)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Spain at Great Britain (Rotterdam)
Cuba at South Korea (Rotterdam)
Puerto Rico at Venezuela (Haarlem)
Netherlands at Nicaragua (Amsterdam)

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

Puerto Rico at Nicaragua (Haarlem)
Cuba at Netherlands (Rotterdam)
Great Britain at Venezuela (Amsterdam)
Spain at South Korea (Haarlem)

Photo courtesy of IBAF Baseball World CUP website

Marvin Moore is a former European coach and Managing Editor at BaseballdeWorld.

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Baseball World Cup: Second Round Schedule


SWITZERLAND – Further evidence of baseball’s growth in Europe was seen throughout the first round of the 2009 Baseball World Cup attendance numbers at local sites.

Leading the way was Regensburg, Germany, which saw crowds in excess of 5,000 for almost all of the three days of competition, highlighted by a Friday night crowd of almost 10,000 fans for USA-Germany.

Friday night’s Jahn Regensburg soccer match drew approximately 5,000 at the same time, which is a solid sign of interest in baseball in Germany.

Sweden had a capacity crowd of over 2,100 for Saturday’s final day and strong crowds approaching 1,500 on the other days, while Spain had overflow crowds on both Friday and Saturday in excess of the 1,500 seating capacity for their games with Puerto Rico and Cuba.

In the Czech Republic, Prague had an overflow of 2,500 for Saturday and crowds in excess of 1,500 for Friday, all positive signs of growth.

ROUND 2: POOL F SCHEDULE (NETHERLANDS)

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

South Korea at Netherlands (Amsterdam)
Great Britain at Cuba (Haarlem)
Nicaragua at Venezuela (Rotterdam)
Spain at Puerto Rico (Amsterdam)

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Great Britain at South Korea (Amsterdam)
Venezuela at Spain (Amsterdam)
Cuba at Nicaragua (Haarlem)
Puerto Rico at Netherlands (Rotterdam)

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

No Games Scheduled

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

South Korea at Puerto Rico (Rotterdam)
Nicaragua at Great Britain (Rotterdam)
Netherlands at Spain (Haarlem)
Venezuela at Cuba (Amsterdam)

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

Great Britain at Puerto Rico (Haarlem)
Venezuela at Netherlands (Haarlem)
Cuba at Spain (Amsterdam)
South Korea at Nicaragua (Rotterdam)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Nicaragua at Spain (Amsterdam)
Puerto Rico at Cuba (Amsterdam)
South Korea at Venezuela (Haarlem)
Netherlands at Great Britain (Rotterdam)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Spain at Great Britain (Rotterdam)
Cuba at South Korea (Rotterdam)
Puerto Rico at Venezuela (Haarlem)
Netherlands at Nicaragua (Amsterdam)

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

Puerto Rico at Nicaragua (Haarlem)
Cuba at Netherlands (Rotterdam)
Great Britain at Venezuela (Amsterdam)
Spain at South Korea (Haarlem)

ROUND 2: POOL G SCHEDULE (ITALY)

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Netherlands Antilles at Australia (Piacenza)
Chinese Taipei at Italy (Firenza)
Mexico at Japan (Parma)
Canada at United States (Reggio Emilia)

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Italy at Mexico (Bologna)
Australia at Canada (Novara)
Chinese Taipei at Japan (San Marino)
United States at Netherlands Antilles (Verona)

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

Australia at Chinese Taipei (Godo)
Japan at United States (Macerata)
Canada at Mexico (Torino)
Netherlands Antilles at Italy (Vicenza)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

No Games Scheduled

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

United States at Chinese Taipei (Torino)
Japan at Canada (Bologna)
Italy at Australia (Parma)
Netherlands Antilles at Mexico (San Marino)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Canada at Netherlands Antilles (Godo)
Japan at Italy (Novara)
Australia at United States (Piacenza)
Mexico at Chinese Taipei (Verona)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Australia at Japan (Bologna)
Chinese Taipei at Netherlands Antilles (Novara)
Italy at Canada (Reggio Emilia)
United States at Mexico (Vicenza)

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

Mexico at Australia (Macerata)
Chinese Taipei at Canada (Parma)
Netherlands Antilles at Japan (Verona)
United States at Italy (Torino)

Photo courtesy of IBAF Baseball World Cup website

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USA Blanks China At Baseball World Cup


GERMANY – Trevor Reckling racked up 11 strikeouts and Terry Tiffee knocked home four runs to lead the United States to an 8-0 win Saturday against China at the 2009 Baseball World Cup in Regensburg, Germany.

Team USA (2-1) will open the second round Sunday in Reggio Emilia against Canada.

Tiffee put the Americans on the board in the first with a two-run homer off Chinese starter Shuai Li. However, the Asian hurler rebounded to silence the U.S. batting order the next six innings.

China threatened to get back into the game in the third. Hui Gou reached on a one-out double, and Qing Zhu followed with a base hit up the middle. But American centerfielder Buck Coats gunned down Gou at the plate to keep the Chinese off the board.

The United States bagged their second win of the tournament with a six-run eighth. Tiffee drove in a pair of runs with a single through the right side, and Josh Kroeger capped the late uprising with a three-run shot to right field.

Reckling (1-0) allowed three hits over seven scoreless innings to get the win, while relievers Ehren Wasserman, Cedrick Bowers and B.J. Rosenberg combined to throw two shutout relief innings.

VENEZUELA 12 – GERMANY 1

Michael Sandoval and Luis Landaeta both homered and Venezuela completed an unbeaten first round with a 12-1 win against Germany on Saturday night in Regensburg.

Venezuela (3-0), the top-seed in Pool E, will begin the second round in Rotterdam on Sunday against undefeated Nicaragua.

The South Americans roughed up German left-hander Andre Hughes in the second. Edgar Bruzal opened the scoring with an RBI infield hit, and leadoff hitter Dirimo Chavez doubled home a pair of runs to make the score 3-0. A run-scoring groundout off the bat of veteran Italian Baseball League first baseman Lino Connel capped the early outburst.

Landaeta launched a solo blast with one out in the third, and Wuilliams Vazquez sent Hughes to an early shower. Jonathan Sivira greeted new pitcher Eugen Heilmann with an RBI single to stretch the lead to 6-0.

Germany staged a two-out rally in the sixth to get on the board. An infield hit by Sascha Lutz with the bases loaded scored Michael Franke. However, skipper Greg Frady’s squad was denied a big inning when Jendrick Speer grounded out to end the scoring threat.

Sandoval clubbed a solo shot in the seventh before Venezuela erupted for five runs in the eighth to seal the victory.

Orlando Perdoma (1-0), who allowed a run on six hits, notched the win with five strikeouts over 5 2/3 solid innings.

POOL E FINAL RESULTS:

Wednesday, September 9th
Germany 14 – China 0

Thursday, September 10th
Venezuela 13 – USA 9

Friday, September 11th
Venezuela 17 – China 2
USA 9 – Germany 1

Saturday, September 12th
USA 8 – China 0
Venezuela 12 – Germany 1

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
Venezuela 03 00
USA 02 01
Germany 01 02
China 00 03

Photo courtesy of  IBAF Baseball World Cup website

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Nicaragua Advances At Baseball World Cup


CROATIA – Jimmy Morales clubbed his fifth home run in three games, and Edgard Espinoza hit two long balls to help Nicaragua beat Japan, 8-4, Saturday to win Pool D at the 2009 Baseball World Cup in Zagreb.

Nicaragua (3-0) will start the second round on Sunday against Venezuela in Rotterdam, while Japan (2-1) plays Mexico on the same day in Parma.

Morales launched a two-run homer in the opening frame, and Espinoza added another two-run shot an inning later to give the South Americans a 4-0 cushion.

Yoshinobu Kotegawa tripled to right center to leadoff the third, and crossed the plate on an RBI groundout by Ikuhiro Kiyota. However, Nicaragua added four runs in the fourth on a solo home run by Estaban Garcia and a three-run blast off the bat of Espinoza to hold an 8-1 lead.

Japan cut the lead to 8-4 on a three-run dinger by Tsutomu Sasaki in the eighth, but reliever Berman Reyes took the mound and tallied the final six outs to end the game.

GREAT BRITAIN 4 – CROATIA 1

Brian Essery tossed five scoreless innings and Chris Berset homered to lead Great Britain to the second round with a 4-1 win against Croatia Saturday in Zagreb.

Essery and Croatian starter James Summers held opposing hitters at bay until the British broke through in the fifth. Chris Falls reached on an infield hit with two outs, swiped second, and scampered home on Matt McGraw’s RBI double.

Great Britain added two more scores in the sixth on a two-run drive off the bat of Berset, and built the lead to 4-0 an inning later when Brant Ust scored on an error by Croatian rightfielder Branko Nenadic.

Croatia managed to avoid the shutout in the eighth. Slobodan Gales walked with one out, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Nenadic followed with a RBI double off relief pitcher Thomas Boleska.

Essery (1-0) picked up the win after allowing three hits and striking out two, and Boleska worked the final four frames to earn the save.

POOL D FINAL RESULTS:

September 10th
Japan 9 – Great Britain 7
Nicaragua 10 – Croatia 1

September 11th
Nicaragua 10 – Great Britain 0
Japan 13 – Croatia 3

September 12th
Nicaragua 8 – Japan 4
Great Britain 4 – Croatia 1

STANDINGS

Team Won Lost
Nicaragua 03 00
Japan 02 01
G.Britain 01 02
Croatia 00 03

Photo courtesy of IBAF Baseball World Cup website

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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)
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  • Netherlands (5%, 4 Votes)
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