1994 Baseball World Cup
From BR Bullpen
The 1994 Baseball World Cup was the last Baseball World Cup to exclude professional players and be strictly amateur. It was held in Managua, Nicaragua from August 3 through August 14. The Cuban national team went unbeaten for the third consecutive Cup and continued their run of taking every Cup they had played in since 1969. The MVP was Cuban veteran slugger Lourdes Gourriel.
 Round Robin Results
 Group A
- Cuba, 7-0
- Nicaragua, 6-1
- Italy, 4-3
- Chinese Taipei, 4-3
- Australia, 3-4
- Colombia, 2-5
- Dominican Republic, 2-5
- France, 0-7
 Group B
- Japan, 6-1
- South Korea, 5-2
- Panama, 5-2
- USA, 4-3
- Netherlands, 3-4
- Puerto Rico, 3-4
- Sweden, 1-6
- Canada, 1-6
- Cuba 15, USA 2. Team USA starter Jason Middlebrook allows five runs while retiring just one batter while Rolando Arrojo fans 10 in six innings. Every Cuban position player scores a run, led by Omar Linares with 3.
- Nicaragua 10, Panama 4. The home team uses a 7-run sixth to take control and never look back. RF Jose Padilla goes 3 for 4 for Nicaragua.
- Japan 6, Chinese Taipei 5. Japan holds a solid 5-1 lead entering the 8th before the top Group B team runs into trouble. Junichi Kawahara and reliever Katsuya Maeda allow three runs in the 8th and Masanori Sugiura gives up another in the 9th. In the bottom of the 11th, though, RF Takayuki Takabayashi homers off of Chun-Liang Wu to win it. Wu had pitched all 10 2/3 innings for Taiwan. Takabayashi (2 homers, 4 RBI) and Taiwan OF Kai-Fa Chen (2 homers, 3 RBI) lead the offenses.
- South Korea 13, Italy 2. Third baseman Jae-hong Park homered twice, walked twice, scored three and drove in three in the rout, cut short to 7 innings by the mercy rule.
- Cuba 13, Nicaragua 1. The home team is knocked out easily. LF Jose Estrada (3 for 3) and 2B Antonio Pacheco each score 3 runs and four Cuban hitters collect three or more hits in the rout.
- South Korea 9, Japan 0. Dong-hwan Mun tosses a 5-hit shutout, striking out eight, to knock out Korea's Asian rivals. SS Jong-kook Kim makes two errors but scores two and drives in three to pace the offense and send the South Koreans into the Gold Medal game.
- Cuba 6, South Korea 1. Lazaro Valle strikes out 9 and scatters four hits in a complete game win over the South Koreans. Sung-min Cho is roughed up for 7 hits, 5 walks and 6 runs in 5 1/3 innings. Both Antonio Pacheco and Omar Linares score two for the Cubans.
- Japan 8, Nicaragua 1. Japan rebounds from their rough semifinal game to rout the host country. Hideaki Okubo homers, doubles and drives in three while Masanori Sugiura allows one run in nine while whiffing eleven.
 Team Summaries
- Australia finished 3-4 to just miss out on the quarterfinals, with none of their losses being blowouts. 3B Steve Hinton (.429/.455/.714), SS Richard Vagg (.483/.500/.759, 10 RBI, but also four errors) and 2B Scott Tunkin (.300/.529/.700) led the offense as they scored 54. The staff allowed 47 runs, with closer Ross Jones (1 save) not allowing a run in 4 2/3 IP over five games.
- Canada had one of the oddest tourneys. They handed Japan its lone loss in pool play but lost to otherwise winless Sweden. They lost by one run to Silver Medalist South Korea and by 2 to quarterfinalist Panama but were routed by 3-4 Puerto Rico and the 4-3 US. Jeff Zimmerman (0-1, 4.87) would go on to a be a major league All-Star. 2B Derek Gauthier cracked 3 home runs and slugged .696, while 1B John Cann hit .333/.419/.556.
- Colombia went 2-5, led by DH Dagoberto Lopez (.517/.533/.828, 7 R, 9 RBI), who drove in over a third of the team's runs. Three pitchers had ERAs over 14.
- Cuba dominated in every category in going 10-0. They led in average (.395), home runs (29), runs (117) and ERA (1.03, 1.62 better than #2 Japan). The offensive stars included CF Jose Estrada (.385/.478/.538, 3 SB, 12 R), DH Lourdes Gourriel (.429/.444/.881, 15 R, 4 HR, 18 RBI), C Alberto Hernández (.323/.417/.581), 1B Orestes Kindelan (.412/.543/1.000, 6 HR, 14 R, 16 RBI), 3B Omar Linares (.512/.555/.927, 5 HR, 18 R, 12 RBI), SS German Mesa (.344/.436/.594, 12 RBI), 2B Antonio Pacheco (.395/.447/.814, 6 HR, 15 R, 17 RBI) and RF Ermidelio Urrutia (.613/.600/.871, 13 R, 11 RBI). On the hill, all the pitchers were effective - Omar Ajete (1-0, 0.00, 9 K in 5 2/3 IP), Rolando Arrojo (2-0, 1.64, 17 K in 11 IP), Faustino Corrales (1-0, 1.80), Osvaldo Fernandez (2-0, 1.65), Livan Hernandez (1-0, 0.00, 14 K in 9 2/3 IP), Orlando Hernandez (1-0, 1.50, 10 K in 6 IP) and Lazaro Valle (2-0, 0.45, 20 K). Urrutia led the tournament in average, Kindelan and Pacheco tied for the home run lead, Linares led in hits and Gourriel led in RBI in the fine team display.
- Dominican Republic would have been 0-5 if not for the efforts of Marcelino Santana (2-0, 0 R in 16 IP). Juan Vinas (0-1, 2.79), Francisco Diaz (2.61) and Ramon Roque (0-1, 3.24) all pitched well. Their 4.05 ERA was 5th behind Cuba, Japan, South Korea and the Netherlands. The offense produced at a .204/.295/.267 clip overall in a hitter's environment.
- France was the only one of the 16 entries to go winless. They were shut out in 5 of 7 games, scoring only against Italy and Australia. They allowed 24 runs to Cuba and 15 to Italy, giving up double-digit totals in four contests. No pitcher had an ERA under 8.10. LF Arnaud Fau (.375/.400/.583) was the lone offensive bright spot, scoring or driving in (or both in one case) half of their ten runs.
- Italy finished 7th despite the #3 batting average (.325) as the pitchers had a cumulative 8.30 ERA. Rolando Cretis (1-1, 3.46) was the top hurler. Leading the well-rounded offense were C Luigi Carrozza (.391/.462/.555, 8 R in 7 G), SS Andrea Evangelisti (.381/.480/.524) and DH Marco Ubani (.400/.500/.433).
- Japan got numerous impressive performances in winning the Bronze. They were second in average (.342), tied for second in homers (17), second in runs (93), tied for first in steals (12) and second in ERA (2.65). They had a team OBP of .423 and slugging percentage of .564. Solid hitters included C Hideaki Okubo (.400/.429/.600), 2B Naoki Matsumoto (.400/.436/.514, 10 R, 3 SB in 9 games), SS Toshihisa Nishi (.350/.447/.650, 8 R, 3 HR, 3 SB, 12 RBI), RF Takayuki Takabayashi (.314/.415/.800, 5 HR, 3 SB, 9 R, 16 RBI in 9 games), CF Daishin Nakamura (.381/.462/.476) and LF Tomoaki Sato (.376/.439/.649, 11 RBI). Takabayashi tied for third in home runs and RBI. Masanori Sugiura (3-0, 0.36) led the tournament in wins and strikeouts (32 in 26 1/3 IP). He only walked 4 and was 4th in ERA. Katsuya Maeda (1-0, 2.38) was the #2 pitcher.
- Netherlands had a good 3.98 ERA to finish 4th, but the offense only produced 24 runs. Solid hitters were SS Evert-Jan 't Hoen (.385/.429/.462, but 4 errors in 6 games for a .750 fielding percentage), 3B Byron Ward (7 for 14, two doubles) and RF Marcel Joost (.357/.400/.679). Top hurlers were Geoffry Kohl (2-0, 1.80), Eelco Jansen (1-0, 2.21) and Edward Van Bennekom (1 hit, 0 runs in 6 IP).
- The host Nicaragua scored 62 runs, fourth-most in the tournament. The offense was led by 1B Nemesio Porras (.333/.467/.500) and 3B Jenrry Roa (.351/.385/.568). LF Sandy Moreno (.306/.432/.361) led the Cup with 6 stolen bases. Oswaldo Mairena (1-0, 1.29) and Jose Quiroz (2-0, 1.76) led the staff.
- Panama finished a strong fifth despite being outscored 51-37. They did go 5-2 and a 17-1 loss to Cuba makes the run differential look far worse than it was. Only two players stood out - DH Alberto Saez (.393/.393/.607) and P Elpidio Pinto (2-0, 2.25).
- Puerto Rico had a decent 3-4 record, with two close one-run losses (3-2 to Panama and 4-3 to the Netherlands). They hit .305 as a team, fifth in that tournament. Top performers were 1B Efrain Garcia (.448/.484/.724, 8 RBI in 7 games), C Jose Lorenzana (.400/.455/.500), RF Joel Perez (.318/.348/.682) and P Nelson Sanchez (1-1, 2.25).
- South Korea earned the Silver Medal by losing only 3 times - a 7-5 decision to the US and two losses to Cuba in which they were not in the game. They finished third in team average (.317), tied for second in home runs (17), third in runs (80) and third in ERA (3.71) in a balanced talent display. Among the productive batsmen who produced a team OPS Of 937 were CF Kyung-hwan Cho (.382/.500/.794, 4 HR, 15 R in 10 games), C Ki-moon Choi (.417/.423/.792, 10 RBI in 10 games), DH Won-ki Hong (.355/.444/.677, 10 RBI in 10 games), C Kab-yong Jin (.389/.500/.556), SS Jong-kook Kim (.314/.400/.571, 13 R, 10 RBI in 10 games) and 3B Jae-hong Park (.293/.383/.585, 11 R in 10 G). Sung-min Cho (2-1, 3.97) was second in the 1994 Cup in strikeouts (28 in 22 2/3 IP). Other effective hurlers were Byung-ho Chun (2-0, 2.00), Dong-hwan Mun (2-0, 2.70, 23 K in 20 IP) and Min-han Son (0-1, 2.35).
- Sweden was shut out four times but avoided last place with a win over Canada. 2B Craig McDonald hit .333/.481/.429 and fielded 1.000 to lead a club that only batted .183/.295/.231 and was 0-for-4 in base-stealing tries. Petter Vesterlund (0-1, 4.26) had the lone ERA under 7.80 among the staff.
- Chinese Taipei finished 6th at 4-4, with two losses by six or more runs and three wins by six or more. The staff was fairly well-balanced, with Chia-Hao Chang standing out with 1 hit and no runs allowed in five innings. Top hitters were 1B Chin-Fung Ho (.452/.500/.710, 9 RBI in 8 games), CF-LF Kai-Fa Chen (.333/.419/.667, 7 runs in 7 games) and SS Hung-Yuan Lin (.391/.517/.652, 8 RBI in 8 games).
- United States had a disappointing 8th place finish at 4-4 and scoring as often as their opponents (50 runs each). R.A. Dickey (1-0, 2.51) was their top hurler while RF Geoff Jenkins (.355/.412/.774, 3 HR), 3B Brian Dallimore (.273/.407/.682) and CF Kevin Gibbs (.400/.516/.560) provided the offense. Less productive were two future MLB regulars - DH Mark Bellhorn (1 for 9) and 1B Doug Mientkiewicz (.207/.314/.414).
 All-Star Team
- C - Luigi Carrozza, Italy
- 1B - Efrain Garcia, Puerto Rico
- 2B - Antonio Pacheco, Cuba
- SS - German Mesa, Cuba
- 3B - Omar Linares, Cuba
- RF - Ermidelio Urrutia, Cuba
- CF - Kyung-hwan Cho, South Korea
- LF - Tomoaki Sato, Japan
- DH - Lourdes Gourriel, Cuba
- P - Marcelino Santana, Dominican Republic & Masanori Sugiura, Japan