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2008 Junior World Championship
From BR Bullpen
The 2008 World Junior Championship was the 23rd World Junior Championship. It was held from July 25 through August 3 in Edmonton, AB in Canada. The South Korean team successfully defended its 2006 title and the USA took Silver. Cuba won Bronze but lost two players (Noel Argüelles and Jose Iglesias) to defections after the first game.
 July 25
- Puerto Rico 5, Cuba 4. Puerto Rico, reputedly with one of the fastest-falling baseball programs in the world, sends out its youth squad and upsets Cuba, rallying from a 3-0 deficit after 6 and a half innings to edge out the Cubans. Vasquez Navarro drives in 3 as Puerto Rico makes the most of its 5 hits and 6 walks.
- Australia 11, Mexico 7. Crew Moanaroa goes 3 for 3 with 3 RBI and Rory Rhodes scores 3 as the Aussies upend Mexico.
- Canada 7, Italy 0. The hosts made quick work of their first opponent, as Stosh Wawrzasek throws 7 scoreless innings and both Brett Lawrie and Michael Crouse go 2 for 4 with 2 RBI.
 July 26
- Netherlands 14, Russia 2. Bjorn Hato (4 for 5, 2 R, 2 RBI) and Norbert Jongervis (4 for 5, 4 RBI) lead the Dutch to a romp over Russia. Robin van Eis picks up the win.
- Cuba 11, Czech Republic 0. Raydel Sanchez, Rodolfo Fernandez and Erluis Blanco hold the Czechs to one hit in a rout. Asniel Hernandez (3 for 4, 5 RBI) and Yasiel Puig (2 for 3, 3 R, 4 RBI) lead the charge.
- South Korea 11, Mexico 4. Jae-min Kim goes four for four with two runs as Mexico's pitching again fails to stop an opponent.
- USA 5, Australia 1. Ryan Weber (8 IP) and Austin Maddox (1 IP) combine to shut down the Australians, scattering 9 hits in a win for the Americans.
- Puerto Rico 8, Italy 0. Gonzales Roso and Figueroa Lebron team up on a 3-hit whitewash of Italy while Puerto Rico gets a balanced offensive display.
- Canada 7, Taiwan 6. Brett Lawrie goes 3 for 4 with 3 RBI to lead Canada past Taiwan. Lawrie's hits are all triples and the last one scores James Kottaras, breaking a 6-6 tie in the bottom of the 9th.
 July 27
- Mexico 12, Russia 0. Mexico finally gets some pitching as Ferraez Guzman and V. Gutierrez hold Russia to 4 hits and no runs. Six Russian errors help Mexico to its first win. J. Villanueva goes 3 for 4 and scores three runs.
- Puerto Rico 6, Czech Republic 2. Puerto Rico remains unbeaten, using four pitchers and a well-rounded offense to put away the Czechs.
- Taiwan 6, Italy 0. Italy is again shut out as Che-Ming Su, Chun-Yi Wu and Tsung-Hao Wang hold them to a single hit (by Valerio Simone).
- Cuba 4, Canada 3. The hosts drop their first as Julio Martinez goes the distance and a wild pitch and an error by the Canadians cost them two runs in the 8th, blowing a fine start by Evan Grills.
- South Korea 6, Australia 1. Sung-chul Jung tosses 8 1/3 innings to shut down Australia while Kun-woo Park drives in three for the victorious South Korean squad.
- USA 20, Netherlands 5. Red Sox farmhand Swen Huijer is unable to stop the US (5 ER in 2 IP) and his five relievers do little better as 11 Americans score, 9 of them multiple times. Seven Americans drive in at least two to compensate for a mediocre pitching performance.
 July 28
- Taiwan 10, Czech Republic 0. Taiwan takes advantage of 10 walks and 3 errors as seven different players score runs in an easy win. Po-Ju Lin and Tsung-Chien Lin team up on a 3-hit shutout.
- USA 25, Russia 0. Cecil Tanner cruises to victory while Jeff Malm (3 for 4) and Harold Martinez (2 for 5) both drive in four. 10 Americans score multiple times in the 7-inning rout.
- South Korea 12, Netherlands 3. Another US pro fares poorly for the Dutch as Jeroen de Haas of the Mariners surrenders 6 runs in 3 2/3 IP for the loss. Sang-soo Kim goes 3 for 4 with 3 runs and 3 RBI out of the leadoff slot.
 July 29
- Italy 7, Czech Republic 1. Valerio Simone and Andrea Pizziconi combine on a fine pitching game while Massimo Pesci (2 for 3, 2 BB) and Francesco Cozzolino (2 for 2, 3 BB) lead Italy's offense to its first win.
- Australia 14, Netherlands 2. Leadoff man David Kandlas (3 for 4, 3 RBI) and cleanup hitter Rory Rhodes (3 for 4, BB, 2 R, RBI) lead a strong Australian attack in an easy win over the Netherlands.
- South Korea 17, Russia 1. South Korea remained one of two unbeaten squads as Young-suk Jang went 2 for 2 with 2 runs and 4 RBI and 7 Korean batters scored at least two runs. Russia remained one of two winless squads.
- Cuba 13, Taiwan 3. Joan Soccaras goes the distance for the win and five Cubans have multiple RBI. Yasiel Puig scores three times.
- USA 2, Mexico 0. Mexico finally gets a stellar pitching performance but it is for naught but Matt Purke tosses goose eggs for nine innings, fanning 11. Nolan Fontana walks all four times he comes up and scores both US runs.
- Canada 18, Puerto Rico 7. Puerto Rico scores six in the bottom of the first to jump to a 5-run lead, but Canada takes over from there. Brett Lawrie (3 for 4, 2 BB, 3 R, 6 RBI) continues to dominate, falling a double shy of the cycle.
 July 30
- Australia 8, Russia 0. Three Australian pitchers (Adam O'Neill, Andrew Jones and Warwick Saupold) combine for 14 strikeouts while holding Russia to 3 hits.
- Mexico 8, Netherlands 3. Tjerk Hogervorst (3 for 4) has half of the Dutch hits; after a close game for 3 innings, Mexico runs away with 6 relief shutout innings from C.A. Castillo Ibarra. J.C. Villanueva (3 for 5, 3 R) and Luis Juarez (3 for 5, 3 R) lead Mexico's offense.
- USA 4, South Korea 3. The only two remaining unbeaten teams squared off for an exciting match as the US ekes out a one-run victory with a 2-run 7th to come from behind.
 July 31
- Taiwan 2, Puerto Rico 1. In an exciting 11-inning match-up, Taiwan edged out the Puerto Ricans. Che-Ming Su allowed only 4 hits in going the distance while T. Gonzales allowed one run in 9 as the Puerto Rican starter.
- Cuba 4, Italy 0. Italy's offense again proved its downfall as Erluis Blanco and two relievers held them to 3 hits and no walks while striking out 9. Reliever Elia Pasquali tossed 4 2/3 shutout innings in relief for Italy.
- Canada 25, Czech Republic 1. Luke Wilson went 5 for 5 with 4 runs and 6 RBI and fell a triple shy of the cycle while Carter Bell scored 5 times as the Czechs got run over by the hosts.
 Standings After Round-Robin
 Pool A
- USA, 5-0
- Korea, 4-1
- Australia, 3-2
- Mexico, 2-3
- Netherlands, 1-4
- Russia, 0-5
 Pool B
- Cuba, 4-1
- Canada, 4-1
- Taiwan, 3-2
- Puerto Rico, 3-2
- Italy, 1-4
- Czech Republic, 0-5
 August 1
- South Korea 5, Taiwan 4. Yung-hoon Sung struck out 10 and allowed only 3 hits in a complete game, but Taiwan made the most of them and LF Min-Hao Tsai drove in three. Taiwan led 4-2 after 4 1/2 innings but South Korea rallied against Kuan-Yu Chen and Keng-Hao Chang to win it.
- USA 7, Puerto Rico 0. The US beat its protectorate on a 5-hit, 9-K shutout by Ryan Weber. Six different Americans crossed home in another balanced offensive display.
- Cuba 8, Mexico 7. In a Latin American contest, the Cubans eked out a win over Mexico with a run in the bottom of the 9th. J. Rodriguez went 3 for 5 with 2 runs and 3 RBI to lead Cuba, which overcame four errors. E. Aldazaba drove in four for Mexico with a single and a home run.
- Australia 2, Canada 1. The hosts took an upset loss. Stosh Wawrzasek allowed 2 runs in 6 1/3 innings and took the defeat as Canada gave him little support. They loaded the bases in the bottom of the 9th with two outs. On a 1-2 pitch, Luke Willson was apparently plunked by Jarryd Sullivan but the umpire at home said that he was not hit. Willson then struck out to end Canada's hopes for a medal.
- Netherlands 8, Czech Republic 2. After Red Sox farmhand Swen Huijer allows 2 runs in four, Jim Ploegs relieves and tosses five shutout innings, allowing no hits or walks while whiffing 12. Erik van Dorp scores three runs for the Dutch.
- Italy 13, Russia 0. Italy steamrolled over Russia as Evgeny Vorotyntsev gave up 15 hits and all 13 runs in 5 2/3 IP. Tommaso Cherubini, on the other hand, tosses 7 shutout innings for the win. Federico Castagnini was 4 for 5 and scored three times.
 August 2
- USA 3, Australia 1. The Australians jumped ahead in the first when Sean Williams scored an unearned run but Jacob Turner and Jake Barrett allowed nothing further, striking out 16. The US pecked away against Adam Spencer with runs in the third, fifth and sixth to win it.
- South Korea 6, Cuba 1. South Korea earned a shot to defend its 2006 title with an easy win over Cuba. Min-gyu Park fanned 12, allowed no walks and four hits in a complete game victory. Young-suk Jang went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI to lead the Korean offensive.
- Taiwan 1, Mexico 0. Chia-Liang Hung allowed four hits in a shutout to lead Taiwan to victory. Mexico also allowed just four hits but three errors hurt them, as Taiwan's lone run was unearned. The game was scoreless until the 8th, when Hsiao-Yi Kao crossed home.
- Canada 9, Puerto Rico 6. Down 6-3 entering the 9th, Canada rallied to win against relievers Adie Figueroa, Eduardo Cruz, Carlo Santiago and Fredd Cabrera. Carter Morrison hit a 3-run homer during the rally and Mike Monster pitched a scoreless bottom of the 9th for a save.
- Netherlands 8, Italy 4. In a European showdown, the Dutch beat the Italians for 9th place with Jeroen de Haas getting the win over Andrea Pizziconi. Francesco Cozzolino went 4 for 5 in a losing cause. Kevin Weygstre went 3 for 4 for the winners. Robin van Eis pitched three shutout innings for the save.
- Czech Republic 8, Russia 1. Russia finished last after losing to the Czechs. David Diblik threw 6 shutout innings for the win and Jan Tomek got the save. Michael Czyz scored three runs while Twins signee Matěj Hejma was 3 for 5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI and was a triple shy of the cycle.
 August 3; Finals
- South Korea 7, USA 0. South Korea won its second consecutive World Junior Championship. Yung-hoon Sung again dazzled, this time with a 7-hit, 9-strikeout whitewash. Matt Purke gave up 6 runs and 8 hits in under 5 innings for the US. Every Korean starter except one scored or drove in a run. Kun-woo Park went 3 for 4 to lead the offense.
- Cuba 6, Australia 2. Cuba took Bronze with an easy win over Australia. Erluis Blanco went the distance, striking out 10, for Cuba. Yasiel Puig went 3 for 4 with 3 runs out of the third spot in the order.
- Taiwan 11, Canada 4. Taiwan rapped 16 hits in an easy win over Canada. #2 through #5 hitters Yen-Ju Chen (3 for 5), Yu-Hsiang Chen (3 for 5, 2 R, 2 RBI), Fu-Lin Kuo (2 for 4, 2 R, 2 RBI) and Ho Lin (2 for 5, 2 R, 2 RBI) all had good games while Kuan-Yu Chen allowed one run in five for the win. Brett Lawrie went 3 for 4 in a losing cause.
- Mexico 2, Puerto Rico 0. Four Mexican hurlers stymied the Puerto Rican offense, holding them to 3 hits while whiffing 12. Fredy Guzman, E. Nevarez, Martin Vega and Edwain Salas combined on the gem.
 Final Standings
- South Korea
- Puerto Rico
- Czech Republic
 All-Star Team
- C: Brett Lawrie, Canada
- 1B: Jeff Malm, USA
- 2B: Adán Velázquez Bernal, Mexico
- SS: Nolan Fontana, USA
- 3B: Harold Martinez, USA
- OF: Soo-bin Jung, South Korea
- OF: Yasiel Puig, Cuba
- OF: Michael Crouse, Canada
- DH: Ji-hwan Oh, South Korea
- LHP: Matt Purke, USA
- RHP: Che-Ming Su, Taiwan
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