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2009 Baseball World Cup

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The 2009 Baseball World Cup was the 38th Baseball World Cup and ran from September 9 through September 27. It was the first Baseball World Cup to take place in more than one country, being spread over eight countries in Europe. An unprecedented 22 teams played. Russia was originally slated to host Pool D in round one but was replaced by Croatia in July. The US won its fourth World Cup and second in a row, again beating Cuba in the finale. Justin Smoak was named Baseball World Cup MVP.

For the first time in 36 years, no European or Asian team made the final four, which was strictly American. Records were set or tied by Cuba's Alfredo Despaigne (home runs in a Cup), Mexico's Jesús Cota (home runs in a game), USA's Pedro Alvarez (home runs in a game), Puerto Rico's R.J. Rodriguez (saves in a Cup) and Canada's Trystan Magnuson (wins in a Cup). Pedro Luis Lazo of Cuba extended his record for career saves in a Cup.

Contents

[edit] Schedule

[edit] Round One: September 9-11

[edit] September 9

[edit] September 10

[edit] September 11

[edit] September 12

[edit] Round Two: September 13-21

[edit] September 13

[edit] September 14

[edit] September 15

[edit] September 16

[edit] September 17

[edit] September 18

[edit] September 19

[edit] September 20

[edit] September 21

[edit] Round Three: September 22-26

[edit] September 22

[edit] September 23

[edit] September 24

[edit] September 25

[edit] September 26

[edit] Finals: September 27

[edit] Competing Nations with (records in past World Cups)

  • Flag of Australia Australia (32-42) represents Oceania. They finished 6th in the 2007 Baseball World Cup, a new high for them, earning them a ticket here.
  • Flag of Canada Canada (59-94) just missed the cut for the final eight at the 2007 Baseball World Cup. They have never won a Medal in a World Cup. They qualify based off their appearance in the 2008 Olympics.
  • Flag of People's Republic of China People's Republic of China (6-16) qualifies based on their appearance in the 2008 Olympics. They missed the 2007 World Cup due to politics but were 3-5 in the 2005 Baseball World Cup.
  • Flag of Croatia Croatia is the only country making its debut in a Baseball World Cup. They qualify as a host.
  • Flag of Cuba Cuba (286-31) won Silver at the 2007 World Cup after having won every World Cup it had entered since 1952.
  • Flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic (0-8) qualifies as one of the host countries. They were winless in their only World Cup appearance, back in 2005.
  • Flag of Germany Germany (1-31) qualifies as a host and also due to their fourth-place finish at the 2007 European Championship. They won their first World Cup game ever in the 2007 event and played some close matches.
  • Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom (4-1) is making its first appearance in 70 years, since winning the first Amateur World Series. They qualified based off their Silver Medal win in the 2007 European Championship.
  • Flag of Italy Italy (51-98) qualifies as one of the hosts. They were the only team to beat the USA at the 2007 World Cup and have made it to the Bronze Medal game in the past.
  • Flag of Japan Japan (116-45) qualified by winning Bronze at the 2007 World Cup and by playing in the 2008 Olympics. Their best showing was in 1982, when they won Silver.
  • Flag of Mexico Mexico (87-138) qualified due to their performance at the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup. They have won four Silver Medals at the World Cups, but none since 1965.
  • Flag of Netherlands Netherlands (52-108) has finished fourth in the last two Baseball World Cups, their top finishes to this point. They qualify after having won the 2007 European Championship.
  • Flag of Netherlands Antilles Netherlands Antilles (23-80) qualified based on their performance in the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup. They had not appeared in a World Cup since 1988 and had not fielded any national team from 2003-2007.
  • Flag of Nicaragua Nicaragua (157-124) qualified with their second-place finish at the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup. They have won 5 Silver Medals, the last one being in the 1990 Baseball World Cup.
  • Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (143-114) qualified with its first-place finish in the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup. They won Gold in 1951.
  • Flag of South Africa South Africa (2-35) is the African representative. They were winless at the 2007 Baseball World Cup.
  • Flag of South Korea South Korea (89-55) finished 5th in the 2007 World Cup and qualified due to their appearance in the 2008 Olympics, which they won. They won Gold in 1982.
  • Flag of Spain Spain (6-27) qualified as a host and due to their Bronze Medal showing at the 2007 European Championship. They won only one game at the 2007 World Cup.
  • Flag of Sweden Sweden (2-13) qualified as a host. They won one game in both of their prior appearances.
  • Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei (85-66) finished 8th in the 2007 World Cup, which they hosted. They qualify based off their appearance in the 2008 Olympics. Their best finish was a Silver in 1984.
  • Flag of United States United States (152-73) won its third World Cup Gold in 2007, but it was their first Gold in a Cup in which Cuba participated. They qualify as one of the teams from the 2008 Olympics.
  • Flag of Venezuela Venezuela (126-73) qualified with their 5th-place showing in the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup. They have won 3 Golds, but the last one was back in 1945.


[edit] Rosters

See 2009 Baseball World Cup (Rosters)

[edit] First-Round Games

[edit] September 9

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Australia 0 3 3 0 4 0 1 0 6 17 20 1
Czech Republic 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 4 7 5
Win: Drew Naylor (1-0) Loss: Jakub Toufar (0-1)

The Cup began with Jakub Toufar walking CF Nick Kimpton, who stole second and advanced to third on an out, but was stranded when Toufar retired LF Chris Snelling and 3B Luke Hughes. In the bottom of the first, RF Martin Veselý drew a one-out walk from Liam Hendriks as the first Czech baserunner, but he was thrown out stealing by Joel Naughton.

The first scoring of the Cup came in the second. LF Tim Kennelly led off the inning with a homer. 1B Stefan Welch doubled and one out later, DH Andrew Graham went deep for a 3-0 Australian lead. Kennelly smacked a 3-run homer in the third to make it 6-0. Hendriks left after 3 hitless, scoreless innings.

In the 5th, a 2-run homer by Welch off Leoš Kubát keyed a 4-run frame that put the Aussies up 10-0. The Czechs got their first hit and first run in the bottom of the frame. 2B Martin Schneider delivered both on a solo home run off Tim Cox, the third Australian pitcher. They scored again in the 6th on a fielder's choice, a walk, a wild pitch by Dushan Ruzic and a throwing error by backup C Mathew Kennelly (brother of Tim). Kubát left in the 7th after giving up a RBI single to backup LF Daniel Berg, scoring Kimpton.

Josh Hill ran into trouble in the bottom of the 7th. Schneider greeted him with a single. With one out, backup C Jakub Voják tripled him home. DH Karel Hrušovský singled in Vokaj to close the game to 11-4, reducing the Czech chance of losing in a mercy rule contest.

Australia exploded for six more in the 9th.

Tim Kennelly finished the day 3 for 5 with 4 runs and 4 RBI. Stefan Welch was 4 for 6 with 3 runs and 3 RBI. Had he stopped with a single in his final hit, he would have had a cycle, but he extended it to a double.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Netherlands Antilles 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 6 10 10 2
Sweden 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 6 8 10 5
Win: Simon Pantophlet (1-0) Loss: Joakim Claesson (0-1)

The two teams both scored in the 3rd, 7th and 9th, in a closely matched game. The starting pitchers both had attended U.S. colleges far from their homelands to develop their games.

After two scoreless innings, the Antilles got on the board first. 3B Ryan Ilario singled against Joakim Claesson, was bunted over and took third on a wild pitch. 2B Raywendley van Gurp walked on four pitches, then RF Luisgardo Alvarez doubled both runners in. In the bottom of the inning, LF Tony Dermendziev and 2B Adam Sorgi singled against Simon Pantophlet and back-to-back errors by Ilario on grounders led to a run.

Claesson cruised until the 7th, when the Antilles scored again, on a 2-run homer by CF Ardley Jansen. Pantophlet was removed after six innings in favor of veteran Orsendo Clemencia. C Björn Johannesen drew a leadoff walk and Dermendziev and Sorgi both walked as well. 1B Magnus Pilegård hit into a run-scoring force but Clemencia recovered to strike out the next two batters, cleanup man Peter Johannessen and #5 hitter Henrik Johansson, to escape without further damage.

After a quiet 8th, the Antilles appeared to put the game away in the 9th. Alvarez reached on a force-out and took second on a passed ball. Nicklas Melin intentionally walked Jansen. DH Lorvin Louisa reached on a miscue by 3B Johansson. LF Jair Josepha then crushed a grand slam for a 8-2 lead. C Ulrich Snijders reached and another Johansson error put 1B Andley Simmons on. PH Djionny Joubert walked against reliever Richard Leander to load the bags. PH Quincy Martina grounded to Johansson, who threw to home to force Snijders. Van Gurp then singled in both Simmons and Joubert to make it 10-2.

Sweden made it a game, though. In the bottom of the 9th, Sorgi singled and Pilegård walked. Peter Johannessen singled to load the bases. Clemencia plunked Johansson to force in Sorgi. Johnny Gregorius relieved and had similar control problems, hitting SS Rickard Reimer. Gregorius walked Richard Leander on five pitches to force in another run, making it 10-5. Ludwin Obispo became the third Antillean hurler of the inning. PH Per Lindgren stepped in and grounded back to the mound, starting a double play, pitcher to catcher to first base. Björn Johannesen then hit a 3-run home run to close it to a 2-run gap. Obispo recovered to get Dermendizev on a fly to end the contest.


Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
Spain 2 0 3 1 6 3 15 16 1
Win: Eric Gonzalez (1-0) Loss: Donavon Hendricks (0-1)

In a crucial game for both teams, Spain won in a rout. With two outs in the first, 2B Paco Figueroa singled off Donavon Hendricks and LF Luis J. Pérez homered to make it 2-0. They added insurance in the third on a single by DH Emmanuel Febles, a wild pitch and a single by CF Daniel Figueroa. After a double play, Paco Figueroa singled and Pérez walked. C Dewis Navarro doubled home both for a 5-0 lead. In the 4th, a Febles triple and Daniel Figueroa single made it 6-0 Spain.

In the 5th, Spain erupted for six runs, led by a 2-run homer by Navarro, and 3 more in the sixth for the first mercy rule game of the tournament. Eric Gonzalez, one of the first Spanish-born and -trained pitchers to make the US minor leagues, gave up 2 hits and no runs in five excellent innings.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
China 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 5 4
Germany 1 0 7 0 2 4 - 14 14 1
Win: Enorbel Marquez (1-0) Loss: Shuai Li (0-1)

The hosts had one of their best chances for a win and ran away with it. They started well, when 3B Dominik Wulf homered with two out in the first for a 1-0 edge. Germany exploded for 7 more in the 3rd, with a series of hits including doubles by C Kai Gronauer and RF Rodney Gessmann. Two Chinese errors in the fifth helped lead to two more runs. Enorbel Marquez finally allowed a run in the 6th, by which point Germany had the game well in hand. Wulf added a 3-run double in the bottom of the sixth then came home on a single by 1B Ludwig Glaser to end the scoring.

Wulf finished 3 for 5 with 3 runs and 5 RBI.

[edit] September 10

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Japan 0 3 0 0 3 0 0 2 1 9 12 1
Great Britain 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 5 7 11 3
Win: Rikuya Chikugawa (1-0) Loss: Sam Whitehead (0-1)

In the second, Japan went ahead 3-0. 2B Kenichi Yokoyama doubled against Sam Whitehead and 3B Kentaro Miyazawa singled. An error by 1B Aedan McQueary-Ennis let in one run. LF Yoshinobu Kotegawa hit a 2-run homer to cap that inning's scoring. In the 5th, CF Ikuhiro Kiyota singled and was bunted over. RF Hisayoshi Chono singled in Kiyota. DH Keiji Ikebe grounded to 2B Tim Collins, whose error made it 4-0. 1B Tsutomu Sasaki singled to load the bases. Pirate farmhand Tom Boleska relieved and gave up a 2-run single to Yokoyama.

After three innings of one-hit shutout ball from Hiroyuki Kamegawa, Rikuya Chikugawa relieved. In the bottom of the fifth, C Chris Berset singled and LF Matt McGraw doubled. 3B Chris Falls doubled as well, plating both runners.

2B Komei Sawamura drew a walk to open the 8th and stole second. Tom Stack-Babich hit Miyazawa with a pitch. A bunt advanced the runners. Backup LF Sho Aranami singled to increase the lead to 8-2. In the 9th, a double by Ikebe and a single by Sasaki for a 9-2 edge.

Just like Sweden yesterday, Britain rallied in the 9th to make it a game. Eiichi Hirai came in to pitch that inning for Japan and began with back-to-back strikeouts. On the second strikeout, though, a wild pitch allowed Evan Romanchuk to reach first. McQueary-Ennis singled. SS Brant Ust singled to make it 9-3. A 3-run jack by RF Sam Wiley closed it to 9-6. Berset walked. Hirai retired McGraw on a fly, but Falls singled. Hirai struck out Collins, but he too reached on a wild pitch on strike three; Berset scored. Up came Brad Marcelino, the potential tying run. He singled. Richard Klijn (who had entered as a pinch-runner for Romanchuk) came up and struck out for Hirai's 4th K of the inning.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mexico 0 1 1 0 0 1 5 0 0 8 14 0
Taiwan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
Win: Rafael Díaz (1-0) Loss: Wen-Yang Liao (0-1)

Mexico took the lead in the second when C Saúl Soto led off with a single against Wen-Yang Liao. With one out, RF Cristhian Presichi walked. 1B Sergio Contreras loaded the bases with a bunt single. 2B Carlos Valencia then hit into a run-scoring force. In the third, LF Jesús Cota hit a 2-run homer and he delivered another blast in the sixth. While Cota was providing the pop, 39-year-old Rafael Díaz was providing the pitching, shutting out Taiwan over the first six innings.

Mexico's offense got even hotter in the 7th against reliever Yi-Cheng Wang. 3B Abel Martínez led off with a bunt hit. CF Eduardo Arredondo singled as well. SS Oscar Robles singled to make it 4-0. Cota then hit his third home run of the day, tying the Baseball World Cup record, for a 7-0 lead. One out later, DH Edgar Quintero homered to cap the scoring.

Diaz left after six; Hugo Castellanos, Arturo Lopez and Hector Navarro each tossed one shutout inning to complete the whitewash.

Cota's three homers tied the World Cup record shared by Antonio Muñoz (1980), Luis Casanova (1990) and Sharnol Adriana (2003).

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Nicaragua 2 0 0 0 5 2 1 0 0 10 13 1
Croatia 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 5 0
Win: Juan Oviedo (1-0) Loss: Ernesto Pereira (0-1)

Nicaragua wasted no time to take the lead against Ernesto Pereira. 2B Mario Holmann led off the game with a four-pitch walk and advanced on a wild pitch. With one out, 3B Jimy Gonzalez homered for a 2-0 lead. Pereira contained Nicaragua for 3 innings but they came back alive in the 5th. C Adolfo Matamoros led off the inning with a single and CF Douglas Morales singled. After Holmann fanned, SS Edgard López singled in Matamoros. Gonzalez then went deep again, making it 6-0. After a walk to Justo Rivas, Pereira was replaced by Matko Dabo. DH Esteban Ramírez greeted him with a single and 1B Sandor Guido delivered a sacrifice fly for a 7-0 lead.

Nicaragua kept padding their lead. In the 6th, Morales tripled and Holmann walked. López tripled them both in. The next inning, Ramírez hit a solo home run to make it 10-0. In the bottom of the 7th, Croatia got their first World Cup run ever. Backup CF Filip Berecka walked against former major leaguer Oswaldo Mairena. #8 hitter and 2B Dario Čusak singled to center and an error by Morales allowed Berecka to come home for the game's last score.

While Croatia lost their first World Cup appearance, they could take pride in not being shutout or having the game end early due to the mercy rule.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Cuba 2 1 2 4 0 1 0 10 11 0
Puerto Rico 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1
Win: Norge Vera (1-0) Loss: Jose Santiago

Cuba burst ahead quickly. In the first, CF Leonys Martin led off with a walk. With one out, 2B Yulieski Gourriel doubled him in, then scored on a single by LF Frederich Cepeda. In the 2nd, 1B José Dariel Abreu homered to make it 3-0. Cuba continued to pound former major leaguer Jose Santiago in the third, as Cepeda walked with one out and DH Alfredo Despaigne went yard, knocking out Santiago with 5 runs in under 3 innings.

In the 4th, a 3-run double by Despaigne against Angel Garcia keyed a 4-run inning. Cuba made it 10-0 in the 6th when Gourriel homered off Nelvin Fuentes. The game ended after seven due to the mercy rule.

Despaigne finished with 5 RBI. Norge Luis Vera tossed 7 shutout innings, allowing only 3 hits against a team with six former major leaguers and three AAA prospects.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
South Korea 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 5 2
Canada 0 1 0 0 0 0 8 0 - 9 11 1
Win: Jimmy Henderson (1-0) Loss: Kyung-eun Noh (0-1)

Canada went ahead 1-0 in the second on a 2-out error by Korean 3B Yong-kyu Choi and a triple by LF Adam Loewen. From there, Nick Bucci and Kyung-eun Noh dueled evenly through 5. In the 7th, reliever Scott Richmond allowed Korea to tie it on three singles, by Choi, CF Ho-sin Lee and C Hee-keun Lee.

Canada responded in the 7th when Noh tired. DH Tim Smith led off with a single. C Chris Robinson bunted Smith over, then Loewen doubled him in. SS Jonathan Malo went down on strikes. Canada then staged an impressive two-out run. CF Adam Stern singled in Loewen. Byung-oh Noh relieved. 2B Brett Lawrie grounded into a Choi error, then Noh threw a wild pitch. RF Rene Tosoni drew a four-pitch walk. 3B Shawn Bowman singled in two. 1B Cole Armstrong singled in another. Smith then hit a 3-run homer to make it 9-1, a 8-run inning.

Jimmy Henderson and Chris Kissock had 7 strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings to wrap up the win for Canada; Henderson got the decision.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Venezuela 0 0 0 1 0 1 5 0 0 2 4 13 10 1
USA 2 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 9 13 0
Win: Jose Escalona (1-0) Loss: Nate Field (0-1) Save: Robert Zarate (1)

The USA started their title defense on a strong note over the first four innings, but wound up the day with an upset loss thanks to horrendous bullpen work. In the first, SS Trevor Plouffe walked. 1B Justin Smoak doubled but Plouffe was thrown out trying to score. RF Josh Kroeger doubled in Smoak. DH Terry Tiffee reached on a throwing error by 2B Billy Rojo. LF Jon Weber singled in Kroeger.

In the 2nd, 2B Tug Hulett homered. CF Buck Coats doubled and Smoak hit a one-out home run to make ir 5-0. Kroeger was hit by a pitch and doubled in by Tiffee. Venezuela got on the board in the 4th on a solo shot by 3B Michael Sandoval. The US answered with a home run by Smoak and led 7-1; it would be their biggest lead as they were outscored 12-2 the rest of the way.

Brad Lincoln left after a strong start, giving up one run in five innings. In the 6th, B.J. Rosenberg came in. 1B Lino Connell greeted him with a double and two outs later, DH Luis Landaeta doubled to make it 7-2. In the 7th, Jason Childers took the mound and Venezuela took out the big bats. With one out, C Yosnel García walked. Rojo drew a walk. After a strikeout, Connell walked on four pitches. The wild Rosenberg plunked Sandoval to force in one run. RF Rene Reyes, the one Venezuelan with MLB experience, then deposited an offering into center field for a grand slam to tie the score. Neither team did much in the 8th or 9th.

In the 10th, under the much-criticized IBAF rules instituted in 2008, each team began with two runners aboard. Connell began with a bunt against Ehren Wassermann, but catcher Jason Castro threw to third, failing to get the runner, loading the bags. Sandoval struck out. Geno Espineli relieved and walked Reyes on five pitches to force in a run. Landaeta grounded in another and it was 9-7 Venezuela.

Scoreless since the 4th, the US finally woke up with their backs to the wall. With one out, Smoak doubled in the two runners who started the inning on base to tie the game, but Venezuela escaped further damage by retiring Kroeger and Weber.

In the 11th, Nate Field struck out the first two batters on just six pitches, but walked Rojo on a full count. SS Dirimo Chavez, a veteran of the international stage, then hit a grand slam to left. In the bottom of the 11th, Robert Zarate retired 3B Pedro Alvarez, Castro and Hulett in order to end the game.

[edit] September 11

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Taiwan 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 2 0 5 8 1
Australia 0 1 3 0 0 1 0 2 - 7 10 2
Win: Adam Bright (1-0) Loss: Ching-Ming Wang (0-1)

Coming off their rout of the Czech Republic, Australia started strong but had to rally late to hold on to win.

In the second, C Andrew Graham drew a 2-out walk from Chih-Lung Huang and stole second. He scored on a single by DH Joel Naughton. The next inning, SS James Beresford and 2B Brad Harman singled to start things off. After Huang retired former major leaguers Chris Snelling and Luke Hughes, game one hero and RF Tim Kennelly contributed a 3-run homer to put the Aussies up 4-0.

After being shut down by David Welch for five innings, Taiwan came back in the sixth against reliever Brad Tippett. With one out, 3B Chih-Hsiang Lin reached on an error by Beresford. SS Han Lin and 1B Kuo-Min Lin singled, but Chih-Hsiang Lin was thrown out at home by Kennelly trying to score, a big play. RF Tsung-Chun Wu then did his job as cleanup man, hitting a 3-run homer to make it a one-run contest.

Australia added some insurance in the bottom of the 6th on a double by LF Daniel Berg and a single by Beresford. Taiwan tied it in the 8th against Matthew Williams. LF Tai-Yong Kuo and Chih-Hsiang Lin singled, with Kuo thrown out at home by Kennelly. Han Lin grounded the runner over, then Kuo-Min Lin socked a home run.

Australia rallied in the bottom of the 8th. Naughton singled with one out. An out later, Beresford went yard off Ching-Ming Wang for the game-winner. Adam Bright retired 3 of 4 batters in the 9th to end the game.

Beresford finished the day 4 for 5 with 2 runs, 3 RBI and the home run, compensating for his error.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
South Africa 1 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 5 6 0
Cuba 0 1 3 2 3 1 0 0 - 10 16 1
Win: Miguel Alfredo González (1-0) Loss: Jean Sawyer (0-1)

Coming off a 10-0 rout of a MLB-laden club and facing a team that lost 15-0 to Spain, Cuba faced an unexpectedly tough game, winning by "only" five.

South Africa scored first. 2B Gift Ngoepe began the game with a single against Miguel Alfredo González. Phillips reached on a throwing error by SS Luis Miguel Navas with one out, Ngoepe scoring on the play. Cuba tied it in the second when RF Alfredo Despaigne went deep off Jean Sawyer. In the third, 2B Héctor Olivera Jr., DH Michel Enríquez and 3B Yulieski Gourriel hit back-to-back jacks off Sawyer for a 4-1 lead.

In the fourth, C Ariel Pestano drew a one-out walk and was erased on a force. Olivera walked on four pitches, then Enríquez hit a 2-run double to make it 6-1 Cuba. That finally knocked out Sawyer. In the 5th, LF Frederich Cepeda hit Cuba's 4th home run, a solo shot against Jared Elario. A 2-run homer by Pestano later in the inning put the Cubans in front by a 9-1 margin.

South Africa rallied in the 6th. DH Dylan Lindsay singled off González and was balked to second. Ngoepe doubled, Lindsay holding at third. González walked a batter then hit one to make it 9-2. LF Ashley Scott grounded in Ngoepe. After González fanned 3B Justin Lazarus, CF Richard Holgate delivered a 2-run single to force González from the game; Miguel had struck out 13 in 5 2/3 IP. Cuba's lead was down to 9-5 by the time he left, though.

In the 6th, reliever Dylan Unsworth walked Enríquez, who advanced on a passed ball. Unsworth retired star sluggers Gourriel and Cepeda, Enríquez taking third on Cepeda's ground out. A wild pitch by Unsworth scored Enríquez to make it 10-5. Neither team would score again.

Cuban pitchers González, Pedro Luis Lazo and Vladimir García fanned 19 South African hitters.

González's 10 straight strikeouts fell one shy of the Baseball World Cup record, set by Burt Hooton back in 1971.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Great Britain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1
Nicaragua 3 4 2 0 0 0 1 10 12 0
Win: Diego Sandino (1-0) Loss: Alex Smith (0-1)

Nicaragua wasted no time in putting this one away. With one out in the first, SS Edgard López and 3B Jimy Gonzalez both homered against Alex Smith. One out later, RF Danilo Sotelo homered to left for a 3-0 lead. One bright spot for the Brits was CF Alex Malihoudis throwing out a runner at the plate.

In the second, CF Douglas Morales and 2B Mario Holmann singled with one out and López drew a walk. Gonzalez then clubbed his 4th home run of the Cup, a grand slam to give Nicaragua a 7-0 lead; Smith left with only 4 batters retired. In the third, LF Esteban Ramírez drew a leadoff walk from Brook Coatsworth, then veteran 1B Sandor Guido hit a 2-run homer to make it 9-0.

Nicaragua was held silent by Aedan McQueary-Ennis from the 4th to the 6th, but Guido opened the 7th with a solo home run to make it 10-0, ending the game via the mercy rule.

Diego Sandino and Berman Espinoza combined on a 3-hit shutout of Britain, walking none; Sam Wiley had two of the British hits. Their players with minor league experience were a combined 0 for 6.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Sweden 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 5 2
South Korea 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 - 5 5 1
Win: Seung-lak Son (1-0) Loss: Kent Karlsson (0-1)

Swedish manager Karl Knutsson turned to a guy with the same initials, Norwegian native Kent Karlsson, in game two. It started rough for Karlsson. SS Kyoung-min Hur opened with a walk and stole second with one out. 2B Myung-gu Kang singled the runner to third, then swiped second as well. DH Eui-ji Yang grounded in Hur, then 3B Yong-kyu Choi doubled for a 2-0 lead. From there, Karlsson and Seung-lak Son traded goose eggs from the 2nd through the 5th.

In the 6th, Korea got back on the board. Choi singled and was bunted over. He stole third. C Hee-keun Lee was intentionally walked and took second on a passed ball. 1B Jin-hyuk No laid down a bunt. C Björn Johannessen fielded it but threw it away, letting Choi and Lee score. After a 4-pitch walk, Karlsson was replaced by Nick Soubiea.

Sweden made it a 3-run game in the 7th when CF Peter Johannessen avenged his brother's defensive lapse with a solo home run. Korea got one more in the 8th on a solo shot by CF Ho-sin Lee. Sweden got two men on in the 9th but failed to score.

Son went 8 innings for the win.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 R H E
China 0 0 2 0 0 2 3 2
Venezuela 7 4 1 3 2 17 14 1
Win: Junior Guerra (1-0) Loss: Shance Zou (0-1)

Venezuela buried China in this contest. Chinese starter Shance Zou faced 6 hitters and retired none of them. SS Dirimo Chavez opened with a walk, then veteran 1B Lino Connell singled. 3B Michael Sandoval walked on four pitches. RF Rene Reyes tripled to clear the bases and LF Luis Landaeta followed with a 2-run homer. LF Willie Vasquez singled. That was it for Zou. CF Jonathan Sivira greeted his replacement with a walk. C Yosnel García was the first out, hitting into a double play. Vasquez scored on a wild pitch for a 6-0 lead. 2B Billy Rojo then doubled. Chavez doubled in Rojo and Venezuela led 7-0 after 1.

It was more of the same in the second. Sandoval reached on a dropped fly. Reyes walked. With one out, Vasquez singled in Sandoval. Sivira hit a sacrifice fly. García singled. A wild pitch advanced both runners, whom Rojo then singled in. It was 11-0 after two.

China got two runs off Junior Guerra in the third, but it meant little. Venezuela scored only once in their half of the third, Vasquez singling in Reyes. In the 4th, they tacked on 3 more on a Chavez walk, wild pitch, Connell RBI single, Edgar Bruzual walk, wild pitch, Reyes RBI single and Landaeta RBI double play grounder.

The scoring ended in the fifth when Sivira came home on a wild pitch and Chavez singled in Ruben Cabrera.

Reyes was 2 for 2 with 2 walks, 3 runs and 4 RBI.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Czech Republic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Mexico 0 0 4 0 3 2 0 0 - 9 10 2
Win: Francisco Cordova (1-0) Loss: Martin Schneider (0-1)

The Czech Republic again got a moral victory in staving off the mercy rule, though their hitters were no match for former major leaguer Francisco Cordova.

For two innings, Martin Schneider, the top Czech hitter in game one and a fine two-way threat in the Extraliga, battled Cordova evenly. The Czechs almost scored in the first. 2B Jakub Hajtmar singled and was bunted over. 3B Tomáš Polanský singled to right, but Hajtmar was thrown out trying to score. They got their third hit in the second inning and got nothing else except 3 walks the rest of the way against Cordova (9 K in 6 IP), Jasiel Acosta (5 K in 2 IP) and Alan Guerrero (1 K in 1 IP).

All of the game's scoring took place in the third through sixth innings. CF Iván Terrazas opened the third with a walk from Schneider and SS Oscar Robles walked as well. Schneider got game one star Jesús Cota to fly out. RF Mario Valenzuela singled to make it 1-0. An out later, 1B Sergio Contreras homered to center for a 4-0 score.

In the 5th, Cota singled with one out. Valenzuela singled as well, then DH Edgar Quintero had Mexico's second 3-run homer of the day, making it 7-0. Jakub Toufar relieved to begin the sixth. 2B Oswaldo Morejón singled to right. With one out, Terrazas hit a 2-run homer to end the scoring.


Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Croatia 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 3 0
Japan 2 0 0 1 1 3 6 13 13 1
Win: Motoki Higa (1-0) Loss: Grgur Marušić (0-1)

Japan had a much easier time in their second game against a European squad. In the first inning, they scored twice against Grgur Marušić. With two outs, RF Hisayoshi Chono doubled, then DH Keiji Ikebe singled him in. 1B Tsutomu Sasaki and 2B Shiro Mori had back-to-back singles to score Ikebe.

In the 3rd, Croatia took their first lead ever in a World Cup. SS Stefan Rajačić, the #9 hitter, led off with a single against Tomohisa Otani. DH Slobodan Gales got plunked. With one out, 1B Josip Brozinić cracked a 3-run homer to left to put Croatia ahead 3-2.

Japan tied the game in the 4th. C Ryo Saeki was hit by a Marušić pitch. After a bunt and grounder advanced him to third, SS Ken Kume doubled him home. They took the lead in the 5th. Ikebe and Sasaki led off with singles, knocking out Marušić. Marin Farkas relived and got Mori on a sacrifice bunt. PH Kenichi Yokoyama was intentionally walked to load the bases for Saeki. A wild pitch put Japan in front, 4-3. Saeki then flew into a double play to end the threat.

Japan increased their lead in the 6th. LF Yoshinobu Kotegawa drew a one-out walk, then stole second. Kume walked as well. Chono drove them both in with a triple, then scored on an Ikebe sacrifice fly for a 7-3 score. Japan ended the game with the mercy rule with an explosive 7th. Yokoyama drew a one-out walk, then PH Go Yamaoka homered to make it 9-3. Marin Tadić replaced Farkas on the hill. He walked CF Sho Aranami, then Kotegawa homered for a 11-3 lead. Tadić walked Kume. Teenager Marin Vukmirović came in to pitch and promptly walked backup RF Ikuhiro Kiyota. Ikebe doubled in Kume to make it 12-3. Sasaki flew out, then Mori singled in Kiyota to end the game.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Puerto Rico 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 5 8 1
Spain 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 5 3
Win: Mario Santiago (1-0) Loss: Antonio Noguera (0-1)

After a 15-0 win over South Africa in game one, Spain continued to look strong, only losing by two to a MLB-laden Puerto Rico squad.

Puerto Rico got on the board first. With one out in the second, 2B Ruben Gotay homered off Antonio Noguera. In the third, 3B Jose Valentin singled. With one out, 1B Carlos Rivera singled him to third. C Raul Casanova doubled both men in, knocking out Noguera. Manny Olivera relieved and walked Gotay. DH Alex Cintron hit into a force at second, but on the relay to first, 2B Paco Figueroa made a throwing error, letting Casanova score for a 4-0 lead.

In the bottom of the 4th, Spain cut the lead in half. LF Luis J. Pérez hit a one-out double against Mario Santiago. With two away, 3B William Domero went deep. Spain moved even closer in the sixth. RF Daniel Martinez drew a 4-pitch walk to open the inning. Eduardo Perez then replaced Santiago with international veteran Orlando Román. Paco Figueroa singled Martinez to second and Pérez bunted the runners over. C Dewis Navarro hit to third and a throwing error by Valentin made it 4-3. Navarro stole second. 1B José Luis Riera walked to load the bases, but Spain got no closer as SS Néstor Pérez ground out to second.

After a scoreless 7th, Puerto Rico got insurance in the 8th. Rivera doubled to left. Rhiner Cruz relieved and threw a wild pitch, but struck out the next two batters. Cintron flew to left and Pérez dropped the ball for a 5-3 score.

Spain challenged in the 8th. With two outs, Navarro singled and Domero walked. Melvin Pizzaro relieved and threw a wild pitch, putting both men in scoring position, but he struck out PH Richard Montiel to end the threat. In the 9th, R.J. Rodriguez walked Emmanuel Febles with one out but got the next two batters as Puerto Rico escaped with a win.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Canada 1 1 1 2 0 2 8 15 13 0
Netherlands Antilles 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
Win: Matt Kniginyzky (1-0) Loss: Raymond Martes (0-1)

Canada scored in all but one inning, while holding the Netherlands Antilles to one hit in a one-sided affair.

Canada got going in the first, when RF Rene Tosoni hit a 2-out homer off Raymond Martes. In the second, DH Tim Smith walked and stole second. 1B Emerson Frostad hit into an error by Rafael Jozefa, scoring a run. That inning, RF Jair Josepha singled off Matt Kniginyzky for the only Antillean safety.

In the third, CF Adam Stern doubled. 2B Brett Lawrie singled him to third, then Tosoni hit into a run-scoring force. In the 4th, Martes plunked LF Adam Loewen with two away and light-hitting SS Jonathan Malo homered for a 5-0 score. Martes recovered for a 1-2-3 5th.

Canada tacked on some insurance in the 6th. Smith doubled with one out and took third on a wild pitch. Frostad singled him in, then Loewen walked. Mario Mujica relieved Martes and walked Malo to load the bags. Stern hit a sacrifice fly to make it 7-0.

In the 7th, Canada completed the rout. Tosoni opened with a single, then 3B Shawn Bowman singled. C Cole Armstrong hit int oa force at second. Smith singled in Tosoni. Mujica walked Frostad, then Loewen plated two with a single through the middle. PH Terrance Dayleg drew a walk. Stern singled in two more. lawrie delivered a 3-run homer to give Canada 8 runs in the inning and a 15-0 lead.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Germany 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 1
USA 0 1 3 0 0 3 0 2 - 9 10 1
Win: Todd Redmond (1-0) Loss: Tim Henkenjohann (0-1)

Former Twins minor leaguer Tim Henkenjohann had beaten USA's college team earlier in the year, but he was not up to the task against the USA senior national team.

After a scoreless first, RF Ike Davis got the US on board in the second with a solo home run. In the third, CF Buck Coats drew a leadoff walk. SS Trevor Plouffe singled him to third. 1B Justin Smoak hit one to short but an error by SS Andy Janzen scored Coats. With one out, Plouffe stole third. DH Terry Tiffee hit int oa run-scoring force. Davis and 3B Pedro Alvarez hit back-to-back singles to put Team USA ahead 4-0.

The game remained quiet from there until the 6th. C Jason Castro was plunked by Martin Almstetter to open the frame, then Coats homered. One out later, Smoak went yard and the US led 7-0. Germany didn't get a baserunner till the 7th when 3B Dominik Wulf singled with two away. In the 8th, Martin Dewald came in to pitch and immediately gave up a home run to Plouffe. Smoak walked. With two away, Dewald threw a wild pitch, then Tiffee singled in Smoak for a 9-0 lead.

After 8 strong innings by Redmond, he finally left in the 9th. Jason Childers came in. With one away, he walked CF Sascha Lutz, who advanced on a grounder by 2B Jendrick Speer. Wulf ground into an error by Plouffe, scoring Germany's lone run of the day.

Davis, the only US player in the starting lineup who had not started game one, finished a double shy of the cycle.

[edit] September 12

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Spain 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 4 9 0
Cuba 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 2 - 5 13 0
Win: Vladimir García (1-0) Loss: Jorge Balboa (0-1)

Spain continued its fine tournament, leading Cuba until the bottom of the 8th before they lost the game. The Cuban national team had only lost twice before to European teams, both times being against the Netherlands (2000 and 2007).

Iván Granados and Maikel Folch traded toose eggs for four innings. In the 5th, Spain almost scored, getting two on with one out. 2B Daniel Sánchez tried to steal third against a catcher with a sterling defensive reputation, Ariel Pestano and Pestano gunned him down. RF Daniel Martínez got plunked, putting two on. Jonder Martínez relieved and hit SS Paco Figueroa to load the bases. Up came Spain's cleanup man, former California League batting champion Luis J. Pérez. Martínez got him looking to escape the jam.

In the sixth, Spain took the lead. C Dewis Navarro drew a walk from Martínez. With one out, 1B José Luis Riera singled. Sánchez struck out but DH Emmanuel Febles, the #9 hitter, singled Navarro in. Yadier Pedroso relieved but Cuba's 2008-2009 ERA leader gave up a RBI single to CF Daniel Figueroa to drive in Riera.

Down 2-0, Cuba rallied. Facing former minor leaguer Pedro Pablo Belmonte, DH Michel Enríquez singled. After a pop-up by 3B Yulieski Gourriel, LF Frederich Cepeda singled to put men on the corners. RF Alfredo Despaigne fouled out. CF Yoennis Céspedes came through with a RBI double to close the gap to one. Fernando Gutiérrez relieved. PH Ariel Borrero singled in two runs to put Cuba ahead.

Spain fought back, though. Paco Figueroa tripled off Pedroso to start the 7th. Pérez was hit by a pitch and Navarro singled to tie the game. Hard-throwing youngster Vladimir García relieved and got a force out at second, but walked Riera to load the bases. He then hit Sánchez to put Spain up 4-3. García recovered to strike out Febles and Daniel Figueroa to prevent worse damage.

Cuba got two men in scoring position in the 7th but Cepeda flew out to end the rally. In the 8th, Paco Figueroa made it to third but was stranded when Navarro struck out. In the bottom of the 8th, Manny Olivera began by walking Despaigne. He was relieved by Jorge Balboa. Balboa struck out Céspedes. Borrero singled to center. PH Yosvani Peraza hit a 2-run homer but Borrero was called out for passing Despaigne on the bases.

Down by just a run in the 9th, Spain tried to rally against García. With one out, Riera singled. PH Jose Cruz Montero hit into a force, then Febles flew out as Spain fell just shy of a major upset.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mexico 0 5 2 0 0 1 0 1 1 10 16 1
Australia 0 0 1 0 1 5 0 2 0 9 12 1
Win: Alan Guerrero (1-0) Loss: Josh Hill (0-1) Save: Héctor Navarro (1)

Mexico and Australia got into an exciting game which looked one-sided at the halfway point.

After a quiet first, C Saúl Soto opened the second with a walk from Drew Naylor. DH Edgar Quintero doubled in Soto and a throwing error by 2B Brad Harman (presumably on an outfield relay) sent him to third. RF Cristhian Presichi homered for a 3-0 lead. 1B Sergio Contreras doubled and 3B Carlos Valencia homered as well. Naylor had faced five hitters and retired none before Jon Deeble gave him the hook.

In the third, Quintero singled with one out against Tim Cox, the 4th Australian pitcher. Presichi walked. Contreras grounded the runners over, then Valencia singled them in. Down 7-0, Australia finally scored in the bottom of the third when C Mathew Kennelly homered off Oscar Rivera. They made it 7-2 in the fifth on a solo homer by LF James Linger.

Mexico scored again in the 6th off the 6th Australian pitcher, Paul Mildren. With two away, LF Jesús Cota hit his 4th home run of the Cup and Mexico led 8-2.

Australia rallied in the bottom of the 6th after Mexico changed six players on defense. CF Chris Snelling greeted new hurler Enrique Quintanilla with a home run. With two out, 1B Stefan Welch walked and Mathew Kennelly doubled him home. 3B Daniel Berg singled in Kennelly and it was now down to a 8-5 game. SS James Beresford hit a run-scoring double. Quintanilla left with almost as bad a day as Naylor had given the opposition. Hugo Castellanos relieved and gave up a Linger single. Harman singled home Beresford and it was now a one-run game. Arturo Lopez relieved Castellanos and got Snelling on a pop up.

After a quiet 7th, the scoring resumed in the 8th. Josh Hill was Australia's new hurler and Valencia greeted him with a single. He advanced on a grounder, then scored on a two-bagger by CF Iván Terrazas to give Mexico a 2-run lead again. Facing Alan Guerrero in the bottom of the 8th, Australia finally tied it on a single by Mathew Kennelly and a pinch-hit home run by Joel Naughton.

In the 9th, Mexico got ahead once more. With one out, Quintero doubled off Hill and Presichi singled him in. In the bottom of the 9th, Héctor Navarro was called on to try to stop the green-and-gold. He struck out DH Luke Hughes and got RF Tim Kennelly on a grounder. Welch reached on an error by Valencia. Mathew Kennelly then grounded out to end it.

Quintero had gone 5 for 5 with 3 runs and a RBI and Valencia had driven in four. For Australia, Mathew Kennelly had 3 hits, 3 runs and 2 RBI but the #4 and #5 hitters (Hughes and Tim Kennelly) were a combined 0-for-9.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Netherlands Antilles 0 0 1 0 3 0 2 3 0 9 12 2
South Korea 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 5 11 4
Win: Johnny Gregorius (1-0) Loss: Won-sang Yoo (0-1) Save: Orsendo Clemencia (1)

South Korea got ahead in the first on a walk by SS Kyoung-min Hur, a sacrifice bunt and a RBI single by DH Eui-ji Yang. They made it 2-0 in the second on a double by CF Ho-sin Lee and a single by C Hee-keun Lee.

The Netherlands Antilles closed within one in the third. C Ulrich Snijders singled and stole second, then scored on a single by 3B Djionny Joubert. Both teams mounted rallies from there but no one scored again until the 5th.

With two outs in the fifth, SS Raywendley van Gurp singled. 1B Andley Simmons singled him to third, then CF Ardley Jansen smashed a 3-run shot to put the Antilleans in front 4-2. South Korea loaded the bases in the 5th but failed to score off Johnny Gregorius.

In the 7th, PH Quincy Martina doubled to open the frame. Van Gurp hit into an error by the pitcher, scoring Martina. Simmons bunted Van Gurp over, then Jansen singled him in. Korea made up the two runs in the bottom of the 7th on three straight one-out singles, chasing Gregorius. An error and another single closed the gap to 6-4.

In the 8th, Snijders walked with one out and Joubert singled. An out later, Van Gurp walked to load the bases. Simmons singled in one. A wild pitch scored another and a throwing error by the Korean catcher on the same play let in one more for a 9-4 Antillean edge. Korea scored in the 8th on a single and an error to end the scoring.

South Korea stranded 15 runners in the loss, which featured some sloppy play on both sides (6 errors, 4 wild pitches, 3 hit batsmen).

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Nicaragua 2 0 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 8 11 2
Japan 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 4 9 0
Win: Jose Perez Castellon (1-0) Loss: Tetsu Anan (0-1)

Nicaragua put this one away early, then coasted to victory.

In the first, 3B Jimy Gonzalez hit his 5th home run of the Cup, maintaining his lead. His 2-run shot off Tetsu Anan also scored SS Edgard Lopez. In the third, 2B Mario Holmann hit a leadoff single and Lopez contributed a 2-run homer to double the lead. Japan got back one in the bottom of the inning when LF Yoshinobu Kotegawa tripled against Jose Perez Castellon and came home on a grounder; it was the lone run off Castellon in six innings.

In the 4th, Nicaragua finished their scoring. LF Esteban Ramírez led off the inning with a home run. With one out, 1B Sandor Guido singled. An out later, Holmann singled him to second. Lopez then homered for the second time this game, a 3-run shot, for a 8-1 lead. Nicaragua went hitless over the next 3 innings and didn't score again but the damage had been done.

Japan finally mounted some offense in the 8th, facing former major leaguer Oswaldo Mairena. RF Hisayoshi Chono and DH Keiji Ikebe singled, then 1B Tsutomu Sasaki homered to make it 8-4. They would get no closer in taking their first loss.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 8 8 1
China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Win: Trevor Reckling (1-0) Loss: Shuai Li (0-2)

The US didn't romp China as much as Venezuela or Germany had, but they still had no problem with the thir-rate Chinese squad.

The US got all it needed in the first. SS Trevor Plouffe had a one-out single off submariner Shuai Li, pitching on short rest, then DH Terry Tiffee homered. Li surprisingly shut out the USA for the next six innings. In the 8th, they got some more offense. With one out, LF Jon Weber tripled and 2B Daniel Descalso singled him in. CF Buck Coats doubled. Plouffe grounded out, then Tiffee singled home both runners. 1B Ike Davis singled to put men on the corners, then RF Josh Kroeger hit a 3-run homer.

Trevor Reckling struck out 11, tying the Team USA record set by Burt Hooton in the early 70s. Only Ben McDonald (1988) and Hank Woodman (2003) had also reached double digits for Team USA. The team's 16 overall strikeouts were a new US record.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Taiwan 4 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 16 0
Czech Republic 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 4 4
Win: Yu-Ching Lin (1-0) Loss: Petr Minařík (0-1)

The Czech Republic managed to go through the tournament without taking a mercy rule loss, a moral victory.

Petr Minařík, a longtime national team hurler, was not on for the Czechs. With one out in the first, SS Han Lin singled. 1B Kuo-Min Lin singled, as did RF Chung-Chun Wu, making it 1-0. CF Ken-Wei Lin singled home another for a 2-0 lead and 2B Ming-Jen Kuo copied his actions. DH Hung-Yu Lin hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.

The second was even bloodier. LF Tai-Yung Kuo began with a single. After two quick outs, an error by 1B Radek Němec let in one run. Wu walked. Ken-Wei Lin singled to make it 6-0. After Kuo walked, Hung-Yu Lin doubled in 3 runs. C Kun-Sheng Lin singled. Astros farmhand Jan Řeháček relieved and stopped the carnage; between him, Boris Bokaj and Leoš Kubát, the Taiwanese club did not score again.

The Czech Republic got its only run in the 7th thanks to backup 1B Pavel Budský, the 36-year-old who had been the first Czech player ever to play in the US minor leagues (back in 1997). Budský homered off Yu-Ching Lin to prevent the mercy rule from coming into play.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Great Britain 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 4 9 2
Coratia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 5 1
Win: Brian Essery (1-0) Loss: Jimmy Summers (0-1) Save: Tom Boleska (1)

Croatia had its best shot at a World Cup win and put up a fight, but fell short.

Through four innings, Britain's Brian Essery and Croatia's Jimmy Summers tossed shutout ball. Great Britain finally got to Summers in the fifth; with two outs, 3B Chris Falls singled and stole second. LF Matt McGraw hit a run-scoring ground double. They tacked on some insurance in the 6th thanks to a one-out double by RF Sam Wiley and a home run by C Chris Berset. Croatia got two on with none out in the 6th but Tom Boleska struck out #3 hitter Josip Brozinić and cleanup man Ivan Račić. #5 hitter Damir Karin flew out to end the threat.

Britain made it 4-0 in the 7th. Against reliever Ernesto Pereira, SS Brant Ust hit a two-out single and Wiley singled as well. On the play, an error by RF Branko Nenadić let Ust come in with the run.

Croatia finally scored in the 8th. With one out, DH Slobodan Gales walked and advanced on a wild pitch. Nenadić atoned for his error with a RBI double. Boleska fanned Brozinić. Račić singled to put men on the corners. Up came Karin, the potential tying run. Boleska escaped by striking out Karin on four pitchers. Boleska went 1-2-3 in the 9th to wrap up the save; he had 8 strikeouts in four innings out of the bullpen.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Puerto Rico 2 2 0 0 1 3 4 12 13 2
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2
Win: Efrain Nieves (1-0) Loss: Darryn Smith (0-1)

Puerto Rico finally put up a strong show, beating South Africa soundly.

RF Miguel Negron opened the game with a walk from Darryn Smith. DH Jose Valentin reached on an error by 1B Wesley Hoskins. CF Luis Matos lined into a double play, but 1B Carlos Rivera homered to make it 2-0.

In the second, 3B Ruben Gotay drew a Smith walk. LF Miguel Abreu singled him to third, then 2B Irving Falu grounded in a run. SS Angel Sanchez singled in Abreu. It was remained scoreless from there until the 5th, when Matos and Rivera singled and Gotay grounded in Matos.

Puerto Rico increased their lead to 8 in the sixth. Reliever Hein Robb gave up a Sanchez triple and Negron grounded him home. Valentin singled and Matos was hit by a pitch. A passed ball advanced both runners. Rivera hit a sacrifice fly. C Raul Casanova delivered a RBI single for the third run of the inning.

The scoring ended in the 7th. Abreu greeted new pitcher Kieran Cree with a double. Falu grounded him to third. Sanchez and Negron walked on a combined 9 pitches to load the bases, then Valentin emptied the bags with a triple. Matos singled in Valentin for a 12-0 score.

Efrain Nieves and Juan Padilla combined on a 3-hit shutout for Puerto Rico. Valentin finished with 3 runs and 3 RBI.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 R H E
Canada 0 7 3 8 1 19 18 0
Sweden 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 1
Win: Brooks McNiven (1-0) Loss: Rickard Leander (0-1)

Sweden's last game of the Cup was clearly their worst, though they briefly held the lead.

Rickard Leander tossed a 1-2-3 top of the first for Sweden. In the bottom of the first, 1B Magnus Pilegård homered off Brooks McNiven to put the hosts ahead briefly. Sweden only got two other hits, one by Pilegård.

Canada ran away with it by the second. LF Tim Smith led off with a single and DH Jimmy Van Ostrand singled as well. 1B Emerson Frostad singled in Smith. C Chris Robinson had the fourth straight hit, a RBI single. RF Adam Loewen hit into a force. SS Jonathan Malo singled in Frostad for a 3-0 lead. Maikel Hurtado relieved and walked 2B Brett Lawrie. CF Rene Tosoni hit a bases-clearing triple. 3B Shawn Bowman grounded in Tosoni to make it 7-1, then Smith had his second single of the inning.

Canada padded their lead in the 3rd. With one out, Robinson was hit by a pitch. The wild Hurtado then walked Loewen and Malo back-to-back. Peter Jansson relieved Hurtado and gave up a 2-run double to Lawrie. Tosoni grounded in Malo to make it 10-1.

Canada increased the score to 18-1 in the 4th. Reliever Johan Tisell plunked Smith, then Van Ostrand homered. Tisell walked Frostad. He got Robinson on a fly then was relieved by Tomas Häggblom. Loewen greeted Häggblom with a 2-run homer. Malo singled. Sweden went to its 6th pitcher of the day, Joakim Claesson. Lawrie singled, as did Tosoni. Bowman struck out, then Smith walloped a grand slam.

In the 5th, Per Sjörs came in to pitch. Frostad and Robinson singled. Loewen flew out. Malo singled to load the bases. Lawrie hit one back to Sjörs, who threw home to get Frostad. Tosoni singled in Robinson for a 19-1 lead.

Tosoni finished with 5 RBI and Smith had 4.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
Venezuela 0 4 2 0 0 0 1 5 12 11 0
Germany 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 7 2
Win: Orlando Perdomo (1-0) Loss: André Hughes (0-1)

Venezuela eliminated Germany from the second round with a rout. In the bottom of the second, LF Willie Vasquez singled off André Hughes with one out. CF Jonathan Sivira hit into a force. C Ruben Cabrera drew a walk. 2B Edgar Bruzual had a RBI single. SS Dirimo Chavez delivered a 2-run double. 1B Lino Connell grounded in a final run to make it 4-0 after two.

In the third, Venezuela increased their lead to 6. DH Luis Landaeta homered off Hughes, then Vasquez doubled. Eugen Heilmann relieved and gave up a run-scoring single to Sivira. Germany contained Venezuela for the next 3 innings. They got their only run in the bottom of the 6th. With two outs, DH Michael Franke walked and RF Robert Gruber singled. SS Octavio Medina walked and CF Sascha Lutz singled in Franke.

In the 7th, 3B Michael Sandoval hit a one-out solo home run to put Venezuela ahead 7-1. The 8th inning made the rout. Vasquez led off with a walk and then Siriva, Cabrera and Bruzual hit three straight singles. Former Twins farmhand Rodney Gessmann relieved and was wild. He walked Chavez to force in a run and plunked Connell, forcing in another. Sandoval hit into a 2-run error by 3B Dominik Wulf to make it a 5-run inning and giving Venezuela a 12-1 lead. Markus Winkler and Max Boldt finished off the inning for Germany, allowing no more scores.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Spain 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 4 0
Puerto Rico 2 7 0 2 0 1 - 12 12 1
Win: Luis Atilano (1-0) Loss: Yoel Hernandez (0-1)

Puerto Rico looked sharp for the second straight game. After a rocky first in which three Spanish batters reached, Puerto Rico went ahead in the bottom of the first. Facing Cuban refugee Yoel Hernandez, 3B Jose Valentin homered with one out. CF Luis Matos bunted his way aboard and advanced on a wild pitch. A single by 1B Carlos Rivera scored Matos. After two walks by Hernandez, he was yanked, having retired only one of six batters. Jose Cruz came in and escaped further harm.

In the second, Puerto Rico lit up Cruz. After two more outs, RF Miguel Negron walked on four pitches. Valentin walked and Matos singled. Rivera singled home both runners. C Raul Casanova walked to end a 13-pitch at-bat in which he foulded off 7 strike-2 pitches. 2B Ruben Gotay drew Cruz's third walk of the inning, forcing in Matos. Pedro Pablo Belmonte came in to pitch and promptly walked LF Miguel Abreu on four pitches to force in another. DH Alex Cintron singled in Casanova to make it 7-0, then SS Ariel Sanchez singled home two more as the 9th straight Puerto Rican batter to reach.

Spain got its offense in the third on a 2-out single by 3B Paco Figueroa and a homer by LF Luis Pérez. In the 4th, Puerto Rico scored two more on a one-out single by Abreu, a Cintron triple and a Negron single for a 11-2 score. Puerto Rico finished the scoring in the sixth with a leadoff double by Abreu and a 2-out RBI single by Negron.

[edit] First-Round Standings

[edit] Pool A

[edit] Pool B

[edit] Pool C

[edit] Pool D

[edit] Pool E

* denotes team was eliminated after round one

[edit] Second-Round Games

[edit] September 13

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Great Britain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Cuba 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 - 6 9 3
Win: Freddy Asiel Alvarez (1-0) Loss: Stephen Spragg (0-1)

For the first time in World Cup history, the champions of the first Cup (Britain) faced the champions of the most Cups (Cuba). The outcome was no surprise, as Freddy Asiel Alvarez tossed a 2-hit shutout, striking out nine. Britain did do a surprisingly good job of containing Cuba, which scored in only two innings.

In the second, Cuba got all they needed. With one out, CF Yoennis Céspedes homered to left off former independent leaguer Stephen Spragg. 1B Ariel Borrero singled and C Ariel Pestano, playing in his final tournament before retirement, homered.

From there, Spragg and Paul Waterman shut down Cuba until the 8th. With one out in that inning, Céspedes singled and backup 1B José Dariel Abreu got plunked. Pestano singled to load the bases. Craig Pycock relieved Waterman, his fellow Bundesliga player, and walked backup SS Yorbis Borroto on five pitches to force in a run. 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0. DH Michel Enríquez singled home Pestano to end the scoring.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Netherlands Antilles 0 0 0 1 5 0 0 6 6 1
Australia 2 1 7 0 9 0 - 19 20 0
Win: Drew Naylor (2-0) Loss: Andley Simmons (0-1)

In a familiar story, the Netherlands Antilles had hitting but not pitching. This time, Australia romped past them, needing only six innings to post 19 runs.

In the bottom of the first, Andley Simmons walked leadoff man Nick Kimpton on four pitches. He took 9 pitches to walk 2B Brad Harman. LF Chris Snelling ground into a double play, then 3B Luke Hughes homered for a 2-0 lead.

In the second, a double by C Joel Naughton and a Kimpton single stretched the lead to 3-0. The Aussies really took off in the third. With Snelling on board and two outs, RF Tim Kennelly singled to left. 1B Stefan Welch homered to make it 6-0. Ryan Ilario, primarily a third baseman, relieved. DH Mathew Kennelly greeted him with a ground-run double. Naughton singled in Mat Kennelly. SS James Beresford singled, then Kimpton had a RBI double. Ludwin Obispo relieved Ilario and allowed a 2-run double to Harman before Snelling flew out.

Down 10-0, the Antilles finally scored after Australia replaced starter Liam Hendriks with Brad Tippett. 2B Raywendley van Gurp greeted him with a double. He took third on one ground out then came home on a grounder by CF Ardley Jansen.

Australia finally had a quiet inning in the 5th as Obispo held them scoreless. The Antilles made it a game briefly in the bottom of the 5th. With one out, Tippett walked 3B Djionny Joubert. C Ulrich Snijders singled, then 1B Rafael Jozefa doubled both men home. SS Raydell Isabella grounded Jozefa over, then van Gurp homered to make it 10-5. RF Quincy Martina singled and scored on a Jansen double. Jon Deeble finally gave Tippett the hook, replacing him with Drew Naylor, who fanned former minor leaguer Lorvin Louisa to end the rally.

Australia quickly put the game back out of reach. Obispo plunked Mathew Kennelly to open the 5th. Naughton laid down a bunt single. Beresford drew a full-count walk. Backup CF Daniel Berg singled in two runs and an error by Isabella on the replay scored Beresford as well. Harman doubled home Beresford for a 14-6 lead. Carrol Servania relieved and got Snelling on a liner, but hit Hughes. Tim Kennelly doubled in one run. Stefan Welch singled in two more. It was now 17-6. Mathew Kennelly singled. A double by Naughton plated Welch. Beresford doubled and it was 19-6. Neither team scored again.

Naughton finished 4 for 4 with 4 runs and 2 RBI and Tim Kennelly was also 4 for 4. Welch had 5 RBI.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Nicaragua 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 4 13 2
Venezuela 4 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 - 7 12 0
Win: Jacobo Sequera (1-0) Loss: Alvaro López (0-1)

Venezuela started really quickly off Alvaro López. SS Dirimo Chavez drew a leadoff walk and stole second. 1B Lino Connell walked. With one out, RF Rene Reyes singled in a run. DH Luis Landaeta singled in another. LF Willie Vasquez grounded in Reyes, then CF Jonathan Sivira singled home Landaeta for a 4-0 lead.

Venezuela padded their lead in the third on a single by 3B Michael Sandoval and a 2-run homer by Landaeta.

Venezuela was shut down for the first 5+ innings by Venezuelan starter Jacobo Sequera. Nicaragua didn't get on the board until the 7th. 1B Sandor Guido hit a one-out double off reliever Erick Arteaga. CF Douglas Morales singled to put men on the corners. PH Juan Blandon hit into a run-scoring force to close it to 6-1.

Venezuela quickly responded in the bottom of the 7th. Chavez singled and Connell grounded the runner over. Sandoval went down swinging. Reyes singled in Chavez to make it 7-1. Landaeta doubled but Vasquez flew out.

In the 8th, PH Darrel Campbell opened with a single and 3B Jimy Gonzalez doubled him home. After an out, LF Danilo Sotelo singled in Gonzalez to make it a 4-run game. DH Esteban Ramirez doubled but Gudio flew out, as did Morales, to prevent Nicaragua from getting closer that inning.

Nicaragua rallied again in the 9th. With two outs, Campbell walked and Gonzalez singled for his 4th hit of the day. RF Justo Rivas doubled in Campbell to make it 7-4. That brought up Sotelo as the potential tying run. He flew out, though, to end the game.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
South Korea 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 1
Netherlands 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 - 4 7 1
Win: Diegomar Markwell (1-0) Loss: Ji-woong Yoon (0-1) Save: Dennis Neuman (1)

The Netherlands entered the tournament with an exciting home win. They fell behind 2-0 in the third, with a double by CF Ho-sin Lee being the big hit, but Tom Stuifbergen, Diegomar Markwell and Dennis Neuman shut down South Korea the remainder of the way.

In the bottom of the 4th, C Sidney de Jong drew his second walk of the day. Two batters later, 2B Sharlon Schoop tripled in a run to make it 2-1. It remained stagnant until the 8th. After 111 pitches in the first 7 innings, Ji-woong Yoon began to flag. 2B Yurendell de Caster doubled and 1B Randall Simon. Kyung-eun Noh relieved but provided no actual relief, as de Jong clubbed a dramatic 3-run home run to give the Dutch the win.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Taiwan 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 5 9 2
Italy 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 4 2
Win: Yen-Feng Lin (1-0) Loss: Tiago Da Silva (0-1) Save: Ching-Ming Wang (1)

Italy was not as successful as the Netherlands in their opener against an Asian squad.

Taiwan scored first. LF Tai-Yong Kuo led off the third with a solo home run of Tiago Da Silva, a former member of the Brazilian national team who had obtained Italian citizenship a year prior. They tacked on two more in the 4th. With two outs, CF Ken-Wei Lin singled and took second on an error by 3B Juan Carlos Infante. Infante was only playing third due to an injury that kept 2009 World Baseball Classic star Giuseppe Mazzanti from playing in the tournament. 2B Ming-Jen Kuo singled Lin home, then stole second. C Kun-Sheng Lin hit into an error by SS Jack Santora to make it 3-0.

In the 5th, Italy scored their first run. RF Mario Chiarini, a former Seattle minor leaguer, drew a leadoff walk from former Phillies farmhand Yen-Feng Lin. Lin got the next two outs, with Chiarini moving on to second base. LF Leonardo Zileri singled in Chiarini and it was 3-1.

Both teams did not score in the 6th or 7th. In the 8th, leadoff man Chih-Hsiang Lin singled for Taiwan and advanced on a grounder. RF Chung-Chun Wu singled him in for a 4-1 lead. Italy made that up in the bottom of the inning. Zileri drew a leadoff walk, then backup C Juan Pablo Angrisano singled. CF Filippo Crociati flew out. Yi-Cheng Wang relieved and allowed a RBI single to Santora, which also put the potential tying run aboard. Infante hit into an inning-ending double play, though.

Taiwan got one last piece of insurance in the 9th. Ming-Jen Kuo singled and took second on a wild pitch. Kun-Sheng Lin bunted him to third. One out later, 1B Chia-Hao Chang singled home Kuo to end the scoring.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mexico 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 3 8 2
Japan 0 0 0 3 0 3 0 3 - 9 13 1
Win: Hirofumi Yamanaka (1-0) Loss: Jasiel Acosta (0-1) Save: Yosuke Okamoto (1)

After an unbeaten first round, Mexico started off the second round in bad shape.

Japan burst to a 3-0 lead in the fourth after Juan Pablo Oramas had stopped them for three. 3B Kenichi Yokoyama hit a one-out single, then 2B Shiro Mori singled as well. C Go Yamaoka hit a 2-run triple. SS Ken Kume grounded in Yamaoka to make it 3-0.

Mexico finally got to Atsushi Tanaka in the 5th. With one out, RF Cristhian Presichi led off with a single. 1B Sergio Contreras and 2B Carlos Valencia both singled as well, to make it 3-1. Mexico tied it in the 6th. SS Oscar Robles singled and C Saúl Soto smacked one out.

In the 6th, Yokoyama tripled off Jasiel Acosta. With one out, Yamaoka drove home another with a single. Kume bunted Yamaoka over. CF Ikuhiro Kiyota singled and a throwing error by his counterpart, Iván Terrazas, made it 5-3. LF Yoshinobu Kotegawa singled home Kiyota for a 6-3 lead.

Japan got some more runs in the 9th against Hugo Castellanos. Kume took a leadoff walk. Kiyota laid down a bunt and Castellanos made an error, leaving both men safe. Kotegawa bunted the runners over. RF Hisayoshi Chono hit into a force at home, then DH Keiji Ikebe jacked a 3-run homer to end Japan's third 3-run inning.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
USA 4 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 - 8 11 2
Win: Cory Luebke (1-0) Loss: Chris Begg (0-1)

Cory Luebke was utterly dominant on the mound, holding Team Canada without a hit for 7 2/3 IP after they scored 43 runs in 3 round one games. C Chris Robinson singled with two outs in the 8th for Canada's lone safety of the contest.

On the other hand, the US hitters had no problems with Chris Begg. CF Buck Coats and SS Trevor Plouffe began the game with walks, then 1B Justin Smoak singled. RF Josh Kroeger hit into a run-scoring force. DH Terry Tiffee and LF Jon Weber delivered back-to-back doubles and it was 4-0 after just one out.

In the third, Kroeger, Tiffee and Weber hit three straight one-out doubles to produce two more runs. In the fifth, Kroger hit a one-out double against Bryan Dumesnil and Tiffee and Weber singled to drive him in. The US's last run came in the 7th when 3B Pedro Alvarez homered off R.J. Swindle.

The middle of the US batting order (Kroeger, Tiffee and Weber) combined to go 8 for 12 with 5 runs, 7 RBI and five doubles.

[edit] September 14

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Venezuela 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 6
Spain 3 1 0 1 0 3 0 0 - 8 10 0
Win: Eric Gonzalez (2-0) Loss: Jose Rojas (0-1)

Spain kept up its strong tournament by pulling off a 8-1 stunner of previously unbeaten Venezuela, which had beaten the defending champion USA earlier. They took advantage of a plethora of defensive miscues by Venezuela, scoring four unearned runs with six errors.

In the first,CF Daniel Figueroa led off with a single off Jose Rojas and his twin brother Paco Figueroa walked one batter later. After a balk, LF Luis J. Pérez drew a walk. C Dewis Navarro singled in two and an error by LF Willie Vasquez on the play scored another.

In the second, RF Lesther Galván was hit by a Rojas pitch with one out. He stole second and took third on a throwing error by C Ruben Cabrera. Daniel Figueroa hit into a force at the plate. DH Emmanuel Febles ground into an error by SS Dirimo Chavez. Paco Figueroa then singled home his brother to make it 4-0.

Spain kept on scoring. In the 4th, Galván and Daniel Figueroa singled and an error by 3B Michael Sandoval loaded the bases. Paco Figueroa had another RBI single for a 5-0 lead.

Venezuela got its only run in the sixth. 1B Lino Connell hit a one-out double off Eric Gonzalez, knocking out Gonzalez after a strong 5 innings. Remigio Leal relieved and gave up a RBI double to Sandoval.

Spain more than made up for it in the bottom of the 6th against reliever Willy Guedez. Daniel Figueroa singled and advanced on an error by Chavez on the play. Febles bunted him over. Paco Figueroa flew to center but Jonathan Sivira dropped it, scoring Daniel Figueroa. Pérez then homered to make Gonzalez 2-0.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cuba 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 4 5 0
Nicaragua 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0
Win: Yulieski González (1-0) Loss: Elvin Orozco (0-1) Save: Pedro Luis Lazo (1)

Cuba remained unbeaten, but with another unimpressive win, getting outhit by Nicaragua.

Through five innings, 2005 World Cup star Yulieski González and Yankees farmhand Elvin Orozco engaged in a pitching duel, with neither allowing a run or even a major scoring threat.

In the 6th, Cuba finally got to Orozco, who had not even given up a hit to that point. With one out, DH Michel Enríquez singled and 3B Yulieski Gourriel homered for a 2-0 lead. Nicaragua closed it to one in the bottom of the 6th. C Adolfo Matamoros began with a double, then a rain delay halted play. When things resumed, González got the next two batters, but 3B Jimy Gonzalez remained hot with a RBI single to make it 2-1. Cuba turned the pitching over to Pedro Luis Lazo and the veteran right-hander shut down Nicaragua the rest of the way. Lazo increased his World Cup career record with his 7th save in the event.

Cuba got some insurance in the 9th. With one out, LF Frederich Cepeda singled against Julio Raudez and RF Alfredo Despaigne went deep to make it 4-1.


Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
Great Britain 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 0 5 7 5
South Korea 0 0 3 0 0 2 6 4 15 11 4
Win: Hyun-june Park (1-0) Loss: Stephen Spragg (0-2)

Britain got the first run but wound up with a mercy rule loss. In the second, C Chris Berset singled with one out. An out later, RF Tom Stack-Babich grounded into 3B Yong-kyu Choi, who had a throwing error for his 4th miscue in five games. CF Alex Malihoudis was hit by a pitch. 2B Jason Holowaty coaxed a bases-loaded walk to force in one run.

Korea took the lead in the third. With one out, RF Jong-wook Ko doubled. 2B Myung-gu Kang walked, then DH Eui-ji Yang singled in Ko. Backup 3B Bon-ki Shin smacked a 2-run double to give the Asian team the lead. They increased the lead in the 6th. 1B Young-hun Cho drew a leadoff walk and was bunted over. SS Boung-gun Jeong got plunked. LF Hun-gon Kim grounded to third and Chris Falls made a throwing error, scoring Cho. A sacrifice fly by CF Ho-sin Lee made it 5-1.

Great Britain tied it in the top of the 7th. PH Brad Marcelino drew a leadoff walk. Holowaty laid down a bunt, on which Korean P Kyung-eun Noh made an error. LF Matt McGraw hit into an error by Shin, scoring Marcelino. Hyun-june Park relieved and Falls bunted the runners over. SS Brant Ust singled in Holowaty. RF Sam Wiley (Stack-Babich had moved to CF, replacing Malihoudis) then doubled to tie the score at five.

The tie didn't last long at all. Stephen Spragg relieved in the bottom of the 7th and had a horrendous day. He began by walking Yang. Shin bunted over, then Cho singled home the runner. C Hee-keun Lee singled and stole second. Jeung got hit by another pitch. Hun-gon Kim hit into a run-scoring fielder's choice to make it 7-5. Ho-sin Lee grounded to Falls, who made another error, scoring a run. Ko delivered a 2-run triple for a 10-5 score. Spragg was finally removed after 5 runs in under an inning, replaced by Brook Coatsworth. Kang greeted him with grounder back to the mound and an error by Coatsworth helped Korea get a sixth run that frame.

In the 8th, Gary Tongue came in but was no better than his two immediate predecessors. He walked Cho. Hee-keun Lee hit into a force, then Jeung was hit by a pitch for the third time of the day. Hun-gon Kim cracked a 3-run homer. Richard Klijn replaced Tongue and gave up a triple to Ho-sin Lee. Ko singled Lee in to end the game with the 10-run mercy rule for a contest that had been tied just an inning and a half prior.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Puerto Rico 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 6 1
Netherlands 0 1 0 0 3 0 1 0 - 5 13 0
Win: Rob Cordemans (1-0) Loss: Alex Woodson (0-1) Save: Dennis Neuman (2)

In a matchup of two teams with third-round hopes, the Puerto Rican team presented nine players with US pro experience (4 major leaguers) but the Dutch team had seven players with US pro experience, including three former big leaguers. One of the two starters without US pro experience was Dutch starter Rob Cordemans, who had possibly the best game of any of the players. Cordemans, one of only two 4-time Olympians in baseball, had come to the US for junior college and starred at that level, but had not gotten a chance in the minors. Instead, he became one of the most decorated pitchers in the history of the Hoofdklasse.

The game's start was delayed 48 minutes due to a rain delay.

The Netherlands scored first. In the bottom of the second, LF Curt Smith reached one a one-out error by SS Angel Sanchez. 2B Sharlon Schoop singled. An out later, Alex Woodson gave up a RBI double to SS Hainley Statia to make it 1-0.

Woodson and Cordemans dueled evenly in the third and fourth. After Cordemans had held Puerto Rico to two hits, no walks and no runs in the first four, they posed a threat to him in the 5th. DH Alex Cintron led off with a single and stole second with one out. 2B Irving Falu drew a walk, then Sanchez singled to load the bases. Cordemans recovered to fan RF Miguel Negron on three pitches and 16-year MLB veteran José Valentin on four pitches to escape intact.

The Dutch padded their lead in their half of the 5th. 1B Randall Simon drew a leadoff walk. Cleanup hitter Sidney de Jong popped up a bunt attempt, then DH Raily Legito grounded Simon over. Smith singled in Simon, then Schoop came through with a RBI triple to center to make it 2-0. Orlando Román relieved and struck out CF Danny Rombley, but a wild pitch on the play allowed Rombley to reach and Schoop to score.

David Bergman relieved Cordemans and went 1-2-3 in the 6th; he walked one in the 7th but allowed nothing else.

In the bottom of the 7th, Juan Padilla came in to pitch for Puerto Rico. Schoop greeted him with a double to remain hot, then Rombley got hit by a pitch. Statia bunted both men over. RF Eugène Kingsale singled back to the mound, plating Schoop to make it 5-0.

Kenley Jansen, a converted catcher, replaced Bergman for the 8th and walked Valentin but Puerto Rico again went hitless. In the 9th, the Dutch turned to Leon Boyd, a Blue Jays farmhand and a top performer in the 2007 World Cup. He was not sharp here, walking LF Miguel Abreu on four pitches. Abreu stole second, then Cintron singled him in. PH Ruben Gotay went down swinging, but Falu doubled. Delmonico turned to Arshwin Asjes, who made his debut for the Dutch national team. Asjes walked PH Raul Casanova to end a 9-pitch at-bat. Delmonico went to his third reliever of the inning, Nick Veltkamp, also a national team newbie. Veltkamp got Negron looking at a called strike three, but walked Valentin to force in Cintron and make it 5-2. A 4th pitcher was called on for the host Orange, Dennis Neuman, to face CF Luis Matos, the potential winning run. The young Neuman, a Red Sox minor leaguer, got the former major leaguer to line out to end the game.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Italy 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 3 9 3
Mexico 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 2 - 6 10 2
Win: Arturo López (1-0) Loss: Luca Panerati (0-1) Save: Héctor Navarro (2)

Italy almost took an early lead, getting two men in scoring position with two away in the first, but Andrés Meza got 3B Juan Carlos Infante to escape the jam. In the bottom of the first, Mexico got to Marco Grifantini early on. CF Iván Terrazas led off with a single, then SS Oscar Robles drew a walk. Grifantini threw a wild pitch to advance the runners. LF Jesús Cota struck out, then C Saúl Soto walked to load the bases. DH Edgar Quintero flew out. A single by RF Cristhian Presichi put Mexico in front, 1-0.

They scored in the second as well. With one out, 3B Abel Martínez singled. Grifantini tried to pick him off but made a throwing error, sending Martínez to third base. Terrazas then singled him in. Italy made it a one-run contest in the third on a solo homer by DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi.

Italy tied it in the sixth. With one out, Infante singled. LF Leonardo Zileri hit into an error by Martínez to send Infante to third. Arturo López relieved and gave up a sacrifice fly to PH Joe Mazzuca.

Mexico went ahead again in the bottom of the 6th. 2B Carlos Valencia reached on an error when Mazzuca (manning first base now) dropped a pop-up. One out later, Terrazas got his third hit of the day, a 2-run homer, to make it 4-2. Italy came back within a run in the 7th. SS Jack Santora and 2B Davide Dallospedale hit back-to-back singles and Ramos bunted them over. RF Mario Chiarini grounded in Santora.

Mexico put on more insurance in the 8th. Martínez drew a leadoff walk from Yovany D'Amico. Brandon Camardese relieved and fanned Terrazas, but Robles hit a RBI double, his 3rd hit. Cota grounded Robles to third and a passed ball by C Juan Pablo Angrisano let Robles come home with the game's last run.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Australia 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 5 6 1
Canada 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 7 1
Win: Matthew Williams (1-0) Loss: Jimmy Henderson (1-1)

Australia and Canada got into the first extra-inning game of the second round, a closely fought match.

Canada sprang ahead first. CF Adam Stern led off with a single. 2B Brett Lawrie hit an infield single back to the mound and an error by P Adam Blackley on the play put men on second and third. 3B Shawn Bowman grounded in a run. Blackley recovered and did not allow another run in the next five innings, striking out 7 and giving up just two more hits.

For Canada, starter Jamie Richmond pitched well, giving up 4 hits and no runs in four innings. Chris Kissock relieved. C Joel Naughton led off with a single. He stole second while Kissock struck out the next two batters. CF Nick Kimpton then singled in Naughton to tie it up.

Blackley, Cox, Brendan Wise, Kissock and Dustin Molleken kept it scoreless from there until the 9th.

In the top of the 9th, minor league veteran Jimmy Henderson relieved Molleken. With one out, he gave up a solo home run to 3B Luke Hughes. Team Canada faced reliever Adam Bright in the bottom of the 9th and answered with a leadoff homer by RF Rene Tosoni. With one out, PH Tim Smith walked. He stole second after Stern struck out, then Lawrie walked. Bowman ruined a chance to win the game in regulation by grounding out.

In the 10th, the IBAF's extra inning rule came into play. Australia began with two men on and 2B Brad Harman up. He bunted the runners over. Backup LF Daniel Berg singled in James Beresford. Henderson struck out Hughes. After a double steal, RF Tim Kennelly was intentionally walked to load the bases. R.J. Swindle relieved. PH Andrew Graham hit one towards backup SS Terrence Dayleg, who had just entered at the top of the inning. The ball took a bad hop over Dayleg's head (he was charged with an error) and two runners came in for a 5-2 lead. Swindle got Naughton to pop up, but now it was up to Canada's batters, silent for most of the past two games after a brilliant round one.

Canada began with Tosoni on second, Adam Loewen on first and Dayleg at the plate. Dayleg bunted the runners over in an odd managerial call when down 3 runs with 3 outs to go. Stern skied a fly to center, bringing in Tosoni. That brought up Lawrie, the 2008 first-round pick, who struck out swinging.

Canadian manager Ernie Whitt said "It’s tough to come into a tournament and lose the first two games [of the second round] and hang your head and say ‘you’re done with it.'"

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
USA 0 0 1 0 4 0 6 11 12 0
Netherlands Antilles 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0
Win: Lucas Harrell (1-0) Loss: Didi Gregorius (0-1)

The USA fell behind early, but wound up with a mercy rule win.

In the bottom of the second, LF Jair Josepha drew a one-out walk from Kasey Kiker. RF Luisgardo Alvarez bunted Josepha over, then C Ulrich Snijders singled in the run. Kiker and Lucas Harrell allowed no more runs and only one hit otherwise.

46-year-old Didi Gregorius held the US in check for the first two innings., before allowing a home run to C Lucas May in the third. The game was tied until the 5th. In that inning, LF Jon Weber led off with a homer. May singled and 2B Daniel Descalso drew a walk. SS Trevor Plouffe hit a RBI double, with Descalso thrown out at home on the play. 1B Justin Smoak then drilled a 2-run homer.

Overall, Gregorius allowed 5 runs in 6 innings before leaving; the younger Antillean pitchers proceeded to give up six runs in one inning. Mario Mujica began the 7th by walking Descalso. Plouffe got a bunt hit, then Smoak smoked another offering for a 3-run shot. CF Josh Kroeger singled. Raydell Isabella relieved Mujica. After he got one out, RF Ike Davis hit a RBI double. Weber singled and 3B Pedro Alvarez grounded home Davis. May ended the scoring with a RBI double.

[edit] September 15

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Australia 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 4 5 1
Taiwan 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 5 5 1
Win: Yu-Ching Lin (2-0) Loss: Paul Mildren (0-1)

Australia played its second straight extra-inning game, though they wound up on the losing side this time.

Taiwan took a 1-0 lead in the second when CF Ken-Wei Lin went deep off David Welch. It was the lone blemish on Welch's day - in 7 innings, he gave up 4 hits and one run. Welch struck out 13, setting a new Australian record for a pitcher in a Baseball World Cup.

Australia tied it in the 3rd. With two outs, Wen-Yang Liao walked CF Nick Kimpton. 2B Brad Harman singled Kimpton to third, then LF Chris Snelling had a RBI single.

While not as sharp as Welch, Liao allowed no more runs through the 9th inning. Paul Mildren relieved Welch in the 8th and the Pirate farmhand tossed two shutout innings to force extra innings.

In the 10th, Harman laid down a bunt with the two starting runners aboard and a fielding error by Liao let James Beresford score from second. Liao was finally yanked after 126 pitches, Yi-Cheng Wang relieving. Snelling singled in Kimpton but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Yu-Ching Lin relieved and got 3B Luke Hughes to fly out to left, but Harman scored. RF Tim Kennelly flew out and Australia had a solid 4-1 cushion.

Taiwan rallied off Mildren in the bottom of the 10th. 3B Chih-Hsiang Lin bunted over the two starting baserunners. SS Han Lin hit into an error by Beresford at short that scored both men to make it 4-3; Lin wound up at first. PH Hung-Yu Lin then deposited a 1-2 pitch from Mildren over the right field wall to end the game with a walkoff shot.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 9 0
USA 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 - 4 4 1
Win: Brad Lincoln (1-0) Loss: Hiroyuki Kamegawa (0-1) Save: Nate Field (1)

In one of only two games played today due to rain, Brad Lincoln turned in his second straight gem, but this time his bullpen did not blow it. The US got just four hits, but made the most of them.

After being shut out for two innings by Hiroyuki Kamegawa, the US had its big inning in the third. With one out, SS Trevor Plouffe walked. 1B Justin Smoak homered. An out later, DH Terry Tiffee went deep, knocking out Kamegawa.

Things were quiet from there until the bottom of the 7th. With one out that inning, 2B Tug Hulett drew a walk. An out later, Hulett stole second and Plouffe doubled him home for a 4-0 lead.

Lincoln finally allowed a run in the 8th. PH Sho Aranami led off with a ground-rule double and advaned on a grounder by SS Ken Kume. Ehren Wassermann relieved and gave up a RBI double to CF Ikuhiro Kiyota.

Down 4-1 in the 9th, Japan rallied. DH Keiji Ikebe oped with a single off Cedrick Bowers. Nate Field relieved to face PH Komei Sawamura. He threw a wild pitch, but fanned Sawamura. 1B Kenichi Yokoyama popped up. Go Yamaoka pinch-hit and doubled in a run. With the potential tying run at the plate, Field faced C Kenji Suzuki. Suzuki hit a fly out to right and the game was over.

[edit] September 16

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
South Korea 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 6 1
Puerto Rico 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 - 3 6 2
Win: Mario Santiago (2-0) Loss: Seung-lak Son (1-1) Save: R.J. Rodriguez (1)

Puerto Rico rebounded from its loss to the Netherlands with a close win over South Korea.

In the first, LF Miguel Abreu led off with a single and took second on a wild pitch. 2B Irving Falu bunted him over, then CF Luis Matos grounded him home.

South Korea tied the game in the 4th. With one out, DH Yong-kyu Choi grounded to SS Angel Sanchez, who made a throwing error; it was the third error of the Cup for the former big leaguer. 1B Young-hun Cho doubled home Choi. Mario Santiago struck out CF Ho-sin Lee. 3B Bon-ki Shin singled Cho to third, but Santiago escaped the inning by getting LF Hun-gon Kim on a ground ball to third.

Puerto Rico took the lead for good in the 4th. Falu drew a leadoff walk and Matos got a bunt single. With one out, C Raul Casanova drew a walk to load the bases. 3B Ruben Gotay fanned, but DH Alex Cintron smacked a 2-run double down the right field line.

Santiago left after 7, having allowed only the one (unearned) run. Melvin Pizzaro relieved and walked 2B Myung-gu Kang. RF Jong-wook Ko hit one back to Pizzaro, whose error put two men on. Angel Garcia was summoned from the bullpen. Choi bunted the runners over, putting the potential tying run in scoring position. Nelvin Fuentes got the ball next. He threw a wild pitch to score Kang, making it 3-2. On a full count, Fuentes struck out PH Eui-ji Yang. He walked Ho-sin Lee, though, to put the potential winning run aboard. R.J. Rodriguez became Puerto Rico's 4th pitcher of the inning and the Pirate minor leaguer fanned Shin, previously 2 for 3, to end the threat.

Rodriguez didn't have an easy 9th. After two outs, he walked SS Boung-gon Jeong, the #9 hitter. Kang singled to put the potential winning run aboard. Ko rapped one to 1B Carlos Rivera, who threw to second for the game-ending out.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Taiwan 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 5 1
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 4 0
Win: Chih-Lung Huang (1-0) Loss: Hirotoshi Masui (0-1)

Taiwan got its second straight extra-inning win over a rival (Australia in terms of recent international performance, Japan in a regional sense).

SS Han Lin led off the game with a single. He advanced on a grounder, then scored on a single by DH Hung-Yu Lin. After that, Japanese starter Tomohisa Otani allowed only two hits, no walks and no runs in the next eight innings.

Neither team got a significant scoring chance again until the bottom of the 6th, when Japan finally got to Taiwan's 20-year-old starter Chih-Lung Huang. LF Sho Aranami doubled and took third on a throwing error by RF Chung-Chun Wu. Huang struck out 1B Tsutomu Sasaki, but RF Hisayoshi Chono singled to tie the game. Huang promptly picked off Chono.

Japan and Taiwan failed to reach base in either the 7th or 8th.

In the 9th, 1B Chia-Hao Chang singled off Otani. Han Lin bunted him over. Japan turned to reliever Hirotoshi Masui, who got out of the jam.

In the 10th, 3B Chih-Hsiang Lin bunted over the two runners placed by IBAF extra-inning rules. Hung-Yu Lin then delivered a single up the middle, scoring both men. During the bottom of the inning, Taiwan left Huang in. The young hurler saw backup SS Ken Kume lay down a sacrifice bunt. Chono then lined to Wu in right, who fired to backup SS Po-Yu Lin for the double play, ending the game.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Canada 2 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 4 9 0
Mexico 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 7 0
Win: Trystan Magnuson (1-0) Loss: Rafael Díaz (1-1) Save: R.J. Swindle (1)

Canada had its backs to the wall with a 0-2 record entering this game and Mexico was also in danger of not making the second round, going in 1-1 and with a loss hurting their chances.

Mexico turned to 39-year-old Rafael Díaz, who had begun his career with seven seasons in the farm system of a Canadian organization (the Montréal Expos). CF Adam Stern opened with a single off the veteran hurler. RF Rene Tosoni, moved up a slot in the batting order, smacked a ground-rule double. 2B Brett Lawrie contributed a sacrifice fly. After a fly out by 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand, DH Tim Smith singled for a 2-0 lead.

Mexico first challenged in the second, with two two-out hits off Nick Bucci, but 2B Oswaldo Morejón struck out on a full-count offering. In the 4th, C Cole Armstrong walked with two outs and advanced on a wild pitch. 3B Shawn Bowman singled him in for a 3-0 score. RF Cristhian Presichi opened the bottom of the 4th with a double but was stranded. Canada got two singles in the fifth but no runs.

Mexico almost scored again in the 5th. With one out, CF Iván Terrazas and SS Oscar Robles drew walks, forcing Canada to yank starter Nick Bucci. Trystan Magnuson faced slugging LF Jesús Cota, who grounded the runners over. That brought up cleanup threat Saúl Soto, who failed to deliver, grounding out.

Canada kept pecking away in the 6th. Van Ostrand led off with a double. Two outs later, Bowman singled him in to put the northerners in front 4-0.

Mexico did not do anything much in the 6th or 7th. In the 8th, Cota led off against Vince Perkins with a single. Perkins tossed a wild pitch, then Soto hit a home run to make it 4-2. The Mexican squad put off a fight in the 9th as well. With two outs, Terrazas singled against Dustin Molleken. Ernie Whitt replaced Molleken with former major leaguer R.J. Swindle. Swindle walked Robles to put the potential winning run aboard. Cota came up - and went down with a strikeout four pitches later to end the game. Both teams now stood with 1-2 records, giving them chances at round three if they played well in their next four contests.

For the second time today, a pitcher named R.J. saved his team's win, followinjg Puerto Rico's R.J. Rodriguez.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Nicaragua 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 10 1
Great Britain 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 2
Win: Diego Sandino (2-0) Loss: Brian Essery (1-1)

In round one, Nicaragua trounced Great Britain. This time, it was a closer affair.

Both teams got runners aboard in the first only to have them erased on double plays. In the second, Brian Essery ran into trouble. LF Esteban Ramírez led off with a single. After an out, RF Justo Rivas singled. Veteran DH Sandor Guido doubled in Ramírez. 2B Mario Holmann hit a sacrifice fly, Guido taking third. C Adolfo Matamoros laid down a bunt single to make it 3-0 as Guido scored.

Britain scored in the bottom of the inning. RF Sam Wiley reached on an error by 3B Jimy González. C Chris Berset grounded Wiley over. DH Evan Romanchuk singled. 2B Chris Falls hit into a run-scoring force to close it to 3-1. Diego Sandino would go the distance and not allow another British run. On the other hand, Nicaragua's offense fell cold as well. Essery got 11 straight outs from the 3rd through the 6th.

Guido ended Essery's streak by opening the 7th with a single to center. Holmann bunted him over, then Matamoros cracked a RBI double for a 4-1 Nicaraguan lead. Neither team scored again.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Netherlands 2 7 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 10 16 0
Spain 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 5 6 0
Win: Nick Veltkamp (1-0) Loss: Antonio Noguera (0-2) Save: Diegomar Markwell (1)

Two top European powers squared off and the Netherlands cruised to victory to go to 3-0. Before the game, the Dutch Baseball Hall of Fame inducted new member Jan-Dick Leurs, who had previously played for, coached and managed the Dutch national team.

The Dutch squad wasted no time in this one. RF Gene Kingsale led off the game against Antonio Noguera and delivered a triple. 3B Yurendell de Caster singled in Kingsale. 1B Randall Simon grounded de Caster to third and C Sidney de Jong drove him home.

The Netherlands put it away in the second. DH Raily Legito and 2B Sharlon Schoop hit back-to-back singles, then Legito stole third. CF Danny Rombley doubled in Legito. SS Hainley Statia singled home both runners to make it 5-0. Kingsale walked on four pitches. Yoel Hernandez relieved the ineffective Noguera. De Caster greeted him with a RBI double, then de Jong hit a one-out RBI single. With two outs, Legito cleared the bases with a double, his second hit of the inning. The Netherlands now led 9-0.

Spain tried to make it a game in the third. SS Néstor Pérez drew a 4-pitch walk from Reds prospect Juan Carlos Sulbaran and RF Daniel Martinez singled. Sulbaran hit CF Daniel Figueroa to load the bases. DH Emmanuel Febles hit into a run-scoring force. 3B Paco Figueroa hit a sacrifice fly and it was 9-2.

Spain got closer in the 4th. C Dewis Navarro led off with a single and 1B José Luis Riera walked. Sulbaran struck out the next batter, but walked Pérez. Nick Veltkamp came in to relieve and promptly walked Martinez to force in one run. Veltkamp struck out Daniel Figueroa but Febles hit a 2-run single to cut the difference to 9-5. Paco Figueroa walked to bring up cleanup man Luis Pérez as the potential tying run. Rod Delmonico replaced Veltkamp with Arshwin Asjes, who got Pérez to line out to end the threat.

The teams traded goose eggs until the 8th, when the Netherlands got the game's last run. With two away, Statia singled and Kingsale doubled him in.

Veteran Diegomar Markwell tossed shutout ball over the final three innings for the save. 7 Dutch batters got multiple hits.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
Venezuela 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4
Cuba 3 0 1 0 0 0 2 4 10 14 1
Win: Norge Luis Vera (2-0) Loss: Jose Escalona (1-1)

After starting 4-0, Venezuela lost its second straight, being clearly mismatched in this game. Norge Luis Vera and Yadier Pedroso combined on a 4-hit shutout, striking out 12.

Cuba's batters also did their job. 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. led off the game with a bunt hit against Jose Escalona. DH Michel Enríquez doubled and an error by CF Jonathan Sivira scored Olivera. 3B Yulieski Gourriel struck out, but LF Frederich Cepeda and RF Alfredo Despaigne drew consecutive full-count walks. CF Yoennis Céspedes hit a sacrifice fly. 1B José Dariel Abreu then singled in Cepeda and it was 3-0. In the third, Despaigne hit a solo home run.

Cuba got four men aboard in the 6th but failed to score as Céspedes was caught stealing; with the bases loaded, contact specialist Enríquez struck out on a 11-pitch at-bat. Venezuela looked to threaten in the 7th when DH Luis Landaeta and LF Willie Vasquez had back-to-back singles but Sivira struck out and Yosnel Garcia hit into a double play.

In the bottom of the 7th, Despaigne hit a 2-out single. Céspedes hit one to 3B Michael Sandoval, who made an error. Abreu tripled both men home to make it 6-0.

Cuba put the mercy rule into action with a strong 8th action. SS Luis Miguel Navas doubled and Olivera singled him in. Enríquez walked. Gourriel singled in Olivera for a 8-0 score. Erick Arteaga relieved. Cepeda grounded to SS Dirimo Chavez, whose throwing error let Enríquez score. Backup CF Leonys Martin hit into a run-scoring force to end the contest.

[edit] September 17

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Great Britain 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 11 1
Puerto Rico 0 2 0 2 1 0 0 0 - 5 10 0
Win: Angel Garcia (1-0) Loss: Alex Smith (0-2) Save: Orlando Román (1)

Puerto Rico went up 2-0 in the second. DH Raul Casanova singled against Alex Smith. SS Alex Cintron hit into a force at second. 2B Rubén Gotay singled Cintron to third. C Stephen Morales cracked a 2-run double to left.

Britain surprisingly took the lead in the 4th. Facing former major leaguer Jose Santiago, C Chris Berset and SS Brant Ust hit singles with one out. RF Sam Wiley hit a RBI double. 1B Aedan McQueary-Ennis singled in Ust and Wiley to give Great Britain a 3-2 lead. The attack continued as DH Evan Romanchuk singled. Santiago got a second out by striking out CF Alex Malihoudis, but he was then yanked. Angel Garcia came in and walked 3B Tim Collins to load the bases. The wild Garcia then walked 2B Sam Whitehead for a 4-2 British lead, before he recovered to strike out LF Matt McGraw.

Puerto Rico tied it in the bottom of the 4th. Cintron reached second on a two-base error by Smith. With two outs, RF Irving Falu singled in Cintron. Falu advanced to third on a steal, then LF Miguel Abreu singled for a 4-4 score.

Britain got two hits in the 5th, but Ust hit into a double play in between them to ruin a scoring chance. Puerto Rico scored in the bottom of the 5th to take the lead for good. CF Luis Matos bunted his way aboard, then stole second. With two outs, Cintron singled him in.

Great Britain got a couple more chances to tie it, though. In the 6th, Romanchuk doubled against Orlando Román and took third on a Malihoudis grounder. Román struck out Collins and got Whitehead on a fly. In the 8th, McQueary-Ennis walked with one out but was stranded. Román struck out two of three batters in the 9th to wrap up a 4-inning save as Puerto Rico escaped a major upset.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Venezuela 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 5 8 2
Netherlands 0 1 2 1 2 1 1 0 - 8 13 1
Win: David Bergman (1-0) Loss: Junior Guerra (1-1) Save: Kenley Jansen (1)

In the second game of the day at Pim Mulier Stadium, the Netherlands scored in all but two innings in improving to 4-0.

The Netherlands was blanked in the first by Junior Guerra, before they began their peck-away over the next 7 innings. In the second, singles by C Sidney de Jong, LF Curt Smith and 2B Sharlon Schoop led to one run. In the third, 1B Randall Simon reached on an error by 3B Michael Sandoval and advanced on three straight wild pitches. De Jong had reached on a strikeout/wild pitch on the second of those wild tosses and took second on the third one. DH Bryan Engelhardt singled him in.

Venezuela tied it briefly in the 4th against Alexander Smit, with a homer by RF Rene Reyes and a double by LF Willie Vasquez being the big hits in the 3-run frame. Smit was relieved by David Bergman, who tossed shutout ball for the next three innings.

In the meantime, the Netherlands was building its lead. In the fourth, CF Danny Rombley walked, was bunted over, took third on yet another Guerra wild pitch, then scored on a sacrifice fly by 3B Yurendell de Caster. In the fifth, de Jong walked and Smith doubled. Roger Luque replaced Guerra and Schoop singled home de Jong. After a force at the plate, SS Hainley Statia singled in Schoop to make it 6-3.

In the sixth, Simon, de Jong and Smith had three straight singles to open the inning, but the Dutch only got one run across. In the seventh, de Jong singled home RF Gene Kingsale for a 8-3 lead. Venezuela challenged again in the 8th as Bergman tired, giving up two runs and allowing the bases to be loaded before he escaped.

De Jong and Smith both finished with 3 hits; de Jong also walked and scored four times. 1B Lino Connell had 4 hits in 5 at-bats for the losing side.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cuba 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 5 2 10 11 2
Spain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2
Win: Miguel Alfredo González (2-0) Loss: Pedro Pablo Belmonte (0-1)

Cuba also remained unbeaten, roughing up Spain. Symptomatic of the game was that Cuban captain Frederich Cepeda had no hits - and scored three runs.

Cuba got ahead in the second against 37-year-old Pedro Pablo Belmonte. Cepeda reached on a miscue by 1B José Luis Riera. RF Alfredo Despaigne doubled. One out later, 1B José Dariel Abreu singled both men home. Spain stranded 3 runners in the 2nd and 3rd.

From the third through the sixth, Miguel Alfredo González and Belmonte traded goose eggs. In the top of the 7th, Abreu led off with a double. Two outs later, 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. singled him in to make it 3-0.

Cuba finally got their pitchers some additional support in the 8th when Belmonte left. Jose Cruz came in and gave up a first-pitch homer to 3B Yulieski Gourriel. Cepeda, Despaigne and CF Yoennis Céspedes drew three straight walks. Jorge Balboa replaced Cruz. Abreu hit into a run-scoring force for a 5-0 lead. C Ariel Pestano then mashed a 3-run home run for a solid 8-0 cushion.

González left after 7 innings of two-hit shutout ball. Vladimir García and Jonder Martínez finished the shutout with one scoreless frame apiece.

Cuba finished the scoring in the 9th. Cepeda walked and backup CF Leonys Martin singled. A wild pitch advanced both runners. Abreu grounded in Cepeda for his 4th RBI of the day. Pestano matched him at four by singling in Martin.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
South Korea 0 0 0 1 6 0 0 0 0 7 7 1
Nicaragua 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 3
Win: Ji-woong Yoon (1-1) Loss: Armando Hernández (0-1)

With the 4th of four Pool F spots for the third round up for grabs (at least for one day), South Korea and Nicaragua faced off in a contest with significant second-round meaning.

Through three innings, Won-sang Yoo and Armando Hernández both tossed shutout ball. Korea scored in the 4th on a two-out home run by 1B Young-hun Cho. Nicaragua answered quickly. In the bottom of the 4th, veteran Nicaraguan SS Edgard López doubled. After one out, LF Esteban Ramírez walked. DH Danilo Sotelo singled to load the bases. RF Justo Rivas singled in López to tie it. Ji-woong Yoon relieved and got 1B Sandor Guido to hit a sacrifice fly. Yoon would throw shutout ball through the next five innings, giving up just three hits, as Nicaragua's bats were silenced.

Korea's offense had its big inning in the fifth, all with two outs. C Hee-keun Lee and LF Hun-gon Kim, the 8th and 9th hitters, both walked on full counts. 2B Myung-gu Kang hit into an error by his counterpart, Mario Holmann, on a play that could have ended the explosive inning before it had become a problem. RF Jong-wook Ko walked on a full count, forcing in one run. DH Yong-kyu Choi then came through with a 3-run double. An error by Guido let Choi score. Cho singled. Jairo Pineda relieved Hernández and was greeted by a RBI double from CF Ho-sin Lee. As neither team scored again, South Korea had won 7-2 on an inning that could have gone the other way had Holmann not erred.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
USA 7 3 0 4 0 0 0 14 13 0
Taiwan 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 5 2
Win: Todd Redmond (2-0) Loss: Chu-Chien Hsu (0-1)

The two teams that had begun 3-0 in Pool G play faced off and one team dominated the other. The US had scored all the runs it needed for the mercy rule win by the fourth.

Taiwan went to Chu-Chien Hsu, a veteran of their first World Baseball Classic team. Hsu had nothing on the US hitters. CF Buck Coats hit a leadoff single and stole second as SS Trevor Plouffe struck out. 1B Justin Smoak and RF Ike Davis walked. DH Terry Tiffee hit into a two-run-scoring error by SS Chih-Hsiang Lin. LF Jon Weber singled in a third run. 3B Pedro Alvarez then hit a 3-run homer, not the last bomb he would deliver today. C Lucas May reached and 2B Daniel Descalso doubled, then Coats drove home May for a 7-0 first-inning lead.

In the second, the US kept on hitting. Now facing Wang-Yi Lin, they got one on (Davis via walk) with two out. Weber and Alvarez hit back-to-back dingers and it was 10-0.

After two hits but no runs in the third, the US showed more pop in the 4th against Lin. Tiffee led off the inning with a home run. Weber singled, then both Alvarez and May went yard. Alvarez had now tied the World Cup home run record, shared by Antonio Muñoz (1980), Luis Casanova (1990), Sharnol Adriana and Jesús Cota (2009, exactly a week prior).

Todd Redmond gave up his only runs in the bottom of the 4th. Chih-Hsiang Lin tripled and 1B Kuo-Min Lin singled him home. DH Hung-Yu Lin hit a home run, but that was all Taiwan would get in the US rout.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Japan 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 8 2
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 3 2 1
Win: Jimmy Henderson (1-1) Loss: Takashi Saitoh (0-1)

With both teams having a significantly better shot at the third round with a win , this match of 1-2 teams loomed large and proved to be an exciting affair. Despite just two hits, Canada pulled away with the win.

Japan got two walks and a hit in the second but failed to score thanks to Ikuhiro Kiyota being caught stealing by Chris Robinson. In the third, DH Sho Aranami bunted his way aboard. Matt Kniginyzky tried to pick him off but made a throwing error, sending him to third. LF Yoshinobu Kotegawa grounded in Aranami.

Japan got a hit and a walk with one out in the 6th, but Kniginyzky retired 2B Kenichi Yokoyama and 3B Kentaro Miyazawa to escape the threat. In the bottom of the 6th, Canadian LF Adam Loewen drew a a walk from Atsushi Tanaka, the first Canadian baserunner by way of something other than an error. SS Jonathan Malo bunted him over. Tanaka whiffed CF Adam Stern but 2B Brett Lawrie came up with a crucial game-tying single.

Tanaka and Kniginyzky both left after the 6th, with Chris Kissock and Hirofumi Yamanaka taking over.

Japan almost got the winning run in the 8th. Kotegawa led off with a single. With two outs, he stole second (after 7 pickoff attempts by Kissock). Kiyota singled to right and Kotegawa raced home. RF Rene Tosoni's throw to the plate, though, got there before him to end the inning.

In the 10th, Japan loaded the bases with two outs but Jimmy Henderson retired Kiyota. Lawrie and Tosoni struck out with the chance to win it in the bottom of the 10th.

In the 11th, Japan loaded the bases with one out. Backup C Ryo Saeki singled in one run, but Canada got an out at second base ont he play. SS Ken Kume then grounded out to Lawrie.

Down 2-1, Canada loaded the bases with one away. DH Emerson Frostad bloomed one into right, scoring Lawrie. Tosoni tried to score as well but the throw from RF Hisayoshi Chono beat him to home. Tosoni ran over Saeki, knocking the ball loose, and giving Canada the winning run.

Canadian batters struck out 18 times.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Italy 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 0
Australia 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 5 12 1
Win: Dushan Ruzic (1-0) Loss: Chris Cooper (0-1)

The game began as a slugfest and ended with a strong pitching duel. The host country, Italy, remained winless despite a strong start and a good game overall.

In the first, SS Jack Santora led off with a single and was bunted over. 2B Davide Dallospedale grounded him to third, then DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi singled him home. Australia got two hits in the first off 2009 Italian Baseball League ERA leader Tiago Da Silva but failedto score.

Former Mariners farmhand 3B Francesco Imperiali led off the second with a single and was bunted to second. CF Leonardo Zileri beat out an infield hit to put men on the corners. Santora laid down a bunt hit, loading the bases. LF Juan Carlos Infante emptied the bags with a 3-run double, but was throwing out trying to stretch it to a triple. Italy led, 4-0.

Australia got one run back in the bottom of the second. RF Tim Kennelly singled; two outs later, SS James Beresford, the #9 hitter, doubled him home to cut it to 4-1.

Dushan Ruzic relieved Liam Hendriks to begin the third. The 6' 8" star of the 2007 World Cup had his A game. Over the next 7 innings, he let Italy collect just two hits and shut them out, giving the Italian offense the chance it needed to rally to win.

Australia got a second score in the third. With one out, RF Chris Snelling walked and 3B Brad Harman doubled him home. They tied it in the 4th. C Joel Naughton led off with a single and swiped second. He advanced on a grounder, then Beresford hit a sacrifice fly. CF Nick Kimpton, the leadoff man, then showed some pop with a game-tying homer off Da Silva.

Da Silva was relieved by Chris Cooper in the 5th and he matched Ruzic goose egg for goose egg over the next four frames, neither side mounting much of a rally.

In the 9th, 1B Dean Rovinelli singled and took second on an error with two outs, but Imperiali flew out to end that threat. In the bottom of the 9th, Australian DH Daniel Berg doubled off Cooper and Beresford got a bunt hit. Kimpton was given a free pass, and Cooper was yanked in favor of Franklin Torres. Torres struck out 2B Brad Harman, but the next major league veteran he faced proved tougher. Snelling singled into center for his third hit of the day, scoring Berg with the winner in the second "walk-off" contest of the day.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Netherlands Antilles 5 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 8 9 0
Mexico 0 1 0 3 0 5 0 0 - 9 10 2
Win: Hugo Castellanos (1-0) Loss: Orsendo Clemencia (0-1) Save: Héctor Navarro (3)

In another close game in Italy, the Netherlands Antilles burst out to a 6-0 lead against a former major league pitcher in hopes of their first second-round win, but Mexico rallied to avoid falling to 1-3.

Mexican manager Enrique Reyes turned to Francisco Cordova to start; Cordova had once finished in the top 10 in the National League in ERA, but today he was not at his best and his defense really let him down. With one out, he struck out 1B Andley Simmons but C Noé Muñoz erred on the play, letting Simmons go all the way to third. Cordova hit CF Ardley Jansen. LF Lorvin Louisa hit into a run-scoring error by SS Oscar Robles; had Mexico's defense done its job, the inning would have now been over with no runs across. 2B Djionny Joubert drew a full-count walk. C Ulrich Snijders then crushed a grand slam, the first hit off Cordova - it was now 5-0.

In the second, 3B Ryan Ilario drew a leadoff walk. With two outs, Ilario stole second, then Jansen singled him in, knocking out Cordova. Mexican DH Edgar Quintero took Johnny Gregorius deep in the bottom of the second to make it 6-1.

The Antilles almost scored in the third. With two out, DH Quincy Martina doubled and RF Luisgardo Alvarez singled, but Martina was held up at third. Ilario went down swinging to end the rally.

Mexico staged a comeback in the bottom of the 4th. RF Cristhian Presichi led off with a double, then LF Jesús Cota singled him in. Quintero and 2B Carlos Valencia both walked. Gregorius continued to struggle with his control, walking 1B Sergio Contreras with the bases load. Muñoz hit into a run-scoring double play and Mexico trailed 6-4.

Louisa led off the 5th with a home run against Hugo Castellanos for a 7-4 score. Mexico got men on the corners in the 5th with two outs; Raymond Martes relieved Gregorius and got Quintero to fly out.

Mexico took the lead for good in the bottom of the 6th. Martes walked Valencia and Contreras, both on full counts. He then gave a free pass to Muñoz for the 8th Mexican walk of the day. 45-year-old Orsendo Clemencia relieved to face 3B Abel Martínez, the #9 hitter. Martínez singled to left to score two runs. Arredondo bunted both men over, then Robles was walked intentionally. Presichi doubled home two more and Mexico now led, 8-7. Cota followed with a RBI single for a 9-7 lead before Clemencia got the next two outs.

After Castellanos opened the 7th with a walk to Simmons, he was replaced by Enrique Quintanilla. Jansen singled. Louisa struck out, but Joubert singled in Simmons to make it 9-8. Up came Snijders, but he failed to duplicate his power feat of the first inning, fanning. Martina singled to right and Jansen tried to score the tying run, but he was gunned down at the plate by Presichi.

In the 7th, Mexico got two aboard with one out but failed to score off Clemencia. Alan Guerrero went 1-2-3 in the top of the 8th. In the bottom of the 8th, Presichi singled but was thrown out in a rundown trying to stretch it to a double.

For the 9th inning of the slugfest, Reyes turned to closer Héctor Navarro, who had gone 1-11 three years prior before becoming one of Mexico's top relievers. Simmons began with a leadoff single, putting the potential tying run on base. Jansen tried to bunt, an odd move for a slugging outfielder hitting in the #3 slot, and popped one up to first base. Louisa swung away and went down. Joubert flied to left and Mexico had escaped with a win.

[edit] September 18

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Nicaragua 3 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 0 9 12 5
Spain 2 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 5 8 2
Win: Berman Espinoza (1-0) Loss: Iván Granados (0-1)

After a 3-0 first round, Nicaragua had started the second round 1-3 and was in desperate need of a win at Sportpark Ookmeer. Despite five errors, they got it thanks to good offensive production.

Spain turned to Iván Granados, a former Athletics farmhand. He was wild from the get-go, walking leadoff hitter Douglas Morales and #2 batter Edgard López. Granados recovered to get two outs, but DH Juan Oviedo crushed one to left for a 3-0 lead.

In the bottom of the first, Spain put up a challenge against José Pérez. CF Daniel Figueroa reached on an error by SS Darrel Campbell. Figueroa broke for second, stealing the base and taking third on a throwing error by Adolfo Matamoros. 3B Paco Figueroa singled home his brother with one out, then stole second, but was gunned down trying to swipe third as well. LF Luis Pérez tripled. C Dewis Navarro hit into another Campbell error and it was 3-2.

Nicaragua built their lead in the third. Granados plunked López, then 3B Jimy González doubled. LF Esteban Ramírez grounded home López to make it 4-2, then Oviedo struck again, with a run-scoring double. Spain got back one of the runs in the 4th. With one out, DH William Domero doubled and 1B Richard Montiel singled. SS Néstor Pérez then doubled in Domero. Pérez struck out 2B Daniel Sánchez but hit Danny Figueroa to load the bases. Berman Espinoza came in from the bullpen and retired RF Emmanuel Febles on a fly to escape further harm.

Oviedo led off the 5th with a walk from Remigio Leal, then RF Justo Rivas hit a home run for a 7-3 lead. Spain had another rally in the bottom of the inning. Paco Figueroa walked and Luis Pérez got an infield hit. Espinoza got Navarro to fly out, then struck out Domero and retired Montiel on a grounder.

Spain pecked away some more in the 6th. With one out, PH Daniel Martinez was plunked. Daniel Figueroa bunted his way aboard. Febles flew out. Espinoza tried a pick-off attempt and failed, letting Martinez score. The ball wound up in right field and a return throw from Rivas went astray for a second run-scoring error on the play; Spain was within 2 runs, 7-5.

In the 7th, Oviedo led off with a single for his third hit of the day. With one out, 1B Sandor Guido singled. PH Danilo Sotelo struck out, but Matamoros hit an infield single to load the bases. Morales drew a bases-loaded walk from Leal to make it 8-5. Fernando Gutiérrez was summoned from the pen and walked Edgard López on four pitches to force in another. González ground out to end the inning but Nicaragua's lead was up to a solid four runs.

Julio Raudez tossed perfect ball for Nicaragua in the 7th and 8th, then José Luis Sáenz did the same in the 9th to wrap up the win.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Netherlands 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 6 13 1
Great Britain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 1
Win: Tom Stuifbergen (1-0) Loss: Aedan McQueary-Ennis (0-1)

The Netherlands became the first team to clinch a spot in round three with a shutout win over Great Britain, their opponents from the finals of the 2007 European Championship.

In the second, DH Raily Legito led off against Aedan McQueary-Ennis with a home run. 2B Sharlon Schoop singled; two outs later, SS Hainley Statia tripled him home. A wild pitch by McQueary-Ennis made it 2-0 Netherlands.

McQueary-Ennis was able to shut down the Dutch offensive for four innings, but gave up another run in the 7th. C Dashenko Ricardo singled with one out. He was grounded over, then RF Gene Kingsale singled him home. Paul Waterman relieved in the 8th and 1B Sharnol Adriana greeted him with a double. With one out, Legito was intentionally walked. Schoop singled in Adriana, then CF Danny Rombley drove home two more.

Tom Stuifbergen tossed 7 shutout innings. Arshwin Asjes and Leon Boyd followed him with one inning apiece to complete the whitewash.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
South Korea 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2
Venezuela 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 - 4 7 1
Win: Robert Zarate (1-0) Loss: Kyung-eun Noh (0-2) Save: Jose Rodriguez (1)

South Korea and Venezuela joined Nicaragua in a tie for 4th in Pool F at 2-3; whoever finishes 4th will move on to round three while the other clubs do not as South Korea lost a chance to keep its lead over the two Latin American teams.

Kyung-eun Noh opened the second by walking RF Rene Reyes. With one out, 3B Michael Sandoval (newly dropped from the #3 slot in the order) singled Reyes to third. An out later, CF Jonathan Sivira singled back to the mound, scoring Reyes.

South Korea got the run back in the 4th despite not getting a hit. Orlando Perdomo walked RF Jong-wook Ko. He then hit DH Yong-kyu Choi and walked 1B Young-hun Cho. SS Boung-gun Jeong hit into a run-scoring double play. Perdomo then plunked 3B Bon-ki Shin and walked LF Hun-gon Kim to load the bases again. He escaped by getting C Eui-ji Yang to fly out.

Perdomo left after five innings, having given up no hits, but six walks and two hit batsmen. South Korea got their only hit in the 6th when Cho singled off Robert Zarate. In the bottom of that inning, SS Dirimo Chavez took Noh deep for a 2-1 lead. Zarate and Jose Rodriguez shut down South Korea for the final three innings.

Venezuela got some insurance in the 8th. 2B Billy Rojo doubled and Chavez hit into a Jeong error. Chavez stole second and a throwing error by Yang let Rojo score. Old-timer 1B Lino Connell singled, then Reyes singled in Chavez. Venezuela's third-round hopes remained viable.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Puerto Rico 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 3 0 5 13 0
Cuba 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 7 1
Win: Miguel Mejia (1-0) Loss: Yadier Pedroso (0-1) Save: R.J. Rodriguez (2)

Puerto Rico dropped Cuba from the ranks of the unbeaten, leaving only the Netherlands and significantly helped their chances at making the third round in the process.

Puerto Rico got to Maikel Folch in the third. SS Angel Sanchez led off with a double. One out later, 2B Irving Falu singled him home. Cuba tied it in the 4th when RF Alfredo Despaigne took Efrain Nieves deep. In the 5th, Puerto Rico got the lead back. With two away, #9 hitter Sanchez singled. LF Miguel Abreu singled him over. Yadier Pedroso relieved Falu reached on catcher's interference by veteran Ariel Pestano. Pedroso then plunked CF Luis Matos to force in a run, Sanchez scoring for the second time.

Cuba evened it once more, when Pestano homered off Nieves to atone for his mistake of the top half of the inning. Cuba almost took the lead that inning but bad baserunning hurt them. SS Luis Miguel Navas singled and was bunted over. DH Michel Enríquez singled to left, but Navas was thrown out by Abreu when trying to score. 3B Yulieski Gourriel walked. LF Frederich Cepeda singled and RF Miguel Negron gunned down Enríquez at the plate.

Both teams went quickly in the 6th and 7th. In the 8th, Puerto Rico took the lead again. Matos led off with a solo homer against Pedroso. With one out, C Raul Casanova doubled. Cuba turned to hard-throwing Vladimir García. 3B Rubén Gotay singled, then DH José Valentin hit a two-run double to put the Puerto Rican club in front, 5-2.

Enríquez doubled off R.J. Rodriguez in the 8th but was stranded when the heart of the order (Gourriel, Cepeda and Despaigne) all came up empty. Rodriguez went 1-2-3 in the 9th to finish it off.


Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Mexico 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Taiwan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 0
Win: Yu-Ching Lin (3-0) Loss: Arturo López (0-1)

The 7th and 8th place finishers from the 2007 Cup faced off in an exciting pitching duel.

Oscar Rivera took the hill for Mexico and Yen-Feng Lin for Taiwan. Rivera gave up two hits in the first and Lin one. Both pitchers faced the minimum in the next three innings. In the 5th, Mexican 1B Edgar Quintero doubled with one away but was stranded. Rivera gave up one single and that was all. Neither team reached base in the sixth.

In the 7th, RF Cristhian Presichi led off with a double but the 4, 5 and 6 hitters for Mexico couldn't drive him in. In the bottom of the inning, Rivera walked CF Ken-Wei Lin and 2B Ming-Jen Kuo singled with one out. Arturo López came in and blew out the fire. Neither team reached base in the 8th.

Mexico posed a threat in the 9th. CF Eduardo Arredondo and Presichi drew walks but Lin got the 4th and 5th hitters, Jesús Cota and Saúl Soto, to complete his 9th scoreless inning. López had another 1-2-3 inning, forcing extra innings.

In the 10th, Mexico loaded the bases with one out for the third and fourth hitters, but Yu-Ching Lin struck out Presichi on three pitches and Cota on four. In the bottom of the 10th, Taiwan started with their two men on board. SS Han Lin laid down a bunt hit. Héctor Navarro relieved López, but threw a run-scoring wild pitch to end the game.

Mexico fell to 2-3 and needed to do well in their last two games to advance, while Taiwan went to 4-1 and was looking pretty clearly to round three.

Yu-Ching Lin became the first 3-win pitcher of the Cup.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Canada 4 0 4 2 4 5 19 17 0
Netherlands Antilles 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 4 2
Win: Brooks McNiven (2-0) Loss: Mario Mujica (0-1)

Canada had scored 19 runs against Sweden and the Netherlands Antilles had allowed 19 to Australia for the two highest offensive outputs of the tournament. Also, Canada had beaten the Antilles 15-0 in their round one match. The combination of Canadian batters and the Antillean pitching and defense boded very well for Canada, which put together 19 runs in six innings.

Canada's offensive display began in the first. With one out, RF Rene Tosoni singled against Mario Mujica. 3B Shawn Bowman singled as well, then 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand homered to make it 3-0. An out later, 2B Brett Lawrie cracked one over the fence.

Mujica actually shut out Canada in the second. In the third, Van Ostrand walked with two outs. LF Tim Smith singled. Lawrie hit a two-run double to left. DH Emerson Frostad singled Lawrie home. Raydell Isabella relieved Mujica and walked C Cole Armstrong on four pitches. SS Jonathan Malo singled in Frostad but Armstrong was thrown out trying to score on the play.

In the 4th, Canada got up by 10. CF Adam Stern walked; with one out, Bowman hit a home run.

The 5th was Canada's third 4-run inning. Frostad singled, then Armstrong hit into an error by veteran 2B Myron Wijman (who had been with the Antilles back in the 1988 World Cup, their prior Cup). Isabella hit Malo to load the bases. Stern doubled home two runs, then Tosoni drove in another. Carrol Servania relieved and Bowman hit a sacrifice fly for a 14-0 lead.

The Antilles got on the board in the bottom of the 5th against Canadian starter Brooks McNiven. 1B Rafael Jozefa and DH Quincy Martina singled, then C Randolph Kirindongo doubled them both home.

Canada continued the onslaught in the sixth. Servania plunked Smith. Lawrie singled, then Frostad had a RBI single. Armstrong walked to load the bases. SS Terrence Dayleg hit a sacrifice fly for a 16-2 lead. Stern hit one to Jozefa, whose error let in Frostad. Tosoni doubled in Armstrong. Ludwin Obispo relieved and proved to be the top Antillean pitcher of the day. He got Bowman on a grounder. Van Ostrand singled home Stern to make it 19-2. Obispo struck out backup LF Adam Loewen to end the carnage.

Seven Canadian hitters scored multiple runs.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Japan 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 12 0
Italy 0 0 0 1 1 4 0 0 - 6 6 2
Win: Yovany D'Amico (1-0) Loss: Yosuke Okamoto (0-1) Save: Franklin Torres (1)

In a crucial back-to-the-wall game for both teams, Japan started faster. In the second, Marco Grifantini plunked 2B Shiro Mori. 3B Kentaro Miyazawa singled, then Grifantini threw a wild pitch. He got the next batter, but C Kenji Suzuki singled home both runners. Grifantini settled down for the rest of his day.

Italy got to Motoki Higa in the 4th on a solo homer by RF Mario Chiarini. In the fifth, LF Leonardo Zileri also went deep to tie the score. Japan almost took the lead back in the 6th. With one on and two out, Matteo Pizziconi stepped in and promptly allowed both runners he faced to reach base. Yovany D'Amico relieved and got DH Hisayoshi Chono to end the threat.

In the bottom of the sixth, Yosuke Okamoto replaced Higa, but he was totally ineffective. He began by walking SS Jack Santora. 2B Joe Mazzuca got a bunt hit, then DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi walked. Okamoto hit Chiarini to force home Santora. Eiichi Hirai relieved. C Juan Pablo Angrisano hit into a force at home. 3B Francesco Imperiali came through with a 3-run double.

D'Amico tossed shutout ball in the 7th and 8th. In the 9th, former Olympian Riccardo De Santis relieved. He walked LF Yoshinobu Kotegawa then Chono singled. Brandon Camardese came in to face 1B Keiji Ikebe. Camardese retired Ikebe, then Franklin Torres took the hill, the 3rd Italian pitcher of the inning. RF Ikuhiro Kiyota singled for his third hit of the day, loading the bases. Mori came as the potential tying run and he singled in Kotegawa. 3B Kentaro Miyazawa drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 6-4. Torres came back to strike out Tsutomu Sasaki and backup C Go Yamaoka (on a full count) to end the game, giving Italy its first win and severely hurting Japan's third-round chances.

[edit] September 19

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Spain 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 5 10 13 0
Great Britain 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 5 1
Win: Rhiner Cruz (1-0) Loss: Stephen Spragg (0-3)

Spain needed a late rally to put away the team that surprisingly finished ahead of them at the 2007 European Championship.

CF Daniel Figueroa was hit by a Tom Boleska pitch to open the game. 2B Emmanuel Febles singled and both men were bunted over. LF Luis Pérez was walked to load the bases, then C Dewis Navarro hit a sacrifice fly. Figueroa again got things going in the third, hitting a leadoff triple and coming home on a passed ball by Chris Berset.

Britain edged back with a run in the third. CF Alex Malihoudis doubled off Eric González. With one out, 2B Sam Whitehead singled home Malihoudis. Spain loaded the bases in the sixth off reliever Stephen Spragg but Febles fanned to end the inning.

Spain added an insurance run in the 7th. 3B Paco Figueroa was hit by a pitch and Pérez walked. Navarro bunted the men over. PH José Luis Riera was intentionally walked. DH William Domero hit into a run-scoring force to make it 3-1.

Great Britain tied it in the bottom of the 7th. SS Brant Ust and RF-C Sam Wiley singled. 1B Aedan McQueary-Ennis singled home Ust. A tiring González was replaced by Rhiner Cruz. PH Evan Romanchuk grounded in Wiley and it was now even at three.

Spain got back on the board in the 8th on a Paco Figueroa 2-out homer. Pérez reached on an error by 3B Tim Collins and Navarro doubled him home. They really ran away with the game in the 9th. Craig Pycock relieved and began by walking backup DH Daniel Sánchez and SS Néstor Pérez. RF Daniel Martínez singled to load the bases. Daniel Figueroa was walked on four pitches to force in one run. Pycock was replaced by Brook Coatsworth. Febles greeted him with a RBI single. Paco Figueroa singled home two more but Febles was thrown out at third on the play. After another out, Navarro singled in Spain's 5th run of the inning and 10th of the game to cap their third win of the Cup, one more than their old club record.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Australia 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 5 12 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Win: Adam Blackley (1-0) Loss: Takashi Saitoh (0-2)

Japan became the only Medal winner from 2007 not to make the round of eight in 2009 as Australia sent them packing with their first shutout of the event.

For three innings, Takashi Saitoh matched Adam Blackley with zeroes. In the fourth, Australia's offense got going. LF Chris Snelling walked on a full count, then 3B Luke Hughes singled him to third. 1B Stefan Welch hit a sacrifice fly for the game-winning run. Hughes stole second, then took third on a wild pitch. RF Tim Kennelly walked and C Joel Naughton singled in Hughes.

Australia doubled their lead the next inning. 2B Brad Harman led off with a double and Snelling bunted him to third. Hughes hit Australia's second sacrifice fly of the day. Welch doubled. Tomohisa Ohtani relieved Saitoh and walked Kennelly. Naughton singled home Welch and Australia now led 4-0.

With two outs in the 9th, Snelling hit a home run to end the scoring.

Adam Blackley and Brendan Wise combined on the whitewash.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cuba 1 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 5 8 1
South Korea 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0
Win: Freddy Asiel Alvarez (2-0) Loss: Hee-girl Kim (0-1)

Cuba made up for its loss last game with a win over South Korea. CF Leonys Martín laid down a bunt hit, then stole second. With one out, 2B Yulieski Gourriel singled to make it 1-0. South Korea tied it in the bottom of the first. Gourriel erred on a grounder by 2B Myung-gu Kang, but he was picked off by Freddy Asiel Alvarez. RF Jong-wook Ko tripled and DH Yong-kyu Choi singled to tie the score. South Korea would get 10 more baserunners but never score again off Alvarez and Jonder Martínez.

Cuba took the lead for good in the second. RF Alfredo Despaigne singled off Hee-girl Kim, who got the next two batters. SS Luis Miguel Navas walked and Martín hit a two-run doubled. 3B Michel Enríquez singled home Martín. Martín was again in the center of action in the 5th. He led off with a walk, stole second, took third on a grounder and Gourriel hit a sacrifice fly. Martín had scored or driven in all five of Cuba's runs.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Puerto Rico 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 5 9 1
Venezuela 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 3 12 0
Win: Luis Atilano (2-0) Loss: Jacobo Sequea (1-1) Save: Orlando Román (2)

Puerto Rico picked up a win at Pim Mulier Stadium. They got going in the third when SS Angel Sanchez drew a walk from Jacobo Sequea, LF Miguel Abreu doubled and CF Luis Matos hit a one-out sacrifice fly. In the 4th, 3B Rubén Gotay singled with one out and C Orlando Mercado Jr. walked. RF Miguel Negron singled to load the bases. Sanchez singled in Gotay, then Abreu hit a sactifice fly to knock out Sequea, down 3-0.

After numerous blown opportunities, Venezuela finally got to starter Luis Atilano after the 7th-inning break. LF Willie Vasquez and CF Jonathan Sivira singled with one out. Juan Padilla relieved and gave up a single to C Yosnel García. After a second out, SS Dirimo Chavez singled home Vasquez and 1B Lino Connell drove home Sivira with the 5th single of the inning. Up came cleanup man Rene Reyes but Padilla got him on a grounder.

Puerto Rico put some insurance in during the 8th. Gotay hit a leadoff single off Jose Escalona. Reliever Jose Rojas threw a wild pitch. Mercado drew a walk on four pitches. Negron bunted both men over. In came Luis Torres, who retired Sanchez, but Abreu singled home Mercado and Gotay to give him 3 RBI on the day.

Venezuela got a run in the 9th, but failed to tie it. With one out, 2B Billy Rojo drew a free pass from Orlando Román. He stole second with two outs. Connell singled him in, but Reyes went down swinging to end the game.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Netherlands 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 4 2 8 15 1
Nicaragua 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 4 7 0
Win: Dennis Neuman (1-0) Loss: Diego Sandino (2-1)

Nicaragua's third-round hopes took another major blow when their bullpen blew a lead over the Netherlands, which remained unbeaten.

The game began well for the Orange. RF Gene Kingsale drew a leadoff walk. With one out, 1B Randall Simon hit into a force. Both C Sidney de Jong and DH Raily Legito walked to load the bases for LF Curt Smith, a .312 hitter in his first two minor league seasons. Smith hit into an inning-ending force at third.

Nicaragua scored first. In the bottom of the second, DH Juan Oviedo and RF Justo Rivas hit back-to-back doubles off Rob Cordemans for a 1-0 game. The Netherlands answered in the third. 3B Yurendell de Caster singled and Simon doubled. De Jong grounded in de Caster to tie it up.

In the 4th, Smith opened with a double off Alvaro López. A fly from 2B Sharlon Schoop advanced him, then CF Danny Rombley doubled him in. With two away, Kingsale singled off reliever Jairo Pineda to put men on the corners, but de Caster flew out.

Nicaragua retook the lead with a big blow in the 4th. LF Esteban Ramírez led off with a single and Oviedo got plunked. Rivas then drilled a 3-run shot to right off Cordemans.

Still down 4-2 entering the 8th, the Netherlands looked likely to finally fall. Smith got them going again with a leadoff home run off Diego Sandino. Schoop singled and was bunted over by Rombley. Statia grounded Schoop to third, then Kingsale walked. De Caster then delivered a critical 3-run home run to put the Netherlands back on top, 6-4.

De Jong led off the 9th with a home run off former major leaguer Oswaldo Mairena. Boanerges Espinoza relieved and backup DH Bryan Engelhardt doubled. With two outs, Rombley singled him in for a 8-4 score.

Dennis Neuman allowed only one hit over the final three innings for the win.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Taiwan 3 0 2 1 2 0 0 2 2 12 19 1
Netherlands Antilles 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 3
Win: Chu-Chien Hsu (1-1) Loss: Didi Gregorius (0-2)

Taiwan locked up a spot in the third round to complete their comeback from a 1-2 first-round, improving to 5-1.

With one out in the first, SS Han Lin doubled against Didi Gregorius and 1B Kuo-Min Lin walked. DH Hung-Yu Lin then deposited a 0-1 offering from Gregorius over the left field wall for a 3-0 lead.

The Antilles tied it in the bottom of the first. SS Raywendley van Gurp drew a walk from Chu-Chien Hsu. With one out, CF Ardley Jansen singled and LF Lorvin Louisa homered to tie it.

Taiwan went ahead for good in the third. 2B Ming-Jen Kuo and RF Chung-Chun Wu singled. Both runners were bunted over. LF Tai-Yung Kuo was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Han Lin singled home two runners for a 5-3 lead. In the 4th, CF Ken-Wei Lin homered with one out to make it 6-3.

Taiwan continued in the fifth. C Hsin-Min Wang hit into an error by 2B Djionny Joubert and Tai-Yung Kuo walked. With one away, Han Lin doubled in Wang and it was 7-3. Kuo-Min Lin grounded in another run.

In the 8th, Hung-Yu Lin reached on an error by P Raymond Martes. Ken-Wei Lin singled, as did Ming-Jen Kuo. With one out, Wang hit a RBI single. Andley Simmons relieved and got a sacrifice fly by Tai-Yung Kuo. PH Chia-Yu Lin homered off Simmons in the 9th, as did Ken-Wei Lin to cap the scoring.

Big contributors for Taiwan were Han Lin (4 for 4, R, 3 RBI), Ken-Wei Lin (3 for 6, 2 HR) and Ming-Jen Kuo (4 for 6).

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Italy 5 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 7 12 1
Canada 3 0 0 0 0 0 7 6 - 16 17 2
Win: Chris Kissock (1-0) Loss: Brandon Camardese (0-1)

Italy looked hopeful for its first win after an explosive start, only to see their bullpen blow it in the last third of the game. Canada avenged their loss to Italy at the 2009 World Baseball Classic and clinched a spot in the third round.

Chris Begg got the call for Canada. SS Jack Santora hit a double on his second pitch, then 2B Davide Dallospedale got hit. DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi singled to load the bases. RF Mario Chiarini tripled for a 3-0 lead. C Juan Pablo Angrisano got plunked. Ernie Whitt yanked Begg in favor of Dustin Molleken. 3B Francesco Imperiali singled to make it 4-0. With one out, 1B Dean Rovinelli was given an intentional walk. CF Filippo Crociati hit into a run-scoring force. Molleken finally struck out Santora to end Italy's blistering beginning.

Canada quickly made up some of the harm against Reds farmhand Luca Panerati. CF Adam Stern led off with a single. With one out, RF Rene Tosoni singled. 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand drew a walk. 3B Shawn Bowman flew out but C Chris Robinson doubled home all three runners to make it 5-3.

Italy got two hits from Dallospedale and Ramos to open the second. Robinson picked off Ramos. Chiarini grounded Dallospedale to third. Angrisano walked, then Imperiali grounded out to end the inning. Italy got some insurance in the fifth. With one out, LF Leonardo Zileri singled off Vince Perkins and advanced on a Robinson error. Rovinelli grounded Zileri to third then veteran Crociati singled him in. Canada got three runners on board in the sixth but a double play ball from Robinson helped prevent a run.

Down 6-3 going into the bottom of the 7th, Canada began their comeback against Junior Oberto. Stern hit a leadoff double. Lawrie tripled him in. Brandon Camardese was summoned from the bullpen, but the former White Sox farmhand struggled. Tosoni hit a pop-up to Imperiali, who dropped it for an error. A Van Ostrand single closed it to 6-5. Bowman singled to load the bases. Robinson then singled home Tosoni to tie the score. DH Emerson Frostad hit a grand slam. Camardese got yanked and Matteo Pizziconi finished off the inning.

Jimmy Henderson relieved in the 8th. With two outs, Santora, Dallospedale and Ramos singled to make it 10-7.

With one out in the 8th, Riccardo De Santis relieved Pizziconi and Canada's offense kicked back up. Van Ostrand and Bowman singled, then Robinson singled in Van Ostrand. De Santis threw a wild pitch, then intentionally walked Frostad to load the bases. LF Adam Loewen drew a bases-loaded walk for a 12-7 lead. SS Jonathan Malo emptied the bases with a 3-run double. Lawrie doubled in Malo and it was now 16-7. He made it to third before Franklin Torres relieved and got Van Ostrand.

R.J. Swindle went 1-2-3 in the 9th to lock up the win as Canada advanced.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 0 1 0 1 2 1 2 0 0 7 13 2
Mexico 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 4 1
Win: Trevor Reckling (2-0) Loss: Andrés Meza (0-1)

With wins by Canada, Taiwan and Australia, Mexico had been eliminated from third-round advancement after a 3-0 first-round. With pride at stake, they gave the USA a game despite only getting four hits and falling.

23-year-old Andrés Meza, who had gone 15-2 in the 2009 Mexican League, ran into his first trouble in the second. LF Jon Weber walked and was balked to second. An out later, C Lucas May doubled Weber in. In the fourth, RF Josh Kroeger and DH Terry Tiffee hit back-to-back singles to put men on the corners and Weber, a veteran of Mexican Pacific League play, hit into a run-scoring force.

The US added to their lead in the 5th. 2B Daniel Descalso led off with a home run. With two outs, 1B Justin Smoak singled. Juan Pablo Oramas relieved and gave up singles to Kroeger and Tiffee to make it 4-0, US.

Mexico scored in the fifth. RF Mario Valenzuela reached on an error by 3B Pedro Alvarez and 3B Carlos Valencia doubled him in. A grounder moved Valencia to third then 2B Oswaldo Morejón hit a sacrifice fly. CF Buck Coats hit a two-out home run in the 6th for a 5-2 lead.

SS Oscar Robles drew a leadoff walk in the sixth, then LF Cristhian Presichi doubled to knock out starter Trevor Reckling. An out later, DH Edgar Quintero hit a sacrifice fly to cut the gap to two, 5-3.

The USA extended their lead in the bottom of the 7th. Kroeger drew a leadoff walk from Oramas. Jasiel Acosta relieved and gave up a RBI double to Tiffee. Weber bunted Tiffee over, then Alvarez hit a sacrifice fly to make it 7-3.

[edit] September 20

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Puerto Rico 2 0 0 1 2 8 3 16 15 1
Nicaragua 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 4
Win: Alex Woodson (1-1) Loss: Julio Raudez (0-1)

Nicaragua had its worst game yet, as seven pitchers in seven innings could do nothing to stop Puerto Rico's offense, while the Nicaraguan defense had almost as many errors (4) as their offense had hits (6). Alex Woodson and Melvin Pizzaro combined on a shutout. After a 3-0 first round, Nicaragua finished the second round just 2-5.

Puerto Rico set the tone in the first. LF Miguel Abreu led off with a single against Julio Raudez. 2B Irving Falu bunted him over. CF Luis Matos hit into a run-scoring error by 2B Iván Marín. 1B Carlos Rivera grounded Matos to second. DH Raul Casanova grounded to 1B Sandor Guido, who made a second run-scoring error for Nicaragua. With one hit in the first, Puerto Rico had scored twice.

Raudez contained Puerto Rico in the second and third. Armando Hernández relieved in the 4th. With one out, he walked 3B Rubén Gotay. SS Angel Sanchez hit into an error by 3B Jimy González. RF Miguel Negron lined out but C Stephen Morales hit a RBI single to make it 3-0.

In the fifth, Berman Espinoza relieved. Matos singled and Rivera walked. Casanova lined out, then Gotay singled home Matos. Sanchez walked to load the bases. Espinoza was replaced by Oswaldo Mairena, who got Negron to line into a run-scoring double play.

Up 5-0 now, Puerto Rico really took off in the 6th. Morales led off with a single and advanced on a passed ball by Juan Blandón. Abreu singled Morales to third, then a bunt hit by Falu scored Morales. Matos drew a walk after fouling off two potential strike threes. Jairo Pineda replaced Mairena. Rivera singled in Abreu, then Casanova hit a sacrifice fly for a 8-0 lead. Gotay drew a walk, loading the bases. Pineda threw a wild pitch, scoring Matos. Sanchez singled in Rivera and it was 10-0. Jose Perez became Nicaragua's sixth pitcher. He gave up a RBI single to Negron. Morales got his second hit of the inning, a RBI single. Abreu hit into a run-scoring force and the inning had now produced 8 Puerto Rican runs.

Puerto Rico kept on scoring in the 7th, building on their 13-0 lead against new pitcher José Luis Sáenz. Matos hit into a González error. Rivera grounded Matos over and Casanova flew out. Gotay drew a walk. Sanchez cracked a RBI double to center. Negron then hit a two-run triple to finish the damage.

Matos finished with four runs and Negron with four RBI.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cuba 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 5 9 0
Netherlands 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 4 1
Win: Yulieski González (2-0) Loss: Juan Carlos Sulbaran (0-1) Save: Pedro Luis Lazo (2)

The Netherlands became the last team to sustain its first loss, closing a close two-run battle to Cuba, tying both teams with Puerto Rico for the best record at 6-1 in Pool F.

Yulieski González and Juan Carlos Sulbaran each tossed shutout ball for the first two innings. In the third, SS Luis Miguel Navas drew an opening walk. CF Leonys Martín walked on a full count. Rod Delmonico replaced Sulbaran with veteran Diegomar Markwell. 3B Michel Enríquez greeted him with a bunt single. After fouling off six potential strike threes, 2B Yulieski Gourriel flew out. DH Yosvany Peraza delivered a 3-run double that would be the decisive hit of the contest.

The Netherlands got one run back in the bottom of the third when 2B Sharlon Schoop hit a leadoff home run. No one scored and only one runner was even stranded in the middle three innings.

In the 7th, Leon Boyd replaced Markwell; with two outs, he gave up singles to Enríquez and Gourriel, then Peraza struck out. The Dutch got two men on with two outs in the bottom of the inning when C Sidney de Jong walked and LF Curt Smith singled, but DH Raily Legito struck out.

Arshwin Asjes relived Boyd to open the 8th. With one away, he gave up a solo homer to RF Alfredo Despaigne. 1B José Dariel Abreu walked on four pitches, then Kenley Jansen relieved Asjes. Jansen struck out C Ariel Pestano. Navas doubled home Abreu for a 5-1 lead.

The Netherlands rallied in the bottom of the 8th. With one out, CF Danny Rombley singled and SS Hainley Statia homered to close the gap to two. Veteran Pedro Luis Lazo relieved González and retired former major leaguers Gene Kingsale and Yurendell de Caster to end the 8th. Lazo went 1-2-3 in the 9th, retiring another former big leaguer, Randall Simon, followed by cleanup man de Jong and #5 hitter Smith to lock up yet another World Cup save.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Great Britain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 8 2
Venezuela 1 0 0 1 0 0 4 0 0 6 9 1
Win: Roger Luque (1-0) Loss: Tom Stack-Babich (0-1)

Venezuela maintained a shot at round three. 2B Billy Rojo started the game by drawing a walk from Tom Stack-Babich. Rojo stole second. With one out, RF Rene Reyes grounded him over and a wild pitch brought him home. In the 4th, Venezuela scored with a similar scenario. LF Willie Vasquez walked and stole a base, then took third on a wild pitch by Alex Smith. C Yosnel García hit a sacrifice fly.

García led off the 7th with a single against Smith. With one out, SS Dirimo Chavez singled. Paul Waterman relieved and gave up a third single, this one to 1B Lino Connell. Reyes singled in one run, then DH Luis Landaeta singled in another. 3B Michael Sandoval had a rarity with a double, scoring two, for a 6-0 lead.

Roger Luque tossed 7 shutout innings before giving way to Erick Arteaga. He gave up Britain's last run of the Cup with two outs in the 9th. PH Brad Marcelino and CF Alex Malihoudis singled, then backup 1B Evan Romanchuk singled home Marcelino.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Spain 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 1
South Korea 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 6 1
Win: Won-sang Yoo (1-1) Loss: Pedro Pablo Belmonte (0-2) Save: Ji-woong Yoon (1)

Spain and South Korea, two of the closest countries alphabetically, got into a close match on the field - each team had six hits and one error and just one run seperated them.

Spain got two hits in the first off Seung-lak Son but failed to score as cleanup hitter Luis Pérez hit into an inning-ending double play. For the next four innings, neither Son nor Yoel Hernandez allowed more than one baserunner and neither gave up a run.

Spain took the lead in the sixth. RF Daniel Martínez led off with a single against Son. He was bunted over by CF Daniel Figueroa, then 2B Emmanuel Febles grounded out. 3B Paco Figueroa singled in Martínez, knocking out Son, who was replaced by Won-sang Yoo.

Korea finally got some offense in the 7th, an inning after Hernandez had left. With two outs, LF Hun-gon Kim singled against Antonio Noguera, as did C Hee-keun Lee. Veteran Pedro Pablo Belmonte relieved but gave up a game-tying hit to SS Boung-gon Jeung.

Korea took the lead in the 8th. With one out, DH Yong-kyu Choi hit into an error by Paco Figueroa. Iván Granados relieved and walked 1B Young-hun Cho. After a strikeout, Fernando Gutiérrez was summoned. After a double steal, he walked 3B Bon-ki Shin. Rhiner Cruz became Spain's fourth pitcher of the inning, but he proved too wild, walking Hun-gon Kim to force in Choi with the go-ahead run.

Spain had its shot in the 9th. With one out, Luis Pérez doubled. Yoo walked Navarro and was replaced by Ji-woong Yoon. Spain turned to pinch-hitter Richard Montiel, one of the top power threats in the Division de Honor. He fouled out. That brought up another pinch-hitter, Twins minor leaguer Lesther Galván. Galván could only manage a ground ball out to end the game.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mexico 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 5 10 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 3 0 2 1 - 6 10 1
Win: Paul Mildren (1-1) Loss: Francisco Cordova (1-1) Save: Tim Cox (1)

Mexico took another one-run loss in what has to have been a disappointing tournament. After finishing 7th in 2007 with a B squad, they sent their top players for 2009, yet failed to make the round of eight after a 2-5 second round. They had gone 3-0 in the first round and beaten two of the teams that topped them in the second, indicating that the talent was there but that they peaked at the wrong time.

Mexico scored in the second. Brad Tippett walked 1B Edgar Quintero, then RF Mario Valenzuela hit into an error by SS James Beresford, his 4th of the tournament. 2B Carlos Valencia flew Quintero to third, then a fly from 3B Abel Martínez brought him home.

Mexico put in some insurance in the 4th against Drew Naylor. Valenzuela homered with one out. With two away, Martínez doubled, then scored on a single by CF Eduardo Arredondo.

Mexico was up 3-0 going into the bottom of the 5th, when Rafael Díaz flagged. C Andrew Graham doubled and Beresford grounded him over. 2B James Linger walked and swiped second. Díaz struck out CF Nick Kimpton, but DH Brad Harman homered to tie the contest.

In the bottom of the 6th, 3B Luke Hughes greeted reliever Francisco Cordova with a single and was grounded over by 1B Stefan Welch. RF Tim Kennelly singled Hughes to third but Cordova retired Graham and Beresford to end the inning.

Australia took the lead in the bottom of the 7th. With two outs, Harman walked. LF Chris Snelling and Hughes delivered back-to-back RBI doubles off Cordova to put the green and orange ahead 5-3. Australia got a crucial insurance run in the 8th. Kennelly led off with a double against Alan Guerrero, then Graham got a bunt single. Beresford grounded to first, scoring Kennelly to make it 6-3.

Mexico rallied in the 9th against Matthew Williams. Backup 2B Oswaldo Morejón singled and Martínez homered to cut Australia's lead to one. Adam Bright replaced Williams. Backup CF Iván Terrazas singled and was bunted over by SS Oscar Robles. Brendan Wise was Jon Deeble's third pitcher of the inning and 7th of the game. He got DH Cristhian Presichi to ground out but Terrazas took third as the potential tying run. It was time for yet another pitching change as Tim Cox was summoned. He got LF Jesús Cota to fly out to left to end the game.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Taiwan 0 0 1 0 2 0 3 7 1
Canada 0 0 0 1 2 2 5 6 0
Win: Trystan Magnuson (2-0) Loss: Chih-Lung Huang (1-1)

Several games in Italy had been rained out, but this became the first rain-shortened contest.

Taiwan got to Canadian starter Jamie Richmond in the third. 1B Chia-Hao Chang and 3B Chih-Hsiang Lin hit back-to-back singles. SS Han Lin laid down a bunt and reached on a fielder's choice, with everyone safe on the play. RF Chung-Chun Wu hit a sacrifice fly. That brought up cleanup man Hung-Yu Lin, but Lin hit into a rally-killing double play.

20-year-old Chih-Lung Huang shut down Canada for three innings but RF Rene Tosoni homered to open the 4th, tying the score. In the fifth, Taiwan answered with a solo shot by LF Tai-Yung Kuo. Two outs later, Han Lin singled and Wu doubled him in for a 3-1 lead.

Canada tied it in their half of the fifth. LF Adam Loewen and C Cole Armstrong hit back-to-back doubles to make it 3-2. SS Jonathan Malo popped up on a bunt attempt. Huang struck out CF Adam Stern, then walked Tosoni on a full count. 3B Shawn Bowman singled home Armstrong to even it at three.

A 25-minute rain delay followed, after which Taiwan went down 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. With lightning seen in the distance, 2B Brett Lawrie drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth and stole second. Loewen singled him in, then Armstrong hit a RBI double. Canada got nothing else that inning.

Taiwan never got another chance as the rains came down even heavier. After 30 minutes, the game was finally called in Canada's favor.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Netherlands Antilles 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 2
Japan 1 0 3 1 2 3 0 0 - 10 12 0
Win: Motoki Higa (2-0) Loss: Simon Pantophlet (1-1)

In a relatively meaningless game, the Antilles finished the second round without a win while Japan at least left the tournament on a good note after a disappointing run.

Japan scored in the first as the Antilles continued their defensive woes. 3B Ryan Ilario began the game with an error on a ball hit by CF Ikuhiro Kiyota. LF Sho Aranami drew the first of four walks, then RF Hisayoshi Chono hit into a 4-3 double play, Kiyota taking third. DH Keiji Ikebe singled in the run.

Simon Pantophlet had a quiet second, but the top of the order came up again in the third. Kiyota doubled and Aranami walked. Chono hit into a force, then Ikebe hit into a run-scoring force. 1B Kenichi Yokoyama homered for a 4-0 lead.

The Antilles got their lone run off Motoki Higa in the 4th. SS Raywendley van Gurp drew a walk, then RF Andley Simmons doubled him home. Japan made it up in the bottom of the 4th on a one-out single by C Kenji Suzuki and a two-out RBI single by Kiyota.

In the bottom of the fifth, Yokoyama drew a one-out walk and 2B Shiro Mori doubled him to third. 3B Kentaro Miyazawa hit into an error by van Gurp to make it 7-1 as both runners scored.

In the sixth, SS Ken Kume singled and Kiyota hit a home run for a 9-1 lead. Aranami singled and that was it for Pantophlet. Orsendo Clemencia relieved and struck out Chono, but Ikebe singled. PH Tsutomu Sasaki flew out, then Mori had a RBI double for a 10-1 score. Mario Mujica came in and tossed shutout ball for the final 2 1/3 innings, but the Antillean hitters could do nothing offensively to close the gap.

Japanese pitchers struck out 20; they led the event's first two rounds in Ks but the team couldn't advance.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 0 0 3 2 3 0 3 0 1 12 17 2
Italy 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 0
Win: Lucas Harrell (2-0) Loss: Sandy Patrone (0-1)

Italy was the only team to beat the USA in the 2007 World Cup, but the US got their vengeance today.

Italy almost scored first. In the first, DH Juan Carlos Infante hit a one-out double and advanced on a fly out. RF Mario Chiarini walked on four pitches to put men on the corners but 3B Francesco Imperiali went down swinging. In the second, 1B Joe Mazzuca walked and C Luis Ricardo Serafin de Camargo was hit by a pitch, but CF Filippo Crociati grounded into an inning-ending twin killing.

The US put up its first offense in the third. CF Buck Coats drew a one-out walk from Sandy Patrone and SS Trevor Plouffe singled. DH Justin Smoak hit his tournament-leading 7th home run to make it 3-0.

Italy finally put its pieces together in the bottom of the third. Infante drew a one-out walk and advanced on an error by C Jason Castro. 2B Davide Dallospedale singled him home. Chiari walked, but Kasey Kiker recovered to get the next two outs.

3B Pedro Alvarez opened the 4th with a walk from Chris Cooper but Castro hit into a double play. 2B Tug Hulett singled, then Coats homered for a 5-1 lead. Italy again answered. Mazzuca, Serafin de Camargo and Crociati all walked. Kiker was yanked in favor of Lucas Harrell, but he was even wilder, walking Santora on four pitches to force home Mazzuca. Jairo Ramos Gizzi pinch-hit and ground into a double play, scoring another to make it 5-3. Harrell, Cedrick Bowers and B.J. Rosenberg shut out Italy the rest of the way, though, including four perfect innings.

The US kept up its barrage. Smoak homered to lead off the fifth, his 8th home run of the Cup, tying the record held by Antonio Muñoz for 31 years. With one out, LF Jon Weber doubled. 1B Ike Davis singled in Weber. Junior Oberto relieved Cooper and gave up a RBI single to Alvarez. Castro singled in Davis and the US led 8-3.

After a scoreless 6th, the US batters were doing their jo again in the 7th. Brandon Camardese began by walking Davis, then Alvarez singled Davis to third. Castro struck out and a wild pitch sent Alvarez sent to second. Hulett then tripled in both runners. Coats singled home Hulett for a 11-3 score.

The US got its 12th and last run in the 9th when SS Trevor Plouffe homered against Franklin Torres.

[edit] September 21

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Netherlands Antilles 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 2 0 6 12 1
Italy 0 2 0 0 1 0 2 0 2 7 12 4
Win: Yovany D'Amico (2-0) Loss: Didi Gregorius (0-3)

In their final game, the Netherlands Antilles completed the second round winless, but certainly gave the host Italians a serious scare. Italy didn't lock up the game until the bottom of the 9th.

The Antilles stranded two in each of the first two innings against Matteo D'Angelo, who had gotten the start in the historic win over the USA in 2007. In the bottom of the second, Italy got to Orsendo Clemencia. With one out, C Juan Pablo Angrisano singled. 3B Juan Carlos Infante singled, then LF Leonardo Zileri hit a RBI single. 1B Joe Mazzuca drew a full-count walk. CF Filippo Crociati coaxed a walk as well, forcing in a run.

The Dutch Antilles tied it in the third. With one out, their former minor league outfielders struck, as both CF Ardley Jansen and LF Lorvin Louisa hit home runs. They took the lead in the 4th against reliever Marco Grifantini. With one out, SS Raywendley van Gurp singled. 1B Andley Simmons hit into an error by his counterpart, Mazzuca, sending van Gurp to third. Jansen singled him in, but Louisa lined into a double play.

Clemencia began the 4th with back-to-back walks but Mazzuca ground into a double play. The Antilles got 3B Ryan Ilario to third base in the 5th but failed to bring him in. Italy tied it in the home half of the fifth. SS Jack Santora doubled; one out later, DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi singled him in. The Antillean team replaced 45-year-old Clemencia with 46-year-old Didi Gregorius at that point.

In the 6th, the Dutch islanders retook the lead after Italy turned to Tiago Da Silva. 2B Myron Wijman got plunked. Van Gurp grounded him over, then Simmons singled him home. Italy continued the seesaw game in the bottom of the 7th. Santora led off with a single. 2B Davide Dallospedale hit into an error by Ilario. The two infielders then pulled off a double steal. Ramos Gizzi hit a tying sacrifice fly. RF Mario Chiarini doubled in Dallospedale and Italy led, 5-4.

The Netherlands Antilles battled back in the 8th. Backup RF Miriëldo Trinidad hit a one-out triple, then came home on a wild pitch to tie it at five. PH Jair Josepha singled and stole second. After Van Gurp struck out, Simmons singled and an error helped him score to give his squad a 6-5 edge.

Zileri led off the bottom of the 8th with a single but was later thrown out running by backup C Sevard Seferina. Ilario got to second in the 9th but was stranded.

In the bottom of the 9th, Gregorius began by retiring Santora. Dallospedale delivered a single to right and fellow veteran Ramos drew a walk. Chiarini continued his fine hitting with a game-tying RBI double to left. A free pass was given to backup C Luis Ricardo Serafin de Camargo. Infante launched a fly to center - Jansen caught it but Ramos came home with the winning run.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Australia 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 6 2
USA 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 4 9 1
Win: Ehren Wassermann (1-0) Loss: Tim Cox (0-1)

The USA needed to scrape to finish the second round with a 7-0 record, with the second bottom-of-the-9th win in today's two rain makeup games.

In the second, Australia got to US starter Cory Luebke. 3B Luke Hughes led off with a single. With one out, he stole second. RF Tim Kennelly singled him to third. Luebke picked off Kennelly, but while Kennelly was in the rundown, Hughes came home to score.

That lead stood until the fifth, when David Welch finally gave up a US run. With one out, 1B Justin Smoak hit his 9th home run of the World Cup, breaking the 31-year-old record of Cuban slugger Antonio Muñoz. RF Josh Kroeger hit into an error by Hughes, then DH Terry Tiffee singled Kroeger to third. LF Jon Weber hit into a run-scoring force for a 2-1 lead.

The US lead was short-lived. Hughes atoned for his error with a leadoff single in the 7th. 1B Stefan Welch singled Hughes to third. Luebke was yanked in favor of Jason Childers. Kennelly hit into an error by 3B Pedro Alvarez which tied the score as Hughes scored. DH Daniel Berg hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Welch, making it 3-2 Australia.

Tim Cox relieved Welch in the bottom of the 7th. His first batter, C Lucas May, doubled. 2B Tug Hulett drew a walk and CF Buck Coats bunted the runners over. A grounder by SS Trevor Plouffe tied the score again.

After a quiet 8th, Australia started the 9th with a Hughes double, his third hit. Geno Espineli came in to strike out Welch, then was replaced by Ehren Wassermann. Wassermann got Kennelly on a fly, but walked Berg. C Andrew Graham lined one to Hulett.

In the bottom of the 9th, Cox got a quick two outs, but Plouffe homered to left to end the game.

Hughes had 3 of Australia's 6 hits.

[edit] Second-Round Standings

[edit] Pool F

[edit] Pool G

  • - denotes team was eliminated after round two

[edit] Third-Round Games

[edit] September 22

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 7 0
Puerto Rico 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Win: Dustin Molleken (1-0) Loss: Orlando Román (0-1) Save: Jimmy Henderson (1)

Canada and Puerto Rico engaged in an exciting pitching duel for 8 innings before the northerners came through in the 9th.

Mario Santiago got the call for Puerto Rico, while Canada countered with Nick Bucci. Through the first three innings, no one reached second base. Canada got a rally in the 4th. RF Rene Tosoni led off with a walk and advanced on a fly by 3B Shawn Bowman. 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand grounded Tosoni to third, then DH Emerson Frostad walked to load the bases. 2B Brett Lawrie hit into an inning-ending force, though.

In the fifth, C Chris Robinson hit a one-out single for Canada. With two away, CF Adam Stern singled Robinson to third. Alex Woodson relieved Santiago and got Tosoni to foul out. Canada posed another threat in the 6th. With one out against Miguel Mejia, Van Ostrand doubled. Nelvin Fuentes relieved and got Frostad on a grounder, Van Ostrand taking third. Lawrie was walked intentionally to bring up LF Adam Loewen, who struck out.

After five hitless innings, Bucci was relieved by Trystan Magnuson, who had a 1-2-3 sixth. Robinson led off the 7th with a single and was bunted over. Stern grounded him to third, but Tosoni looked at a called strike three.

In the 7th, Puerto Rico finally got a hit, when 3B José Valentin singled. It would be their lone hit of the day. Two outs later, 2B Rubén Gotay walked. Magnuson recovered to strike out DH Alex Cintron.

In the 8th, Orlando Román became the fifth Puerto Rican pitcher and struck out the side. In the bottom of the 8th, Canadian reliever Dustin Molleken walked CF Miguel Negron but gave up nothing else.

Lawrie got the big hit, opening the Canadian 9th with a home run to left. With one out, Robinson singled. An out later, Melvin Pizzaro relieved and walked Stern. Tosoni doubled both men home for a 3-0 lead.

Jimmy Henderson was summoned to pitch the bottom of the 9th and got Valentin, 1B Carlos Rivera and C Raul Casanova in order to secure a tight win.


Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Venezuela 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 3 9 2
USA 0 0 4 1 0 1 0 0 0 6 9 2
Win: Brad Lincoln (2-0) Loss: Junior Guerra (1-2) Save: Geno Espineli (1)

The US avenged its only loss so far, with a strong third inning and then cruising the remainder of the way. Brad Lincoln again got the call against Venezuela and did well, but this time his bullpen did not blow it.

The US third began with a 3-pitch strikeout of 3B Pedro Alvarez by Junior Guerra, but C Lucas May walked on four pitches and stole second. 2B Tug Hulett doubled May in, then CF Buck Coats walked. Coats was gunned down running, Hulett taking third. SS Trevor Plouffe hit into an error by 2B Billy Rojo, scoring a second run. 1B Justin Smoak drew a four-pitch walk, then LF Jon Weber singled to load the bags. Guerra was replaced by Jose Escalona. DH Terry Tiffee smacked a two-run single to left and the US led 4-0.

In the fourth, Alvarez led off with a solo shot to right. Venezuela finally got to Lincoln in the 6th when RF Rene Reyes hit a solo home run. In the bottom of the inning, Hulett drew a two-out walk and Coats singled. Jose Rojas came in and gave up a RBI single to Plouffe for a 6-1 US lead. Robert Zarate relieved and shut down the US the rest of the way.

Lincoln gave up a two-out single in the 7th to SS Dirimo Chavez then was replaced by Cedrick Bowers. 1B Lino Connell drew a four-pitch walk, then Reyes singled in Chavez. Weber led off the bottom of the 7th with a double, but was erased on a double play ball from Tiffee.

DH Luis Landaeta led off the 8th with a home run to close it to 6-3. Nate Field and Geno Espineli contained Venezuela over the final two innings, though, to seal the victory.


Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Taiwan 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 7 1
Netherlands 1 3 0 0 7 0 0 0 - 11 15 1
Win: Alexander Smit (1-0) Loss: Wen-Yang Liao (0-2)

The Netherlands improved to 7-1 in the tournament with a rout of Taiwan.

With two outs in the bottom of the first, 1B Randall Simon doubled off Wen-Yang Liao and C Sidney de Jong got plunked. LF Curt Smith hit a single to load the bases, then DH Sharnol Adriana drew a bases-loaded walk for a 1-0 lead.

Taiwan answered in the second when DH Hung-Yu Lin homered off Alexander Smit, but it was the only run the Reds farmhand gave up in six innings of work. In the bottom of the second, SS Hainley Statia tripled with one away, then RF Eugène Kingsale walked. 3B Yurendell de Caster also walked, loading the bases. Simon delivered a shot into right for a 2-run single, then de Jong singled home de Caster for a 4-1 cushion.

The Netherlands really put on a show in the 5th, when Liao was replaced on the hill by Chen-Hua Lin, a 20-year-old right-hander. 2B Sharlon Schoop greeted the collegian with a double, then CF Danny Rombley got hit. Statia bunted the runners over. Kingsale struck out and Taiwan was one out away from ending the inning; they had no such luck. De Caster singled home Schoop, then Simon singled in Rombley. De Jong singled as well, scoring de Caster. A Smith double brought Simon home. Adriana singled in both Smith and de Jong and it was 10-1. Schoop got his second hit of the inning, a single. Rombley singled home Adriana. Lin was yanked after 8 hits, 7 runs and just two outs. Wang-Yi Lin replaced him and shut out the Dutch the rest of the way.

Taiwan got its second run in the 7th to avoid a mercy rule loss. With one out, 1B Chia-Yu Lin singled off Blue Jays farmhand Leon Boyd and 3B Chih-Hsiang Lin walked. A single by backup SS Po-Yu Lo loaded the bases, then RF Chung-Chun Wu grounded in one run.

Nick Veltkamp pitched shutout ball in the 8th and 9th to finish it up for the Orange.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Australia 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 1
Cuba 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 1
Win: Norge Luis Vera (3-0) Loss: Dushan Ruzic (1-1) Save: Pedro Luis Lazo (3)

Norge Luis Vera became the second three-game winner of the tournament, edging giant Australian hurler and 2007 World Cup hero Dushan Ruzic in a fine pitching duel.

In the first, CF Giorvis Duvergel opened with a grounder to first which Stefan Welch made an error on. Ruzic got 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. and DH Michel Enríquez, but RF Alfredo Despaigne (who had set a new Cuban league home run record in the winter of 2008-2009) hit a two-run homer. It would be all the runs Cuba would score off Ruzic. They wouldn't even get a hit after the third inning, as Ruzic (a former Marlins farmhand who was pitching in the Netherlands in 2008 and 2009) went the distance with a 3-hit, 2-run effort.

Australia got to Vera in the third. CF Nick Kimpton walked, then C Andrew Graham singled him to third. With one out, SS James Beresford hit one back to the mound; Vera threw to SS Luis Miguel Navas for one but Navas made a throwing error, scoring Kimpton to make it 2-1.

Graham hit a two-out double in the fifth but was stranded. In the 7th, Welch hit a one-out double and Kimpton walked with two outs. Pedro Luis Lazo replaced fellow veteran Vera and fanned Graham on a full count.

Australia almost tied it in the 9th. With two away, RF Tim Kennelly singled and Kimpton hit a liner to right, moving Kennelly to third. Graham came up again and again Lazo blew him away, throwing three straight strikes to end the contest. It was Lazo's 9th save in World Cup history.

[edit] September 23

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Venezuela 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 6 1
Canada 0 4 1 1 0 2 0 1 - 9 12 0
Win: Matt Kniginyzky (2-0) Loss: Orlando Perdomo (1-1)

Canada won their 7th straight game, in an easy manner.

Neither team scored in the first, but Canada struck repeatedly in the second. With one out, Orlando Perdomo gave up a one-out triple to 2B Brett Lawrie. Perdomo then threw eight balls in a row, walking LF Adam Loewen and C Cole Armstrong. SS Jonathan Malo hit a grounder; the throw came home, but too late to get Lawrie. CF Adam Stern singled in a run, then RF Rene Tosoni got plunked to force in a third. Perdomo continued to be wild, walking 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand on five pitches to force in a fourth run. With one out in the 5th, Loewen homered off Roger Luque for a 5-0 cushion.

Tosoni led off the 4th with a triple and 3B Shawn Bowman singled him home for a 6-0 lead. They continued to pad the lead in the 8th. Stern singled, then Tosoni doubled him home. With one away, Van Ostrand and DH Tim Smith singled to extend the lead to 8-0.

After six shutout innings by starter Matt Kniginyzky, Venezuela got its only offense in the 7th off reliever Bryan Dumesnil. 2B Lino Connell walked, then 3B Michael Sandoval hit into a force. RF Rene Reyes homered to close the gap to 8-2.

A Bowman home run off Johan Lopez ended the scoring in the 8th.

Venezuela locked up a spot in the 7th/8th place game, while Canada remained in the running for a Medal.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Netherlands 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 6 2
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 - 5 4 2
Win: Matthew Williams (2-0) Loss: Dennis Neuman (1-1)

A pitcher named Matthew won the game for the second time today, as the Netherlands' hopes for the finals took a hit and Australia stayed in the race for the Bronze Medal game.

The Netherlands had to recover from a long travel day which took them from Sicily to mainland Italy. Despite the fatigue of the day, the Netherlands kept the game even for five, as Tom Stuifbergen (2 hits, 0 runs) and Liam Hendriks (2 hits, 0 runs) provided an exciting duel of Twins farmhands.

In the sixth, David Bergman relieved Stuifbergen but struggled. He began by walking LF Chris Snelling, then 3B Luke Hughes hit a home run. Paul Mildren replaced Hendriks in the 7th and the Dutch tried to tie it. They began with a single from 1B Randall Simon. Brendan Wise replaced Mildren and walked C Sidney de Jong on four pitches. LF Curt Smith struck out. Adam Bright relieved Wise to face PH Bryan Engelhardt. Engelhardt hit into an error by 1B Stefan Welch, loading the bases. 2B Sharlon Schoop, coming in with a 8-game hitting streak, lost a chance to give the Dutch a tie or the lead by ground into a 1-6-3 double play.

The Orange did even it in the 8th. With two away, veteran RF Eugène Kingsale drew a walk. 3B Yurendell de Caster singled to put two men aboard. A single by Simon tied the score at two and sent de Caster to third. Matthew Williams replaced Bright to face cleanup man de Jong. Sidney failed to get the key hit to put the Dutch ahead, grounding out to Hughes.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Netherlands turned to Boston prospect Dennis Neuman. 2B Brad Harman hit into a miscue by de Caster, his 4th of the tournament; an error by Simon on the play sent Harman to third as two experienced major leaguers let down Neuman. Neuman then threw a wild pitch to score Harman. Snelling walked on four pitches and Hughes had his second two-run homer of the day, putting the Aussies up 5-2.

Williams began the 9th by getting Smith on a fly, but Engelhardt singled. Schoop ended a bad day at the plate by grounding to Hughes, who started a game-ending double play.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 3 8 1
Puerto Rico 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Win: Todd Redmond (3-0) Loss: Efrain Nieves (1-1)

For the second day in a row, Puerto Rico's lineup, loaded with players with major league experience, turned up empty, hurting their chances at a Medal. The USA, on the other hand, locked up a spot in the Gold Medal game by beating a territory of the US to go to 9-0 in Pool G and Round Three.

Puerto Rico turned to young Efrain Nieves, who had gotten their start when they stunned Cuba. He gave up a run in the second on a one-out solo shot by RF Ike Davis. With one away in the fifth, a home run by CF Buck Coats made it 2-0.

The US almost scored in the 6th. LF Jon Weber singled and DH Terry Tiffee grounded him over. Davis flew out. 3B Pedro Alvarez singled to right, but Irving Falu's throw home got Weber at the plate.

Weber hit a one-out homer in the 8th off Angel Garcia for a 3-0 score.

Todd Redmond improved to 3-0 with a gem of a game, giving up just four hits, one walk and no runs in 8 1/3 IP. Two of Puerto Rico's runners were erased on double plays and none made it as far as second base. MLB veterans went 1 for 18 for Puerto Rico.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cuba 3 1 0 1 2 0 1 0 0 8 10 0
Taiwan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2
Win: Miguel Alfredo González (3-0) Loss: Chia-Chun Tang (0-1)

Cuba increased its shot at the Gold Medal game with an easy win, while Miguel Alfredo González joined Yu-Ching Lin, Redmond and Norge Vera at 3-0.

2B Héctor Olivera Jr. opened the contest by bunting his way aboard against junkballer Chia-Chun Tang. Olivera stole second. With one away, LF Frederich Cepeda and RF Alfredo Despaigne hit back-to-back jacks for a 3-0 lead.

SS Luis Miguel Navas opened the second with a single, took second on a wild pitch and scored on an Olivera single. C Ariel Pestano started the 4th with a double; later in the inning, Cepeda grounded him home to make it 5-0. With one away in the 7th, an error by SS Han Lin put CF Yoennis Céspedes aboard. 1B Ariel Borrero followed with a 2-run homer off Wang-Yi Lin.

Despaigne's second home run of the day, off Ming-Chin Lee in the 7th, capped the scoring at 8-0.

Despaigne had now hit 9 home runs, a new Cuban World Cup record and tying Smoak for the tournament lead and World Cup record.

[edit] September 24

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cuba 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 5 2
USA 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 - 5 8 1
Win: Lucas Harrell (3-0) Loss: Maikel Folch (2-1) Save: Ehren Wassermann (1)

In a rematch of 2007's Gold Medal game and a possible preview of 2009's finale, the US once again beat Cuba, in a close 2-run game.

Maikel Folch, the starter in Cuba's only prior loss this Cup, got the start but was ineffective. In the bottom of the first, SS Trevor Plouffe reached on a one-out error by 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. With one out, RF Ike Davis hit a double for a 1-0 lead.

The USA got some scary news after the first, when starter Trevor Reckling was removed due to a strained left lateral muscle while warming up. Lucas Harrell relieved him.

The US challenged in the second. With one out, LF Josh Kroeger doubled and C Jason Castro walked. 2B Daniel Descalso grounded both runners over, but CF Buck Coats grounded out to end the threat. They kept on going in the third. With two away, Davis drew a four-pitch walk, then DH Terry Tiffee smacked one to deep left to make it 3-0. Yadier Pedroso relieved but walked 3B Pedro Alvarez and Kroeger singled. Castro singled as well, scoring Alvarez.

Cuba made it a game in the 7th, now facing reliever B.J. Rosenberg. DH Michel Enríquez led off with a home run. LF Frederich Cepeda walked, then RF Alfredo Despaigne singled. A double by 3B Yulieski Gourriel knocked in Cepeda. CF Yoennis Céspedes walked to load the bases. Cedrick Bowers replaced Rosenberg. PH Yosvany Peraza came up in the clutch, but Gordo grounded into a double play, scoring Despaigne to make it 4-3. With the tying run on the third, Ehren Wassermann relieved to face C Ariel Pestano. José Dariel Abreu pinch-hit and flew out to Coats.

Cuba got a decent chance to take the lead in the 8th. With one out, Olivera singled. Enríquez hit into an error by Plouffe to put the potential go-ahead run aboard, bringing up captain Cepeda, the #3 hitter. Frederich did not come through this time, hitting into an inning-ending double play.

In the bottom of the 8th, Kroeger led off with a single and was bunted over. With two away, Coats singled in Kroeger for a 5-3 lead. Wassermann went 1-2-3 in the 9th to wrap it up.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Puerto Rico 2 0 1 3 2 0 0 0 0 8 15 1
Taiwan 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 7 1
Win: Luis Atilano (3-0) Loss: Yen-Feng Lin (1-1)

Puerto Rico kept their hopes alive of a Medal game or even the finals with a convincing thumping of Taiwan after being shut out in the first two games of the round.

RF Irving Falu opened the contest with a walk from Yen-Feng Lin. He was grounded over by LF Miguel Abreu, then Lin balked. 2B Rubén Gotay hit into an error by 1B Kuo-Min Lin, scoring one run. 1B Carlos Rivera and DH Raul Casanova hit back-to-back singles to score Gotay and make it 2-0.

In the third, Gotay hit a solo homer off Yen-Feng Lin for a 3-0 lead. Yen-Feng Lin was replaced by Yi-Cheng Wang to open the 4th. He began by walking CF Miguel Negron, who stole second. C Orlando Mercado Jr. singled in a run but was then picked off. Falu singled and stole second, then took third on a single by Abreu. Gotay remained hot with a 2-run double to make it 6-0.

Puerto Rico kept on scoring in the fifth. 3B José Valentin hit a leadoff homer. SS Angel Sanchez drew a four-pitch walk, then Negron singled. Wang was relieved by Chen-Hua Lin, who got two outs before Abreu singled for a 8-0 score. Puerto Rico didn't score again but they didn't have to.

In the bottom of the 5th, Taiwan finally scored off Puerto Rico starter Luis Atilano as LF Tai-Yung Kuo homered. In the sixth, 3B Chia-Hao Chang singled and was grounded over. DH Hung-Yu Lin hit into a Valentin error. With two outs, a passed ball by Mercado led to Taiwan's second run.

Atilano went the distance and allowed no more runs to improve to 3-0. Abreu finished with three hits and Gotay with four RBI.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Netherlands 0 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 8 1
Canada 0 0 2 0 0 2 2 5 - 11 14 0
Win: Trystan Magnuson (3-0) Loss: Arshwin Asjes (0-1)

The Dutch bullpen blew the lead against Canada, which won its 10th straight to get a trip to the Bronze Medal game. Canada had never finished above fifth in a World Cup before and thus locked up their best finish ever at a Cup.

The Orange had a strong second against Brooks McNiven, who came in at 2-0. C Sidney de Jong and LF Curt Smith singled,, then were bunted over by DH Bryan Engelhardt. 2B Sharlon Schoop grounded in one run. CF Danny Rombley was hit by a pitch, then SS Hainley Statia doubled home two runs. RF Eugène Kingsale doubled as well, scoring Statia for a 4-0 lead.

Canada made up some of the difference in the third. With one away, #8 hitter Chris Robinson singled off veteran Rob Cordemans and SS Jonathan Malo homered. It remained 4-2 until the fifth. Kingsale led off the 5th with a walk and 3B Yurendell de Caster singled. Dustin Molleken relieved and retired 1B Randall Simon and de Jong, but each out advanced the runners to make it 5-2.

Cordemans began to flag in the 6th. With one away, 3B Shawn Bowman singled. 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand and DH Tim Smith followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. 2B Brett Lawrie struck out, but LF Adam Loewen doubled to close it to 5-4 and knocking out Cordemans.

Arshwin Asjes began the 7th by hitting Malo. CF Adam Stern bunted Malo over, then Asjes threw a wild pitch. The former Temple University closer struck out RF Rene Tosoni. Bowman then came through with a 2-run homer to left for a 6-5 score.

Canada really ran away with it in the 8th when Reds prospect Juan Carlos Sulbaran entered. Lawrie tripled off his fellow 2008 Olympian, then Loewen hit a RBI double. Robinson hit into an error by Statia. Dodgers farmhand Kenley Jansen relieved Sulbaran and walked Malo on five pitches. Stern hit into a force at the plate, Schoop to de Jong. The wild Jansen walked Tosoni to force in a run. Kenley then plunked Bowman to bring in Malo. Van Ostrand singled for a 4th Canadian run of the inning and 10th of the game. Smith hit a sacrifice fly and it was now 11-5.

After four shutout relief innings by Molleken and Trystan Magnuson, Jimmy Henderson went 1-2-3 in the 9th to wrap up a crucial win for the Canadian squad.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Australia 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 2
Venezuela 0 0 2 1 0 0 3 3 - 9 13 3
Win: Jose Rodriguez (1-0) Loss: Brendan Wise (0-1)

A pathetically small crowd of 104 fans showed up for the Australia-Venezuela game in Firenze. Australia was knocked out of contention for a Medal today, while Venezuela won its first game of round three with a late rally. Unlike the other three contests today, the winning pitcher did not improve his record to 3-0.

3B Luke Hughes began the second with a single off longtime minor leaguer Jacobo Sequera. Sequera erred on a pickoff attempt, sending Hughes to third. 1B Stefan Welch doubled in Hughes, but was out trying to stretch it to a triple.

In the third, Australia built their lead. DH Daniel Berg drew a four-pitch walk, then the two next two batters each hit into a force. 2B Brad Harman doubled and LF Chris Snelling hit a 2-run double for a 3-0 score.

Venezuela closed the gap in the bottom of the third. CF Jonathan Sivira singled off Adam Blackley and DH Billy Rojo walked. SS Dirimo Chavez cracked a 2-run double and it was a one-run contest. Australia got some insurance in the 4th on a Welch double and a one-out RBI single by C Joel Naughton.

Venezuela again made it a one-run game in the 4th. 1B Luis Landaeta and LF Willie Vasquez singled. An error by Snelling on the Vasquez hit put Landaeta on third. Paul Mildren relieved Blackley and gave up a sacrifice fly to C Yosnel García. Sivira singled Vasquez to third, but Mildren retired Rojo and Chavez to end the inning.

Robert Zarate relieved Sequera to open the fifth. After two outs, he saw two runners get aboard via error (by Chavez and 3B Michael Sandoval). Welch struck out to end the threat. In the bottom of the fifth, 2B Lino Connell walked and Sandoval singled, but Mildren got the next three outs to escape the jam.

Australia threatened to add insurance again in the 7th. With two outs, Harman and Snelling walked and advanced on a passed ball, but cleanup man Hughes flew out to right.

Still down 4-3 in the bottom of the 7th, Venezuela put up its winning rally. Connell drew a four-pitch walk from Brendan Wise, then Sandoval singled. RF Rene Reyes singled. Tim Cox tried to relieve Wise. Landaeta hit a fly to right to score Connell with the tying run. Vasquez grounded out, but García hit a 2-run single to put Venezuela ahead for good.

Naughton singled with two outs in the 8th but Australia failed to bring him home. Venezuela really put it away in the bottom of the 8th. With one out, Chavez doubled and stole third. An out later, Sandoval walked and Reyes hit a 3-run homer. Australia got two on to open the 9th but Jose Rodriguez got the next three to end the inning.

[edit] September 25

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Canada 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 1
Cuba 0 1 0 0 3 0 1 0 - 5 8 0
Win: Yulieski González (3-0) Loss: Vince Perkins (0-1)

Cuba booked their ticket to the finals with a 5-1 win over Canada, which was headed to the Bronze Medal game regardless of the outcome here.

Cuba got on the board in the bottom of the second when RF Alfredo Despaigne hit a solo home run off Chris Begg. That was Despaigne's 10th homer of the tournament, breaking the record set by Justin Smoak five days prior.

Yulieski González threw a no-hitter through 4 2/3 innings before CF Adam Stern homered in the 5th to tie the game. The tie was short-lived. Vince Perkins replaced Begg to open the bottom of the 5th and Cuba had no problems with Perkins. C Ariel Pestano doubled, then SS Luis Miguel Navas and CF Leonys Martín walked. 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. hit a two-run single. A wild pitch scored Martín. Perkins got one out, then walked Despaigne, leaving with 3 runs and 5 baserunners in 6 batters.

Cuba increased their lead in the 7th on doubles by Navas and Olivera against Bryan Dumesnil.

In the 8th, González gave up a second hit, a single to SS Jonathan Malo; it was Canada's last safety.

Overall, González fanned 10 in 8 innings of two-hit ball, then Pedro Luis Lazo struck out three in the 9th. Olivera finished with 3 hits and 3 RBI.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Puerto Rico 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 10 0
Australia 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 0
Win: Orlando Román (1-1) Loss: Drew Naylor (2-1) Save: R.J. Rodriguez (4)

Puerto Rico made its way into the Bronze Medal game thanks to a win here and a loss by the Netherlands.

Puerto Rico got runners on second in the third in the second versus Drew Naylor but C Stephen Morales, the #9 hitter, struck out looking. In the bottom of the second, 1B Stefan Welch hit a one-out homer off Alex Woodson and RF Tim Kennelly followed with a jack of his own.

Puerto Rico took the lead in the third. RF Irving Falu led off with a single, then LF Miguel Abreu doubled. 2B Rubén Gotay walked, then 1B Carlos Rivera crushed a grand slam to right off Naylor for a 4-2 lead. Four Australian relievers shut down Puerto Rico the remainder of the way.

In the bottom of the third, Orlando Román replaced Woodson. The 30-year-old veteran was excellent, allowing one hit and no runs in 5 2/3 IP while striking out eight. He was replaced by Nelvin Fuentes and R.J. Rodriguez, who finished up the game without allowing another hit or run. Rodriguez got his 4th save, the most in the Cup to this point and a new record for a World Cup.

Abreu and Falu both finished with three hits.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Taiwan 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 4 11 3
Venezuela 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 - 6 12 1
Win: Junior Guerra (2-2) Loss: Chih-Lung Huang (1-2)

In a preview of the 7th/8th place game, Venezuela burst to a quick lead but had to withstand a late Taiwan rally to win.

SS Po-Yu Lo got things going in the first with a home run on the third pitch of the game from Junior Guerra. Guerra and Jose Rojas allowed no more runs in the next 6 innings.

Venezuela more than made up the run in the bottom of the first. SS Dirimo Chavez opened with a full-count walk from Chih-Lung Huang, then RF Lino Connell hit into a force. 3B Michael Sandoval doubled, then DH Rene Reyes singled in a run. LF Willie Vasquez jacked a 3-run home run for a 4-1 lead.

Venezuela loaded the bases in the bottom of the second with one out but #3 hitter Sandoval hit into a force at home and cleanup man Reyes ground out to first. In the third, Taiwan loaded the bags with one out but RF Chung-Chun Wu and C Hsin-Min Wang failed to deliver the runners.

In the 4th, Taiwan got the first two men aboard but failed to score. In the bottom of the 4th, Venezuela again loaded the bases with one out for Sandoval and Reyes and again their big guns came up empty.

Venezuela finally pieced together an opportunity in the 6th. With one out, 2B Edgar Bruzual reached on an error by 3B Chia-Hao Chang. Chavez was retired, but Connell and Sandoval singled to make it 5-1. Reyes walked. Yi-Cheng Wang relieved, then Vasquez hit into another Chang error, scoring Connell. Venezuela left the bases loaded when 1B Yosnel García popped up.

In the 8th, Erick Arteaga relieved Rojas. With one out, Wu doubled, but was thrown out trying for third. It was a wasted chance as the next batter, backup C Kun-Sheng Lin singled.

With one out in the 9th, Lo walked, then 1B Kuo-Min Lin hit into a 3-6 force. With their backs to the wall, Taiwan woke up. DH Hung-Yu Lin swatted a RBI double, then scored on a single by CF Ken-Wei Lin. 2B Ming-Jen Kuo singled to put men on the corners. Up came Wu, the potential tying run, and he singled in Lin to make the score 6-4. Kun-Sheng Lin flew out, though, to end the late rally.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 0 1 0 0 0 6 0 1 0 8 13 3
Netherlands 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 5 1
Win: Kasey Kiker (1-0) Loss: Diegomar Markwell (1-1)

The Dutch hopes for a third straight Bronze Medal game fell shy with their third straight loss coupled with a Puerto Rico win today.

2004 Olympian Diegomar Markwell shut out the USA for the first inning before 1B Ike Davis homered in the second. Kasey Kiker held the Netherlands quiet over the first two. In the third, the Orange almost got the lead. With one out, RF Eugène Kingsale bunted and an error by 1B Davis let him reach. 3B Yurendell de Caster walked. After a second out, C Sidney de Jong walked. LF Curt Smith failed to come through, though, flying out to left.

The USA almost got another run of their own in the fourth. LF Jon Weber singled but RF Josh Kroeger hit into a double play. Davis walked, as did C Lucas May. 3B Pedro Alvarez singled to load the bases. 2B Tug Hulett ground to the right side; falling on the ground to get the ball, 1B Randall Simon recovered to throw from a sitting position to Markwell covering the bag to get the out and end the threat.

Markwell had allowed just the one run entering the 6th when everything went sour for the only European squad left. Kroeger led off with a double. Davis hit a liner which was snared by SS Hainley Statia. May's grounder was deftly stopped by de Caster for an out at first. Alvarez was walked and Hulett got plunked. CF Buck Coats singled home two runs for a 3-0 lead. SS Daniel Descalso walked on four pitches. DH Justin Smoak singled and a Smith error helped make it a 3-run play. David Bergman relieved Markwell but threw a wild pitch. Weber singled in Smoak for a 6-run inning. Outside of that one frame, it was an even 2-2 game.

Kasey Kiker left after one hit and no runs in six innings, replaced by Geno Espineli. With one away, CF Danny Rombley singled. Statia doubled him home. Kingsale grounded out, but de Caster singled to make it 7-2.

In the 8th, Hulett tripled and scored on a Coats sac fly for a 8-2 score.

Jason Childers and Nate Field wrapped it up with a scoreless inning apiece.

[edit] September 26

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Taiwan 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 7 0
Venezuela 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 3 - 6 11 1
Win: Johan Lopez (1-0) Loss: Yu-Ching Lin (3-1)

Taiwan dropped their sixth in a row, an even worse finish than 2007, when they went 0-4 after a 5-1 start, to place 8th for the second straight World Cup. This time they could at least say they finished first among Asian entries, unlike third in 2007.

Willy Guedez and Wen-Yang Liao each was perfect through two innings. RF Chung-Chun Wu singled to open the third, then C Kun-Sheng Lin bunted Wu over. LF Tai-Yung Kuo singled for a 1-0 lead. In the fifth, CF Ken-Wei Lin doubled to lead things off. Two outs later, Kun-Sheng Lin singled him home.

Venezuela finally starting hitting Liao in the 6th. C Yosnel García and CF Jonathan Sivira opened with singles. 2B Edgar Bruzual bunted both men over, then SS Dirimo Chavez singled to tie the game at two. Venezuela loaded the bases with one out but RF Rene Reyes and DH Luis Landaeta were retired by reliever Yu-Ching Lin, aiming for his 4th win of the Cup.

In the bottom of the 7th, the Latin Americans went ahead. LF Willie Vasquez doubled off Yu-ching Lin and was bunted over by García. Sivira hit a sacrifice fly for a 3-2 lead.

Venezuela padded their lead in the 8th. Chavez drew a leadoff walk from Lin, then 1B Lino Connell doubled. Ching-Ming Wang relieved and struck out 3B Michael Sandoval, but Reyes delivered a 2-run single. Landaeta hit into a force, then both Vasquez and García singled to make it 6-2.

Just like in their game the day before, Venezuela faced a Taiwan rally in the 9th that fell short. Jose Escalona came in to pitch that frame and 1B Kuo-Min Lin singled. DH Hung-Yu Lin singled as well, then Ken-Wei Lin walked. Up came the potential tying run, PH Chia-Yu Lin, who had never played for the national team in a major event before this tourney. Lin grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, scoring Kuo-Min Lin but significantly hurting Taiwan's chances. Wu then ground out to Bruzual to end the game.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Australia 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 4 6 0
Netherlands 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 1
Win: David Welch (1-0) Loss: Arshwin Asjes (0-2) Save: Dushan Ruzic (1)

Australia, the losers of the 5th/6th place game in 2007, returned and won a fifth place finish, their new best finish ever for a World Cup. The Netherlands, on the other hand, dropped their fourth in a row, for their worst finish in six years. The game was close, the Netherlands outhitting Australia but losing it in the final three innings.

The Netherlands rested their top players as manager Rod Delmonico sat #3 hitter Randall Simon, cleanup man Sidney de Jong and #6 hitter Raily Legito. Additionally, they made a last-minute pitching change, starting Leon Boyd instead of the previously-announced Alexander Smit. Part of the reason for the changes was likely fatigue as both teams had to travel to Sicily from the mainland. Rumors had circulated that Australia would refuse to make the trip, but these proved unfounded.

CF Nick Kimpton opened the game with a single off Boyd. After an out, LF Chris Snelling got plunked. Kimpton swiped third, then 3B Luke Hughes singled for a 1-0 lead. Boyd recovered to get 1B Stefan Welch to hit into a double play.

Australia put together another rally in the third. With one out, Kimpton got hit by a pitch. He took second on a passed ball by Dashenko Ricardo, then 2B Brad Harman walked. Snelling struck out, but Hughes walked to load the bases with two out. Welch again failed to deliver, striking out.

The Dutch tied it in the bottom of the third. 3B Mariekson Gregorius (starting due to Simon's absence) singled. RF Eugène Kingsale singled to move Gregorius to second, then SS Hainley Statia singled in Gregorius. 1B Yurendell de Caster ended the threat with a double play ball.

The Netherlands almost took the lead in the fifth. With two out, Gregorius and Kingsale singled, then Statia walked. De Caster again failed to come through, grounding to Harman. David Welch left after six innings, having allowed only one run.

Australia got the edge for good in the 7th against reliever Arshwin Asjes, who had replaced Boyd in the 5th. With one out, C Andrew Graham walked. SS James Beresford singled to right. Kingsale's throw to third to try to get Graham wound up as an error, scoring Graham and putting Beresford on third. Kimpton ground in Beresford for a 3-1 lead.

Welch was replaced by Dushan Ruzic, who had spent two years in the Dutch Hoofdklasse. He used that experience well, giving up only two hits and no runs in three innings to earn the save.

In the 8th, Welch homered off Dennis Neuman for a 4-1 Australian lead.

LF Curt Smith began the 9th with a double. Simon pinch-hit and popped out, then 2B Sharlon Schoop was hit by a pitch. That brought the potential tying run up. Raily Legito pinch-hit for Danny Rombley; it was Legito's 206th official international game for the Dutch squad, tying Dirk van 't Klooster's all-time record. Legito struck out on a 2-2 count, then Ricardo flew out to end the game.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Canada 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 6 9 1
Puerto Rico 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 3
Win: Trystan Magnuson (4-0) Loss: Melvin Pizzaro (0-1)

Canada made the Bronze Medal game for the first time ever, while Puerto Rico had not won a Medal for over 30 years. Both teams featured a number of former major leaguers as well as prospects on their rosters.

Canada got everything they needed in the first. Eduardo Perez turned to 31-year-old Melvin Pizzaro for the start despite Pizzaro having spent his career in the US almost entirely as a reliever and having options with better US pro experience.

The move backfired. CF Adam Stern began the game with a single, then RF Rene Tosoni got hit by a pitch. 3B Shawn Bowman doubled to left to bring Stern home. Perez gave Pizzaro the quick hook, bringing in Miguel Mejia. 1B Jimmy Van Ostrand greeted him with a sacrifice fly. DH Tim Smith singled and it was 3-0 with only one out.

Puerto Rico rallied in the second against Jamie Richmond. 1B Carlos Rivera drew a leadoff walk. With one away, 3B José Valentin homered to cut the gap to one. An out later, CF Miguel Negron doubled. C Orlando Mercado Jr. grounded into a Richmond error, putting men on the corners. RF Irving Falu struck out looking at three straight pitches to squash the rally.

Richmond left after four innings, with the 3-2 lead intact. Dustin Molleken relieved. He got the first out of the 5th, then Falu singled and Molleken threw a wild pitch. With two away, 2B Rubén Gotay walked but Rivera grounded to Bowman, who got the out at third to end the inning.

In the 7th, Trystan Magnuson replaced Molleken. Mercado drew a one-out walk and LF Miguel Abreu singled but Gotay lined out. Canada got some insurance in the 8th. Puerto Rican closer R.J. Rodriguez struck out his first two opponents, but LF Adam Loewen walked and SS Jonathan Malo tripled.

Canada got more in the 9th when Rodriguez walked Tosoni and Van Ostrand homered one out later for a 6-2 lead.

Molleken (2 IP), Magnuson (2 IP) and Jimmy Henderson (1 IP) shut out Puerto Rico in relief. Puerto Rico's experiend major leaguers were a combined 4-for-18.

Magnuson tied the World Cup win record, held by 18 other pitchers, but not accomplished since Chien-Fu Kuo Lee of Taiwan in 1990.

It was Canada's first Medal ever in a global senior-level international event and the second ever by their senior-level squad, as they had won a Medal at the 1999 Pan American Games.

Team Canada veteran Chris Begg said "I’m kinda speechless...to win a bronze medal is indescribable and it’s a type of joy I’ve never had with this team before. This is pretty incredible especially with a bunch of new faces on this team, so I think baseball is looking pretty bright in Canada."

[edit] Gold Medal Game Results

[edit] September 27

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 0 3 0 0 1 0 6 0 0 10 9 0
Cuba 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 5 12 3
Win: Brad Lincoln (3-0) Loss: Norge Luis Vera (3-1)

5,000 fans came out to the Stadio Steno Borghese to witness a rematch of the 2007 finale.

Norge Luis Vera, the 38-year-old veteran who was the last Cuban to beat Team USA (in the 2008 Olympics) and was a star in the 2003 World Cup, got the call to face Cory Luebke of the USA.

Vera sent down the Americans 1-2-3 in the first. Luebke struck out his first two opponents but then gave up singles to DH Michel Enríquez and RF Alfredo Despaigne. Captain Frederich Cepeda grounded out back to Luebke.

The US got to Vera in the second. With one out, DH Terry Tiffee singled and RF Josh Kroeger reached on an error by 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. C Lucas May, a late addition to the US roster, then swatted a 3-run homer to center. Vera struck out to fan the next two hitters, but Cuba trailed 3-0.

Luebke went 1-2-3 in the second and the third, while the US got a baserunner and nothing else in the third. Vera tossed a perfect fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth, Cuba closed the gap. Enríquez and Despaigne again hit back-to-back singles, then Cepeda singled to load the bases with no one out. 3B Yulieski Gourriel flew out to center, scoring Enríquez. Luebke struck out 1B Ariel Borrero on three pitches. C Ariel Pestano, playing the final game of his career, singled in Despaigne to make it 3-2. SS Luis Miguel Navas flew out to end the inning.

With one away in the 5th, US second baseman Tug Hulett hit a home run for a 4-2 lead. Luebke struck out his 7th batter in 4 1/3 innings to open the 5th, then was relieved by Brad Lincoln, who finished the inning. The US got nothing in the top of the sixth.

In the bottom of the sixth, Cuba tied the game. Cepeda singled with one away; an out later, Borrero homered to left to knot the score at four.

The USA retook the lead in the 7th. With two away, Hulett walked. CF Buck Coats doubled. Esteban Lombillo summoned all-time Cup save leader Pedro Luis Lazo to relieve Vera. He almost escaped the inning as SS Trevor Plouffe grounded to second, but Borrero made an error on the incoming throw to let Hulett score for a 5-4 lead. Given a second chance, the US began pounding away. 1B Justin Smoak singled in Coats, then LF Jon Weber singled home Plouffe. Young Miguel Alfredo González replaced Lazo but had no more success. Tiffee singled in Smoak, then Kroeger singled home Weber to make it 9-4. May singled and brought in Tiffee for a 10-4 lead. Lombillo turned to Freddy Asiel Alvarez, who finally stopped the carnage by retiring 3B Pedro Alvarez, Pedro's second out of the inning. It ended a streak of eight straight Americans reaching base.

Lincoln had a 1-2-3 7th and Freddy Alvarez followed suit in the top of the 8th. In the bottom of the 8th, Despaigne hit his 11th home run to extend his Cup record. Gourriel singled with two away but was stranded when Borrero lined out, Cuba still down 10-5.

Freddy Alvarez again went 1-2-3 in the top of the 9th. In the bottom of the 9th, Cuba put up a rally. Pestano grounded out in the final at-bat of his career. PH Yoennis Céspedes singled, then CF Leonys Martin hit into a force. Olivera singled to put men on the corners and Enríquez walked to load the bases. Nate Field relieved to face Despaigne, who had gone 3 for 4 with a homer so far today. This time, Alfredo failed to deliver, flying out to Weber to end the game. It was only the third time a non-Cuban team won consecutive Cups - Venezuela had done it in 1944-1945 (Cuba boycotting in 1945) and the USA in the 1973-1974 Cups sponsored by FEMBA (Cuba boycotting both times).

[edit] Final Standings

  1. Flag of United States United States
  2. Flag of Cuba Cuba
  3. Flag of Canada Canada
  4. Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico
  5. Flag of Australia Australia
  6. Flag of Netherlands Netherlands
  7. Flag of Venezuela Venezuela
  8. Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
  9. Flag of South Korea South Korea
  10. Flag of Japan Japan
  11. Flag of Nicaragua Nicaragua
  12. Flag of Italy Italy
  13. Flag of Mexico Mexico
  14. Flag of Spain Spain
  15. Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom
  16. Flag of Netherlands Antilles Netherlands Antilles
  17. Flag of Germany Germany
  18. Flag of Croatia Croatia
  19. Flag of Sweden Sweden
  20. Flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic
  21. Flag of South Africa South Africa
  22. Flag of People's Republic of China People's Republic of China

[edit] Awards and Honors

[edit] All-Star Team

[edit] Team Summaries

See 2009 Baseball World Cup (Team Summaries)

[edit] Assorted Notes

  • Spain's Daniel Figueroa and Paco Figueroa are twin brothers.
  • The Netherlands and Netherlands Antilles had two sets of brothers playing on different teams. The Netherlands had P Kenley Jansen and IF Mariekson Gregorius, while the Antilles had OF Ardley Jansen and P Johnny Gregorius. Also on the Antillean squad was the father of Mariekson and Johnny, Didi Gregorius.
  • The Cup featured over 20 games more than any prior Cup.
  • There was significant criticism over the games staged in Italy, with poor attendance at many contests and long travel between games.
  • 126,799 fans showed up for the tournament, with the top five games in attendance all taking place in the first round in Regensburg, Germany.
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