1996 World Junior Championship

From BR Bullpen

The 1996 World Junior Championship was the 16th World Junior Championship and the 8th won by Cuba. It was held from August 9 through August 16 in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba.

The Gold Medal game was exciting as Taiwan scored five runs in the second. Angel Pena entered and threw shutout ball over the final 7 1/3 innings for the victory. In the meantime, Cuba scored in the 6th off of tourney MVP Chin-Chih Huang to break a 5-5 tie; they would go on to win 6-5. Cuba outscored their opponents 56-18 on the tournament. Key players were All-Star 3B Eliecer O'Connor (.458, 7 R), All-Star SS Michel Enríquez and C Yosvani Peraza (.429, .952 SLG, 7 R, 8 RBI). Angel Peña (1-0, 0.00), Norberto Gonzalez (0-0, 0.96, 2 H in 9 IP) and Modesto Luis (1-0, 1.50) all pitched well.

For the Silver Medal-winning Taiwan, the key player was MVP Chin-Chih Huang, who hit .583 to lead the competition and also went 3-1 with 28 strikeouts in 27 innings on the mound. He made the All-Star team at pitcher but in the outfield. Fellow Taiwanese All-Stars were LF Hung-Yu Lee and RF Ming-Che Chuang (.458, .833 SLG).

The USA outscored their opponents 31-3 in the round-robin. In the second inning of the semifinals, though, the defending champions lost 8-3 to Taiwan. The 2nd inning was horrible as Taiwan scored 6 times, thanks to four walks, a wild pitch, a passed ball and two misplayed bunts while Geoff Goetz and Bobby Seay were ineffective. The US rebounded to win Bronze by topping South Korea 5-2 thanks to a 3-run homer from Dane Sardinha. Josh Bard (.462) was the All-Star C while Goetz (.412) was chosen in center field. The staff was led by Seay (1-0, 0.82), Rick Ankiel (1-0, 1.29; also hit .417) and Matt White (2-0, 1.72, 16 K in 16 IP).

South Korea got good hitting from Ji-hwan Son (.407, 2 3B, 3 SB) but the standout was pitcher Dong-chul Lee (4-0, 0.00), who made the All-Star team.

Venezuela finished 5th at 3-3 and with a win over Mexico in the 5th-place game. Mexico was outscored 51-35 yet was still 2-3; they had an All-Star in 2B Manuel Moerjon. Pedro Diaz hit .412 and Fidel Garza .400.

The Netherlands was 7th at 2-3. Patrick Beljaards was their top hitter at .444, though he went on to more success as a pitcher. They beat Panama 3-0 in the 7th-place game. Panaam was led by E. Candanedo, who batted .500 and slugged over 1.000. David Mendez was 1-0 and allowed no earned runs and 9 hits in 16 innings of work.

Brazil was 9th at 3-3 though they outscored their opponents 48-27, inclduing a rout of Nicaragua in the 9th/10th place game. Marcio Suzuki hit .500, slugged 1.200 and drove in 11 as perhaps the top hitter of the event. He was the All-Star pick at first base. Douglas Matumoto was 3-1 with a 1.83 ERA; he fanned 17 and walked 1 in 20 innings, allowing 13 hits.

Nicaragua (0-5) was outscored 57-8 with no bright spots. Italy was 0-5 and outscored 78-17 but got decent hitting from Giacomo Falciani (.500, .944 SLG) and Giacomo Bettati (.455).

Source: 1997 Baseball Almanac

U-18 Baseball World Cup

1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 |
1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1999 |
2000 | 2002 | 2004 | 2006 | 2008 |
2010 | 2012 | 2013 | 2015