1996 World Junior Championship
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|