2007 Baseball World Cup
The 2007 Baseball World Cup was held in Taiwan in November of 2007. It was the 37th Baseball World Cup. The Cuban national team was foiled in its bid for a 10th straight Cup in which it competed as Team USA won for the third time ever. It was USA's first win in a Cup in which Cuba played.
Competitiors (with records in past Cups)
- The Australian national team (25-39) was sending a group which included five former or present major leaguers and 7 Olympic silver medalists. Travis Blackley, Glenn Williams, Justin Huber, Brad Thomas and Rich Thompson were the big leaguers. Jon Deeble managed the squad. While Australia had finished second in the Olympics and won the Intercontinental Cup, they had never finished above 7th in the World Cup.
- The Cuban national team (278-29) was managed by Rey Vicente Anglada. Notable names included Yulieski Gourriel, Ariel Pestano, Eduardo Paret, Frederich Cepeda, Osmani Urrutia, Pedro Luis Lazo and Adiel Palma.
- Team USA (143-72) was managed by Davey Johnson. Jeff Karstens, Andy LaRoche, Evan Longoria, Jayson Nix, Steve Pearce, Colby Rasmus and Delwyn Young were among the players on the team.
- The Dutch national team (46-104) was fresh of a win in the 2007 European Championship. The team included a couple AAA players Roger Bernadina and Sharnol Adriana. Long-time national team stars Dirk van 't Klooster and Rob Cordemans were among the other club leaders. Robert Eenhoorn managed the team. In the 2005 Baseball World Cup, the Netherlands had finished 4th, their highest to that point.
- The host Chinese Taipei national team (80-61) featured Chin-Feng Chen, the 2007 CPBL batting titlist and the first Taiwan native to play in the major leagues.
- Team Canada (55-91) was managed by Terry Puhl. Former major leaguer Kevin Nicholson was on the club, as well as first-round pick Phillippe Aumont and 2007 Futures Game stars Mike Saunders and Jimmy Van Ostrand.
- The Spanish national team (4-22) had 11 players from the Spanish league champions and two players who were in US minor leagues in 2007, including 2007 European Championship All-Star OF Daniel Figueroa.
- The German national team (0-25) was coming off a 4th-place finish in the European Championship and were making their first Cup appearance in over 30 years. It was the first appearance by a team from a united Germany. The team included one US minor leaguer, Rodney Gessmann.
- The Thai national team (0-0) was making its first World Cup appearance, thanks to the withdrawal of the Chinese national team in October. China cited preparation for the 2008 Olympics as the reason, but political tension between China and Taiwan was believed to play a role. The manager was Takenori Emoto.
- The Panamanian national team (129-106) included former major leaguers Sherman Obando, Rafael Medina and Angel Chavez and was coming off of a Silver Medal in 2003 Bronze Medal finish in 2005.
- The Italian national team (48-94) featured former big leaguers Tony Fiore and Anthony Ferrari as well as two Italians who spent 2007 in class A, Alessandro Maestri and Alex Liddi. One outfielder, Laidel Chapellí, was the brother of former Cuban national team player Loidel Chapellí. Marco Mazzieri made his debut as the team's manager, having been appointed following their disappointing showing at the 2007 European Championship.
- The Mexican national team (82-133), managed by Enrique Reyes, was sending a B-level team clearly inferior to the one they sent to the 2007 Pan American Games. The roster included Lorenzo Buelna, who had hit .330 in the Mexican League in 2007.
- The South African national team (2-28) included former US minor leaguers Brett Willemburg, Paul Bell and Carl Michaels. It was managed by Rick Magnante.
- The Japanese national team (109-42) saved their "A" team for the 2008 Olympics qualifiers and sent an amateur contingent. Past amateur Japanese teams had been competitive in the event, though. Hasebe Kohhei throws a fastball in the mid-90s while slugger Takashi Yoshiura has done well in past international competition.
- The Venezuelan national team (124-68) featured a couple former major leaguers, Liu Rodriguez and Beiker Graterol.
- The South Korean national team (83-51) had been the runner-up in 2005. They were focusing more on the Asian Olympic qualifiers and sent a B-level team missing stars like Dae-ho Lee, Hee-seop Choi and Hyun-jin Ryu.
The only game slated for November 6 was rained-out as the tourney opener between Taiwan and Italy could not be played due to inclement weather.
|Win: Gomez (1-0) Loss: Leal (0-1)|
|Win: Settsu (1-0) Loss: Ekermans (0-1)|
South Africa at least avoided the mercy rule and even held the lead for an inning and a half before falling as expected to Japan.
|Win: Karstens (1-0) Loss: Rodriguez (0-1) Save: Booker (1)|
Jeff Karstens threw six scoreless frames and Lee Gronkiewicz, Neal Musser and Chris Booker completed the shutout. The US got all of its offense with two outs in the fifth. RF Justin Ruggiano was hit by a pitch. C Jason Jaramillo singled, the first hit the US had gotten. SS Brian Bixler walked. A wild pitch by Daniel Rodriguez score Ruggiano. Colby Rasmus walked and 2B Jayson Nix singled home Jaramillo and Bixler.
3B Efren Espinoza led the Mexican attack by going 2 for 4 with a stolen base.
|Win: Lazo (1-0) Loss: Rich Thompson (0-1)|
The Green and Gold almost stunned the perennial champions in this game. Australia almost scored against Elier Sanchez in the second but Brett Roneberg was thrown out at home. In the bottom of the inning, Alexander Mayeta scored on a sacrifice fly by Yoandry Urgellés for the lone run allowed by Greg Wiltshire in 5 2/3 innings. The tally had been set up by a botched double play by the Aussies.
Harman continued his stardom with three defensive gems, one of which led reliever Adrian Burnside to comment that "he must have some Venezuelan in him…That’s the best play I have ever seen".
Adam Bright, Tristan Crawford and Brendan Wise kept Cuba scoreless until the bottom of the 9th. With one out, Brad Thomas became the fifth pitcher for the Green and Gold. He retired Mayeta on a ground ball and got two strikes and a ball on LF Frederich Cepeda. Cuba's international tournament record of clutch hits came to life then, as Cepeda took a 93-mph fastball and slugged a homer to left to tie the score.
Australia got two on in the top of the 10th but reliever Pedro Luis Lazo stepped in and struck out pinch-hitter Thomas Brice. Lazo extended his Baseball World Cup record (post-1980) for wins with #8 of his career when DH Osmani Urrutia hit a walk-off homer off major leaguer Rich Thompson.
|Win: Berkenbosch (1-0) Loss: Heebthong (0-1)|
In a major mismatch, the Dutch team buried Thailand, which had more errors than hits. Kenny Berkenbosch pitched six innings of two-hit scoreless ball. Berry van Driel finished up the game, while the Dutch bats roasted the Thai pitching. 1B Vince Rooi (3 for 4, 2 doubles, 3 runs, 4 RBI), RF Dirk van 't Klooster (2 for 2, 2 BB, 2 runs, 2 RBI) and DH Sharnol Adriana (2 for 3, BB, HBP, 3 R).
|Win: Chang (1-0) Loss: Avery (0-1)|
|Win: Torres (1-0) Loss: Márquez (0-1)|
German ace Enorbel Márquez turned in a strong effortr, holding Venezuela to one run in six innings, striking out seven, but the bullpen was far less effective as Venezuela pounded away for 7 runs in three innings against four relievers, including Rodney Gessmann. Luis Torres, on the other hand, mowed down the German offense.
|Win: Wright (1-0) Loss: Pinto (0-1)|
3B Andy LaRoche (3 for 4, 2 2B, 4 RBI) and DH Evan Longoria (2 for 3, 2 RBI, 1 HR) led the US attack in another easy win. Four US hurlers combined to throw the team's second straight shutout, led by Matt Wright (3 hits allowed in six innings). All of Panama's hits came from SS Angel Chavez and 1B Sherman Obando, each of whom had a couple.
|Win: Fiore (1-0) Loss: Hernandez (0-1)|
Italy put this one away early against Yoel Hernandez. SS Jack Santora reached on a bunt hit to open the bottom of the first and scored on a double by 2B Davide Dallospedale. Maximiliano De Biase singled and then Mario Chiarini cracked a 3-run homer to put this one away. Di Biase finished 3 for 4 with a homer and Chiarini added another double before all was done. Tony Fiore allowed one run in five innings for the win. Hernandez, on the other hand, gave up 10 runs in 4 innings.
|Win: Lockwood (1-0) Loss: Thongbai (0-1)|
After two hits in their first game, Team Canada rapped 16 in routing the overmatched Thai team (now outscored 34-0 after two games). Emerson Frostad hit two homers (including a grand slam) and drove in seven while Jimmy Van Ostrand was 3 for 5 with 4 RBI. Mike Saunders and Matt Rogelstad homered.
|Win: Banos (1-0) Loss: Henkenjohann (0-1) Save: Sánchez (1)|
Germany played a surprisingly close game against Cuba. In the first, RF Yoandry Urgellés smacked a 3-run homer as part of a 4-run inning for the favorites. Germany rallied in the bottom of the frame when LF Simon Gühring singled in CF Sascha Lutz. C Kai Gronauer followed with a 2-run homer to close it to 4-3 but Vladimir Banos settled down and allowed no more runs. Cuba tacked on insurance, with RBI triples from LF Frederich Cepeda and Urgellés.
Urgellés was 2 for 3 with a walk and 4 RBI while 1B Alexander Mayeta went 3 for 5 with 2 RBI as Cuba headed off the unlikely challenge.
|Win: Lin (1-0) Loss: Verschuren (0-1)|
Taiwan homered twice in the first as the home country cruised to an easy win in their opener. 3B Tai-Shan Chang went 4 for 4 with 2 RBI, while Chin-Feng Chen and Chia-Hsien Hsieh drove in three apiece, each homering. SS Brett Willemburg had two of South Africa's five hits and drove in their only run. Ying-Chieh Lin whiffed 10 in six innings for the win.
|Win: Saito (1-0) Loss: Delgadillo (0-1)|
Seven Japanese players scored with two outs in the second to run away with this game. LF Takashi Yoshiura was triple shy of the cycle and was 4 for 4 with a walk. Takashi Saito had help from Mexican baserunning blunders with three runners thrown out on the bases in the first two innings to pick up the win. Juan Delgadillo surrendered 7 runs in 1 2/3 IP for the loss.
|Win: Lee (1-0) Loss: Yepes (0-1)|
|Win: Thomas (1-0) Loss: van Kampen (0-1)|
For the second straight game, Australia was involved in a dramatic one-run contest.
CF Trent Oeltjen opened the contest with a triple to left that was misplayed by Greg Halman. 3B Glenn Williams doubled home Oeltjen to put the Aussies ahead 1-0 in the first. Oeltjen again gave Leon Boyd trouble in the 5th when he singled and scored on a double by DH Ben Risinger.
In the sixth, the Orange staged a comeback. RF Dirk van 't Klooster reached on an infield hit off of Travis Blackley. 2B Michael Duursma grounded to third but Williams couldn't handle it and was charged with an error. CF Roger Bernadina bunted both runners over. SS Hainley Statia (fresh off a .288 season in high-A ball) singled through the middle, scoring van 't Klooster and Duursma. 3B Raily Legito singled and Brendan Wise relieved the tiring Blackley at that point.
Halman's defense again proved faulty in the bottom of the 6th, as his two-base error put RF Tom Brice aboard, but Brice failed to score.
Legito singled to center to start the 9th inning and took second on a wild pitch from Wise. Cleanup hitter Sharnol Adriana lined out to Williams. Brad Thomas then relieved Wise. C Sidney de Jong, playing his 100th game for the Dutch national team, singled Legito to third. 1B Vince Rooi then singled into center to score Legito and give the Dutch the lead.
Australia, after blowing it in the 9th last game, came back in the 9th this time. Michiel van Kampen came in to close it up. SS Brad Harman greeted him with a single, though. PH Gavin Fingleson grounded to second, but Mike Duursma (trying for a double play) threw the ball away for an error. 2B Luke Hughes hit a sacrifice fly to score Harman on a controversial play as some said Harman had left third too soon; umpire Mark Ditsworth said Harman had not left early. Oeltjen concluded his fine game with a double to right-center to score Fingleson with the winner. Oeltjen had reached base four times in five trips to the plate and had finished a homer shy of the cycle. He had been involved in all but one of Australia's four runs.
|Win: Cillo (1-0) Loss: Outman (0-1)|
Italy beat Team USA for the first time in 21 years and it was the first time the Italian national team had ever beaten an American team with professional players. With two outs in the bottom of the second, CF Laidel Chapellí and C Luis Ricardo Serafin De Camargo singled, then LF Leonardo Zileri got Italy's offense started when he reached on an error by US shortstop Brian Bixler in the bottom of the second. SS Jack Santora and 2B Davide Dallospedale each singled in a run to make it 3-0. The US came back when Justin Ruggiano cracked a solo homer in the third and Adam LaRoche drove in Colby Rasmus with another. With men on second and third that inning, Santora made a nice play to rob Delwyn Young. Italy tacked on three more in the 4th with an error by Jerry Blevins helping set up two more unearned runs. Alessandro Maestri closed it out for Italy, walking the bases loaded before he fanned Jayson Nix to end the game. Ruggiano was 2 for 2 and reached base four times for the US, while Mario Chiarini (2 for 3, 2B, RBI) paced the Italian attack.
|Win: Olivera (1-0) Loss: Michaels (0-1)|
Manny Olivera fanned 7 and allowed 2 hits in six shutout innings to give Spain its first win of the tournament. C Dewis Navarro went 2 for 2 with a triple while 3B Marc Carrillo was 3 for 4 with two doubles and 3 RBI for Spain. South Africa was led by 1B Greg Liebenberg (3 for 4, 2 RBI) as they fell to 0-3, giving Spain a slight challenge.
|Win: Jeong (1-0) Loss: Kanjanvisut (0-1)|
South Korea, like the US, had their pitching scoreless inning streak snapped - unlike the US, they made it to 3-0. Thailand, on the other hand, finally scored their first World Cup runs. SS Si-hyun Son (3 for 4, 4 RBI, HR) and DH Jae-woong Yoo (3 for 4, 2B, HR, 5 RBI) led the South Korean offense.
|Win: Wiltshire (1-0) Loss: Arteaga (0-1)|
Australia played its third straight game deciding in extra innings or the bottom of the 9th as they retained the top dramatic touch of the tournament.
Venezuela got going in the second when Josh Hill walked two batters and hit one. 2B Liu Rodriguez then tripled to right center to stake Venezuela to a 3-0 lead. 1B Lino Connell singled home Rodriguez for a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 4th, 1B Brett Roneberg doubled with one out, then came home on a single by DH Tom Brice. In the sixth, 3B Glenn Williams doubled. Jackson Paz relieved and allowed a single to RF Ben Risinger. Roneberg grounded to SS Dirimo Chavez, who retired Risinger but whose throwing error let Williams score. Roneberg was caught stealing. Brice then homered to right-center to close the game to 4-3.
In the 9th, Adam Bright plunked Rodriguez and Connell walked. Rich Thompson relieved and threw a wild pitch to put both runners in scoring position but Thompson fanned the next two batters to force extra innings.
In the 11th, Rodriguez doubled and Manuel Ramirez singled off of Greg Wiltshire but Venezuela failed to score. In the bottom of the 11th, Roneberg doubled to center and was bunted over by Brice. C Matthew Kent walked. 2B Luke Hughes, the #9 hitter, then worked the count to 2-0 before smashing a drive over the left field well for a game-winning 3-run homer.
|Win: Atencio (1-0) Loss: Kamar (0-1) Save: Gomez (1)|
Mexico jumped ahead early when LF Lorenzo Buelna homered with one out and CF Sergio Contreras aboard in the first. They would not score again. Panama closed it to one on a third-inning RBI single from 1B Audes de Leon. In the 6th, DH Sherman Obando doubled in two to give the Panamaians the win as the bullpen held on.
|Win: Gonzalez (1-0) Loss: S. Richmond (0-1) Save: Lazo (1)|
2007 first-round pick Phillippe Aumont got the tough call against the Cubans but pitched two shutout innings, allowing two hits, before exiting. Aumont said "It was a big thing for me to get the start against Cuba, knowing how good these guys are it give a big boost in confidence." Scott Richmond relieved but allowed a run in his first inning of work. In the 4th, veteran LF Jeremy Ware singled and scored on a double by C Chris Robinson off of a shaky Adiel Palma (6 hits in 3 2/3 IP). Robinson tried to score on a single by CF Sébastien Boucher but was thrown out at home by LF Frederich Cepeda.
In the bottom of the fifth, 3B Yulieski Gourriel smacked a solo shot off of Richmond to put Cuba again, 2-1. Cuba tacked on four insurance runs in the 7th with Gourriel driving in one and scoring another in that frame. One of the runs was controversial as Cepeda was called safe at home on a close play.
Cepeda (3 for 4, 3B, R, RBI) and Gourriel (2 for 5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) led the Cuban offense while Nicholson (4 for 4, R, 2 RBI, 3 doubles) helped keep the Canadians in it.
|Win: Yang (1-0) Loss: Tazawa (0-1)|
Taiwan cruised past Japan to tie Italy for first place in Pool A. 3B Tai-Shan Chang was 3 for 4 with a double while Chien-Fu Yang allowed only one run in six innings against an offense that had rolled through its first two contests.
|Win: Markwell (1-0) Loss: Hughes (0-1)|
The Dutch team had its second rout of the tourney, defeating Germany much more soundly than in their 2007 European Championship match-up. Germany had its first lead in World Cup history, though. 2B Jendrick Speer doubled with one out in the first and one out later, LF Simon Gühring (who had played in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system for two years) singled him home. C Kai Gronauer drew one of five walks Diegomar Markwell would issue and DH Markus Gienger had an infield single off the glove of SS Hainley Statia. 1B Michael Franke flew out to end the inning though.
The Netherlands bounced back quickly. CF Roger Bernadina opened with a walk and Statia singled. 3B Raily Legito chopped into a double play. DH Sharnol Adriana singled home Bernadina to tie the score. 1B Vince Rooi singled and then RF Dirk van 't Klooster cracked a 3-run homer. Though van 't Klooster led the Dutch national team with over 165 career games, it was just his second homer for the Orange (the other had come during the 2000 Olympics). C Tjerk Smeets then followed with a homer to left for a 5-1 lead.
Germany came back when Markwell walked four in a row in the second and Gühring added a sacrifice fly. The Dutch tacked on three more in the bottom of the inning, though, for a 8-3 lead to put it out of reach. German starter Andre Hughes allowed 8 runs on 8 hits in 1 2/3 IP.
For the first time, the mercy rule had to be used against Germany, but they had avoided any 7-inning losses that were so common for the weakest entries in each World Cup.
van 't Klooster (3 for 5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2B, HR), Adriana (3 for 4, R, 3 RBI), Smeets (3 for 5, 2 R, RBI, HR) and 2B Roel Koolen (3 for 5, 2 R, RBI) were among the Dutch leaders. It was clearly a shaky outing for 2005 Baseball World Cup star Markwell, with 7 hits, 5 walks and 4 runs allowed in 5 1/3 innings against a team not noted for its offensive talent.
Germany was the only European team to lose on the 9th.
|Win: Liao (1-0) Loss: Granados (0-1)|
DH Chin-Feng Chen went 3 for 5 with a double, homer and 3 RBI while 3B Tai-Shan Chang (AKA Tarzan) homered and drove in two. The win helped the host country remain the lone unbeaten team in their Pool by day's end, coupled with Italy's loss to Panama.
|Win: Cardenas (1-0) Loss: Elario (0-1)|
Mexico cruised to its first win of the tournament. CF Sergio Contreras was 4 for 5 with 2 doubles, a triple, 2 runs and 5 RBI to pace the offense, while 3B Efren Espinoza homered twice. DH Hector Garanzuay was 3 for 3 and stole a base.
|Win: Medina (1-0) Loss: Patrone (0-1)|
Panama gave the "azzurri" their first loss of the tournament, as former major leaguer Rafael Medina (who had pitched in Italy's Serie A1 as well) stifled the Italian bats, shutting them out for 6 innings on 3 hits and no walks. Three relievers each worked one frame to finish off the gem.
On the other side, Italy's Dominican hurler Sandy Patrone, a long-time Serie A1 presence, could not get going, allowing six hits in two innings. Panama put it out of reach with one out in the first when DH Sherman Obando crushed a 3-run home run.
In a losing effort, DH Maximiliano De Biase was 2 for 2.
|Win: Duensing (1-0) Loss: Kawasaki (0-1)|
The US put this one away early. 2B Jayson Nix singled with one out in the first and DH Andy LaRoche drew a walk from Teruo Kawasaki. Cleanup hitter and LF Delwyn Young then smacked a full count offering into deep center field for a 3-run circuit clout. Japan's offense never got going against Brian Duensing, Neal Musser, Jeff Stevens and Chris Booker. The US tacked on two more in the 8th when 3B Evan Longoria doubled home Nix and LaRoche.
|Win: J. Richmond (1-0) Loss: Almstetter (0-1)|
3B Matt Rogelstad (3 for 5, 3 RBI, 2B, 3B) and CF Jeremy Ware (3 for 4, 2-run homer) led the Canadian offense as Germany again lost an 8-inning contest. Jamie Richmond (7 innings) and Chris Leroux (1 inning) combined on the four-hit shutout for Team Canada.
|Win: Berkenbosch (2-0) Loss: Morales (0-1) Save: van Mil (1)|
In an important game for both teams, the Netherlands emerged victorious. CF Roger Bernadina opened the contest with a wind-aided double to left. SS Hainley Statia singled. After 3B Raily Legito fanned, DH Sharnol Adriana doubled in Bernadina. C Sidney de Jong then hit a sacrifice fly to score Statia. RF Dirk van 't Klooster singled in Adriana for a 3-0 lead.
In the second, LF Bryan Engelhardt doubled and 2B Roel Koolen rapped an infield hit. Bernadina drove a long single into right to score Engelhardt. One out later, Legito singled home Koolen for a 5-2 lead.
Venezuela again rallied as RF Willie Vasquez scored when Bergman hit 2B Liu Rodriguez with the bases loaded to make it 5-3. Kenny Berkenbosch relieved the ineffective Bergman and got a double play ball from 3B Lino Connell to end that threat.
Venezuela never threatened much after that. Bernadina (3 for 5, 2B, R, RBI) and Engelhardt (3 for 3, 2 R, RBI, 2B, HR, BB) led the Dutch attack while Berkenbosch (3 1/3 scoreless innings) and Twins farmhand and Dutch team newcomer Loek van Mil (2 1/3 perfect innings, 2 strikeouts) provided excellent relief to try to keep the Dutch in the running for a quarterfinal spot.
Oddly, it was exactly five years to the day since the teams had met most recently, in the 2002 Intercontinental Cup.
|Win: Chapman (1-0) Loss: Jin (0-1)|
In a battle of the last two unbeaten teams in Pool B, Cuba cruised to a 7-2 win. 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. went 1 for 2 with a walk and 2 runs before being forced out of the game due to injury. LF Frederich Cepeda was 2 for 3 with a double, run and 2 RBI. Aroldis Chapman struck out nine in 7 innings and Yunieski Maya added five more K's in the final two innings as the South Korean bats were no match for the Cuban arms in this game.
|Win: Fingleson (1-0) Loss: Tongthong (0-1)|
Australia set a Baseball World Cup record by scoring 26 runs against the hapless Thai team. CF Trent Oeltjen (4 for 5, 2 BB, 3 RBI), 3B Gavin Fingleson (3 doubles, 5 RBI), LF Justin Huber (3 for 6, 4 RBI, 2 2B), DH Glenn Williams (3 for 4, 4 RBI, the only HR of the rout), SS Brad Harman (4 for 5, 2 RBI, HBP}, C Matthew Kent (5 for 6, 2 2B, 3 RBI) and 2B Luke Hughes (3 for 5, 2 2B, 2 RBI) all played key roles in the amazing offensive show.
With the Australian staff tired (they had used 7 pitchers against Venezuela a day earlier), the team had position players throw the final four innings. Fingleson worked 3 frames for the win while regular 1B Brett Roneberg threw a hitless, walkless 7th with one strikeout.
|Win: Cobos (1-0) Loss: Ni (0-1)|
Taiwan took its first loss of the tournament as Mexico continued their comeback. 1B Baltazar Lopez slapped a 2-run homer off of Ming-Chieh Hsu in the 4th to break a scoreless game open. Taiwan came back on homers from Chia-Hsien Hsieh and CF Kuo-Hui Lo as part of a four-run rally in the bottom of the fifth as starter Daniel Rodriguez ran into trouble.
Mexico scored two more off of Hsu in the sixth to tie the game. With two outs, LF Ying-Chieh Liao lost a fly ball in the sun, giving 2B Fernando Alejos a 2-run double to put Mexico ahead by a 6-2 margin.
The Mexicans pulled ahead 9-4 entering the bottom of the 9th. Three relievers struggled in the bottom of the 9th to try to close it up, as Taiwan scored one run and loaded the bases with two outs for Hsieh, who was retired by Jose De Jesus Jimenez to end it. Jose Cobos got the win with 3 scoreless innings for Mexico. CF Sergio Contreras was 2 for 4 with a homer while DH Hector Garanzuay was 3 for 5 with a RBI.
|Win: Oberto (1-0) Loss: Dancer (0-1)|
The Italians cruised to an expected easy win here, with numerous players chipping in. 3B Alex Liddi (2 for 4, HR), DH Max De Biase (4 for 5, 3 RBI, 2B, 3B) and CF Lorenzo Avagnina (3 for 4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, 3B) all had fine days at the plate, as De Biase was now 10 for 14 for the tournament. Orlando "Junior" Oberto pitched six shutout frames and Cody Cillo and Alessandro Maestri wrapped up the game for Italy.
|Win: Blevins (1-0) Loss: Rizo (0-1)|
The US put on a power display, smacking six home runs in this rout. DH Andy LaRoche homered twice, driving in four. Also going deep were C Bryan Anderson (4 for 4), 1B Steve Pearce, 3B Evan Longoria and CF Colby Rasmus (a 3-run inside-the-park blast). 2B Jayson Nix doubled and tripled to join in the attack.
|Win: Settsu (2-0) Loss: Ramon Ramirez (0-1) Save: Kohhei (1)|
Tadashi Settsu pitched 8 shutout innings, allowing only three hits while walking two before being taken out. Reliever Hideto Isomura made it interesting by allowing two runs and loading the bases before Hasebe Kohhei came on for the save. Ramon Ramirez failed to last through the 4th. Japan featured a balanced attack with 8 players combining for the 9 hits and 5 players dividing 6 RBI amongst themselves. LF Joel Vega (2 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI) led Panama's offense.
|Win: Bright (1-0) Loss: Hwang (0-1)|
Following their record-setting destruction of Thailand, Australia returned to the familarity of winning or losing at the last possible moment, deciding the game in the 9th. Adam Blackley threw four shut out innings, while Won-jun Chang threw three. In the 5th, RF Ji-wan Na, SS Si-hyun Son and C San Song all singled but Na was erased on a double play and 1B Han-joon Yoo whiffed to end the frame. Australia's #9 hitter, 2B Luke Hughes, homered in the bottom of the sixth inning, for his second homerun of the tournament, to make it 1-0.
In the 7th, Son singled with two out and then scored on a double by Song to knock Blackley from the game. Neither team challenged in the 8th. In the top of the 9th, Na singled and Woo was hit by a pitch but Son hit into a double play which SS Brad Harman handled unassisted.
In the bottom of the 9th, LF Justin Huber doubled to left with one out. Cleanup hitter Glenn Williams struck out against reliever Doo-sung Hwang. DH Ben Risinger had a 2-strike count from Hwang (who had fanned 4 in 1 2/3 IP) but drilled a 93-mph fastball over the head of CF Seung-hwa Lee for the game-winning single as Huber raced home.
Regarding Australia's run of dramatic wins, Huber commented “I have played a lot of games for a lot of teams and I have never been involved in a streak like this before.”
Australia improved to 4-1, their lone loss coming by a single run to Cuba.
|Win: McNiven (1-0) Loss: Cordemans (0-1)|
The Dutch team had its worst game so far in the tournament, though they stayed in it for over half of the contest. The club was missing its leadoff hitter, CF Roger Bernadina, who had been a big success in the 2007 European Championship and the Cup to this point. Bernadina had been injured in their extra-inning loss to Australia.
Rob Cordemans and Brooks McNiven engaged in a fine pitching duel, with the two exchanging goose eggs for five innings. In the sixth, things went sour for Cordemans, a 3-time Olympian. DH Mike Saunders led off with a home run and LF Jeremy Ware drew Cordemans' 5th walk of the day. That prompted manager Robert Eenhoorn to yank Rob in favor of Dave Draijer. Draijer gave up a single to 1B Emerson Frostad and 3B Taylor Green brought in Ware on a ground-ball force out.
DH Sharnol Adriana almost tied it in the bottom of the sixth but his long fly to center with a man aboard fell short of the wall and was caught.
Draijer walked SS Emmanuel Garcia to begin the 7th. 2B Matt Rogelstad singled. Duko Jansen, the 2007 Hoofdklasse leader in ERA, came in. He walked Saunders. Ware hit a ground ball and Garcia was thrown out at home. Frostad singled home Rogelstad and Saunders. Jansen retired Green but RF Jamie Romak singled to score Ware and Frostad for a 6-0 lead.
LF Bryan Engelhardt homered in the 7th to give the Netherlands its only run as the two teams tied in the standings at 3-2.
|Win: Marti (1-0) Loss: Paz (0-1)|
Yadel Martí came one out from pitching the second perfect game in World Cup history - David Garcia had thrown one for Mexico in 1965. Yadel mixed his 90-mph fastball with sliders and curves to keep the Venezuelans silent. 3B Lino Connell singled with two outs in the 7th to ruin Martí's historic bid.
Cuba knocked out Venezuelan starter Jackson Paz with none out in the second and he was charged with 6 runs. Former major leaguer Beiker Graterol was much better, though he led to a bench-clearing episode in the 5th when he hit CF Alfredo Despaigne's helmet with a pitch.
Four Cuban batters scored two and two different Cuban hitters each drove in two. RF Yoandry Urgellés might have been the best Cuban hitter, though, going 2 for 3 with a walk, double, run and RBI. Despaigne and 3B Yuliesky Gourriel both went deep in the rout as Cuba remained the lone unbeaten team.
|Win: Fries (1-0) Loss: Heebthong (0-2)|
Both teams made history. Germany won its first World Cup game ever, while Thailand avoided the mercy rule for the first time in a Cup game. Michael Otto fanned 6 in 6 1/3 innings of two-hit ball but left with the score still even at 0 as Krissada Heebthong (a Thai pitcher who was getting experience with a Japanese university) was shutting down a German offense that had done surprisingly well against established teams. In the bottom of the 7th, 1B Jens Heymer doubled. A Heebthong error on a sacrifice bunt attempt by DH Markus Gienger brought Heymer home. CF Sascha Lutz grounded in another run later in the inning for the margin of victory. Heymer had Germany's only two hits against Heebthong. Dirk Fries got the historic win in relief of Otto, working 2 2/3 for the victory.
|Win: Lin (1-0) Loss: Di Roma (0-1)|
In a battle to see who would tie the US for the top spot in Pool A, the home country and surprising Italy duked it out for an excellent pitching battle, deciding by a highly controversial umpiring call. The game was a rescheduled make-up game after Italy-Taiwan had been rained out six days prior.
For 7 innings, Lin and 36-year-old ex-major leaguer Tony Fiore threw shutout ball. Fiore was yanked after 121 pitches.
Italy's only real chance of the first 8 innings came when DH Max De Biase led off with a double, but he was stranded.
In the 9th, Italian captain Davide Dallospedale singled with one away. De Biase followed with a single and Dallospedale raced to third, sliding under 3B Tai-Shan Chang's glove. Umpire Man-hwang Suk of South Korea called Dallospedale out, though replays showed that Dallospedale had slid in safely. Italian manager Marco Mazzieri said "we are not happy" after the game. Lin retired cleanup hitter Mario Chiarini on a fly to center to end the top of the 9th.
In the bottom of the inning, Chris Di Roma got two quick outs with the #8 hitter coming up. He walked C Chun-Chang Yeh, though, and LF Ying-Chieh Liao singled. SS Chih-Sheng Lin worked the count to 2-2 from Di Roma. Lin appeared to go around on a check swing on Di Roma's next offering but the first base umpire said he did not swing in another questionable call against Italy and in favor of the home team. Given new life, Lin singled to right to score Yeh with the game's only run in the most controversial game of the tournament to that point.
|Win: Mitchinson (1-0) Loss: Márquez (0-2) Save: Thomas (1)|
The Aussies kept up their penchant for close wins while Germany continued to exceed expectations, hanging in this game until the end. In the first, CF Trent Oeltjen singled off of Enorbel Márquez's pitching hand and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Collins. Márquez remained in the game despite the injury, going the distance to generally contain an offense with two major leaguers and at least three others with a good chance of making it to The Show.
Germany came back in the 8th when C and cleanup hitter Kai Gronauer doubled off of Tristan Crawford to score Jens Heymer and Jendrick Speer. In the 9th, Germany got two men on with one out, aided by an error by Aussie SS Brad Harman. Brad Thomas struck out the next batter, CF Sascha Lutz, but then threw a wild pitch to put both runners into scoring position for #2 batter Speer. Speer only managed a weak ground ball out to 2B Luke Hughes to end the game as Australia again went to the final play.
Oeltjen (4 for 4, 2 R) again led Australia, while Lutz was 2 for 5 with a double for Germany.
|Win: Musser (1-0) Loss: Ekermans (0-2) Save: Booker (2)|
Just like Australia, the US had a surprisingly close battle. CF Colby Rasmus opened the game with a single, stole second and scored on a double by 3B Andy LaRoche. 1B Steve Pearce singled in LaRoche. In the second inning, LaRoche brought in another run by hitting a sacrifice fly to drive in SS Brian Bixler. In the 4th, LaRoche once again came up big, driving home Rasmus. The US failed to score again while South Africa narrowed the game to a 2-run contest before falling. LaRoche (3 for 3, R, 3 RBI) was a one-man show for the US, taking part in all the team's runs, while Pearce (3 for 4) and Rasmus (2 for 3) provided good support.
|Win: Banos (2-0) Loss: Tongthong (0-2)|
Cuba locked up first place in Pool B with one of the milder routs of Thailand as many starters were rested. 3B Yulieski Gourriel homered twice. 2B Rudy Reyes was the only Cuban position player starter not to score, but drove in 3 and doubled twice. C Yosvany Peraza smacked a long 3-run homer as well.
|Win: Boyd (1-0) Loss: Lee (1-1) Save: van Mil (2)|
In a match-up of 3-2 teams vying for a quarterfinal slot, the Netherlands improved their hopes with a 5-1 victory over South Korea.
2000 Olympian Seung-ho Lee fanned 5 of the first 7 batters he faced. Two errors by 3B Yong-kyu Choi helped the Netherlands threaten but Lee struck out SS Hainley Statia and DH Sharnol Adriana. In the 4th, cleanup hitter/catcher Sidney de Jong homered to left to put the Dutch ahead 1-0. 1B Vince Rooi drew a walk, advanced on a ground-out and scored on a broken-bat single by Roel Koolen for a 2-0 edge.
Lee struck out his 10th and 11th batters to open the fifth, but Adriana homered to left, giving himself a sweet present for his 37th birthday. #9 hitter Choi homered in the bottom of the fifth to close it to 3-1. Rooi capped the scoring with a 2-run single to score Raily Legito and Adriana.
Koolen was 3 for 5 with a RBI and two steals.
If South Korea beats Germany in the last round-robin game, they advance if either the Netherlands or Canada losses, meaning they have a pretty good chance to move on.
The Netherlands can advance with a win over Cuba or if they lose to Cuba and South Korea loses to Germany. Either situation would be unlikely but not impossible.
|Win: Saito (2-0) Loss: Corradini (0-1)|
Italy's hopes to advance took a major hit with a loss to Japan in another matchup of 3-2 teams. Italy fell into a 3-way tie for fourth in Pool A while Japan moved into third in the Pool. Kenichi Yokoyama tripled in the third and came home on a Tsutohu Sasaki sac fly. In the 4th, Japan piled it on with a 3-run triple by Sasaki being the big hit as the team batted around the order. The Italian bats went silent with only Mario Chiarini and Leonardo Zileri collecting hits.
Italy needed a game 7 loss by Panama to South Africa and a win over Mexico to advance.
|Win: Delgadillo (1-1) Loss: Hernandez (0-2)|
Yoel Hernandez was roughed up for the second straight outing while Mexico won its third straight as its revival continued with a rout to remain in quarterfinal contention, tying Italy and Panama for 4th in Pool A. Mexico needed to beat Italy and for Panama to lose to South Africa to advance.
|Win: Yang (2-0) Loss: Acosta (0-1)|
Taiwan tied the US atop Pool A and clinched a spot in the quarterfinals with an easy rout of the defending Bronze Medalists. Two errors by C Nelson Robledo helped Taiwan put five runs on the board in the sixth in the easy rout.
|Win: Avery (1-1) Loss: Torres (1-1)|
Canada tied the Netherlands for third in Pool B by beating Venezuela. In the first, Taylor Green hit a sacrifice fly to score Emmanuel Garcia with Canada's first. In the third, Saul Torres homered against James Avery to tie the score, but Avery would allow no more runs and just two other hits in a 6-inning stint. Nick Weglarz doubled home Green in the 4th and came home on a Chris Robinson single. In the 5th, Mike Saunders homered with Matt Rogelstad aboard for his 3rd homer of the Cup. Venezuela challenged in the 9th but T.J. Burton came on to close it up for Canada.
|Win: Bergman (1-0) Loss: Martinez (0-1)|
Cuba lost its first World Cup game since 2001 and lost to a European team for the first time ever in Cup play as the Dutch used exquisite pitching to put this one away. The Netherlands clinched a spot in the quarterfinals with the win.
In the second inning, C Sidney de Jong and LF Bryan Engelhardt singled against Arley Sanchez. After 1B Vince Rooi was retired, RF Dirk van 't Klooster singled in de Jong. Diegomar Markwell, coming off his rough game against Germany, held Cuba hitless until the fourth, when 1B Alexander Mayeta singled.
Rooi doubled to open the fifth and van 't Klooster walked. 2B Roel Koolen bunted both runners over but reliever Yuniesky Maya fanned CF Martijn Meeuwis and SS Hainley Statia. Cuba got two singles in the sixth but 3B Yulieski Gourriel chopped into an inning-ending double play.
In the 7th, LF Frederich Cepeda singled with one out and advanced on a ground out by RF Yoandry Urgelles. DH Osmani Urrutia singled to right and Cepeda barely beat van 't Klooster's throw to de Jong at the plate. David Bergman relieved the tiring Markwell and got C Ariel Pestano on strikes to end the inning.
In the 8th, 3B Raily Legito flew to left against Jonder Martinez but Cepeda lost it in the sun and Legito had himself a single. Martinez threw a wild pitch. Veteran slugger DH Sharnol Adriana fouled off four pitches before depositing one into left field for a hit. Third-base coach Wim Martinus decided to send Legito, who managed to race home ahead of the throw for a 2-1 Dutch lead.
Pedro Luis Lazo came on for the 9th. He allowed a van' t Klooster single. Koolen hit into a force. Meeuwis singled but Koolen was thrown out trying for third. Statia singled but Legito struck out to end that inning. Bergman cruised through the 9th, retiring Gourriel on a pop-up on a 3-0 count, getting Mayeta to fly out and then whiffing Cepeda to complete the historic win.
It was Cuba's second loss ever against the Netherlands - the prior one had come in the 2000 Olympics. Adriana, Legito and van 't Klooster played in both games. Cuba had won 32 straight World Cup games before this defeat and 88 of their prior 90 (dating to 1986).
|Win: Kamar (1-1) Loss: Ferrari (0-1)|
Italy was eliminating from competition with a staggering loss to Mexico, their third defeat in a row. It was Mexico's 4th straight win after a 0-3 start as the two teams were headed into opposite direction. Mexico kept their quarterfinal hopes alive, but they needed Panama to be upset by South Africa to advance.
7 Italian pitchers failed to slow the Mexican bats, with former big leaguer Anthony Ferrari giving up 2 runs in 2 1/3 innings for the defeat. Jose Felix (3 for 4) led the Mexican offense, while Emil Kamar allowed 2 runs in over 5 innings for the win. Four relievers closed it for the Mexicans. Italy got a solo homer from Mario Chiarini.
|Win: Gronkiewicz (1-0) Loss: Shen (0-1) Save: Booker (3)|
The US and Taiwan met for first place in Pool A and the US won a high-scoring battle, 10-7. Justin Ruggiano (3 for 4, 2 HR, BB, 5 RBI) powered the US attack and hit the 3-run homer in the 7th that put the US ahead for good.
|Win: Lee (1-0) Loss: Henkenjohann (0-2)|
Thanks to the Dutch defeat of Cuba, South Korea's quarterfinal hopes were up in the air even with a win here, as they needed Canada to fall to Australia. They cruised to victory as expected. Germany made it through the tourney without a single 7-inning mercy rule defeat, a probable source of pride for a team that had not competed in the Cup for three decades.
|Win: Bright (2-0) Loss: S. Richmond (0-2) Save: Thomas (2)|
With the final quaterfinal spot up in Pool B available, Canada needed a win. Australia denied their bid with their 6th close game in the seven round-robin games, one that went back and forth all day.
Australia got going early on when CF Trent Oeltjen began by reaching on a Matt Rogelstad error. Oeltjen stole second and advanced on a ground out by SS Brad Harman. LF Justin Huber knocked in Oeltjen with a single against Jon Lockwood. RF Ben Risinger doubled to right to make it 2-0.
Jimmy Van Ostrand got Canada going in the bottom of the second with a single and Jamie Romak drew a walk from Adrian Burnside. One out later, Chris Robinson singled home Van Ostrand to move Canada within a run.
Canada continued to rally in the third. Kevin Nicholson was hit by a Burnside pitch. Jeremy Ware grounded into a force at second. Mike Saunders laid down a bunt hit. Canada then pulled off a double steal successfully. Van Ostrand and Romak hit back-to-back singles as the Canadians took a 3-2 lead.
Saunders doubled in the fifth against Josh Hill but was stranded when Van Ostrand flew out and Romak grounded out.
In the sixth, Australia got back into it when Harman reached on a two-base error by 3B Taylor Green. Brad took another base on a fly out by Huber. Lockwood plunked Risinger. 3B Glenn Williams grounded to short but Canada could only get the out at second as Harman came home to tie the score at three apiece. Mike Kusiewicz relieved Lockwood. 1B Brett Roneberg reached on another Rogelstad error and DH Tom Brice singled to load the bags. Scott Richmond replaced Kusiewicz and retired C Andrew Graham to end the threat.
In the bottom of the 6th, Sébastien Boucher reached on a two-out error by Harman and came home on a hit by Rogelstad to put Canada ahead once more, 4-3. In the 7th, Oeltjen doubled against Richmond and scored on a two-out single by Huber as Australia once again tied it up. Green doubled off of Adam Bright in the bottom of the 8th but Bright retired Robinson and Boucher to keep it even.
#9 hitter/2B Luke Hughes doubled with one out in the top of the 9th and Oeltjen was walked intentionally. Harman doubled to center to bring in Hughes. Terry Puhl called for another intentional walk, this one to Huber. Former major leaguer Mike Johnson was summoned from the bullpen to face Risinger, the cleanup hitter. Risinger smacked a 2-run single to left for a 7-4 Aussie lead. Williams grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the top of the inning.
Canada rallied in the bottom of the frame. Bright walked Rogelstad. Brendan Wise relieved Bright. PH Emerson Frostad also drew a walk. PH Nick Weglarz then singled to center to bring home Rogelstad. Brad Thomas came in from the bullpen. Saunders added another RBI single to score Frostad. Van Ostrand bunted Weglarz and Saunders into scoring position. Jon Deeble called for an intentional walk to Jamie Romak to load the bases with one out. Mets farmhand Emmanuel Garcia pinch-hit for Green and grounded to short. Harman bobbled the ball while touching second and then threw to first to complete the game-ending double play. Before manager Puhl could go to argue over Panamanian umpire Edgar Estivison's call at second, the umpires had left the field. Puhl said "It's a disappointing loss. The players did everything they possibly could and we get a very poorly called play at the end of the ball game."
|Win: Pargas (1-0) Loss: Thongbai (0-2)|
Thailand had its best offensive game of the tournament but again lost in 7. DH Luis Alen (3 for 5) and 1B Dennis Torres (3 for 3) both drove in four runs as Venezuela won for the second time to lock up 6th place in Pool B.
|Win: Gomez (2-0) Loss: Michaels (0-2)|
Panama won this one easily, with the offense paced by RF Freddy Herrera (2 for 3, 3B, 3 RBI) and DH Earl Agnoly (3 for 4, 2 2B, RBI). South African SS Brett Willemburg made four errors to lead to five unearned runs. Unfortunately, Panama was then removed from round two when it was discovered that they did not properly insure five players with MLB ties, giving them forfeits against Spain and the US and allowing Mexico to advance.
|Win: Kotaka (1-0) Loss: Gutierrez (0-1)|
Japan was shut down by Manny Olivera, the Spanish team ace. The Barcelona native had pitched in the US minor leagues (as high as AA) and Holland and only allowed two hits and two runs in six innings today despite issuing six walks. Spain scored three in the sixth when reliever Satoshi Nagaoka faltered, allowing 4 hits. Former US minor leaguer (and cup-of-coffee Cuban Leaguer) Nestor Perez drove in two for Spain. Jumpei Murakami drove in Tetsuya Kokubo with the tying run in the 8th against reliever Remigio Leal. With Fernando Gutierrez on the hill in the bottom of the 9th, 2B Ken Kume singled and scored one out later on a hit by RF Kei Nomoto to give Japan the game and avoid a major upset.
Quarterfinals (Nov. 16)
|Win: van Kampen (1-1) Loss: Keng (0-1)|
The home team was eliminated from medal competition while the Dutch team ensured they would at least match their best finish ever in World Cup action (4th place, 2005) in an exciting game before over 9,000 fans.
The Dutch challenged from the top of the first, when a 3B Tai-Shan Chang error and C Sidney de Jong single got two men aboard, but En-Yu Lin whiffed LF Bryan Engelhardt to end the inning. It was Lin's 3rd strikeout of the inning following his 13-K performance against Italy in a crucial win earlier.
In the bottom of the third, LF Ying-Chieh Liao doubled with one out against Rob Cordemans. SS Chih-Sheng Lin then hit a long drive to right that fell short of the wall and became a RBI double instead. After a second out, RF Chen-Min Peng hit a check-swing single into right to bring home Lin for a 2-0 edge. Cleanup hitter Chin-Feng Chen hit a bad-hop grounder to third but Raily Legito handled it cleanly and threw to second for the force.
Lin retired 13 in a row from the first until the sixth, when the Netherlands rallied. Backup CF Martijn Meeuwis drew a walk and was bunted over by SS Hainley Statia. Legito doubled to left to score Meeuwis and make it 2-1.
Despite having struck out 7 and allowed just 2 hits, 2 walks and one run in six , En-Yu Lin was yanked in the 7th in favor of another hurler with NPB experience, Ming-Chieh Hsu. In the 8th, Statia reached on a one-out error by Chih-Sheng Lin and Legito drew a walk. DH Sharnol Adriana hit a long shot into left-center but CF Kuo-Hui Lo made a running grab to save the play for Taiwan. Toronto Blue Jays farmhand Po-Hsuan Keng relieved Hsu and got out of the inning by retiring de Jong.
Engelhardt gave a scare in the top of the 9th by hitting one into the right-field seats but it was foul. He struck out and Keng retired RF Dirk van 't Klooster. 1B Vince Rooi, a long-time class A infielder who had played a while at AA, then hit a homer to left off of Keng to give the Dutch the amazing hit to keep them alive.
In the bottom of the 9th, Chang hit a one-out drive into center and Seattle Mariners prospect Greg Halman (who had replaced Meeuwis in CF) lost it in the sun and it fell in for two bases. Halman was soon given sunglasses to prevent a similar miscue. Loek van Mil intentionally walked Chia-Hsian Hsieh. CF Kuo-Hui Lo flew out to Halman and C Chun-Chang Yeh lined out to 2B Roel Koolen to end that inning.
de Jong opened the 11th with a single against Keng, now in his 4th inning of work. Fu-Te Ni came out of the bullpen to relieve Keng. Engelhardt, known primarily for his power, laid down a bunt and Ni promptly erred on his throw to second to put two men aboard. van 't Klooster also bunted, this time advancing both runners. Not wanting to be scorched again by Rooi, Taiwan intentionally walked the first baseman to load the bases. Ni whiffed Koolen for out number two. Halman then smacked a double to left, scoring de Jong and Engelhardt. Statia dropped a single into right, bringing home Rooi and Halman for a 6-2 lead.
In the bottom of the 11th, RF Chen-Min Peng hit a double against Michiel van Kampen. Chen grounded Peng over. Chang grounded out to Koolen, scoring Peng to close it to 6-3. Chia-Hsian Hsieh then flew to Engelhardt in left to end the game as the home squad fell out of medal contention.
Chih-Sheng Lin (2 for 5, 2B, R, RBI) and Chen-Min Peng (2 for 5, 2B, R, RBI) led Taiwan's hitters. For the Netherlands, several players contributed including Halman (1 for 2, 2 RBI), van Mil and van Kampen (a combined 5 2/3 relief innings, allowing one run), de Jong (2 for 5, R) and Rooi (1 for 4, BB, HR, 2 R, RBI).
|Win: Settsu (3-0) Loss: Blackley (0-1) Save: Kohhei (2)|
Tadashi Settsu and Hasebe Kohhei shut out the Aussies in the day's upset as Australia was denied what would have been their first semifinal trip ever in Cup history. 1B Brett Roneberg and C Andrew Graham reached in the third but 2B Luke Hughes was retired to end the inning. CF Hisayoshi Chono homered off of Travis Blackley in the third for the game's first score. Australia got two aboard in the 4th but Roneberg and Graham came up empty. In the seventh, C Kenji Suzuki singled and scored on a hit by 2B Kanya Suzuki (who was out trying for a double on the play). A bases-loaded walk by Dushan Ruzic in the 9th forced in Japan's third and last run. 3B Glenn Williams, Roneberg and C Matthew Kent went down in order in the bottom of the 9th as Australia fell.
|Win: Adiel Palma (1-0) Loss: Rodriguez (0-2)|
With Panama out, Cuba got an even easier draw in Mexico and wasted no time in putting this one away. Adiel Palma, Yuniesky Maya and Jonder Martinez teamed up for the shutout. No Cuban player had more than one hit. In the bottom of the first, 3B Yulieski Gourriel drove in one run. In the fifth, Gourriel drove in another and LF Frederich Cepeda singled in two more. RF Yoandry Urgellés homered in the 8th with Cepeda aboard to wrap up the scoring. CF Alfredo Despaigne (3 for 19 with no runs entering the game) and 2B Hector Olivera both scored twice.
|Win: Karstens (2-0) Loss: Chang (1-1) Save: Stevens (1)|
The US quickly got all they needed when 2B Jayson Nix reached in the first and Andy LaRoche homered. Two innings later, Steve Pearce singled in Nix for the US's last run of the contest. Jang-ho Bae pitched four innings of one-hit relief. South Korea finally got through in the 7th against Jeff Karstens, when Joo-chan Kim scored on a grounder. Jeff Stevens wrapped up the win for his first save of the Cup.
Semifinals (Nov. 17)
|Win: Wright (2-0) Loss: Bergman (1-1)|
After having upset Cuba, the Dutch team stayed in this one until the end but got no offense going. It was an interesting managerial match-up as the US's Davey Johnson had been Robert Eenhoorn's assistant manager on the Dutch team in 2003-2004. The Netherlands had won the last World Cup game between the teams, back in 1998.
The US got going in a jiffy when CF Colby Rasmus homered on David Bergman's second pitch of the game. It was the only run allowed by the 2007 Hoofdklasse win leader, though, as he shut down the USA prospects for the next six innings.
In the 4th inning, 3B Raily Legito and DH Sharnol Adriana singled against Matt Wright. On Adriana's hit, Legito took third and Adriana moved to second on the throw. Catcher and cleanup hitter Sidney de Jong struck out but LF Bryan Engelhardt drew a walk to load the bases. 1B Vince Rooi failed to come through, though, hitting into a double play to ruin the Netherlands' best threat. de Jong almost homered in the sixth but LF Delwyn Young made the catch inches from the wall.
The US put some insurance aboard in the bottom of the 8th. Bergman walked SS Brian Bixler and Rasmus laid down a bunt single. 2B Jayson Nix singled home Bixler. Dave Draijer relieved and Nix stole second. 3B Andy LaRoche drew a walk. 1B Steve Pearce then singled to left to make it 4-0. DH Evan Longoria struck out but Young drew a walk. RF Justin Ruggiano hit a sacrifice fly for the game's last run.
Adriana singled against closer Chris Booker to open the 9th inning but de Jong and Engelhardt struck out. Rooi drew a walk then RF Dirk van 't Klooster popped up to end the game as the US moved to the semifinals for the first time since 2001.
|Win: Chapman (2-0) Loss: Takashi Saito (1-1) Save: Maya (1)|
Cuba advanced to the semifinals with a close win over Japan. Aroldis Chapman was the key to success as he allowed only 3 hits, 2 walks and a run in 8 innings while striking out 11.
Cuba got on the board in the 4th when DH Osmani Urrutia hit into a bases-loaded force out, scoring 3B Yulieski Gourriel. C Ariel Pestano singled home 1B Alexander Mayeta and SS Eduardo Paret followed with a single to score Urrutia for a 3-0 lead. Kenichi Yokoyama tripled in the only run allowed by Chapman in the 7th.
Cuba put on some insurance in the 9th when CF Alfredo Despaigne doubled in Paret then came around on a hit by Gourriel. Despaigne was 3 for 5 for the day.
|Win: A. Blackley (1-0) Loss: Cardenas (1-1)|
3B Glenn Williams homered in the second to put Australia ahead and they never looked back in their second-easiest win of the tournament, clinching their highest finish ever (5th or 6th). Australia batted around the order in the third inning in putting five runs on the board to put the game out of reach of Mexico.
A brawl erupted in the 7th inning. David Dominguez hit CF Trent Oeltjen on the back with a pitch. As Oeltjen was the second Australian hit in a three-inning span, he decided to try to run up the score by stealing second, infuriating Mexico. Oeltjen was picked off of second and a verbal dispute erupted between Oeltjen and the Mexican infielders. Both benches cleared out.
Five Australians had multiple hits in support of six strong innings from Adam Blackley, a day after his brother had been handed the loss that eliminated the club from medal contention.
|Win: Hwang (1-1) Loss: Yang (2-1) Save: Song (1)|
Finals (Nov. 18)
|Win: Shell (1-0) Loss: Marti (1-1) Save: Stevens (2)|
Team USA won its third Baseball World Cup but its first IBAF-sponsored World Cup (the prior two had come from the splinter FEMBA group in the 1970s). It was the first time the US had beaten Cuba in the Cup finals.
After his near-perfect game in the round-robin, Yadel Marti was not as sharp in this outing. LF Delwyn Young, RF Justin Ruggiano and C Jason Jaramillo got three straight singles in the second to put the US on the board first. After Marti walked SS Brian Bixler, he was replaced by Norberto Gonzalez. Gonzalez issued bases-loaded walks to CF Colby Rasmus and 2B Jayson Nix to force in two more runs for a 3-0 US lead.
3B Evan Longoria opened the third inning with a single against Yuniesky Maya and Ruggiano added one as well. Jamarillo then doubled home Longoria for a 4-0 lead. Nix led off the 4th with a homer and the US held a strong 5-0 cushion.
Brian Duensing finally allowed Cuba some offense in the bottom of the fifth. With RF Yoandry Urgellés aboard, SS Eduardo Paret singled and a misplay by Young put both men in scoring position. CF Alfredo Despaigne dropped in a two-run single to close it to 5-2. Steven Shell relieved Duensing and retired 2B Rudy Reyes to end the inning.
With Jonder Martinez on the hill in the 7th, Longoria singled and Young doubled to right. Ruggiano drove one into center to score Longoria, but Despaigne threw out Young in his attempt to come home on the play.
Shell finally began to fade in the bottom of the 8th when 3B Yulieski Gourriel doubled and came home on a single by 1B Alexander Mayeta to make the score 6-3. Jerry Blevins came out of the bullpen to retire LF Frederich Cepeda to end the inning.
Urgelles grounded out to open the 9th. Jeff Stevens became the US's 4th pitcher and he struck out six-time Cuban National Series batting champion Osmani Urrutia. C Ariel Pestano then flew out to Ruggiano to end the game as Cuba walked away disappointing in their bid for a 10th straight Cup title. Any other team would have been happy with their Silver Medal.
|Win: Settsu (4-0) Loss: Boyd (1-1)|
The Dutch team tried to become the first European team to win a Medal since 1938 but finished fourth for the second straight tournament. As they had home field advantage in the 2005 Baseball World Cup, this one might have been even more notable. Japan got great pitching once again from Tadashi Settsu, this time on one day's rest, as the Netherlands offense went cold for the second straight game after their upset of Cuba and win over South Korea.
Leon Boyd matched Settsu for five innings. 2B Kanya Suzuki opened the sixth with a single and was bunted over to second. LF Takashi Yoshiura, the 2003 Cup MVP, then doubled to right. It was a close call as the ball was almost right on the foul line but Mexican 1B umpire Carlos Campechano called it fair. One out later, 1B Yasuyuki Saigo was intentionally walked to bring up 3B Kenichi Yokoyama, who singled home Yoshiura for a 2-0 lead. Loek van Mil relieved Boyd and whiffed RF Kei Nomoto.
van Mil walked Yoshiura to open the 8th and was replaced by Michiel van Kampen. The 2007 Holland Series MVP struggled, allowing hits to CF Hisayoshi Chono and Saigo to make it 3-0. OF Greg Halman's throw to third on the Saigo hit went past 3B Raily Legito but Legito cleanly fielded the carom to get Chono out. van Kampen then plunked Yokoyama. Diegomar Markwell relieved and promptly yielded a 2-run double to Nomoto for Japan to go up 5-0.
Kohhei Hasebe relieved Settsu in the bottom of the 8th and pitched two scoreless frames of one-hit ball to wrap it up.
Legito and 1B Vince Rooi had the only hits for the Netherlands.
|Win: Cho (1-0) Loss: Wiltshire (1-1) Save: Hyun (1)|
Australia's bright hopes after a 6-1 round-robin (in which their lone loss was by one run to Cuba) came to a crashing halt with a 1-2 final round to finish 6th. It still marked their best finish ever in a World Cup, but for a team with more established MLB players than anyone except the US it was presumably a disappointment. They certainly provided the most drama of the tournament, down to their final at-bat.
CF Trent Oeltjen continued his amazing tournament. He opened the bottom of the first with a single then stole second. SS Brad Harman walked and the two pulled off a double steal. LF Justin Huber singled to right to score Oeltjen and Harman came home on a fielder's choice. 3B Glenn Williams hit into a double play and Australia's offense failed to come through after that.
Australia got two men into scoring position in the second but for once, Oeltjen failed to do the job, striking out.
South Korea finally got going offensively in the sixth. CF Seung-hwa Lee walked with one out and 1B Han-joon Yoo singled against Greg Wiltshire (a diesel mechanic and the only player on Australia not affiliated with a professional team; Wiltshire had pitched in the independent leagues in the US). LF Ji-wan Na singled to make it 2-1. Colorado Rockies farmhand Adam Bright relieved. DH Jae-woong Yoo singled to load the bases. SS Si-hyun Son then cracked a bases-clearing triple for a 4-2 South Korean lead and the game's big hit.
Australia wasn't done yet. Oeltjen laid down a bunt hit against Jae-yoon Hyun. Harman grounded Oeltjen over and Huber flew out, but RF Ben Risinger drew a walk to bring up the tying run in Williams. Williams slapped an infield single to load the bases. 1B Michael Collins hit a long fly to left field but it wasn't far enough as Na caught it to end the game.
|Win: Delgadillo (2-1) Loss: Huang (1-1) Save: Cobos (1)|
It was a tale of teams headed in opposite directions. Mexico, which had started 0-3, finished 7th, while host Taiwan dropped their 4th in a row after a 5-1 beginning.
18-year-old Chih-Lung Huang was roughed up by Mexico (3 runs in 2 IP) and a late Taiwan rally was insufficient. CF Sergio Contreras (2 for 3, RBI) and C Jose Felix (2 for 4, 2 RBI) paced Mexico while Juan Delgadillo, Emil Kamar and Jose Cobos allowed only one earned run. 3B Tai-Shan Chang doubled twice in four at-bats and drove in one. It was definitely a disappointing finish for Taiwan after a promising start to the competition.
- USA, 9-1
- Cuba, 8-2
- Japan, 7-3
- Netherlands, 6-4
- South Korea, 6-4
- Australia, 7-3
- Mexico, 5-5
- Taiwan, 5-5
- Canada, 4-3
- Italy, 3-4
- Panama, 3-4
- Venezuela, 2-5
- Spain, 2-5
- Germany, 1-6
- South Africa, 0-7
- Thailand, 0-7
Awards and Honors
Best Defensive Player: Hainley Statia, Netherlands SS
- C: Sidney de Jong, Netherlands
- 1B: Yasuyuki Saigo, Japan
- 2B: Jayson Nix, USA
- SS: Si-hyun Son, South Korea
- 3B: Efren Espinoza, Mexico
- OF: Trent Oeltjen, Australia
- OF: Frederich Cepeda, Cuba
- OF: Colby Rasmus, USA
- DH: Maximiliano De Biase, Italy
- RHP: Tadashi Settsu, Japan
- LHP: Aroldis Chapman, Cuba
Australia had their best Cup ever, one of the top individual performers and tied for the best record in the round-robin but their struggles in the final round hurt as they finished sixth with a 7-3 record. They outscored opponents 61-29. CF Trent Oeltjen (.523/~.580/.614) led the tournament in runs (12), steals (7) and average and was Australia's lone All-Star representative. Other offensive contributors were LF Justin Huber (.381/~.422/.476), 2B Luke Hughes (.333/~.368/.583, 11 RBI) and C Matthew Kent (.316/~.350/.526). Dushan Ruzic allowed no runs in 9 1/3 IP and no decisions to lead the staff, while brothers Adam Blackley (1-0, 1.42) and Travis Blackley (0-1, 1.64) were other effective moundsmen.
Canada was the only team with a winning record (4-3) in the round-robin that did not make the quarterfinals. They outscored opponents 50-22. While they had no All-Stars, several players stood out - 2B-3B Matt Rogelstad (.484/~.515/.871, 3 triples, 8 R), OF Nick Weglarz (.455/~.500/.818), SS-2B Kevin Nicholson (.500/~.611/.857) and DH Mike Saunders (.381/~.533/.870, 3 HR). Brooks McNiven (1-0, 0.00) and Jamie Richmond (1-0, 0.00) led the staff.
Cuba had their long record of winning Cups come to an end, leaving the Pan American Games as the only tournament they had a long unbroken stretch of titles in. They still won the Silver handily and scored 59 runs while allowing 22. LF Frederich Cepeda (.444/.512/.694, 8 RBI) and P Aroldis Chapman (2-0, 1.20, 9 H, 20 K in 15 IP) made the All-Star team. Also producing well were backup 2B Rudy Reyes (.357/.375/.571) and RF Yoandry Urgellés (.294/.375/.647, 11 RBI). Adiel Palma (1-0, 0.87), Arley Sanchez (1.69) and Vladimir Banos (2-0, 1.88) also posted ERAs under 2. Pedro Luis Lazo had a 6.75 ERA, worst on the staff, despite extending his modern (post-1981) record for wins and saves in the World Cup.
Germany could take pride in not having one 7-inning mercy-rule game, the kind weaker European, African and Asian teams often experienced in past Cups (and which Spain, South Africa and Thailand all faced here). Dirk Fries (1-0, 0 R in 2 2/3 IP) had the team's first win ever in Cup action while Michael Otto allowed no runs in 6 1/3 IP. Enorbel Marquez was 0-2, but with a 3.21 ERA. Four pitchers had ERAs over 10 and the staff ERA was 7.21. Germany was outscored 52-13. The team hit .167/.230/.233 overall and made 9 errors in 7 games. C-DH Markus Gienger hit .300/.300/.300 as one of only two players to hit above .200.
Italy had a nice rebound from their 2007 European Championship to upset Team USA and go 3-4 in Marco Mazzieri's debut as coach. Three straight losses after a 3-1 start, though, kept them out of the quarterfinals; a win over Mexico would have gotten them in. They were the only team to beat the Americans this tournament. They were outscored 31-27. All-Star DH Maximiliano De Biase (.520/.571/.800) and RF Mario Chiarini (.261/.346/.609) paced the attack while CF Laidel Chapellí (.125/.125/.125) and 1B Giuseppe Mazzanti (.095/.174/.143) struggled. Tony Fiore (1-0, 0.75), Junior Oberto (1-0, 0 ER in 6 IP) and Cody Cillo (1-0, 1.50) led the staff while Roberto Corradini (0-1, 10.38) and Chris Di Roma (0-1, 9.82) were the least effective pitchers.
Japan had a 59-25 edge in runs in claiming the Bronze Medal despite an all-amateur outfit. A lot of credit belongs to All-Star P Tadashi Settsu (4-0, 0.31, 1 R, 11 H, 36 K in 28 2/3 IP). Two relievers were very good - Kohhei Hasebe (no runs in 9 IP, 2 saves) and Koichi Kotaka (1-0, 0 R in 9 2/3 IP) - while two other hurlers had ERAs over 10. CF Hisayoshi Chono (.457/.486/.657) and 3B Kenichi Yokoyama (.313/.463/.563, 4 triples) provided strong offensive support for All-Star 1B Yasuyuki Saigo (.391/.611/.696, 10 RBI, 10 BB).
Mexico went 5-5 to bounce back well after a 0-3 start. They outscored opponents 64-49. David Dominguez (0 R in 6 IP) and Jose Cobos (1-0, Sv, 1.13, 3 H in 8 IP) paced the pitchers. CF Sergio Contreras (.419/.486/.710, 9 R) and All-Star 3B Efren Espinoza (.424/.558/.636, 8 R) sparked the offense. 1B Baltazar Lopez (.273/.316/.545) drove in 12 runs.
Netherlands had their second straight fourth place finish, their best ever. This time was probably more impressive as they had home-field advantage in 2005 and they beat the powerful Cuban team. On the other hand, they suffered back-to-back shutouts in the semifinals and the Bronze Medal Game. They scored 55 runs and allowed 35. The balanced offense included 1B Vince Rooi (.324/.405/.514, 8 R, 8 RBI), All-Star C Sidney de Jong (.314/.359/.429), LF Bryan Engelhardt (.258/.378/.484) and CF Roger Bernadina (.357/.500/.429). Kenny Berkenbosch (2-0, 0 R, 3 H in 10 1/3 IP) led the staff while newcomer Loek van Mil (2 Sv, 0.71, 3 H in 12 2/3 IP) made a great debut with the national squad.
Panama was unable to win a Medal for the third straight Cup due to their failing to properly insure their players with MLB ties, giving them two forfeits after appeals were filed. Had they made the quarterfinals, though, they would have played Cuba and their chances would have been limited. The team hit just .223/.271/.294 and was outscored 25-16. The only effective starters were 1B-3B Audes de Leon (.375/.400/.417) and DH Sherman Obando (.389/.476/.611). Miguel Gomez (1-0, Sv, 0 R in 6 2/3 IP) and Rafael Medina (1-0, 0 R in 7 IP) led an effective pitching staff.
South Africa was one of two 0-7 teams. They were better than Thailand but were still outscored 72-14. No pitcher who threw more than one inning had an ERA under 5 as the staff ERA was 7.90. The team batted .222/.272/.282 overall. The top batter was cup-of-coffee minor leaguer Brett Willemburg (.304/.385/.435), but he struggled in the field with a .833 fielding percentage and 8 errors in seven games.
South Korea had a 48-22 edge in runs as they finished fifth. Top hitters were CF Seung-hwa Lee (.378/.429/.568) and All-Star SS Si-hyun Son (.417/.452/.583, 11 R, 9 RBI). The staff ERA was 2.21 with only one pitcher above 7. Yong-hoon Cho (1-0, 0.00), Shin-young Song (1 Sv, 0 R in 7 2/3 IP) and Doo-sung Hwang (1-1, 0.75, 16 K, 3 H, 1 BB in 12 IP) all pitched very well.
Spain earned one win and got another through Panama's forfeit based on a technicality. Spain was outscored 63-18. They had a 9.94 staff ERA, with five pitchers over 10. The only hurler with an ERA under 4.7 was Manny Olivera (1-0, 1.46, 4 H, 16 K in 12 1/3 IP). C Dewis Navarro (.429/.455/.619) was one of their top hitters as he had been in the 2005 Cup.
Chinese Taipei had a 60-40 edge in runs and finished 8th, an improvement on 2005. But as they were the host and had started 5-1, things went downhill quickly with their 0-4 finish. Worse, they had sent something close to their "A" team while the last two teams that beat them, Mexico and South Korea, clearly had not done so. They were the only team in the top eight not to have a single representative on the All-Star team. The top hitters were 3B Tai-Shan Chang (.366/.386/.610, 7 2B, 10 R), DH Chin-Feng Chen (.302/.362/.512, 11 R) and 1B Chia-Hsian Hsieh (.343/.432/.657, 7 BB, 3 HR, 10 RBI). On the other hand, two starters failed to slug even .200. En-Yu Lin (1-0, 0.56, 21 K in 16 IP) and Chien-Fu Yang (2-1, 1.00) clearly led the staff but three other hurlers had ERAs of 6 or higher.
Thailand, as expected, was clearly the worst team. They were outscored 93-7. Only one pitcher had an ERA under 20 - Krissada Heebthong (0-2, 2.40, 12 BB in 15 IP). The team just batted .148/.215/.159. C Somsak Sarnwit led the hitters with a .273/.429/.364 batting line.
United States certainly accomplished their objectives, with their first World Cup medal with Cuba participating in the event. The sole blemish was the 6-2 round-robin loss to Italy, a team that missed the quarterfinals. They had a 50-22 edge in runs. The team slugged .519 and had a 1.50 ERA. The team's top hitters were C Bryan Anderson (.455/.538/.909 in 4 games), DH-3B Andy LaRoche (.333/.410/.697, 3 HR, 10 RBI), MVP 2B Jayson Nix (.387/.444/.742, 9 R), All-Star CF Colby Rasmus (.382/.500/.706) and RF Justin Ruggiano (.333/.432/.633, 3 HR). Pitching well were Jeff Karstens (2-0, 0.69), Matt Wright (1-0, 1.00) and Jeff Stevens (2 Sv, 0 R in 4 2/3 IP). Only two pitchers had ERAs over 2.
Venezuela was only outscored 37-36 but finished a weak 2-5, only beating bottom-dwelling Germany and Thailand. They were much more competitive than those two teams, though. No player stood out on offense. Jesus Yepes (0-1, 1.08) and Javier Garcia (1.29) led the staff.
- Baseball Canada
- Marco Stoovelaar's Dutch baseball site
- Italian Baseball and Softball Federation
- World Cup coverage at Baseball de Cuba.com
- MLB.com coverage of Team USA games
- IBAF site
- Mister Baseball's European Baseball site
- Australian Baseball Federation
- Taiwan Baseball Blog
- Taipei Times