2010 Intercontinental Cup
The 2010 Intercontinental Cup was held from October 23 to October 31, 2010 in Taiwan. It was the 17th Intercontinental Cup though the IBAF administration indicated it would be the last such event. Ten teams played: Cuba, Japan, South Korea, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Nicaragua, Thailand, Hong Kong, Panama and Netherlands.
- 1 Competing Nations
- 2 Rosters
- 3 First-Round Games
- 4 First-Round Standings
- 5 Second-Round Games
- 6 Final Standings
- 7 Awards and Honors
- Cuba has won the event a record 16 times. They are looking for their first international title since the 2007 Pan American Games, a stretch of five tournaments, their worst run ever.
- Czech Republic had never played in an Intercontinental Cup before, but had appeared in the 2009 Baseball World Cup as one of the host nations. It marks their first major tourney outside of Europe.
- Hong Kong had never played in a major tournament outside of Asia previously - at least on the men's side. They have sent clubs to the Women's Baseball World Cup on occasion.
- Italy had never finished higher than 6th in 11 prior appearances, but was coming off a Gold at the 2010 European Championship, their first European title in over a decade.
- Japan won the event in both 1973 and 1997. They were sending a squad of prospects with minimal professional experience.
- Netherlands won the Silver Medal in the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, their best finish for a major tournament outside of Europe. They were hoping to rebound from a disappointing second at the 2010 European Championship, bolstering that roster with players active in the US minors.
- Nicaragua had just missed out on qualifying for the 2011 Pan American Games and 2011 Baseball World Cup and retooled their roster with younger players with less pro experience.
- Chinese Taipei won Bronze at the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, matching their best finish ever in the event. Only players from two of the four CPBL teams were available as the event overlapped the 2010 Taiwan Series, so Taiwan turned to a fair number of players active in Japan or the USA.
- Thailand had never played in an Intercontinental Cup before. They had been winless in their other global event, the 2007 Baseball World Cup.
- Chinese Taipei 11, South Korea 5. 15,300 fans turned out to see the home team kick off with a win over a major rival. Chicago Cubs farmhand Hung-Wen Chen got the win while Kyu-min Woo allowed two runs while retiring none as Korea's starter. SS Yen-Wen Kuo and 3B Chih-Sheng Lin each had 3 hits, 2 runs and 2 RBI while DH Chun-Hsiu Chen drove in three.
- Cuba 18, Czech Republic 0. Czech team veteran Petr Minařík was no match for Cuba, giving up 10 hits and 8 runs in two innings. LF Alfredo Despaigne went 3 for 5 with two homers, three runs and five RBI while Freddy Alvarez cruised to victory with five shutout innings. Minnesota Twins minor leaguer Matěj Hejma got two of the three Czech hits and was not retired.
- Japan 8, Nicaragua 0. Shigeru Kaga and two relievers combined on a four-hit whitewash, RF Takahiro Iwamoto homered and DH Taishi Nakagawa went 3 for 4 with a walk, two runs and a RBI.
- Netherlands 10, Italy 0. The Netherlands got vengeance on the Italian squad that topped them twice at the 2010 European Championship. Tom Stuifbergen, Orlando Yntema (a win in his Dutch team debut) and Diegomar Markwell combined on a three-hit shutout while Chris Cooper gave up four runs in one inning before getting yanked; the Cubs' Alessandro Maestri was no better (also four runs in one inning). SS Mariekson Gregorius and 3B Raily Legito both had 3 hits and 2 RBI.
- South Korea 17, Hong Kong 2. Tsz-Chun Heung and two relievers were battered for 15 hits, 8 walks and 17 runs in a game limited to five innings by the mercy rule. 1B Jae-hwan Kim and 2B Ji-hwan Oh both drove in four, while CF Byung-hun Min crossed home four times.
- Chinese Taipei 6, Czech Republic 0. Five Taiwanese hurlers teamed up on a shutout, CF Che-Hsuan Lin goes 3 for 5 with 3 runs and 2B Yung-Chi Chen goes 3 for 3 with 4 RBI. Leoš Kubát takes the loss with 11 hits in four innings but Jan Řeháček and Radim Chroust provide five shutout innings of relief as a bright spot for the Czechs.
- Netherlands 6, Nicaragua 1. Leon Boyd and David Bergman shut out Nicaragua for 7 before Dennis Neuman gives them a run in the 8th. CF Shaldimar Daantji goes 3 for 3 with a walk and a RBI for the victors.
- Italy 15, Thailand 6. Thailand showed surprising pop, led by DH Teerasak Kongsabai (2 for 4, 2 R, RBI), but they're no match for Italy. Sandy Patrone got the win and Andrea Pizziconi the save, while Kamolphan Kanjanavisut took the loss. Veteran DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi went 4 for 5 with 3 runs and RF Mario Chiarini had 3 hits and 3 runs.
- Chinese Taipei 10, Hong Kong 0. Chen-Hua Lin fans 9 in a 2-hit shutout while Taiwan batters his counterpart Yu-Chung Leung for 17 hits and 10 runs. 3B Chih-Sheng Lin (3 for 5, 2 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI) and DH Chun-Hsiu Chen (3 for 4, 2 2B, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI) lead the charge.
- Cuba 3, South Korea 0. Norge Vera and Yulieski González team up on a four-hit shutout. LF Alfredo Despaigne goes 4 for 4 with a double and 3B Michel Enríquez falls a triple shy of the cycle, scoring twice.
- Italy 5, Nicaragua 2. 21-year-old 1B Alex Sambucci started the scoring with a second-inning RBI double off former Red Sox farmhand Mario Peña. An inning later, DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi doubled home RF Mario Chiarini (who went 3 for 3 with a walk) to make it 2-0. Nicaragua got their lone run off Brazilian-Italian Tiago Da Silva in the 4th; Da Silva lasted 6 2/3 innings and whiffed seven. In the 8th, Nicaragua evened the score with three singles against Justin Cicatello and Marco Grifantini. In the bottom of the 9th, Sambucci connected for a one-out single off Carlos Perez. CF Leonardo Zileri was plunked. SS Anthony Granato hit into a force at second. Justo Pérez relieved and promptly surrendered a walk-off home run to 3B Juan Carlos Infante.
- Japan 15, Thailand 0. Shoki Kasahara pitched five no-hit innings, striking out five and walking two in a shutout win, shortened to five innings by the mercy rule. Kamolphan Kanjanavisut took his second straight defeat. 3B Taishi Ota scored three, SS Shota Ohmine (3 for 3, 2B, 2 R) and C Tsubasa Aizawa (2 for 3, 3B) both drove in three.
- Czech Republic 16, Hong Kong 0. The Czechs easily had their best win in a global baseball competition (they had bigger wins on the European stage). Petr Minařík and Martin Schneider combine on a 3-hit, 10-whiff shutout gem. Four Czech batters had three hits in the rout, including LF Michal Ondráček (3 R, 2 RBI) and 3B-SS Jakub Hajtmar (2 R, 3 RBI). RF Jakub Malik (R, 2 RBI) reached base four times.
- Nicaragua 18, Thailand 3. The Nicaraguans pounded Wissaroot Sihamat and two relievers for their first win. José Villegas got the decision for the victors. DH Gustavo López had four hits while 2B Marvel Córdoba was 3 for 6 with four runs and 3 RBI.
- Cuba 2, Chinese Taipei 0. Miguel Alfredo González and Yadier Pedroso combined to hand Taiwan its first loss, but the hosts made a game of it. Chih-Lung Huang tossed five goose eggs of his own before allowing a run in the sixth on a Chih-Sheng Lin error and hits by RF Alexei Bell and 3B Yulieski Gourriel. Cuba got insurance in the 8th. 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. singled, then stole second two outs later. Bell singled for his third hit of the game and Gourriel singled in Olivera after former Rockies farmhand Ching-Lung Lo relieved.
- Japan 2, Netherlands 1. In the most exciting game so far this tourney, Japan rallied to beat the Netherlands with one out to go at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium.
Rob Cordemans and Shota Oba engaged in an excellent pitching duel. In the third, the Orange got on the board when DH Bryan Engelhardt singled and RF Danny Rombley tripled him in. After an out, LF Eugene Kingsale grounded to 3B Taishi Nakagawa, who threw to first to get Kingsale, then 1B Masashi Nohara fired home to get Rombley at the plate.
In the 6th, CF Itaru Hashimoto bunted his way aboard. 2B Tetsuya Kokubo hit into an error by veteran 3B Raily Legito. Cordemans retired #3 batter Taishi Ota, then was relieved by Diegomar Markwell after having given up 2 hits and no runs in 5 1/3 IP. RF Takahiro Iwamoto singled to load the bases. Nohara grounded to 1B Curt Smith, who duplicated Nohara's play earlier by gunning home to get leadoff man Hashimoto at the plate. Markwell whiffed Nakagawa to end the inning.
With one out in the 9th, Nohara singled. Boston Red Sox minor leaguer Dennis Neuman was summoned by Jim Stoeckel to relieve Markwell. Nohara stole second, but Neuman struck out Nakagawa to move within an out of the save. His control let him down as he plunked SS Tetsuya Tani. Neuman got a 1-2 count on C Tsubasa Aizawa and was a strike away from ending it when Aizawa delivered a clutch 2-run double to left to give Japan its only runs.
In the bottom of the 9th, Gregorius struck out against Yusuke Uemura, but C Sidney de Jong walked. Dwayne Kemp pinch-ran and Cardinals farmhand Curt Smith singled him to third. Up came Legito, the all-time Dutch national team leader in games played. He couldn't deliver this time, though, grounding into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.
- Cuba 20, Hong Kong 0. For the second time this year, Dalier Hinojosa throws a perfect game in international competition against a minor Asian baseball country (following Sri Lanka in the 2010 World University Championship); he fans seven. Counterpart Tsz-Chun Heung gives up 20 runs in only four innings as Cuban batters go 21 for 33. CF Giorvis Duvergel hits a grand slam; both Duvergel and 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. score four times.
- South Korea 9, Czech Republic 0. Wong-jun Ko allows one hit and no runs in six innings while Martin Schneider gives up 3 in 3 as South Korea beats the Czechs for the last spot in the Medal round. C Ji-young Lee goes 4 for 4 with a double, run and 2 RBI for the winners, while the Czechs muster just two hits following their rout of Hong Kong a day earlier.
- Netherlands 7, Thailand 2. Kevin Heijstek allows one hit and no walks or runs in five innings, striking out eight for the win. Meeboonrod Nattapong gives the Thai team its best start of the Cup so far (6 runs in six innings) but it's not nearly good enough. SS Mariekson Gregorius, a Reds farmhand, goes 4 for 5 with a double, run and RBI while DH Jason Halman goes 3 for 4 with two doubles and two runs.
- Italy 3, Japan 0. Cody Cillo tosses a gem, with two hits and no runs in eight innings to hand Japan its first loss; Yovany D'Amico gets the save with a scoreless 9th. Italy does all of its damage against starter Katsuki Akagawa. In the second, 1B Alex Sambucci singled, stole second and scored on an error by 3B Taishi Ota. Later that inning, 3B Juan Carlos Infante singled home CF Leonardo Zileri to make it 2-0. Then in the fourth, Infante singled with two outs (one of three hits today for him) and RF Mario Chiarini walked. Cleanup man Jairo Ramos Gizzi singled in Infante to knock Akagawa from the game. Neither team would score over the final five.
- Cuba 6, Netherlands 3. The Netherlands gave Cuba a scare before falling in a rematch of the Gold Medal game from the 2006 Cup; they had beaten Cuba in a game at the 2007 Baseball World Cup.
Tom Stuifbergen of the Twins chain started off badly, allowing a leadoff homer to CF Giorvis Duvergel, 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. doubled but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple. Stuifbergen then whiffed #3 batter Michel Enriquez and cleanup threat Alfredo Despaigne. In the second, RF Alexei Bell tripled and 1B José Dariel Abreu grounded him in for a 2-0 lead.
The Dutch tied it in the third against Freddy Asiel Álvarez. RF Danny Rombley doubled, grounded over and scored on a single by LF Eugène Kingsale. SS Mariekson Gregorius singled Kingsale to third, then C Sidney de Jong tied with a single.
In the fifth, CF Shaldimar Daantji walked with two outs and Kingsale brought him around with a triple. Jonder Martínez replaced Álvarez and tossed shutout ball for the final 4 1/3 innings. Abreu led off the 7th with a homer off Stuifbergen to tie the game; it was the first run Tom had given up since the first. Arshwin Asjes relieved Stuifbergen an out later. SS Yorbis Borroto singled, then Duvergel hit into an error by 3B Raily Legito. Olivera tripled in both runners for a 5-3 lead. In the 8th, Cuba got insurance when Bell tripled off Red Sox farmhand Dennis Neuman and scored on a wild pitch. Cuba remained the lone unbeaten team.
- Italy 5, South Korea 2. Chris Cooper gives up a first-inning run to Korea, but throws goose eggs for the next four frames. In the bottom of the first, 3B Juan Carlos Infante draws a one-out walk from Tae-soo Cho. RF Mario Chiarini singled, but DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi flew out. C Juan Pablo Angrisano got plunked, then 38-year-old LF Laidel Chapellí singled in two runs to give Italy the lead. Seong-hyun Kim replaced Cho and matched Cooper's zeroes over the next several innings. Korea tied it off Justin Cicatello in the 7th. In the bottom of the 7th, Italy went ahead for good. Young first baseman Alex Sambucci continued to be a main rally man, starting off with a walk. A wild pitch by Kim put him on second. 2B Alessandro Vaglio bunted to Kim, but the hurler made a throwing error to put Italy ahead, 3-2. Jung-hyuk Im relieved and walked CF Leonardo Zileri. Im got the next two outs, but Chiarini delivered a RBI single. In the 8th, Angrisano singled, was bunted over and came around on a single by Vaglio. Korea tried to rally in the 9th, starting with two quick singles off Marco Grifantini. Alessandro Maestri relieved and the Cubs farmhand went 1-2-3, retiring three potential tying runs in order to save it.
- Chinese Taipei 12, Japan 5. Taiwan overcame a horrid start by Hung-Wen Chen (4 R in 1 1/3 IP) and poor relief by Wen-Yang Liao (4 BB, 1 R in 1 IP) as Yu-Ching Lin (1 H, 0 R, 6 K in 5 1/3 IP) and Ching-Lung Lo (a scoreless 9th) provided superb bullpen work. Japan, meanwhile, could not stop the Taiwanese bats. 1B Kuo-Ching Kao and LF Kuo-Hui Lo each scored three while leadoff man Che-Hsuan Lin reached base five times. In a losing cause, LF Akira Nakamura went 3 for 5 with two RBI.
- Cuba 4, Japan 1. Japan's young bats proved no match for Cuban veterans Yulieski González and Yadier Pedroso, who combined to strike out 16 as Cuba locked up a trip to the finals. Japan got on the board first, though, when C Yuhei Nakamura led off the third with a double. He was bunted over and then scored on a wild pitch for Japan's lone score. The lead was short-lived. In the bottom of the third, SS Yorbis Borroto drew a leadoff walk from Shigeru Kaga and CF Giorvis Duvergel doubled him in. Duvergel advanced on a grounder and scored on a sacrifice fly by RF Alexei Bell. In the 4th, C Ariel Pestano singled in LF Yohandry Urgellés. In the 7th, Borroto singled and was bunted over. 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. singled Borroto to third, the 12th hit off Kaga. Yusuke Uemura relieved and gave up a RBI single to Bell for the last run. González improved to 2-0 and Pedroso notched his second save.
- Netherlands 3, South Korea 1. The Netherlands kept their hopes of a spot in the finals alive by beating Korea.In the first, C Sidney de Jong hit a two-out single off Wong-jun Ko, then 1B Curt Smith singled as well. 2B Sharlon Schoop tripled for a 2-0 lead. Korea got as a close as it would be in the 4th, when SS Joo-hwan Choi tripled and came home on an error by SS Mariekson Gregorius a play later. In the 5th, 2B Ji-hwan Oh singled. One out later, CF Soo-bin Jung also singled, knocking out Leon Boyd (who had fanned six). David Bergman relieved and quelled the rally. In the 5th, Ko walked DH Bryan Engelhardt. He advanced on a bunt, then a wild pitch. LF Eugène Kingsale walked, then de Jong was plunked. Smith drew a bases-loaded walk to force in an insurance run. Bergman closed out the game with 4 2/3 one-hit, shutout innings for his second win.
- Chinese Taipei 6, Italy 2. Taiwan kept its finals hopes alive while Italy's hopes for a Gold or Silver ended with their loss to the hosts. 2006 Intercontinental Cup All-Star Sandy Patrone was not as sharp today, unable to last through the first. CF Che-Hsuan Lin greeted him with a single, then SS Yen-Wen Kuo (like Dutch SS Gregorius, a Reds farmhand) doubled him in. Patrone threw a wild pitch, then walked LF Kuo-Hui Lo. Cleanup threat Chih-Sheng Lin and C Chun-Hsiu Chen (of the Indians organization) both struck out swinging. A wild pitch scored Kuo. 1B Kuo-Ching Kao drew a walk and RF Fu-Hao Liu singled him home. Patrone was promptly yanked in favor of Luca Panerati.
Italy got as close as it would in the second, the only time they scored in 7 innings against Wei-Lun Pan. With one out, C Juan Pablo Angrisano reached on an error and LF Laidel Chapellí singled him to second. 1B Alex Sambucci grounded over the runners, then 2B Alessandro Vaglio (fresh off his rookie season in Italy) singled both men in to make it 3-2.
In the bottom of the second, 2B Po-Ting Hsiao and Lin led off with singles. With one out, Panerati made a run-costing error, then Lo doubled in Lin for a 5-2 score. The game's last run came in the 5th against Royals farmhand Claudio Bavera. Bavera hit the first batter he faced, Liu. A wild pitch advanced him. With one out, Liu (who tied for the 2010 CPBL lead in swipes) stole third, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Hsiao. Hsiao and Che-Hsuan Lin each finished the game with three hits.
- Czech Republic 13, Thailand 3. Czech pitchers walk six but gave up only four hits and three runs to advance to the 7th/8th place game. Leoš Kubát got the start and Petr Minařík the win, while Kamolphan Kanjanavisut fell to 0-3. C Jakub Voják drove in three, while 37-year-old 1B Pavel Budský (the first Czech player to appear in the US minors) went 3 for 5 with a run and two RBI.
- Nicaragua 12, Hong Kong 2. One bright spot for Hong Kong was that it took a lead for the first time in the tournament. 3B Chin-Nam Nau singled against Junior Téllez and stole second. One out later, 2B Tsz-Tung Wu singled and an error by RF Justo Rivas let Nau score. Nicaragua quickly retook the lead, with 3 second-inning runs off Tak-Pong Chow and the rout was on. Rivas reached base four times and scored three runs.
- Netherlands 5, Chinese Taipei 3. With 9,064 fans rooting for the home team at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium and a spot in the Gold Medal game at stake, the Dutch and Taiwanese teams had a dramatic contest. The Netherlands scored first - in the second, 2B Sharlon Schoop and 3B Raily Legito singled off Kuan-Yu Chen. RF Danny Rombley walked, then DH Bas de Jong ground into a run-scoring double play. 1B Curt Smith homered in the 6th off Chen for a 2-0 lead. The Dutch, meanwhile, were getting a gem from Diegomar Markwell, the former AA hurler who had struggled in the 2010 European Championship. He did not allow a run for the first six innings. In the 7th, though, DH Chun-Hsiu Chen and LF Kuo-Hui Lo doubled. Veteran C Kuo-Ching Kao ended Markwell's day with a 2-run double to left field to tie the game. Arshwin Asjes relieved Markwell.
In the 9th, Legito led off with a single off Chih-Lung Huang and Rombley grounded him over. Backup DH Bryan Engelhardt walked. Former Rockies prospect Ching-Lung Lo relieved Huang and retired CF Shaldimar Daantji on a double play grounder; it was Taiwan's third double play of the day. Taiwan went ahead in the 10th. With the international baseball tournament rule of two runners starting aboard in extra innings, Orlando Yntema struck out two but walked 2B Yung-Chi Chen and cleanup man Chih-Sheng Lin singled in a run. Chen-Yu Chung also tried to score on the play, but was thrown out at home on a relay from LF Eugène Kingsale to SS Mariekson Gregorius to backup C Shawn Zarraga.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Dutch started with Daantji on second and Kingsale at first. A wild pitch by Lo put the men in scoring position and a passed ball by Kao tied it at three. Gregorius then crushed a full-count offering from Lo over the fence in right for a game-winning homer.
- Cuba 5, Italy 3. Cuba remained unbeaten, but faced a tough challenge from Italy to do so. Italy scored first, getting to Vladimir García in the third. C Juan Pablo Angrisano and 3B Juan Carlos Infante hit back-to-back one-out singles. 1B Alex Sambucci grounded the runners over, then 2B Alessandro Vaglio continued his fine clutch play with a 2-run single. In the 5th, LF Stefano De Simoni walked and was bunted over, then RF Mario Chiarini walked. A single by DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi loaded the bases. García was yanked in favor of Dalier Hinojosa. Hinojosa fanned Angrisano, but threw a wild pitch to make it 3-0 before whiffing Infante to escape the jam. Hinojosa would blank Italy over the final four innings, adding three more strikeouts and allowing three hits.
Cuba got all its offense in the bottom of the 5th. C Yulexis La Rosa opened with a single off starter Tiago Da Silva. SS Rudy Reyes doubled him in. Marco Mazzieri yanked Da Silva and replaced him with former Royals farmhand Yovany D'Amico, which proved to be a bad move. CF Giorvis Duvergel bunted his way aboard, then 2B Héctor Olivera Jr. singled to make it 3-2. D'Amico threw a wild pitch to put Duvergel on third, then walked RF Alexei Bell to load the bags. DH Alex Malleta singled to right, scoring two and putting Cuba ahead for good, then LF Yoandry Urgellés hit a sacrifice fly to right for the final run. That was all Hinojosa would need.
- South Korea 8, Japan 1. In a preview of the 5th/6th place game, South Korea pounded their main rivals. Hyun-june Park threw a complete game win with only LF Akira Nakamura (2 for 3, BB, 2B, R) batting well for Japan. In the meantime, Japanese hurlers walked eight, with starter Shota Oba giving out five free passes in three rough innings (he gave up seven runs). CF Soo-bin Jung drove in three and DH Jae-hwan Kim went 3 for 4 with a walk and a homer.
- Nicaragua 11, Czech Republic 5. In the 7th/8th place game, Nicaragua pounded Radim Chroust for three first-inning runs. The Czechs countered with two in the bottom of the first off Mario Peña, but Chroust gave up two more in the second and Nicaragua never looked back. Nicaraguan pitchers struck out 14 but allowed 13 hits and 5 runs. RF Justo Rivas went 3 for 5 with four RBI to lead the offense.
- Thailand 6, Hong Kong 5. In the 9th/10th place game, Hong Kong nearly got its first win in a global baseball tournament, but that honor instead went to Thailand. DH Wai-Hang Leung and RF Kam-Tao Ip each cracked a RBI triple in the second against Meeboonrod Nattapong. In the third, Hong Kong scored again. Tsz-Chun Heung, who entered 0-2, tossed shutout ball for four before SS Somsak Sarnwit drove in two in the 5th. Two Thai errors in the 6th put them behind, 4-2. Thailand took its first lead in the bottom of the 6th, scoring three, including two on an error by 3B Sampahangsit Nattapong. Versus Kamolphan Kanjanavisut in the 8th, Ip tripled in another run to tie the score at five. In the bottom of the 8th, Thailand got the final run of the tight Asian duel as LF Jirapod Srisaipet hit a sacrifice fly to score pinch-runner Anukul Sudsawad.
- 5th/6th place game: Japan 2, South Korea 1. Japan avenged its loss yesterday to Korea to finish ahead of them in the standings. While they allowed just one run, they used six pitchers to do it. For four innings, the game was scoreless. In the 5th, C Jae-hoon Choi drew a leadoff walk from Shoma Sato. PH Byung-hun Min singled, and DH Ji-young Lee bunted a single to load the bases. Hideki Sunaga relieved and fanned both CF Soo-bin Jung and 2B Ji-hwan Oh. SS Joo-hwan Choi drew a walk to force in a run. Daiki Kiyohara relieved and got a pop-up to end the inning. Kiyohara would wind up with the win and Shigeru Kaga the save.
Through five, Hee-soo Park had fanned nine Japanese batters and allowed no runs, but he faded in the 6th. C Yuhei Nakamura opened with a single, then LF Akira Nakamura bunted into a force at second. A wild pitch sent him all the way to third, then CF Itaru Hashimoto singled him home. After a ground-out put Hashimoto on second, RF Takahiro Iwamoto singled in Hashimoto for a 2-1 lead. Jung-hyuk Im relieved Park and tossed hitless, walkless, scoreless ball for the last 3 1/3 innings but Korea's offense couldn't get back into the game.
- Bronze Medal Game: Italy 4, Chinese Taipei 3. For the second straight day, a European team downed the hopes of the host nation, this time with 6,553 in attendance. By doing so, Italy got its first Bronze Medal (or medal of any kind) in a baseball tournament which included non-European teams (having won numerous medals in European Championship play). Also, two European teams won medals for the first time ever in a global baseball tournament.
Hung-Wen Chen, who reached AAA with the Chicago Cubs system in 2010, had a rough first, but some of that was due to poor defense behind him. SS Anthony Granato hit into a miscue by Reds farmhand Yen-Wen Kuo at short. 3B Juan Carlos Infante bunted to his counterpart, Han Lin, who also erred. With men on the corners, RF Mario Chiarini ground into a run-scoring force. Chiarini stole second, then DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi singled. C Juan Pablo Angrisano struck out, then Italy pulled off a daring delayed double steal with 39-year-old Ramos Gizzi breaking for second and Chiarini coming home; the ploy worked and Italy went up 2-0.
In the bottom of the first, Kuo delivered a one-out single to try to avenge himself, and advanced on a passed ball by Angrisano. With two away, DH Chih-Sheng Lin singled off Cody Cillo to make it 2-1. Taiwan tied it in the bottom of the second. With one away, Han Lin singled. An out later, CF Che-Hsuan Lin singled, as did Kuo, the latter hit scoring Han Lin with Taiwan's second run. Marco Mazzieri yanked Cillo in favor of fellow American Marco Grifantini, who would shut out Taiwan for the next 4 1/3 innings.
Italy retook the lead in the 5th. With two outs, Infante drew a four-pitch walk from Chen and Chiarini singled. Ramos Gizzi doubled to right, scoring Infante to make it 3-2, Azzurri. Taiwan challenged in the home half of the 5th. 2B Yung-Chi Chen and Chih-Sheng Lin opened with singles and were bunted over by C Chun-Hsiu Chen. That brought up LF Kuo-Hui Lo, a Seattle minor leaguer. Lo went down swinging, but 1B Kuo-Ching Kao walked on Grifantini's 9th offering of the at-bat, having fouled off three potential strike threes. Han Lin failed to deliver there, looking at a called strike three to strand the bases full.
Infante began the 7th with a double off Chih-Lung Huang and a passed ball put him on third. Chiarini walked and Ramos Gizzi hit into a run-scoring force to put Italy ahead by two. Taiwan got back one in the bottom of the 7th. Former Pitt Panther Justin Cicatello relieved and gave up a single to Chih-Sheng Lin; the slugger promptly swiped second. Chun-Hsiu Chen grounded Lin to third, then Lo grounded back to Cicatello, scoring Lin to close within a run.
In the 8th, speedy Red Sox prospect Che-Hsuan Lin singled off Cicatello but was gunned down trying to swipe second base. Infante led off the 9th with a walk but got no further. In the bottom of the 9th, Cubs farmhand Alessandro Maestri retired Kuo, then walked Yung-Chi Chen. He faced Chih-Sheng Lin, the 2010 CPBL home run and RBI king, and fanned him on three pitches. PH Po-Ting Hsiao singled Chen to second, then Maestri walked Lo on a full count. With the bases loaded, two outs and a one-run lead, Maestri faced Kuo-Ching Kao, who once held the CPBL record for hits in a season. Kao only managed a weak grounder back to Maestri to end the game, though, giving Italy a historic win and Taiwan a disappointing loss at home.
- Gold Medal Game: Cuba 4, Netherlands 1. In a rematch of the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, Cuba again won Gold, with the Netherlands putting up less of a fight, but still keeping it a close affair. Miguel A. González was the big star today, allowing only two hits (doubles by Bryan Engelhardt in the third and Curt Smith in the fourth) in eight innings and retiring 14 in a row at one point. 4-time Dutch Olympian Rob Cordemans blanked Cuba for two innings but struggled in the third. 1B José Dariel Abreu doubled, C Ariel Pestano singled and SS Yorbis Borroto, the #9 batter, doubled them both home. Nick Stuifbergen relieved Cordemans with two outs in the 4th and shut out Cuba for the next 3 1/3 innings.
It remained 2-0 until the 8th when reliever Berry van Driel gave up a double to CF Giorvis Duvergel (3 for 3 with a walk on the day) and a home run to RF Alexei Bell. Eduardo Martín summoned the Cup's All-Star reliever, Yadier Pedroso, to replace González (104 pitches) in the 9th. He would allow more hits in no innings than his predecessor had given up in eight innings. LF Eugène Kingsale led off with a walk. SS Mariekson Gregorius, C Sidney de Jong and 1B Curt Smith all singled, scoring one run and loading the bases, the potential tying run aboard. Cuba next turned to two-time Olympian Jonder Martínez to face Giants farmhand Sharlon Schoop. Schoop flew out. 3B Raily Legito, a three-time Olympian, struck out. That brought up RF Danny Rombley, a former Expos minor leaguer and fellow former Olympian. The Amersfoort native took three straight strikes looking to end the game.
- Cuba, 8-0
- Netherlands, 5-3
- Italy, 6-2
- Chinese Taipei, 5-3
- Japan, 4-4
- South Korea, 3-5
- Nicaragua, 3-3
- Czech Republic, 2-4
- Thailand, 1-5
- Hong Kong, 0-6
Awards and Honors
- SP: Wei-Lun Pan, Taiwan (1-0, 0.00)
- RP: Yadier Pedroso, Cuba (2 Sv, 1.80, 9 K in 5 IP)
- C: Juan Pablo Angrisano, Italy (.414/.452/.414, Opp SB 6-12)
- 1B: Curt Smith, Netherlands (.346/.414/.769)
- 2B: Héctor Olivera Jr., Cuba (.516/.531/.806, 5 2B, 10 R)
- SS: Mariekson Gregorius, Netherlands (.324/.324/.471)
- 3B: Yulieski Gourriel, Cuba (.433/.451/.633, 8 RBI)
- OF: Alexei Bell, Cuba (.440/.500/.760)
- OF: Giorvis Duvergel, Cuba (.462/.500/.846, 10 R)
- OF: Che-Hsuan Lin, Taiwan (.457/.537/.543, 5 SB, 9 R)
- DH: Jae-hwan Kim, South Korea (.406/.424/.781, 3 HR, 8 R, 8 RBI)