2015 U-18 Baseball World Cup

From BR Bullpen

The 2015 U-18 Baseball World Cup was held from August 28 to September 6 in Osaka, Japan. Despite playing host, Japan repeated their second-place finish from 2013, again losing out to the USA.

  • Australia was 3-2 in round one, but 1-2 in round two then lost the Bronze Medal game to South Korea 8-5. 2B Dean Frew (.321/.457/.393, 7 R) and C Tristan King (.259/.382/.481, 10 RBI, All-Tournament at DH) led the offense while Lachlan Wells (1-0, 2.00, 14 K in 9 IP) was the top hurler. Steve Fish managed them.
  • Brazil went 2-3 in round one then 2-1 in the consolation round under the guidance of Louis Koura. 1B Salomon Koba hit .464/.559/.714 while Vitor Nakamura was 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA.
  • Canada, managed by Greg Hamilton, was 3-2 in round one and 1-2 in round two. They had a strong offense led by All-Tournament 1B Josh Naylor (.484/.556/.903, 10 R, 11 RBI, 3 HR), LF Tristan Pompey (.360/.484/.520) and CF Cooper Davis (.375/.464/.500). Josh Burgmann (2-0, 1.88), Vincent Beauregard (1-0, 1.93) and RJ Freure (1-0, 0 R in 4 1/3 IP) pitched well.
  • Cuba was 4-1 in round one but 0-3 in round two. OF Luis Robert (.406/.457/.857, 3 3B, 4 SB, 11 RBI) and 2B Jose Garcia (.382/.417/.500, 7 R) made the All-Tournament team. Pablo Guillen (0-1, Sv, 0.63), Oscar Colos (1-0, 0 R, 10 K in 6 IP) and Josimar Cousin (1-1, 1.29) led the staff.
  • The Czech Republic, managed by David Winkler, was 0-5 in round one and 1-2 in the consolation pool, beating South Africa to avoid last place. They only lost by 1 to Taiwan and Brazil, though. C Lukas Trunkat hit .438/.591/.438. Ondrej Satoria (0-1, 1.42) and Martin Bores (0-2, 2.53) were the top pitchers, with Bores losing a 1-0 complete game to Taiwan.
  • Italy was 1-4 in round one and 1-2 in the consolation round; Gianguido Poma was their skipper. 2B Andres Sellaroli (.370/.485/.444) led the offense, easily outshining double-play partner and Royals high-money signee Marten Gasparini (.179/.281/.321, .815 FLD%). Federico Pecci (2 UER in 10 IP) got both their wins without taking a loss while Matthias Zotti tossed 4 2/3 shutout innings of relief.
  • Japan was 8-0 and outscored opponents 80-3 going into the finals, when they lost 2-1 to the USA. The hosts had five All-Tournament players, the most of any team - SP Sena Sato (2-1, 0.83, 26 K in 22 IP), C Kengo Horiuchi (.438/.500/.688), SS Taigi Hirasawa (.258/.324/.355, but 10 RBI and no errors), 3B Ryo Shinhohara (.333/.459/.400, 9 R) and OF Shoki Katsumata (.545/.656/.909, 12 RBI, 9 BB). Other key players were OF Naruki Sugisaki (.433/.452/.600, 10 R), 2B Shoki Tsuda (.403/.515/.481, 8 RBI), P Shotaru Uena (6 H, 4 BB, 24 K, 0 R in 18 IP, 2-0, 5 shutout innings against the US in the finale), P Masato Morishita (1-0, 0 R in 10 IP, 14 K, 4 H, 0 BB) and P Shinnosuke Ogasawara (1-0, 1 UER, 11 K in 8 IP).
  • Mexico was 1-4 in round one under manager Mario Mendoza but went 3-0 in the consolation pool. DH Jose Quinonez (.364/.391/.500) led their hitters while Gerardo Bojorquez (1-0, 2.52), Francisco Haro (1-1, 2.93) and Isaac Maciel (0 R in 6 1/3 IP) were the top pitchers.
  • South Africa went 0-5 in round one and 1-2 in the consolation round, beating Brazil for their lone win and outscored 25-73 for the event. C Tyrone Milne was their top hitter (.333/.500/.429, 7 R, 4 SB). Their lowest ERA came from reliever Matthew Moreau at 4.15.
  • South Korea was 5-0 in round one but 1-2 in round two, losing to Japan and the US. They then beat Australia in the Bronze Medal game. Managed by Jong-do Lee, they had no All-Tournament players despite their fine run. Seong-pin Yoon was 1-0 with no runs allowed in 10 1/3 IP. The offense was led by outfielders Jin-young Lee (.385/.448/.500, 7 R) and Won-jun Choi (.351/.429/.541, 11 R, 7 SB, 0 CS).
  • Taiwan went 2-3 in the first round one and 2-1 in the consolation pool. 3B Chin-Fei Lin (.348/.448/.609) and 1B-OF An-Ko Lin (.333/.393/.500, 8 R) were the top hitters while the top pitchers were Chen-Yu Wu (2-0, 0 R, 14 K in 11 IP) and Li-Wei Kuo (1 UER in 8 IP).
  • The USA, managed by Glenn Cecchini, went 8-1, losing to Japan in round one but topping them 2-1 in the finals. P/1B Nick Pratto was the tournament MVP (2-0, 17 K, 1.26; .200/.351/.200, 6 R) and beat Japan in the finale. RP Reginald Jefferson-Lawson (1 UER in 10 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 11 K) and OF Blake Rutherford (.345/.444/.552, 9 R, 11 RBI) made the All-Tournament team. Forrest Whitley (1-0, 1.04, 15 K in 8 2/3 IP) and Austin Bergner (2-0, 1.04, 14 K in 8 2/3 IP) also pitched very well while C Michael Amditis hit .450/.500/.500.