New Zealand defeated Japan, 5-1, to claim the title at the first ever men’s softball Intercontinental Cup held in Prague, Czech Republic. The Black Sox scored multiple runs in the fifth and sixth frames to come from behind and support a brilliant performance by right hander Nik Hayes.

Japan scored the first run of the game in the third episode with an RBI single by Seii Kuroiwa, but New Zealand took the lead in the fifth with RBIs by Ben Enoka and Joel Evans. Finally, back to back home runs by Campbell Enoka and Reilly Makea made the score 5-1.

Hayes threw a 2-hit complete game for the champions, with 8 strikeouts, to claim the victory.

For the third place, Argentina defeated host Czech Republic, by a score of 9-1.

The five-days tournament was a test event for the upcoming WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship 2019, not only for the National Teams involved, but also for the host committee, since the next global tournament will be held precisely in Czech Republic, from 13-23 June 2019.

Final Standings

  1. New Zealand
  2. Japan
  3. Argentina
  4. Czech Republic
  5. Denmark
  6. USA