The USA make history as they become the first to win 4 U-18 Baseball World Cups in a row after Cuba did it between 1984 and 1987. USA dominated the gold medal game against Korea: 8-0, 12 hits to 4. Korea had an early chance to score, but perfect defense prevented runs and in the clutch Korea fell apart committing 5 defensive errors.
Korea apparently are not allowing easy outs to USA starter Matt Liberatore. Bae Jihwan, the first batter, grounds to shortstop and tries to reach sliding head first. He’s the first out, but shows team spirit. With 2 outs, center fielder Jang Junhwan gets the first hit and designated hitter Kang Baekho takes Liberatore deep, off the wall in left field. Thomas comes up with a perfect play and relay on first bounce to prevent Jang from scoring and the at bat ends as first baseman Gwak Been grounds out to second.
Korea starter Kim Young Jun gets 2 quick outs and then walks right fielder Kelenic. First baseman Casas scares Korea sending the first pitch he sees to the moon (but foul), then literally blows away first baseman Gwak Been glove on a line drive. He reaches on a base hit, but the inning ends on a deep fly ball to left by catcher Mc Nair Seigler, very well fielded by Yi In Hyok.
In the top of the third Korea is dangerous again. Star shortstop Turang plays the wizard as he lines out Yi In Hyok on a bullet to his left. But there’s nothing second baseman Young can do on a roller to second base base bag by Bae Ji Hwan. With 2 outs and Bae at second, Liberatore walks Jang Junghwan but, after a coaching visit, retires Kang Baekho on a grounder to second to end the inning.
USA take the lead in the bottom of the third baseman Gorman leads off the bottom of the third with a single to right. He’s then the first out at second on a hard chopper to first by center fielder Siani. Young singles up the middle and Siani runs all the way to third. After falling 3-0 in the count, Kim Young Jun strikes out Kelenic. On the play, Young steals second and Siani scores as catcher Cho Dae Hyun throws in the dirt and beyond the second base bag. Young reaches third on the error. Casas make it 2-0 as he slugs one in the gap to left center for a stand up double. The third run scores on a base hit to left by Mc Nair Seigler. The day is over for Kim Young when Thomas singles to the right and Mc Nair Seigler advances to third. Right hander Seo Jun Won takes the mound. The inning is over when Yi In Hyok flies out Turang on the warning track in left field.
USA are back to business in the fourth, as designated hitter Delgado singles and Gorman walks. Gorman is forced out at second when Siani grounds to first base. Siani then steals second and Young walks to load the bases. Second baseman Choi Jun Woo gets to a grounder in the gap at right by Kelenic. He gets the force out at second as Delgado scores, but the throw by shortstop Bae Ji Hwan is in the dirt and off the first base bag. Siani scores and Kelenic reaches second. Casas follows with a mammoth shot to right center. The 2 run homer makes it 7-0 and sends Seo Jun Won to the showers. Korea gives the call to Ha Jun Young.
Team USA pitchers have allowed so far 3 earned runs in the tournament and their defense executes everything at a high speed and with great accuracy, so the probability of a comeback by Korea is unlikely. There’s more: USA are not done and they in the bottom of the fifth USA they add a run. Turang leads off with a single. Korea has a chance to trap him on his steal attempt. The throw to second by first baseman Gwak Been is off the bag and Turang is off to third. He scores on a base hit by Gorman.
Yang Changseop takes the mound for Korea in the seventh and falls into trouble as he loads the bases with 2 outs in the eighth. He gets out of the jam striking out Turang on an off speed pitch.
Liberatore is done after 6 and USA send to the mound Mitchell Wilcox for the seventh (throws a perfect inning) and Mason Denaburg for the eighth (allows a walk).
Hard throwing right hander John Ginn heads to the mound for the ninth, when the celebration is already on the go amongst USA fans. He completes the task facing only 3 batters and striking out 2. Han Donghui is the last out of the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2017.