WHITEHORSE, Yukon, Canada – The WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship is down to three teams in the quest for Gold. Canada and Australia will face each other in the Bronze medal game, before the winner has to battle New Zealand for The Title of World Champion.
In the first semi-final game today, New Zealand defeated Canada 12-11 to advance to the gold medal game. Canada’s loss pushed them into the bronze medal game.
In the second semi-final game, Australia defeated Argentina 4-1 to face Canada in the bronze medal game.
In the Placement Round, South Africa and Czech Republic are still standing and will play in the Placement final tomorrow.
Argentina v Japan
The first Championship Round game of the day was an elimination game – win or go home in 5th place.
Argentina was first to get on base when Mariano Montero doubled in the 3rd inning. But back-to-back strike outs by Kento Okazaki ended the side. Japan struck back at their at-bats with a Tsukasa Itose two-out single. Yusuke Morita then reached first after a single leaving runners on the corners. But Roman Godoy threw another wild pitch to score Itose and give Japan the early 1-0 lead.
Argentina struck big two innings later, scoring five. Godoy led off with a walk and then Gonzalo Ojeda reached after being hit by a pitch. Japan would bring Takuya Kyakuno in for Yuki Mori. Leonardo Latasa laid down a bunt allowing Japan to get the lead runner, Godoy, out at third. Montero then singled up the middle, but Ojeda had to head back to third as he tripped rounding the bag with the bases loaded. Another hit batsman pushed Ojeda home to tie the game up. Alan Peker came in at third to run for Latasa and Juan Malarczuk then hit an infield chopper that was bobbled to allow Peker to score. Godoy hit into a fielder’s choice and a throwing error by Japan allowed two runs to come in. Motroni hit the final run of the half inning with a RBI single to make it 5-1.
Japan led off the bottom of the 5th with back-to-back singles by Naoaki Kawada and Ryo Koshikiya for runners on the corners. Itose then hit a sac-fly to score Kawada, down 5-2.
Japan lessened the deficit the following inning as Sawada led off with a single and advanced to third on back-to-back put-outs. Oishi was able to put the ball in play and a bad hop got by Godoy to score Sawada, down 5-3.
Maximiliano Montero closed out the 7th to give Argentina the win to advance to tonight’s game against the winner of Australia and USA.
Win: Roman Godoy
Loss: Yuki Mori
Save: Maximiliano Montero
Argentina played today at 6:30pm against Australia
Japan has exited the Men’s World Championship in 5th place
Australia v USA
After finishing atop of their pool, Australia had an extra life at their disposal. They did not need it as they defeated USA 11-7.
Erick Ochoa got things started for USA in the first inning with a two-out single and a double by Tyler Dudley followed to put Matt Palazzo in position to bring both home on a two RBI single to right field. Kevin Castillo then reached first on an error by Australia’s shortstop which moved Palazzo to second before a RBI single by Pat Sagdal extended the U.S. lead, 3-0. Nick Mullins drew a walk next to load the bases, however a strike out ended the inning.
Australia responded with some runs of their own in the bottom of the second after a RBI single by Andrew Kirkpatrick and RBI double by Joshua White.
Australia continued to add to their score and take an 8-3 lead in the second. Julian Jemmott singled and made it to third. USA coach Denny Bruckert was then ejected arguing an obstruction charge, but Jemmott still scored despite the objection from USA. James Todhunter then hit a two-run homer to center field. With two-outs, Nick Shailes walked and Kirkpatrick singled as Ryan Merriman brought them home on a three-run home run ahead 8-3.
In the third, Todhunter reached on a fielder’s choice and later scored on a passed ball to extend the Steelers lead to 9-3.
Trailing 9-3 and with two outs in the top of the fourth inning, the U.S. put two runners on after Matt Ratliff doubled on a fly ball to left field and Bryce Kay drew a walk. A RBI single by Ochoa would plate Ratliff to make it 9-4, before a strike out ended their chances of scoring further runs. A two-run home run by Jemmott in the bottom half stretched their lead to 11-4 before a strikeout by Mervin Weiler closed out the inning.
Sagdal answered back in the top of the fifth inning with a one-out, two-run home run of his own. A walk to Mullins and a two-out single by Ratliff would put runners on base before Australia’s Adam Folkard stopped the U.S. threat with a strike out to end the inning and keep the lead in Australia’s favor, 11-6.
The score remained until the top of the seventh inning as the U.S. struggled to come back from the 11-6 deficit. Down to the last inning, Chase Turner delivered a two-out solo shot past the center field fence before the inning ended via a ground out. But it was not enough as Australia went on to win 11-7.
Win: Adam Folkard
Loss: Jeremy Manley
Australia played today at 6:30pm against Argentina.
USA has exited the Men’s World Championship in 6th place.
New Zealand v Canada
Canada suffered its first loss of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in a wild 12-11 game against New Zealand. The two teams have had epic battles every time they have faced each other, and this one was no different in rainy conditions. Canada jumped to a 9-2 lead with a seven-run inning only to see New Zealand score eight of their own to erase the deficit and held on for the narrow win.
Nathan Nukunuku hit a two-out double in the top of the first but was left stranded, while Canada got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Mathieu Roy was hit by a pitch and scored on a two-run home run to left-center field by Bradley Ezekiel. Steve Mullaley followed that with a double inside the right field line, with Derek Mayson getting hit by a pitch and both runners moving up on a wild pitch. But a pop out to shortstop ended the inning with Canada ahead 2-0.
In the top of the second, Devon McCullough issued a pair of walks to start the inning, but he got the next batter to foul out to left with the lead runner being called out for leaving early while tagging up, followed by a ground out to McCullough to end the threat.
In the top of the third, New Zealand got a two-run home run by Campbell Enoka to tie the game. In the bottom half of the third, Canada got three consecutive singles by Brandon Horn, Ezekiel and Mullaley to score the go-ahead run, followed by a hit by pitch to load the bases with no outs. A walk and a hit by pitch forced two more runs home, followed by a pair of sacrifice fly balls by Ryan Boland and Kevin Schellenberg. Roy then lined a shot to the left-center field gap for a run-scoring double, and came around to score on a single by Horn as Canada took a 9-2 lead.
New Zealand got a lead-off double and a walk to start the fourth before the game was stopped for a 20-minute rain delay. When play resumed, Justin Schofield replaced McCullough in the pitcher’s circle, and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. Kallan Compain then hit a grand slam to reduce Canada’s lead to 9-6. Three straight walks loaded the bases again for New Zealand, with McCullough re-entering the game. A run scored on a wild pitch followed by a check-swing blooper single by Brad Rona over the shortstop to bring another run in to score. Another walk loaded the bases once again and Wayne Laulu put the bat on the ball and dropped another single in front of the outfielder for a single to plate two more runs, giving New Zealand a 10-9 lead.
In the top half of the fifth, New Zealand put two runners on base on an error and a single, but McCullough notched two big strike outs to keep the game close. In the bottom of the inning, Roy led off with a bunt single, moved up to second on a wild pitch and scored when Ezekiel lined a double to the right-center field gap to tie the game 10-10.
However, New Zealand regained the lead immediately when Thomas Enoka led off the top of the sixth with a home run. New Zealand added an insurance run to its lead later in the inning on a fielder’s choice with the runner on first sliding into Horn at second base on an attempted double play. Nik Hayes struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth to send the game to the seventh with New Zealand ahead 12-10.
McCullough retired the first two batters in the top of the seventh, and a single and an error put two runners on base before he struck out the next batter. Shane Boland pinch hit to lead off the bottom of the seventh and was hit by a pitch in the dirt, and after a strikeout, Horn singled up the middle followed by another strikeout. Mullaley chopped a ground ball off the pitcher’s glove to reach base and load the bases, with Mayson working a walk to trim the lead to one. Mark Johnson then hit a solid liner that the shortstop picked up on the short hop and tossed to third for the final out.
Win: Nik Hayes
Loss: Devon McCullough
New Zealand will play for Gold tomorrow at 4:00pm against the winner of Canada/Australia.
Canada will play tomorrow in the bronze medal game at 1:00pm against Australia.
Australia v Argentina
In the second semi-final game, Australia and Argentina went to battle. The winner would advance to the bronze medal game, whereas the loser would go home in 4th place. Australia continued to hit home runs to win the game 4-1, ending Argentina’s world championship.
In the bottom of the first, a solo shot by James Todhunter and a one-out single by Ryan Merriman scored Nick Shailes to give Australia the early 2-0 lead.
Argentina answered as Gustavo Godoy hit a RBI triple to score Juan Zara to bring the game to 2-1.
Australia threatened in the bottom of the inning as Argentina would load the bases with two outs. Shailes would hit back to Gustavo Godoy who made a great defensive play to get the force at second and end the inning.
In the fourth inning, Argentina tried to get something going as Zara laced a lead-off single up the middle. Godoy then reached first base on a fielder’s choice but Kirkpatrick retired the South Americans with back-to-back strike outs. The Steelers scored again when Julian Jemmott lead off with a single and Todhunter blasted his second home run of the game to go up 4-1.
Kirkpatrick took a shot from Teo Migliavacca right in the arm, but stayed in the game, holding Argentina. Roman Godoy then took a line drive right in his pitching hand, but stayed in the game as well.
Down to their final at-bat, Argentina got on base from a single by Godoy with one-out. But the Aussies shut them down with a double play to advance to the bronze medal game. Argentina has finished the men’s world championship in 4th place.
Win: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Loss: Roman Godoy
Australia will play tomorrow in the bronze medal game at 1:00pm against Canada
Argentina has exited the men’s world championship in 4th place.
Czech Republic v Hong Kong
The first placement game of the game was between Czech Republic and Hong Kong – the winner would continue while the loser would be eliminated in 14th place.
The first inning saw both teams exchange runs. With runners on first and second, Fung Po Hei delivered a two-out clutch hit to get Hong Kong on the board. But Václav Svoboda would hit a RBI single to tie things up for Czech Republic.
Czech Republic took the lead in the 4th and never looked back. Mikulá Klas started things off hitting a home run. Back-to-back hits brought Wong Wai Hung into the game for Hong Kong. But a single ripped into right field by Marek Maly brought in another run, up 3-1.
In the 5th, a lead-off single by Jiri Korcak followed by a home run by Svoboda made it 5-1. Tomas Benda hit a single and Klas followed to advance Benda to 3rd. With no outs, Michal Koluch hit a RBI fielder’s choice ground out to extend the lead to 6-1. Hong Kong scored one run with a one-out stand-up triple for Wong Wait Hung. Pinch hitter Tong Che Fan then singled to score Wong to bring the game to 6-3.
Czech Republic loaded the bases in the sixth, but Hong Kong got the double play to close out the inning. Three up, three down for Hong Kong in the seventh, ended the game 6-2 in favor of the Europeans.
Czech Republic will now play tonight the Denmark. Hong Kong has finished the world championship in 14th place.
Win: Ondrej Malecek
Loss: Tang Chung Ming
Czech Republic played today at 7:00pm against Denmark
Hong has exited the Men’s World Championship in 14th place.
Denmark v Great Britain
In another elimination game in the Placement Round, Valdemar Terkelsen started the game off for Denmark with a walk and got to 3rd from a wild pitch, but he was called out for missing 2nd base. Anders Svane issued a walk and advanced to 3rd on two wild pitches and three straight walks gave Denmark the 1-0 lead after one.
In the second, back-to-back single by Anders Andersen and Alexander Lorentsen allowed Denmark to take the 2-0 lead off a wild pitch.
Denmark kept the runs coming in the third. Two walks and a while pitch gave Denmark their 4th.
Duncan Milne then hit a double in the fifth and was driven in by Marc Nihoj. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Andersen hit a RBI single to put Denmark ahead 6-0.
Great Britain got on the board in the top of the sixth. Amit Aswani showed off his speed with a lead off bunt. Runners were on the corners when Luke Peters drove in the first run of the game for Great Britain, down 6-1.
Czech Republic shut down Great Britain in their final at-bat to earn the 6-1 win. Czech Republic will now play tonight against Denmark. Great Britain has finished the world championship in 13th place.
Win: Valdemar Terkelsen
Loss: James Darby
Denmark play today at 7:00pm against Czech Republic
Great Britain has exited the Men’s World Championship in 13th place.
South Africa v Dominican Republic
11-2 (6 innings)
South Africa started the game off quickly scoring five. Bases were loaded for clean-up batter Brandon Bouillon, who walked to score Phomolo Phaladi and Duncan Small flied out to center field to score Cristopher Bann. With two on, Mogau Thupudi lifted it to deep center field for a three-run homer. Dominican Republic threatened in the bottom of the inning when Pablo Figuereo walked but was later thrown out at home during a grounder to left to end the inning.
In the second, Phaladi hit the ball to the clouds for a massive home run, making it 6-0 in South Africa’s favor.
Dominican Republic scored their first run of the game as Josuel Chalas reached after being hit. Wilton Villafana hit a double, scoring Chalas. But Freddy Moreta got a strike out for making contact with the catcher on the back swing, down 6-1.
In the 5th, South Africa struck again. Isaiah Chepape reached after getting hit and was batted in off Phaladi’s ground rule double. Melvin Cruz responded in the bottom of the inning with a deep ball to center field to make it 7-2.
South Africa put the game out of reach in the sixth. Bases were loaded for Javier Frost who hit a grounder to left field, scoring Bouillon and Sehlabi Molokoane. With runners on 2nd and 3rd for Thupudi, he hit a hard grounder for 2 more runs to make it a 11-2 game. The Africans shut down Dominican Republic to win by the run-ahead rule and stay alive in the world championship.
Win: Tidima Kekana
Loss: Yennier Perez
South Africa will play tomorrow in the Placement Round Final at 2:00pm against Czech Republic.
Dominican Republic has exited the world championship in 11th place.
Czech Republic v Denmark
This marked Denmark’s second game of the day. And the 2nd time these teams have face each other in this year’s world championship.
Czech Republic struck first when Tomas Klein reached scoring position on a two-out single and advance on a wild pitch. Patrik Kopecny then singled up the middle to score Klein. Kopecny reached third but Kim Hansen struck out Jiri Korcak to close out the inning.
Petr Vacha would reach on a walk in the third before Václav Svoboda would hit a two-run shot for Czech Republic to extend their lead to 3-0.
Denmark got on the board in the sixth as they started their comeback. Valdemar Terkelsen hit a stand-up double but injured himself and had to be replaced by Benjamin Gorlen. With runners on corners, Daniel Julenon delivered a three-run home run to tie the game up at 3.
With Terkelsen out, Kim Hansen re-entered the game in the sixth. With one out and two runners on, Korcak lined into center scoring Kopecny and Koluch for the 5-3 lead.
Last hope for Denmark came in the seventh down two when Jorgensen got a base hit. But two put-outs and Michal Holobradek struck out Duncan Milne to end the game.
Win: Michal Holobradek
Loss: Kim Hansen
Next Up: Czech Republic will play tomorrow in the Placement Round Final at 2:00pm against South Africa.
Denmark has exited the world championship in 12th place.