MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, officially received the country’s U-12 National Team delegation Monday after the “little Nicas” finished third in the world at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup 2016 that was staged in Tainan, Taiwan.
President Ortega congratulated the Nicaraguan U-12 National Team for claiming the historic bronze for the country.
“They were on TV, representing Nicaragua…they are the pride of their communities, of their towns,” President Ortega said. “This result will stimulate more sport for our country…we are proud of the victories that they obtained.”
Nicaragua, ranked No. 16 in the world, shut out world No. 3 Cuba, 2-0, in the bronze medal finale. During the U-12 world championship, Nicaragua defeated such powerhouses as No. 1 Japan, Cuba (twice) and No. 4 Chinese Taipei, finishing with an overall record of 7-2, losing only to two-time defending U-12 World Champions USA and to Venezuela in an extra-inning thriller.
“This bronze medal is worth gold for Nicaragua…to be in 16th position and jump to third at the world level -- this is a great feat,” said President Ortega.
For his “support of international baseball,” Federation of Nicaraguan Baseball (FENIBA) president Nemesio Porras presented the Nicaraguan political leader with an honorary U-12 Baseball World Cup gold medal on behalf of WBSC president Riccardo Fraccari.
Nicaragua’s Lesther Medrano was named the best pitcher in Tainan, making the U-12 All-World Team.
Nicaragua qualified for the 2015 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup by winning the 2014 U-12 Pan-American Championship, defeating the then No. 1 U.S in the finale.
Continuing on the success in Taiwan, Nicaragua's U-10 National Team followed up with a bronze medal a week later at the 2015 Pan American Baseball (COPABE) Championship in Puebla, Mexico.
NEW STADIUM ANNOUNCED
Nicaragua leader Ortega also used the occasion with the U-12 Nicas to reveal plans for the construction of a new National Baseball Stadium.