WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari opened the closing ceremony proudly stating about the U-18 Baseball World Cup: “Audiences and media worlwide followed it closely, demonstrating once again the potential of this format”.
Fraccari added: “Our hope is to see some of these athletes in the next Olympic Games in Tokyo”.
Fraccari congratulated USA on earning the gold medal. After that he “thanked and recognized the umpires, scorers and technical commissioners”.
WBSC President than thanked the City of Thunder Bay, the Local Organizing Commitee, Baseball Canada and all the governmental officials, sponsors and broadcasters.
“The biggest thanks” he added “go to the Canadian fans for the wonderful atmosphere they created”.
USA manager Andrew Stankiewicz is well aware that a fourth U-18 World Cup in a row makes history: “The credit goes to our U-18 program. It is so well organized. I want to credit Paul Seiler for this”.
The talent has always been there, but in the past USA didn’t show this ability to put it together: “Our greatest success has been creating a team spirit. We knew that we had talented players, but we were not sure we could have a great team on the field”.
Talking about talent, you don’t need and advanced scout to spot the talent on your team. The first name that comes to everybody’s mind is Turang: “You are right. Still, I believe the greatest job was putting the team together”.
The team didn’t look so good after striking out over 20 times against Japan: “After that game I told the guys that we had to be better, if we wanted to win a gold medal. They were great in responding on the field”.
All other top teams got to the last stages showing tired arms. How could you keep your bull pen this effective: “We had great starting pitcher. We knew it was our strength coming into the tournament. Their great starts helped our bullpen stay healthy”.
Korea manager Lee Sung Ryul talks through an interpreter: “The american team was much bigger and stronger than we are. This always happens with western players, but I must admit these kids are also technically impressive”.
Had you scored early in the game, could it have been different? “I regret about not scoring on Kang Baek Ho double. But these things happen. Of course, had we scored we would have had a better chance”.
Triston Casas was an easy pick as the tournament MVP (below you will find all of the individual awards and the All World Team). He singled, doubled and homered in his first 3 at bats.
How about your moon shot that went foul in the first? We have the impression it set the tone for the night: “Well, to be honest to me that was just a strike. It may have intimidated them, but what really set the tone was my home run in the fourth. That definitely did intimidate them”.
You showed a bold attitude, going for the big swing. Is this the kind of ballplayer you want to be? “I don’t want to be a all or nothig type of player. My aim is developing in a complete hitter, who can use all the field”.
You’ll be eligible for the MLB Draft after next season. Would you consider signing right away? “Pro baseball is what I want to do. So I definitely would consider it. It doesn’t mean I am not considering going to College too. But I want to be a baseball player”.
Have you always been a baseball player? “I started playing at 6. I had tried soccer before, but I didn’t like running so much…”.
You live in Miami. How do you feel these days? “My family is here with me, fortunately. But the city is under the hurricane as we speak now and my prayers are with my friends and all the people there”.