19/10/2018 - 28/10/2018


Hosted by:   COL

II U-23 Baseball World Cup 2018 - Official Payoff

Arriba, Mexico! Beats Japan, wins U-23 Baseball World Cup

Arriba, Mexico! Beats Japan, wins U-23 Baseball World Cup

It was an incredibile final. Starting pitchers Hiroki Kondo and Carlos Morales duelled for nine innings. The new World Champions took the lead in the top of the tenth, Japan fought back to finish with the bases loaded

Mexico makes history. With a 2-1 win in a dramatic ten-inning final, Mariachis win the U-23 Baseball World Cup. It’s the first ever baseball title for the Country.
The final, played in front of 6,500 fans in Edgar Renteria stadium in Barranquilla, Colombia, may go to the history books as the epitome of the World Title game. Starting pitchers Hiroki Kondo and Carlos Morales took a no score into the tenth and Mexico got the last out in a bases loaded situation.
“It’s easy to say it now” commented Mexico’s manager Josè Reyes “But we did come here to win. Of course it wasn’t easy. This tournament was very competitive”

Mexico had the best chances to score, in the regular nine innings.
With two outs in the top of the second, Alan Garcia singled. Orlando Piña and Bernardo Heras followed with back to back base hits. Heras’ hit went to right field, patrolled by phenom outfielder Ukyo Shuto. Shuto came up with a perfect throw home and catcher Hariuchi Kengo tagged Garcia for the out. It was the sixth assist by Shuto in the tournament.

Mexico’s starter Carlos Morales no hit Japan, a team that entered the World Title Game with a .357 team batting average, for five innings.  In the sixth, first baseman Julian Ornelas helped him with an outstanding catch on a hard-hit liner by Shuto himself. With two outs, Taiga Matsuo singled to left field. Japan won’t get another hit.

“I relied very much on my fastball,” said Mexico’s starting pitcher Carlos Morales “And I mixed it with a lot of change ups and the occasional slider. The strategy worked.”
Your control was outstanding: “If you play a team as good as Japan, you’re not going to accomplish much if you can’t locate your pitches. I was fortunate enough to throw a lot of strikes tonight.”

Carlos Morales no-hit Japan for 5 innings

Josè Ureña led off the top of the seventh with a double, but Mexico couldn’t advance him any farther.
Marco Jaime led off the top of the eighth with a single. Norberto Obeso failed to bunt him to second and another opportunity expired.

Both teams went to the bullpen in the ninth. Kakeru Narita relieved Hiroki Kondo. Japan’s hurler was not as phenomenal al Morales, but allowed no runs on seven hits, 99 pitches, issuing only a walk. Narita got started with a walk, then got away with it with a little help from shortstop Matsuo. Japan’s defense hasn’t committed an error in the whole tournament.

Mexico scored all the runs needed to win in the top of the tenth. Bernardo Heras bunted the tie break runners to second and third. Fabricio Macias looked at a ball, then singled up the middle to score both.

“I’m very happy. Baseball gives you another chance. In previous games I had good at bats, but couldn’t get the hit” said Fabricio Macias at the end of the game “I had a feeling that something good was going to happen, I felt very well in this game and had to focus a lot in this at bat, that was the key to the title.”

Rafael Ordaz had relieved in the top of the ninth Morales who, in his own words, had given “all he had” (99 pitches). After Yasuhito Uchida bunted the tie break runners to second and third, Ordaz retired Hisanori Yasuda on a grounder, but couldn’t prevent Japan’s first run. Then he walked Kento Harasawa. Mexico called Sergio Alvarado from the bullpen, but the newcomer walked the bases loaded. The ball went then to Erick Casillas, who got started with two balls.  On a 2-2 count, Kenji Nishimaki flied out to right field to end the game.

“It’s baseball” commented José Reyes “I knew that a swing of the bat could change everything. I also knew I had my most experienced pitcher on the mound.”

On a final note, Fabricio Macias added: “I’m happy to be World Champion. I’m proud of myself, I’m proud of my family, and the people who supported me. It’s one more triumph in my carreer.”

Mexico poses with the World Cup Trophy