22/02/2020 - 01/03/2020


Hosted by: NZL
U-18 Men's Softball World Cup 2020 - Official Payoff
25/02/2020 1 Minute Read

New Zealand 8-7 Guatemala: Four Cooper-Nicola RBIs spark New Zealand comeback

New Zealand pulled off a come-from-behind 8-7 win over Guatemala to book a spot in the Super Round.

After being down by as much as three runs, hosts New Zealand came from behind to beat Guatemala 8-7 and move into outright second in Group B and guarantee themselves a spot in the Super Round with a 3:1 win:loss record. Te Kirika Cooper-Nicola fired four RBIs in their victory.

Pitchers Liam Jardine-Ngauamo and Kahurangi Beamsley-Allan combined for 11 strikeouts, while Diego Morales tallied nine of his own in 6.1 innings. Beamsley-Allan got the win.

After Ciaran Bolger put the hosts on the board in the bottom of the first inning before Guatemala answered with four runs in the top of the second, including Juan Melga and Dilan Gonzalez who sprinted home off a wild pitch.

Cooper-Nicola responded by batting a double to plate Ryan Earley, while Bolger batted in Levi Wilson to pull the hosts to within a run at 4-3.

Another wild pitch from Liam Jardine-Ngauamo saw Alejandro Rojas score in the third before Gonzalez scored again in the fourth, sneaking home from third for a 6-3 lead after Kiwi catcher Jacob Davidson threw to second to try and tag out Jonathan Cajina. But this kick started New Zealand into action with Harrison and Traye Wildbore bringing home Bolger and Jonathan Little two in the fifth inning, with a single and a sacrifice respectively to close the gap 6-5.

Melga scored his second run of the game in the sixth to put Guatemala ahead 7-5 before Cooper-Nicola brought out his heroics as he fired a 2-run inside-the-park homer, tieing game up. New Zealand completed the comeback in the bottom of the seventh, 8-7, with a walkoff RBI single off the bat of Cooper-Nicola to spark massive celebrations from the home crowd.