09/09/2022 - 18/09/2022

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The US walk off two-day drama, will play Chinese Taipei in World Championship game

The US walk off two-day drama, will play Chinese Taipei in World Championship game
18/09/2022
Japan entered the seventh with a 3-2 lead, the US tied it on a balk by Yusefu Yoshimura and won it as Dylan Cupp (pictured above) singled off Kaito Noda.

After having the final Super Round game put on hold overnight due to bad weather on Saturday with Japan leading USA 3-2, nine-time champions USA came out on top form to clinch a 4-3 victory and a place in Sunday's XXX U-18 Baseball World Cup final against defending champions Chinese Taipei.

Dylan Cupp stepped to the plate with a runner at third and one out. He looked at a strike, then failed to execute a squeeze-play bunt. Down two strikes, he worked the count full and then hit a hard grounder to the left that went by third baseman Kaito Ito for a walk-off single.

The game started at 16:00 on Saturday and was first delayed by a lightning alert, then suspended because of heavy rain. Japan was leading 3-2 with the bases loaded in the top of the third. READ MORE

As the game resumed on Sunday morning, the US sent to the mound hard throwing two-way phenom Christian Rodriguez.

The right-hander struck the side, using 13 pitches and allowing only three balls.

It was the first of many turning points.

Japan missed a scoring opportunity in the top of the sixth. Rodriguez hit leadoff Shugo Asano and right fielder Yoshinobu Kuroda advanced him with a sacrifice bunt. As first baseman Bryce Eldridge dropped the ball, Asano headed to third. Eldridge caught him off the bag for the second out.

The US entered the bottom of the seventh trailing 3-2 and after being no-hit for three innings by left-hander Yusefu Yoshimura.

Third baseman Colt Emerson worked the count full and then singled to the right field. Pinch hitter Rent Hamilton reached on a bunt. Emerson headed to third, then tried to return to second and finally reached third as second baseman Kojun Fujimori threw above the head of third baseman Kaito Ito.

The US tied the game when Yoshimura balked.

Japan handed the ball to right-hander Kaito Noda who got the first out on strikes.

With Hamilton at third, shortstop Dylan Cupp looked at the first strike, popped foul a squeeze play attempt, and then managed to work the count full. On Noda's sixth pitch and with the infield in, Cupp singled to the left side, sending the US to the World Championship game to set up a repeat of the final in 2019.