U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup - Day 8: Japan clinch Super Round win, set up World Championship Final rematch with Mexico; USA and Canada play for bronze

U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup - Day 8: Japan clinch Super Round win, set up World Championship Final rematch with Mexico; USA and Canada play for bronze
Japan defeated Mexico, 7-4, in the last game of the Super Round, setting up a rematch against the host team in WBSC U-18 Men's Softball World Cup final. The World Championship game will take place on Sunday, 19 November, at 17.00 local time. USA and Canada will collide in the Bronze Medal Game at 14.00.

Right fielder Ren Hashimoto was Japan’s hero as the defending champions beat Mexico, 7-4, in the last game of the WBSC U-18 Men's Softball World Cup Super Round on Saturday to set up a rematch against the host team in the final on Sunday.

The World Championship game will take place on Sunday, 19 November, at 17.00 local time. USA and Canada, winners of Saturday's games against Australia and Venezuela respectively, will meet in the Bronze Medal Game at 14.00.

Singapore vs New Zealand (PR)5 - 18Box score
Australia vs USA (SR)3 - 4Box score
Colombia vs Argentina (PR)1 - 7Box score
Venezuela vs Canada (SR)5 - 6Box score
Japan vs Mexico (SR)7 - 4Box score

In a continuation of the great excitement and drama of this tournament, it took the last play of the last inning of the Super Round to determine the qualified teams for the Final and the Bronze Medal Game with Saturday featuring three close games in a five-team battle for the last three berths in Sunday's medal games.

With Japan and Mexico tied at 4-4 in the top of the 7th, Player of the Day Hashimoto hit a line drive into the left centre gap for a two-RBI triple that gave Japan a two-run lead. He then scored on a grounder to make it 7-4.

The result saw Japan clinch first place in the Super Round with a 4-1 win-loss record and will be the home team in Sunday's World Championship Final.

Their rivals will be Mexico, who had already booked a place in the final on Friday. The host team, Canada and USA are tied with a 3-2 record in the standings, but Mexico earned second place because they won both head-to-head matchups against USA and Canada. The latter two teams will face off in the Bronze Medal Game.

Saturday's results saw Australia finishing in fifth place and Venezuela in sixth in the final standings.

Japan, the defending World Champions, will play their eighth final in the history of the event. They won it three times - 1981, 2016 and 2020 - and collected the silver medal in 2001, 2005, 2012 and 2018. They have also own four bronze medals totalling 11, the most for any national team programme in the world.

For Mexico this will be their first-ever final. They earned the bronze medal in the first edition of this event in 1981. This will be their second final in Men's Softball World Cups, since they lost the World Championship Game of the WBSC Men's Softball World Cup 1966, the only previous Men's Softball World Cup hosted by Mexico.

Canada is the programme with the second most medals in the event with eight, five of which are bronze. They are looking to win a medal again after seven years, since their last podium was in Midland 2016. Canada's only World Title was in 1993.

USA, Canada's rivals in the Bronze Medal Game, has collected two medals in the history of the event, both silver medals in the first two editions of the tournament in 1981 and 1985. Now, 38 years later, the team is aiming to be back on the podium.

All games of the tournament are streamed live on GameTime, the WBSC OTT platform. 

Meanwhile, the results for the Placement Round decided the final standings from seventh to 11th place. Czechia had secured on Friday seventh place; while Argentina and New Zealand clinched the eighth and ninth positions, respectively, with their victories on Saturday. The final standings are closed by Colombia (10th) and Singapore (11th).

Super Round

Japan vs Mexico

Top 7th - Japan take the lead again! A two run triple off the bat of Ren Hashimoto gives the lead back to the Japanese squad. He then scored on a grounder to second base by Kazuya Kihara. Japan in front, 7-4.

Bottom 6th - Mexico opened the inning with a pair of hits and advanced the runners on a sac bunt. The Japanese pitcher Rio Takahashi struck out pinch hitter Gael Rojas on three pitches, and loaded the bases on an intentional walk, and then Brayan Lopez tied the game on a two run opposite field single. The game is tied 4-4.

Top 6th - A bad defensive inning costs Mexico three runs and the lead in the game. Japan scored their first run after a dropped fly ball in center field. With runner on second and third, and one out, Yuito Matsuo hit a double into the left center gap to give Japan a 3-2 lead. He then stole third base, and scored on a wild throw by the Mexican catcher Solorio. Japan is winning 4-2.

Bottom 4th - The Fernando Ortiz Stadium goes wild. With a runner on third, Mexico's catcher Emiliano Solorio hit a towering homer to left field to give his team the lead.

After three complete innings, the game is still scoreless. Mexico's starter Derek Anceno has limited Japan to one hit and one walk, with six strikeouts. On the other hand, Japan's Rio Takahashi has given up two hits and two walks, while striking out four. We have another full-house tonight in Hermosillo.

2023 WBSC U-18 Men's Softball World Cup - Game 40 - JPN vs MEX

Venezuela vs Canada

Canada claimed today a narrow 6-5 win over Venezuela, in extra inning, and advanced to tomorrow's medal games. Depending on the result of the game between Japan and Mexico, they will play for the World Championship or the bronze medal. 

If Japan win this game, Canada will play USA in the bronze medal game. However, if Mexico beat Japan, Canada will play the World Championship Final against Mexico.

The game ended dramatically in the bottom of the eighth on a very close play at home, after a sacrifice fly from Sharl Leclerc to left field.

Bottom 8th - Canada win!!! A sacrifice fly to left field from Sharl Leclerc allowed Daniel Scott to score from third in a very close play at home. 

Top 8th - Venezuela couldn't score the tie-break runner. A strikeout and two grounders keep the game tied.

The game is still tied after seven innings. We go to extras.

Bottom 6th - A pair of RBI singles from Riley Good and Sharl Leclerc tied the game again. We're 5-5 now.

Top 6th - Manuel Lagarde plates one with a single up the middle, and then Juan Carlos Pereira homered again, with two runners on board, to give Venezuela the lead. It's 5-3 for the South Americans.

Bottom 5th - Adrian Green triples to center field, and scored on a sacrifice fly. Canada is now leading 3-1.

Bottom 4th - Canada take the lead. A pair of walks put two runners on, and then Riley Good gave the red and white team the lead with an infield hit. Canada now is ahead, 2-1.

Bottom 3rd - A wild throw from Venezuelan shortstop Yeferson Colmenarez on a potential inning-ending double play, allowed Canada to tie the game, 1-1. He then finished the inning with a spectacular diving play behind second base.

Top 1st - Venezuela take a 1-0 lead with a leadoff homer from Juan Carlos Pereira to the center field. The South Americans have the early lead.

2023 WBSC U-18 Men's Softball World Cup - Game 39 - VEN vs CAN

Australia vs USA

USA defeated Australia today in their final game of the Super Round, and secured a spot in one of tomorrow's medal games. The results in the final two games of the Super Round will define if USA plays the World Championship Final or the Bronze Medal Game. 

Braden Ducharme hit the go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the fourth for USA, while Cody Gibbons pitched seven innings, striking out eight while giving up nine hits and three runs.

With this result, Australia have been eliminated from the medal games, and will finish in fifth or sixth place, depending on the results of the other games.

Top 7th - Joe Robinson homers for Australia, but Cody Gibbons retire the last out for the win.

Bottom 6th - With two outs, USA added an insurance run on a triple to left field off the bat of Braden Ducharme. They lead now 4-2.

Bottom 4th - A bad defensive inning costed the lead to Australia. Two errors allowed USA to take the lead. Drake Varela and Braden Ducharme with the RBI singles. Now USA lead 3-2.

Top 4th - Australia jump ahead again. With two outs, Timothy Gleeson was hit by a pitch, and thn scored on a double to left field from Coby White. Australia leading 2-1.

Bottom 3rd - After a quick out, USA loaded the bases on three consecutive walks, forcing a visit to the circle. After that, Australia's pitcher Corie List struck out Drake Varela and Logan Boom to escape unscathed. The game remains 1-0 of the green and gold team.

Top 2nd - Australia put two runners on scoring position but the US pitcher Cody Gibbons struck out Kylan Pearce to end the inning. Gibbons topped 80 MPH with his drop ball in this inning.

Top 1st - Australia get on the board first. A defensive error by shortstop Braden Ducharme opened the door for a two-out RBI double off the bat of Ky Hurst. Australia is leading, 1-0.

2023 WBSC Men's Softball World Cup - Game 37 - AUS vs USA

Placement Round

Colombia vs Argentina

Argentina secured the eighth place in the tournament after a 7-1 win against Colombia, in the last game of the Placement Round. Genaro Correa and Tobias Zarlenga produced the seven runs for Argentina, with four and three RBIs respectively. Valentina Mata was the winning pitcher, with 13 strikeouts in five innings. He only surrendered one hit.

Bottom 5th - A pair of two-RBI singles from Genaro Correa and Tobias Zarlenga extend Argentina's lead to 7-1.

Bottom 4th - Argentina take the lead with a Genaro Correa RBI single, and a grounder from Tobias Zarlenga. They lead 3-1.

Bottom 2nd - A defensive error by Colombia's shortstop allows Argentina to tie the game.

Top 1st - Colombia score on a defensive error bye first baseman Juan Godoy. They lead, 1-0.

2023 WBSC U-18 Men's Softball World Cup - Game 38 - COL vs ARG

Singapore vs New Zealand

New Zealand closed their participation in the tournament with a powerful offensive performance. In the first game of the day, they used two monster innings to clinch an 18-5 victory against Singapore. 

The kiwis connected three homers in the game, off the bats of Lennox Easthope, Maximus Russell (inside the park) and Joseph Simpson-Smith.

Top 4th - Singapore answer back with a five-run rally. With two outs on the scoreboard, Singapore connected four consecutive hits, including an inside the park homer from Ean Eu. It's his third homer of the tournament.

Bottom 3rd - A defensive error allowed Cohen Bailey to score New Zealand's ninth run of the game.

Bottom 2nd - Lennox Easthope drove in George McCarroll to add one more for New Zealand. 

Bottom 1st - New Zealand score seven in their first at bat, including an inside the park homer by Maximus Russell and a three-run homer from Joseph Simpson-Smith. 

2023 WBSC U-18 Men's Softball World Cup - Game 36 - SGP vs NZL


We can expect hard-fought games today with a lot at stake for most of the teams. Japan has secured their presence in one of the medal games. The Asian champions will secure a spot in the World Championship Final if they win today against Mexico. If they lose, the results of the other two Super Round games will determine if they play for the World Championship trophy or the bronze medal.

For Canada and USA all options are open, including going to the final, qualifying for the Bronze Medal Game, or ending their participation today. They need a win, and hope other results go their way, to advance to tomorrow's final. 

Australia and Venezuela are fighting to make the Bronze Medal Game. They need a win, and a combination of results, to play for the bronze tomorrow.