WBSC Baseball5 World Cup Highlights - Three great unforgettable souvenirs

WBSC Baseball5 World Cup Highlights - Three great unforgettable souvenirs
15/11/2022
Cuba's Orlando Amador made what was arguably the play of the tournament against Japan in the final.

The inaugural WBSC Baseball5 World Cup at El Zocalo in Mexico City will live long in the memory. The six-day tournament from 7-12 November definitely set the bar high for the host of the next edition in 2024 with amazing skill, drama and entertainment throughout, while the teams played full-on Baseball5 with a sense of fun and fair play that stands the sport in good stead for the future.

A stunning venue at El Zocalo with vibrant crowds cheering on all the teams, provided an electric atmosphere all week. The celebrities ranging from TikTok creators to government representatives left feeling inspired and came back for more.

And it wasn’t only on the two main courts where all the fun was add. Practice courts, dancing sessions, art classes and extra activities made for a party festival right across El Zocalo.

Such was the appeal, there was standing room only for the finals, while crowds of people had to watch the historic moment of crowning the first ever Baseball5 world champion on the big screen outside centre court.

The journey to find Baseball5’s maiden world champion was enthralling with Cuba and Venezuela favourites while Asia’s best Chinese Taipei and Japan weren’t to be discounted.

Cuba eventually took the honours but there were plenty of surprises along the way like Lithuania beating Japan while Tunisia, South Africa and Kenya did their continent proud finishing sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. And not to mention the hosts, Mexico, who collected some hard-fought wins whilst putting on a great show for their fans. A spot in the medal games was only a whisker away.

And to top it all off, we had some outstanding play across both courts. The top three will be hard to beat on any Baseball5 field but here’s our selection from an unforgettable tournament.

Highlight No. 1: World Championship Final – Cuba v Japan

The first match of the final saw Cuba flexing their muscles against Japan. Having a 6-0 lead in the third inning, Cuba's Orlando Amador would proceed to pull off the play of the tournament. Running from first to second, he quickly found a seated Ayano Kazuta, with ball in hand, in his way. Thinking in a flash, he leaped and made it safe to second. The crowd went wild and Amador, who was one of the players of the tournament, ended up making it home along with Briandy Milina to stretch the lead to 8-0 before winning the match 9-1 (and the second match 6-2).

Highlight No. 2: Last Super Round Game – Mexico v Venezuela

With Mexico and Venezuela still in the contention for the bronze medal game, they met in the last game of the Super Round. The stage was set, not only for an intriguing battle on the field to see who would go through to the medal game, but also for some amazing Baseball5.

Mexico made the better start with Nelson Rodriguez scoring in the first inning but it wasn’t long before Alvaro Gil scored for Venezuela, making a great run round third to home, evading the tag of Guadalupe Ayon to tie the game at 1-1 at the bottom of the second inning. His evasive skills at home plate were impressive whilst making sure he got home with his foot.

That play inspired his team to win the first match 3-2 before storming through the second 9-0 to confirm Venezuela’s spot in the playoff for third.

Highlight No. 3: Group A – Hong Kong v Cuba

Tournament favourites Cuba put on a masterclass against Hong Kong in a Group A game including putting together the first triple play of the tournament.

The second full day of play saw Cuba started brilliant in their Group A games against Hong Kong

Cuba had won the first match 12-3 before making a sensational start to the second. It was a mixture of overzealous running from Hong Kong and Cuba efficiency but it’s in the books as the first ever Baseball5 World Cup triple play.

With no outs at the top of the first, and Lam Mok Chun on first and Shun You Yuk on third, Hong Kong were entertaining the thought of their first runs of the match. Up stepped Alvin Tang Chi Chun to the hitters box who proceeded to hit it straight to Briandy Molina at centre field. Having taken the catch, Briandy looked to pause play when inexplicable, Shun started sprinting from third to home, Briandy blocked his way before passing to Eliani Castellanos to make the out at third before firing it to Orlando Amador who tagged out Lam who was trying to steal second.

Cuba went on to win the match keeping Hong Kong scoreless in the process - 10-0 by the run-ahead rule in the fourth inning.