WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup Day 5: Guatemala, Czech Republic book historic Super Round spots, Argentina also through

WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup Day 5: Guatemala, Czech Republic book historic Super Round spots, Argentina also through
26/02/2020
With all six teams in contention for three spots, Guatemala beat Mexico, the Czech Republic overcame Singapore and Argentina were too good for Canada to book a place in the Super Round, which starts on Thursday.

It was a memorable day for world No. 21 Guatemala and the Czech Republic, ranked 7th in the world, who advanced to the six-team Super Round of the U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup for the first time following impressive wins against Mexico and Singapore respectively on the last day of the Opening Round in Palmerston North on Wednesday.

With all four teams in contention for the Super Round and needing to win their final Opening Round games, Guatemala, participating in this age group for only the second time, came from 3-2 down after the first innings to sneak a thriller 4-3 against Mexico and finish third in Group B.

The Czech Republic, meanwhile, were too good for Singapore in the opening game of the day, winning 6-3 on the back of another excellent pitching performance from Jakub Osicka, who claimed seven strikeouts in three innings to finish third in Group A. The Czech Republic made the playoffs and finished seventh in 2018, but under a different system when eight teams qualified for the playoffs.

In another do-or-die game, Argentina, who finished fifth in the last edition, beat Canada 10-0 to claim second spot in Group A and advance to the Super Round.


Match Results and Info
New Zealand 13-4 Denmark
Argentina 10-0 Canada
Australia 21-1 South Africa
USA 0-10 Japan
Mexico 3-4 Guatemala
Czech Republic 6-3 Singapore


The six teams left to battle For the Title of World Champion include perennial contenders and world No. 1 Japan, 2018 juniors champions Australia and hosts New Zealand, who had booked their Super Round spots on Tuesday.

But it was Guatemala who was the star of the day, coming from behind to beat Mexico and ensure they improved on their 11th-place finish on debut at Prince Albert 2018. The tournament’s No. 2 pitcher Diego Morales was the star once again after striking out 9 Mexican batters in the match.

“We’re here for the Guatemalan softball, we’re here for the country. We’ve worked hard and these kids deserve to go to the Super Round,” said Guatemalan head coach Julio Albizures.

"Now our goal is to finish in the top three."

Tournament-leading pitcher Osičk was also the hero in Czech Republic’s win against Singapore (6-3) after coming on late to close the game out and reach 50 strikeouts in total.

In other results, Australia scored the highest number of runs in a game in Palmerston North with both Jack Besgrove and Joshua Banks scoring four times in their 21-1 victory over South Africa.

While Masaru Nishimori and Keito Kozasa helped Japan dominate the United States (10-0) after scoring twice each.

In the last match of the Opening Round, New Zealand and Denmark traded home runs to start the match, but the hosts immediately broke away to end Day 5 with victory (13-4).

A home run in the first innings and two more runs in the third from Harrison Wildbore in New Zealand's win over Denmark saw him move to joint first for RBIs (8) with the Czech Republic's Adam Buchner, who collected three RBIs against Singapore as well as a homer to lead the tournament for home runs with three.


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