Venezuela takes the first game of semi-final action 7-0 against the hosts. The Aussies pushed it to extra innings in their 8-6 loss to USA. In what many will call the championship matchup of this tournament, Japan eliminated the defending champions 2-1. The semi-final round ended the way it began, in a 7-0 victory.
Czech Republic vs Venezuela 0:7 (0:0, 0:3, 0:4, 0:0, 0:X)
Luis Columbo went the distance for the South Americans in the ring.
The Venezuelans started hitting for distance in the 2nd. Erick Urbaneja singled then Engelbert Herrera hit one out of the park to get 2 on the board in short order. Another run scored with three singles to bring the lead man around.
Rafael Flores started things off in the 3rd with a solo jog around. Jorge Lima doubled to right and Erick Urbaneja walked. That put two on for Herrera’s second dinger, in as many at bats, driving in 3.
6 of Venezuela’s 7 runs came off those 3 homeruns. The impact of those hits however would not have been as strong without the batters around them finding their way to base.
USA vs Australia 8:6 (0:0, 5:0, 0:1, 1:0, 0:0, 0:1, 0:4, 2:0)
Down 6-2 heading into the bottom of the 7th, the States were ready to close the door. Australia had other plans.
In a 4-run rally to end the inning, the Oceanic nation pushed the Americans to produce. Challenge accepted. Knowing the Steelers had last-ups, team USA put 2 on the board for insurance in the 8th.
Harrison Peters and Adam Folkard split duties in the Australian pen. They pitched a heck of a game, giving up just 8 hits between them. To the credit of team USA, they were able to score all 8 runs off just 6 of them.
Only 3 of the 8 hits were for extra bases Ochoa and Davis Jr., each hit doubles. The dinger was off the bat of Jonathan Lynch who drove in the final 2 runs of the ball game, in extra innings, with the shot.
New Zealand vs Japan 1:2 (1:0, 0:1, 0:0, 0:0, 0:1, 0:0, 0:X)
Both teams stuck with their starters throughout. Daniel Chapman was in the ring for the Black Sox. Reo Koyama took the ball for Japan. Chapman gave up 2 hits off 2 runs while walking 3 and striking out 6. Koyama gave up 1 run off 2 hits, walking 4 and flagging 6.
Nathan Nakunuku sent one deep to center in the 1st putting up New Zealand’s only run of the night.
In the 2nd Takuto Tsutsui sent a shot out the left side to tie things up.
Yusuke Morita singled to get on in the bottom of the 5th, then stole 2nd. The Black Sox sent Matsuda, who was DH, walking. That brought Tsukasa Oishi to the plate. On a single up the left, Morita scored.
New Zealand failed to reach in the 7th going down on a fly ball, ground out and swinging respectively.
Argentina vs New Zealand 7:0 (2:0, 3:0, 2:0, 0:0, 0:0)
Canada, who entered the day undefeated, fell to Argentina. The South Americans advanced to the championship game with the win.
Huemul Mata pitched a complete game for the Argentines giving up just 2 hits and a walk while striking out 9.
At the plate Argentina had 7 runs off 7 hits, including a triple and 2 homeruns. Bruno Motroni and Federico Eder did the most offensive damage to the Cunuck pen each getting 2 RBIs off their homeruns.
Shortstop Gian Scialacomo will be someone to watch in tomorrow’s game. The only player with 2 hits tonight, on the paths he took home on a wild pitch and scored again on the triple by Alan Peker. In the tournament Gian is still batting 1.000. He has 7 runs off 7 hits over 7 at bats with an RBI. He has stolen 3 bases besides.
Argentina enters tomorrow’s game with only a single loss under their belt this tournament. That loss came at the hands of Japan whom they will now face in the championship round. Japan remains undefeated.