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DAY 8: Maly hits homer to move clinch last Playoff spot for Czech Republic. Japan and Canada remain undefeated.

20.06.2019 | Sam Gilman, Denisa Józsová

The Philippines finish the opening round of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship unable to post a W as Mexico beats them handily 12-2. With their 7-4 win over Venezuela this morning team USA took temporary sole possession of the #3 slot for B-Pool. Japan finishes the opening round 7-0. Botswana´s pen held their own against the Asians, shutting down their offense in 5 straight innings. Denmark defeated Singapore in a 5-3 game that went the full 7. A rarity to date in this tournament. Canada finishes the opening round of the WBSC Men’s World Softball Championship as one of two undefeated teams. The game to watch in A-Pool concluded with #1 ranked New Zealand falling to 5th ranked Argentina. Australia completes their day 6-1 with a firm grip on the #2 spot for B-Pool and is heading to the playoffs.

Philippines vs Mexico 2:12 (0:2, 2:3, 0:7, 0:X)

Mexico struck in the bottom of the 1st with 2 and the Philippines answered with 2 of their own in the top of the next inning. After that, the only language off the bats was Spanish. Mexico posted 3 at the bottom half of the inning and 7 more in the 3rd.

Mexico’s 3-4 guys were battling with one another for bragging rights. Leftfielder Alan Salgado had 2 runs, 2 hits, including a homer, and 3 RBIs on the day. Not to be outdone, 1st baseman Daniel Durazo had 2 runs of his own off 2 hits and 3 RBIs as well. The tie breaker? Both Durazo’s hits went the distance.

Venezuela vs USA 4:7 (1:0, 0:1, 0:0, 0:2, 1:1, 2:3, 0:X)

By the end of 2 the teams were tied at one apiece. There they remained until the bottom of the 4th when the Americans put up 2. Venezuela added 1 in the 5th and 2 in the 6th but it wasn’t enough. Team USA matched them in the 5th and added 3 in the 6th.

As we’ve seen before, mistakes are costly. Of the three today, only Venezuelan 1B John Zambranos’ lacked consequences. His guy was caught up as the 3-6-3 turned 2nd.

In the bottom of the 6th, 2 of the 3 runs that came across for the States passed on an error by CF Carlos Ojeda. America hurler Joel Cooley hurt himself with an error that resulted in that inning’s RBI for Venezuela.

Japan vs Botswana 3:0 (2:0, 1:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0)

Kunyalala Samuel was responsible for all the runs. Motsholathebe pitched the remaining outs giving up just a hit on his day.

Top of the 1st Ryoyu Une looked at a ball and took the next pitch to land on 1st. Tomonori Inoue didn’t bother to watch one pass. He sent his first pitch sailing and put Japan on the board 2-0 after the first 3 pitches of the game.

The top of the 2nd started no differently. Taiyo Kataoka watched a ball go by then singled to right. He got to 2nd on a passed ball, third on a wild pitch. There was a called strike next on which he took home.

Though they would finish all 7, that was the ball game.

Denmark vs Singapore 5:3 (1:0, 0:2, 0:1, 3:0, 0:0, 0:0, 1:0)

All 3 of Singapore’s runs came off homers. Marcus Chew sent one deep to center to bring Jeron Tan, who reached on balls, along for a trot. In the 3rd, Mohammad Noorham had a solo shot out of left.

Though the scoring for Denmark happened, primarily on a 3-run dinger from Tobias Holmelund, once again it was their consistent game of small ball that put the runners in position. The same held true for both their runs in the 1st and 7th as well. Of all the tournament teams, the Danish runners seem to be capitalizing best on pitches that go wild.

On the block for Denmark Jens Terkelsen pitched the full game striking out 10.

Canda vs South Africa 10:4 (0:0, 0:1, 1:3, 5:0, 2:0, 1:1, 0:0)

Canada finishes the opening round of the WBSC Men’s World Softball Championship as one of two undefeated teams. Japan sits atop the A-Pool, and Canada is seated to their right in B-Pool.

South Africa finally put some numbers on their offensive column in tonight’s 10-4 loss showing promise for their placement round.

The Cunucks had 4 hits for extra bases between them tonight but nothing left the park. That’s new for a team that has relied heavily on the long shot throughout the week. Bats were consistently spread for credit.

On South Africa’s offensive side 3 of the 4 runs came off a ball Mogau Thupudi took deep to left.

Argentina vs New Zealand 6:4 (1:0, 0:4, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 2:0, 3:0)

The game to watch in A-Pool concluded with #1 ranked New Zealand falling to 5th ranked Argentina. That puts them at 4-3 having also lost to Japan, ranked 3rd and Mexico, who came into tournament play 9th in the rankings.

Argentina is looking strong in this tournament, finishing the opening round 7-1. There is concern however, as they approach week two, that they have relied too heavily on Roman Godoy on the block.

Godoy has started 5 of Argentina’s 6 games accumulating a 3-1 record and a 4.30 ERA over 14.2 innings of work. Some much-needed rest may be in short order. He lasted just over an inning tonight giving up 4 walks with no outs before coach called time.

Netherlands vs Australia 3:7 (0:0, 0:0, 1:1, 2:6, 0:X)

The game rained to a close with the Netherlands trailing Australia in their closest game since their opener. The Dutch finished initial rounds tied at the bottom of the heap with South Africa and Singapore. They fell to the African nation but beat the Asians. Australia completes their day 6-1 with a firm grip on the #2 spot for B-Pool and is heading to the playoffs.

Behind the Aussies 7-3 in the bottom of the 5th, Mother Nature decided The Kingdom had, had enough. The game was called with 1 out in the bottom of the inning.

Both teams were scoreless through 2 and then each put 1 on the board in the 3rd. The Netherlands scored on an error by centerfielder Callum Beshel who wiped the slate clean again with a solo run around the bases to end the inning.

Bottom 4 is where the Dutch pitching fell apart. After the change was made, Jeffry Visser committing an error threw 2 wild and hit a batter. The Aussies walked out of the inning with 6 more runs.

Cuba vs Czech Republic (1:1, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:2, 1:0, 2:2)

In the biggest game of the day, the Czech Republic pulled off the upset over Cuba to take the last playoff spot in the A-Pool. With a final score of 5-4 through 7, and finishing just before the rain came, you have to wonder if fate, as much as skill, was playing 12th man for local favorite.

Both teams scored a run in the 1st then went scoreless through the next 3. In the bottom of the 5th, the Czech Republic put 2 up small ball style.

Roger Rosete did his part to answer on Cuba’s behalf with a solo shot. In the top of the 7th they put up two more, taking advantage of mistakes from the ring, to jump ahead a run. They finished their offensive ups hoping to hold on.

The Czechs had other ideas. David Mertl was walked on and ready when Marek Maly took one out to cross the plate as the winning run.