Botswana and Denmark did not allow their opponents to score even a single run. Venezuela absolutely smashed Singapore by scoring 10 points in the first inning. Japan and Argentina may have been the best game we’ve see in the tournament to-date. Japan would ultimate overpower the Argentines with a 3-run final inning. Canada shut down The Netherlands 12:0 in four. #1 New Zealand had a suprising fight to the last out with Cuba, eventually taking the W 2:0. Both evening games were extremely close. Australia defeated the USA 1:0 and the Czech Republic beat Mexico 3:2 in a tiebreak.
Botswana vs Philippines 3:0 (0:0, 3:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0)
Botswana and The Philippines started the day in Prague giving each their first look at the field from ready position. The move did little to help the Philippines as they were shutout by Botswana 3-0.
Hurlers Kagiso Mogale and Kunyalala Samuel paired up to throw a perfect game for Botswana. Mogale walked 3 while striking out 10 over his 5.0 innings. Samuel took care of 6 for himself during his 2.0 innings of work.
It was a group effort by the Philippine’s defense in the 2nd that made the difference in this game. Botswana’s Tiro Mazulugwa, reached on an error by left fielder Christian DeLeon ahead of Morulagnayi Moalosi, who was on the bag courtesy of a fielder’s choice. Both were ahead of Tiro Mazulugwa on the bases when he tripled to send them home. Tshepho Ditiro, who had also reached by choice of a fielder, later scored on a wild pitch to complete Botswana’s scoring on the day.
RSA vs Denmark 0:7 (0:0, 0:0, 0:3, 0:4, 0:X)
South Africa and Denmark started Day III’s round of play in the WBSC Men’s World Softball Championship at Hippos Arena. It was a first look at the field for both teams. Though the change of scenery did little to improve South Africa’s game, it certainly seemed to agree with Danish hitters. Denmark took their first tournament win with their 7-0 defeat of South Africa, who are now 0-2 in the tournament after a tough loss to Venezuela yesterday morning.
Kim Hansen pitched a full 5.0 inning shutout for Denmark giving up just 1 run while striking out 9. South Africa’s Tidima Kekana gave up 6 earned runs off as many hits in his 3.2 innings of work.
Hot off the bench this morning for Denmark were Jens Terkelsen, Martin Simonsen and Duncan Milne who combined for 5 of the team’s 6 hits on the day. It was the 7-8 punch from the lineup that did the most damage to Kekana’s ERA with 3 runs off as many hits and 2 RBIs between them. Terkelsen held his own at the top of the order with deuces across his board, 2 hits, 2 runs and 2 RBIs. He and Simonsen teamed up to hit a pair of balls out of opposite sides of the park, bringing a mate each along with them over the plate.
Singapore vs Venezuela 0:10 (0:10, 0:0, 0:0, 0:X)
Venezuela’s pitching staff is making quick work of the opposition here at the WBSC Men’s World Softball Championship. The staff has now combined for two shutouts in as many days.
Today their bullpen split the work between Maiker Pimentel, Luis Colombo and Angel Perez. Only Pimentel, who did the majority of the heavy lifting lasting 2.1 innings, gave up a run. He also struck out 5 in his time on the block.
Offensively, it was Singapore’s Marcus Chew who got the most banged up. Though he threw just 2/3rds of an inning the coach pulled him far too late to stop the bleed. By the time he was icing the arm, Venezuela was up 8-0 off 5 hits. Chew was pretty much throwing BP with 3 walks to his credit before he was dismissed.
The bat to watch for Venezuela today was absolutely #3 in the lineup, catcher Rafael Flores. He finished his 3 at bats with 3 RBIs and 2 runs off 2 hits, a double and a homerun. That’s a solid day’s work on a team that had plenty of bats pulling the team’s weight behind them.
Japan vs Argentina 8:4 (1:1, 3:0, 0:0, 0:1, 1:1, 0:1, 3:0)
Japan and Argentina gave fans their first glimpse of what this competition is all about with a back-and-forth scoring volley through 7. They wasted no time getting the heart rates of fans close to the temperature on the field straight out of the gate.
Japan jumped on the board in the top of the first with a single RBI by Hikaru Matsuda to drive in SS Ryoyu Une. In the bottom of the inning Argentina answered with some small ball of their own as Santiago Carril drove in Pablo Migliavacca who himself had singled.
Top of 2 Japan was back at it with another run accomplished playing one pitch at a time, stealing some extra space on the bases where they could, to finish the inning ahead by 3.
Argentina took their time answering on offense with a run off Manuel Gody’s double in the 4th. They had another in the 5th but so too did Japan. Each team had solo shots out of the park to end their offensive half of the inning. Then Argentina made their move, scoring again in the 6th. That brought Japan into the top of the 7th holding their lead by a mere run and Argentina having home field advantage with last ups.
It was only then that Japan appeared to let the South Americans in on a secret. They’d been holding back. With some help from Argentina’s reliever Huemel Mata, they had 3 walks, as many singles and a fielder’s choice to get them started on offense. They kept the bases loaded from no outs to three, adding 3 to the board over that time.
When Japan’s time on D came reliever Huemul Mata showed everyone that, after 2 innings of work, he was just getting warmed up. He let go of the ball as quickly and regularly as if he were holding the sun and wanting to release the heat emanating from its giant yellow sphere. If anyone doubted his abilities, he put all concerns to rest with a final pitch that had even novices to the sport shaking their heads while releasing a low whistle.
Canada vs Netherlands 12:0 (7:0, 1:0, 2:0, 2:0)
This afternoon’s matchup between the countries of Canada and The Netherlands left the North Americans 2-0 while the Dutch fell to 0-2. This was Canada’s 2nd shutout in as many games. Their pitching staff is making quick work of their days. After defeating Denmark 7-0 in 5 on Day II, they took out The Kingdom 12-0 in 4 today.
Devon Mccullough went the first 3.0 innings giving up a hit while striking out 8. Patrick Burns tagged in, in the 4th flagging two of his own. For the Dutch it was Wesley Blonk who took the hit giving up 8 earned runs off 6 hits in just 2.0 innings of work. Enio Kwas managed to keep his ERA to a slightly less painful level over the same number of innings, closing out with 4 earned runs off 6 hits and a strikeout to his credit.
At the plate for Canada it was a whole lot of small ball, powered by some long distance shots, that broke this game wide open. In the top of the 1st both Stephen Mullaley and Tyler Pauli went deep but it was Tyler’s shot that hurt the most. While Mullaley brought along a friend on the bags, Tyler cleared them with a grand slam to right. The dingers didn’t stop there. In the top of the 3rd Bryan Abrey hit a solo shot to left before Blake Hunter went deep to the opposite field in the forth driving in two.
Cuba vs New Zealand 0:2 (0:0, 0:2, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:X)
Cuba and New Zealand kept the tensions high in Prague with a 2-0 win for the Black Sox. Scoreless in all innings but the 2nd, this was a great battle between bullpens.
New Zealand’s starter, Daniel Chapman, went 6.0 innings giving up just 6 hits and walking 1 while striking out 12. Joshua Pettett shut the door on Cuba giving up a harmless walk and striking out 1.
From Cuba’s bench relievers Guber Plutin and Alain Roman, along with some great defensive backup on the grounders, shut down the Black Sox offense in spite of Plutin giving up 4 bases on balls. Starter Alian Lopez, who went 3.0 innings, gave up 2 earned runs off 3 hits while striking out 4.
Offensively, Thomas Enoka singled to left and was driven in by Joel Evans on a deep one that went out just right of center.
USA vs Australia 0:1 (0:1, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:X)
Hayden Mathews singled up the middle in the bottom of the 1st to set up team Australia’s sole run of the game. He advanced to 2nd on a walk for James Todhunter. Next up, Nicholas Shailes sacrifice bunted the men up another bag. Quick on his feet, Mathews scored on a passed ball to record the only run of the game between the Americans and Aussies.
On the hill for the Australian national team, Andrew Kirkpatrick was perfect through the first 4.0 innings striking out 7 along the way. Adam Folkard took over the final 3 innings giving up a hit and a walk while taking down 7 more himself.
Over on the team USA bench it was Joel Cooley who got the start. He went 4.0 innings giving up 4 hits, and that unearned run, while walking 3 and striking out 3 more. He handed the ball off to Mervin Weiler who completed the game with 3 Ks along with a hit to tally into his ERA.
Mexico vs Czech Republic 2:3 (1:0, 0:0, 1:2, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:1)
It took just 2 full days of play for the WBSC Men’s World Softball Championship to go from shutouts to extra innings. In front of packed stands the Czech Republic faced off against Mexico.
Mexico hopped on the board early scoring 1 in the top of the 1st. After seeing just 2 pitches lead off batter Lenny Villalvazo hung one out in right for a triple. Two pitches later, he scored on the ground out by Ismael Pena. In the 3rd they scored a second run and the Czechs came back to tie it up in the bottom of the inning with a little small ball of their own. By the time the 7th rolled around, nothing had changed so the boys went ahead and played another inning.
Extra innings rules put Patrik Kolkus on and Mexico chose to give David Mertl his base. Mikalas Klas’ bunted them up a base. A small chopper up the middle for Marek Maly brought Kolkus around to score ending the game 3-2 for the hometown fans.