Cuba and Netherlands had no problem with their morning games. Neither allowed their opponents to score and each earned the W. Argentina followed their lead, smashing the Philippines 15:0. Venezuela v. Denmark was a totally different story however. The game went extra innings with the South Americans breaking the tie, where Venezuela was the happier team. The States beat South Africa for their second win of the tournament. Close loss yesterday against the Czechs, Mexico today pulled off a surprise victory over New Zealand in a 5:4 extra innings win. Canada scored 3 runs in the 3rd to beat Australia 4:1. Japan managed to win 4:3 over the Czech Republic after falling behind early 0:3. But they took the lead and eventually could celebrate a 4:3 victory.
Singapore vs Netherlands 0:13 (0:3, 0:2, 0:8, 0:X)
The shutout streak extended to three days in Prague this morning. The opener between Singapore and The Netherlands began under clouded skies and cool temperatures, fitting for the pounding the Dutch were about to give the men from Asia.
After suffering a 12-0 loss last night, today there was plenty of contact between the Netherland’s bench and their bats. The hurt they laid upon the Singaporeans was truly a team effort with 4 guys batting in 2, and only 2 with more than a hit added to their totals on the day. Centerfielder Danny Rombley, their #8 guy in the lineup, did the most damage going 2/2 with 2 hits, both doubles, and an RBI. Amazingly enough, in all that action, not a single shot left the park. In fact, the only addition extra base hit came from Enrique Javier who also hit a 2-bagger.
In the ring for the Netherlands starting pitcher Jeroen Mulder went the full 4.0 innings giving up just 2 hits on the day while walking 1 and striking out 7. Only 3 of the 13 runs given up by Singapore were unearned. The rest remain the responsibility of their bullpen who combined to give up 10 runs off 9 hits while striking out just 4 between them.
Cuba vs Botswana 6:0 (1:0, 1:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 1:0, 3:0)
In another shutout here at the WBSC Men’s SB World Championship, Cuba took down Botswana 6-0 scoring half their runs in the top of the 7th.
Cuba scored 6 runs off 12 hits while Botswana failed to get a man on safely for the day. With neither team committing an error, this was strictly a battle that Cuba’s hitters won handily against the Batswana bullpen.
Roger Rosete’s bat was, once again, an issue for the defense. He took 2 for yard straight up the middle, both solo shots. It was the #2 batter however, leftfielder Yuri Rodriguez, who did the most consistent damage of the day. Over 4 appearances he had 3 hits, including a double, and drove in 3 on his own.
Argentina vs Philippines 15:0 (1:0, 6:0, 1:0, 1:0, 6:0)
Boy oh boy are they flying out the park at Hippos Arena today! Argentina closed the door on the Philippines offense, while traveling the bases like they were on a merry-go-round.
Roman Godoy went 3.0 innings for Argentina giving up a single and striking out 5 before Juan Potolicchio took the ball to take down 6 on his own. Two of the Philippine’s hurlers suffered at the hands of Argentina’s bats today. Marlon Pagkaliwagan gave up 7 runs off 6 hits in his 1.2 innings of work before the South Americans schooled his replacement, Gregorio Marquez, in similar fashion leaving him responsible for another 7 earned runs off 8 hits over his 3.1 innings of work.
At the plate for Argentina it was the 1-8-9 combination that did the most harm. Centerfielder Alan Peker went 2/3, with a double and a homer, driving in 3. DH Gustavo Godoy and 3rd baseman Gonzalo Ojeda decided on matching stats each going 2/3 with 2 runs off 2 hits and 2 RBIs but they did trade off the extra bases. Godoy opted for a homerun while Ojeda stuck with the more understated triple. In total the Argentines hit 3 out of the park. It was their #9 batter though, SS Gian Scilacomo, who had himself the best day and that didn’t include a parking lot shot. He went 3/3 with 3 runs off 3 hits and tacked on an RBI for good measure.
Venezuela vs Denmark 1:0 (0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 1:0)
We had the first extra innings game of the day in Prague when Venezuela and Denmark teamed up for a pitch-off. Both teams opted to keep their starters on the mound to the end.
In the ring for the South Americans, Erick Urbaneja went 8.0 innings, walking 3 while striking out 6. Kim Hansen gave up 4 hits and a run while striking out 14. Clearly the fielders on both benches had the back of their #1 guy for the day.
It was the RBI by leftfielder Herwims Querales that would put an end to the fun. In the top of the 8th he sacrificed his bat for the good of the team. Per extra inning rules 1st baseman John Zolarzano was placed on 2nd. Manuel Contreras grounded out, advancing the runner before Querales slammed one out to left, giving Zolarzano time to cross for the win.
USA vs South Africa 8:1 (0:0, 3:1, 4:0, 1:0, 0:0)
In spite of the amazing vocals from their fans, South Africa fell short in today’s matchup against team USA.
In their 8-1 defeat, the African nation used two pitchers. Tidima Kekana lasted 2 full innings giving up 2 earned runs on as many hits while striking out 3. Mogau Thupudi took his place to start the 3rd and things went downhill from there. In 3.0 innings of work Mogau gave up 5 earned runs off 6 hits while walking 2 and only managing to strike out a single batter.
On the block for America Antonio Mancha went the full 5.0 giving up 1 run off 3 hits while striking out 7. The only run to score was a solo shot out of the park by relief pitcher Thupudi.
For team USA the offense was a consistent game of small ball fueled by doubles from 4 different bats. Cameron Schiller managed a triple but nothing left the park on their behalf. 6 players shared the team’s hits and 2nd baseman Tyler Dudley joined them for an RBI by reaching on a fielder’s choice that scored Schiller.
New Zealand vs Mexico 4:5 (0:0, 1:0, 0:0, 2:0, 1:1, 0:0, 0:3, 0:1)
New Zealand took an early lead in their game against Mexico this afternoon jumping ahead 3-0 heading into the 4th. In the 5th both teams had a run but it felt like Mexico might be staging a comeback, and come back they did. At the end of 7, it was all tied up at 4.
Bottom of 8 Ruben Delgadillo was placed on 2nd then advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch. Alan Salgado was given his base intentionally to put runners on the corners. That’s when New Zealand put themselves in the pickle they were hoping to force Mexico into. They intentionally walked them loaded with no outs to get to Ivan Garcia who struck himself out swinging. With one down, New Zealand catcher Kallan Compain tried for the squeeze during the next at bat but missed the tag, leaving Delgadillo safely on 3rd. Marco Gonzalez took the next pitch, hitting back a high chopper over 2nd and driving Alan in for the win.
Australia vs Canada 1:4 (0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:3, 0:1, 1:0, 0:X)
The Aussies fell to Canada 4-1 in Prague’s late game. Sean Cleary recorded the win going the full 7.0 innings having given up just 1 run on 2 hits while sending 10 back to the bench. That run didn’t come until the 6th inning when Liam O’Leary took a solo shot over the fence just right of center.
For Australia’s pen Adam Folkard carried the majority of the burden giving up 3 runs on 3 hits in his 4.0 innings of work. After holding Canada scoreless through three, it soon became clear that this is where his night should have ended.
The Canuck batters liked what they saw as they took their second look at his stuff. Left fielder, and #1 on the lineup card, Mathieu Roy singled to center. He was directly followed by Brad Ezekiel who followed his lead to the opposite field. 2 on and no outs, Derek Mayson sent one deep center for a jog around the bases with his teammates.
Ezekiel would hit a double when he was back at the plate in the 5th sending Canadian SS Walushka home for the final run of the night.
Czech Republic vs Japan 3:4 (3:1, 0:1, 0:0, 0:1, 0:1, 0:0, 0:X)
In the final game at Hippo Arena the local fans were treated to yet another intense matchup as the Czech national team squared off against Japan.
The Europeans jumped out to an early lead putting 3 on the board in the 1st. Vaclav Svoboda singled and Patrik Kolkus walked along with David Mertl. Bases loaded, the first run of the evening walked across the plate as Marek Maly reached base on a catcher interference call that sent Svoboda home. Michal Koluch singled to right scoring Kolkus and Mertl while advancing Maly to 3rd where he was left stranded.
In the bottom of the inning Japan answered with a run of their own after Ryoyu Une, who was walked, touched home on a single by Hikaru Matsuda. After a scoreless 3rd inning, Japan was back on the board in the 4th with another Une-Matsuda pairing with a single by Ryoyu and a grounder for the out by Hikaru. At the end of 4, Japan had tied it up.
The Asians took advantage of some wild ones thrown by the Czech Republic’s relief pitcher Marek Joska, who appeared to need a few additional warm up pitches, in the second half of the 5th to claim the lead. Kuroiwa pinch ran for Mitsuru Miyaji after his single then advanced to both 2nd and 3rd on errant pitches. When Taiyo Kataoka singled to center he sacrificed his at bat for the winning run.