Mexico got a fantastic win over New Zealand yesterday, but today they were not able to beat Cuba. Singapore was down 0:2 from the 1st inning, but managed to take the lead and won 4:3. New Zealand took down Botswana 7:0 in five. Venezuela jumped ahead of The Netherlands, scoring 6 in the 4th, and taking the game 9:1. Japan shut down the Philippines 10:0. Australia beat Denmark 5:3. With three homeruns, Canada defeated the USA winning battle for King of the Hill in North America. Argentina hit three homeruns for distance as well in their 6:3 win over the Czech Republic.
Mexico vs Cuba 2:7 (0:2, 0:0, 0:0, 1:0, 0:3, 1:2, 0:X)
It was a battle between the North Americans this morning in Prague. Mexico and Cuba were cheered on by local school kids who arrived with painted faces and homemade signs.
Cuba gave their supporters something to cheer about straight away scoring two in the bottom of the 1st. Taking advantage of two straight walks, followed by a pitch gone wild by Mexico’s starter Jonathan Munoz, the Rodriguez’s three went to work. Juan Rodriguez scored and Yuri Rodriguez moved up to 3rd on the same wild pitch. Yesander Rodriguez then sacrificed to right to allow Yuri time to score.
Things quieted from there until Mexico scored in the top of the 4th off a double by Alberto Hernandez that drove in Ismael Pena. With only a solo homer in the top of 6th by Pena, in answer, it wouldn’t be enough for Mexico to stage a comeback.
In the bottom of the 5th and 6th Cuba piled on scoring 3 and 2 respectively. Cuba’s hottest bat this morning, not surprisingly, was top of the lineup centerfielder Juan Rodriguez. He went 2/3 with 2 runs off 2 hits, including a two-bagger.
The students were rewarded for their efforts, not only with the chance to meet the teams from Mexico and Cuba, but with a private autograph session from the Czech national team. Now that’s what we call a field trip!
RSA vs Singapore 3:4 (2:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:1, 1:0, 0:1, 0:2)
South Africa and Singapore met up for the first time today at Hippos Arena in a matchup that was won, and lost, primarily by the pitching staffs of both teams.
In the top of the 1st Singapore’s starter Jun Ong put centerfielder Cornelius DeLange on 1st when he hit him with the pitch. That set up a jogging partner for Javier Frost when he took one deep.
South Africa’s starter, Manhlane Manaka held the Asians scoreless through three before giving up a double to Schuyler Seah. The next batter, Ee Ng would drive him in with a single through the left side.
Mandla Matswenyane answered for Africa in the top of the 5th with a solo shot over the right field fence. Singapore let them know the message was received with a triple by Ziglar Oh to score Ee Ng in the 6th.
Entering the bottom of the 7th down a run, Singapore’s offense couldn’t take credit for their win. Toshifumi was walked on before South Africa swapped out pitchers. Say Foo bunted Joshua Tam up before he moved to 3rd on a wild pitch. Both men move up another bag on the next wild one. That scored Tam for the tie and put Foo on prime real estate for the win over on 3rd. Tai Tan took one deep enough to left to give Foo the opportunity. Signapore took the lead, and the win, when Foo crossed the plate.
Botswana vs New Zealand 0:7 (0:3, 0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 0:X)
Botswana falls to 1-3, while the Kiwi’s remain undefeated as New Zealand overpowers the African nation 7-0 in five innings of play.
Both teams relied on their starters to finish the game. Botswana’s Kagiso Mogale gave up 7 earned runs off 6 hits, walking 3 while striking out 8. Daniel Chapman gave up a hit and walked one while striking out 12.
At the plate for the Black Sox Ben Enoka went 2-2, including a shot out of left in the bottom of the 4th that accounted for his 2 RBIs. Beyond that, it was small ball as usual for the defending champions as they made quick work of yet another nation bringing their shutout record to three. Only Mexico has challenged their pitchers thus far in the WBSC Men’s Softball Championship for 2019.
Netherlands vs Venezuela 1:9 (0:0, 0:1, 1:2, 0:6, 0:X)
The Netherlands fell to Venezuela 1-9 after a breakout 4th inning to end the game early. The Dutch were held scoreless all but the 3rd inning when Maiker Pimentel gave up an RBI to Jefferson Delfina to tie the game.
By the end of that inning, Venezuela had put 2 on the board to regain the lead. The South Americans racked up 6 more before claiming final victory.
John Zambrano kicked off their 4th inning rally with a triple just to the right of center. Rogelio Sequera took Carlos Ojeda’s spot in the lineup and singled to left scoring Zambrano. The Netherlands put Jereon Mulder on the block but he could not stop Venezuela’s momentum. In fact, he contributed to it.
Sequera reached 2nd on a wild pitch before Herwims Querales doubled him home. Edward Rogers hopped off the bench for Manuel Contreras while Herwim moved up to 3rd on another one thrown wild. When Rogers singled to center, he crossed the plate for the 3rd run of the inning.
Another pitching change, the 3rd Dutch hurler on the day, some additional pinch hitters and wild pitches, left runners in scoring position for Engelbert Herrera took one deep to left and score the remaining 3 before the close of the inning and the game.
Philippines vs Japan 0:10 (0:0, 0:5, 0:5, 0:X)
In a battle for Asian pride, Japan took down the Philippines in a 10-0 shutout at Svoboda Park. Pitchers Koyama, Takahashi and Terabaru split duties to keep the Pilipino batters at bay. They combined for a hit and a walk while striking out 9. Philippines’ starter Leo Barredo held his own against Japan through his first inning of work striking out 3 of their top 5 batters.
On the sacks, Japan split up the credit fairly evenly between designated hitter Hikaru Matsuda, left fielder Mitsuru Miyaji and center fielder Seii Kuroiwa. Matsuda went 2-2, with 2 runs and 2 RBIs. He hit a triple in the bottom of the second that scored Kuroiwa and 2nd baseman Kotaro Yasumi.
First baseman, and cleanup hitter, Daishi Uramoto was busy on sweeping duties today. Though he failed to cross the plate himself, he sent four teammates over the threshold. Only one of his two hits was for extra bases, a double in the bottom of the third that cleared the bags, which were full at the time.
Denmark vs Australia 3:5 (0:1, 0:1, 0:0, 1:3, 0:0, 0:2, 0:X)
While all of Denmark’s scoring came in the third, Australia played a lot of small ball, and played it well, in their 5-3 victory over Denmark this afternoon.
The Aussie pitching staff did an outstanding job giving up just 1 hit on the day. Harrison Peters pitched 4.0 innings, striking out 9 and giving up all 3 runs off a shot to the parking lot. With two outs recorded, Peters walked Martin Simonsen then hit Anders Svane. That set the field for Alejandro Isasi to drive in three with his homer deep over the right field wall. When he ended the inning, Harrison’s day was done. Andrew Kirkpatrick took the ball and pitched 3.0 innings of perfectly while striking out 3.
The Australian lineup took full advantage of the opportunities presented to them by the Danish defense. In addition to Jett Wright stealing home in the second, Brendon O’Bryne scored on a wild pitch in the 6th, becoming the go-ahead run after Scott Patterson’s solo shot to left tied the game in the 4th. This kind of heads-up base running firmed the team’s lead until all 7 were complete.
Czech Republic vs Argentina 3:6 (0:0, 0:3, 0:1, 0:0, 3:2, 0:0, 0:X)
In the final game of the evening for Prague, the Czech national team was greeted by a standing room only crowd as they faced off against Argentina.
On the plate for the Argentine’s, Roman Godoy completed 5.0 full innings giving up 3 runs off 5 hits, walking 2 and striking out 7. Though the runs were earned, with each man reaching base safely, right fielder Santiago Carril was responsible for two of the three runs that got the Czech’s within reach.
With Kasal on 2nd and Korcak on 1st, a single and walk respectively, Vaclav Svoboda singled to right to score Kasal and get the RBI. Korcak advanced to 2nd on the play. In right Carril missed the scoop as he overran the ball and, on his error, both Korcak and Svoboda scored. That made the game 4-3.
In answer to his mistake Santiago doubled to right in the bottom of the inning driving in Motroni for some insurance before crossing the plate himself on a triple by Alberto Montero.
USA vs Canada 1:4 (0:0, 0:2, 0:1, 1:0, 0:0, 0:1, 0:X)
The final game of the night was the second North American battle of the day. On the front half Mexico and Cuba squared off.
In the evening game Canada gave the ball to Patrick Burns who went 5.2 innings giving up just 1 run off 2 hits while striking out 5. Scott Lieph finished the game with 1.1 innings of work giving up 2 of his own and striking out 4.
The US bullpen gave Mervin Weiler the nod. He completed 2.2 innings of work before Antonio Mancha took the block. Weiler went 2.2 innings giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and striking out just 1 batter. Mancha gave up a run off 2 hits and walked as many as he struck out 2 in 3.1 innings of work.
In the box, only Matt Palazzo was playing offense for the Americans. He hit a solo shot deep to left center, taking the ball for a ride around the grounds. The Canadians went a similar route with the heart of their lineup doing all of the heavy lifting. Their 4, 5, 6 guys – Mullaley, Hunter and Abrey – each took a page from Palazzo’s book, hitting one out, to give themselves the RBI. Kristopher Walushka, who batted 7th on the night, tried to keep up reaching twice, but couldn´t make his hits productive.
That’s 4 homers between the teams but there was one more run to be had. Abrey scored a second time in the 6th but the credit went to Mancha who threw wild.