In Group A Japan, the United States and Australia will advance to the Super Round. In group two it will be South Korea and Cuba. Canada will play South Africa today and if they win they will be the third team to advance. If they lose both Taiwan and Canada will be tied for third at 2-3, but since Canada beat Taiwan in the head to head they will still probably advance. Each team will take their wins and losses with them to the Super Round in games they have competed against other teams who are also advancing to the super round.
The team with the best hitting (.353) is Japan. They are 46 points ahead of their closest pursuer South Korea (.307). The United States bats are a disappointing fifth (.265), behind the three Asian Tigers and Australia. The top pitching belongs to Japan (0.00) followed by Cuba (0.62). The United States is third (1.32). Japan has out performed the hard throwing United States team in strikeouts 57-55.
Cuba 3 Taiwan 2
Taiwan could have made things more interesting with a win over Cuba. Lazaron Najarro shut down the Taiwan bats for the first eight innings, but in the ninth the Taiwan bats came alive. Two singles and a double scored the first run for Taiwan. Yandy Molina came in to retire the final two batters, one on a sacrifice fly to score the second run for Taiwan. The big bat for Cuba continues to be Luis Robert, who collected four hits in four at bats, including a two run double in the third and an RBI single in the fifth to account for all of the runs scored by Cuba. Robert has driven in 11 of the 24 runs scored by Cuba.
United States 5 Brazil 2
The United States bats still remain relatively quiet. Blake Rutherford drove in two runs on three hits and McKenzie Moniak also drove in two runs on two hits, including a sacrifice fly. The United States could not get a sustained rally, getting single runs in five innings, leaving eight men on base but still coming up with the victory to advance. The jet lag should be over for their Super Round competition.
Australia 10 Czech Republic 0
Rhys Steedman threw six innings of shutout ball and Australia took advantage of eight walks and 14 hits to bash the Czechs. Dean Frew was the big hit machine for Australia with three hits to score three times and drive in two. He also was one of three players who drew two walks.
South Korea 11 Italy 3
South Korea finished undefeated after the first round with their thrashing of Italy. They started slow but Jun-Young Park ignited them with two hits and two walks to score four times. Sun-Do Hwang put together three hits to drive in four runs.
Japan 12 Mexico 0
Japan did not have too much trouble with Mexico to remain undefeated in the other bracket. In five games Japan has only given up one run, that was unearned against Australia.