Archive for the 'Australia' Category

Japan Retains Number One Ranking in Baseball

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

The United States earned more points than any other country in 2017 but it was not enough to surpass Japan for the number one ranking. For the third year in a row Japan is the number one ranked country in baseball. They earned the second most points in baseball last year and now lead the United States by 244 points. The 2018 season will be difficult for the United States to surpass Japan since they are not participating in the Under 23 Baseball World Cup in Nicaragua in October, one of the two tournaments that hand out the most points for the 2018 season. In a couple weeks the rankings could shuffle as points from 2014 expire, but if the United States should surpass Japan because of subtracted points their reign will be short.

Below are the top 12 teams in baseball, plus number 13 waiting to crack into the top 12. The top 12 teams will qualify for the Premier 12, which is the third most prestigious baseball tournament after the Olympics and the World Baseball Classic.

1. Japan (5658 points)
2. United States (5414 points)
3. Korea (4950 points)
4. Taiwan (3808 points)
5. Cuba (3677 points)
6. Mexico (3012 points)
7. Australia (2634 points)
8. Netherlands (2377 points)
9. Venezuela (2363 points)
10. Canada (2142 points)
11. Puerto Rico (1827 points)
12. Italy (1686 points)

13. Nicaragua (1636 points)

Hamburger Takes Tough Loss in Australia Despite Record 16 K’s

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

At 30 years of age his best days are behind him, but that does not stop him from making memories for the present. Yesterday would have been a great memory if he had not taken the loss. Mark Hamburger pitched his second complete game of the year, striking out 16 batters but lost the game 2-0. The strikeouts were the most recorded in an Australian baseball game.

The Canberra Cavalry, who had given up 32 runs in their final game last weekend found the right pitcher to start this weekend series with Brian Grening tossing a three hit shutout against the Melbourne Aces. He was not as dominant as Hamburger but he went nine innings allowing only one real baserunner. In back to back games the Cavalry break Australian records, first for their pitchers giving up the most runs in a game and next for their hitters striking out the most in a game. At least they recorded one win.

Buddy Reed legged out a double to lead off the game, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. He made it 1-0, scoring on a David Kandilas ground ball to short. It appeared this would be the last run of the game but David Kandilas slugged a two out homer in the top of the ninth to notch an insurance run.

Melbourne had trouble keeping runners on base. Delmon Young got the first hit in the fourth with a two out single but was thrown out at second trying to stretch it into a double. The fifth and sixth innings saw their two baserunners get thrown out stealing. The last and only baserunner led off the seventh with a single but was stranded.

In the 8th the Aces were retired in order. They had their coach and manager ejected to begin the bottom of the ninth, perhaps a little upset with all the baserunners thrown out at second. Grening was not deterred retiring the Aces in order to finish the game in one hour and 51 minutes, the shortest game in Australian history. That had to be a welcome relief from the more than three hour 32-10 loss Calgary experienced last weekend.

Heat Melts the Calgary 32-10

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

Yes. This was a baseball game. In Australia. The Perth Heat took advantage of 13 Canberra Calvary walks and 6 errors to break the Australian record for runs scored with 32. The old record had been held by the Adelaide Bite when they scored 23 back in 2014 when most in the United States were celebrating Halloween. Scary thought. Because Perth was the home team they scored the 32 runs in just eight innings.

The Cavalry actually outhomered the Heat four dingers to two. But the Cavalry were down 17-0 after two innings. Jonathan Mottay, who pitched for France in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier made a forgetful debut in the Australian League coughing up 11 runs in one inning. He faced five batters in the 11 run second inning but could not get anyone out. Every pitcher who appeared for the Cavalry walked at least one hitter, though Michael Click did not allow a run in his one inning of work and Kyle Perkins came in from right field and retired two hitters without allowing a run. He was the second position player to pitch, with David Kandilas starting the inning and retiring only one hitter in the eighth while giving up four runs.

The Perth Heat had every player in the starting lineup score at least two runs, drive in a run and contribute at least one hit. Ulrich Bojarski, who contributed the least number of hits with one was tied with Garrett Whitley for scoring the most runs with five. He walked four times. Jesse Williams, who batted last in the order led the team in RBIs with six while Jake Fraley was second on the team with five. Jake drove in three runs in the sixth inning with one of the two Heat homeruns.

Perth finds themselves in second place in the Australian League. They play next weekend against the last place Adelaide Bite, inching up on the first place Brisbane Bandits who are half a game ahead of them. Perth has a league leading batting average of .302 with their 193 runs 37 more than their closest pursuer the Bandits. Surprisingly, Calgary is second in ERA at 5.32 behind the Brisbane Bandits who lead in ERA at 3.78. It appears the Australian League is using the spiced up major league ball.

Australian League Opener

Friday, November 17th, 2017

The Australian Baseball League had its league opener across the waters between the Brisbane Bandits and the Canberra Cavalry. The Bandits stole the game with four runs in the seventh to break a 4-4 tie and ultimately win the game 8-5.

Logan Wade strung together two hits to drive in two runs to lead the Bandits. He hit a two run homer in the fourth to tie the game at 3-3. His two run single in the seventh drove in the first two runs of the inning to break a 4-4 tie. Catcher Adam Weisenburger drove in the other two runs in the inning with a single. Canberra pitchers walked three hitters in the inning, one of them intentionally.

David Kandilas smashed a two run homer for the cavalry in the fourth to give Canberra a 3-1 lead. Robbie Perkins delivered a solo shot in the 8th to close out the scoring for the Cavalry. T.J. Bennett hit a solo shot in the fifth for Brisbane to give the Bandits a brief 4-3 lead.

Japan Still Number One in Baseball Despite United States Dominance

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

The United States has finished higher than Japan in most of the tournaments the two play in. The main reason Japan is rated higher is they have played in more tournament, two November World Cup age tournaments that the United States chose not to participate in. The voting system tends to favor quantity of tournaments played rather than quality.

Below are the top ten countries in baseball. You can see the complete list at WBSC.org.

1) Japan - 5598
2) United States - 5414
3) Korea - 4908
4) Taiwan - 3747
5) Cuba - 3637
6) Mexico - 2957
7) Australia - 2634
8) Netherlands - 2374
9) Venezuela - 2286
10) Canada - 2142

Under 18 World Cup All Tournament Team

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Below is the Under 18 World Cup all tournament team. Myworld will include other players who were deserving of consideration based on their statistical performance.

Catcher - Dae-Hyun Cho (Korea) - .278, 1 HR, 11 runs scored, 8 RBIs with a .935 OPS

First Base - Leonardo Seminati (Italy) - .423, 2 HR, 7 RBI with 1.185 OPS

Second Base - Cesar Prieto (Cuba) - .581 ave with a 1.251 OPS

Third Base - Noah Naylor (Canada) - .313 average with .856 OPS

Shortstop - Brice Turang (United States) - .364, 7 runs scored with a .932 OPS

Outfield - Jin-Won Ye (Korea) - .355, 1 HR, 10 runs scored, 6 RBIs with a .992 OPS
Outfield - Alek Thomas (United States) - .361, 8 RBIs and six runs scored with 5 stolen bases
Outfield - Michael Siani (United States) - .333, 12 runs scored and 6 RBIs with 7 stolen bases and a .896 OPS

Starting Pitcher - Ethan Hankins (United States) - 1-0, 0.75 ERA, 27 K’s in 12 innings

Relief Pitcher - Fuminaru Taura (Japan) - 1-1, 1.32 ERA with 29 K’s in 13.2 innings

Others to Consider

United States

Triston Casas - .250, 3 homeruns and 13 RBIs with .993 OPS. Voted MVP of the tournament
Matthew Liberatore - 2-0, 0.00 ERA in 12 innings
Ryan Weathers - 2-0, 0.00 ERA in 9.2 innings
Brandon Dieter - 1-0, 0.00 ERA in 10 innings

Korea

Jun-Hwan Jang - .381, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs with 7 runs scored and a 1.234 OPS. 8 walks
Baek-Ho Kang - .375, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 6 runs scored, 4 2Bs with a 1.100 OPS. Also 4 K’s in 2 innings. The Shohei Otani of Korea.
In-Hyok Yi - .300, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 6 runs scored with a .967 OPS
Been Gwak - 1-1, 2.51 with 18 K’s in 14.1 innings
Min Kim - 1-0, 0.77 in 11.2 innings

Japan

Kaito Kozono - .378 average
Hisanori Yasuda - .324 average, 4 2Bs with a .918 OPS
Ginji Miura - 2-0, 0.00 ERA with 19 K’s in 12 innings
Kento Kawabata - 0-2, 2.51 ERA with 25 K’s in 14.1 innings

Canada

Jason Willow - .333, 1 HR, 10 RBIs, 7 runs scored with a .928 OPS
Archer Brookman - .219, 2HR, 11 RBIs, 9 runs scored with a .866 OPS

Australia

Jack O’Loughlin - 2-0, 0.69 ERA with 15 K’s in 13 IP

Cuba

Roidal Martinez - .429 ave with a 1.026 OPS
Victor Mesa - .320 ave.

Taiwan

Han-Yu Tseng - .393 with .964 OPS
Tien-Hsin Kuo - .364 with .860 OPS

Netherlands

Dylan Koster - .364 with .845 OPS
Donny Breek - 1-1, 1.08 ERA, 18 K’s 16.2 innings, 151 opponent average

Italy

Michele Vassalotti - 1-0, 1.64 ERA with 15 K’s in 11 innings
Chih-Jung Liu - 1-1, 1.98 with 13 K’s in 13.2 IP
Yi-Sheng Chu - 1.29 ERA with 12 K’s in 7 IP

Nicaragua

Wandley Lagos - .424 ave, 4 stlen bases with a .899 OPS
Jeyner Flores - .393 ave, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs with 1.219 OPS

Mexico

Saul Martinez - .423 with a 1.041 OPS
Jose Gaona - .400 with a 1.070 OPS
Jorge Valdez - 1-0, 1.17 ERA with 10 K’s in 7.2 innings

South Africa

None

18 and Under World Cup - Korea Versus United States for Championship

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

Korea got into the finals of the 18 and under World Cup championship relegating Japan to a bronze medal match. Korea will get a rematch with the United States, who they lost to earlier 2-0 in super round play. Japan will play Canada for the bronze medal match.

United States 9 Australia 0

The loss eliminated Australia from any medal competition but making the top six was an accomplishment. The United States had already clinched a gold medal appearance and had nothing to play for. Brandon Dieter pitched eight innings of three hit shut out ball for the United States to get the win. A five run third inning put this game away early. Five players in the United States lineup contributed two hits each with Nolan Gorman leading that bunch with two RBIs. Alek Thomas also drove in two runs with his one hit.

Korea 6 Japan 4

Korea knocked Japan down to the bronze medal game with their second win over the samurai team. Korea lit up Japanese ace Fumimaru Taura for five runs in the first two innings. Errors plagued both teams with three each, the sloppy play allowing three unearned runs to score for each team. Taura made a throwing error on a bunt in the first inning that ignited a three run rally for Korea.

Japan bounces back for three in the top of the second, aided by a Korean error. Taura, who came into the game striking out 27 hitters in just 12 innings gives up a single and two walks to load the bases in the second inning. After a strikeout he walks in a run and his day is done.

The bullpens do a good job after the early explosions. Kento Kawabata limits the Korean offense to just one run in his 6.2 innings of work. After giving up three in the second Min Kim survives until the sixth, when a single, two walks and a sacrifice fly ends the day for Kim. Jun-Young Ha bails Kim out of the sixth and strikes out seven of the nine hitters he faces. Young-Lun Kim pitches the final inning to earn the save.

Jun-Hwan Jang led the offense for Korea starting the game off with a single off Taura, igniting the three run first. He finished the game with two runs scored on two walks and a single in four at bats. Baek-Ho Kang drove in two runs for Korea. Shuto Sakurai collected three of the five Japanese hits.

Canada 4 Cuba 2

Cuba did not have anything to play for in this game, finishing the super round winless. Considering previous Cuban teams this was a major disappointment. Canada rallied for three runs in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie. Victor Cerny drove in two runs with a double. Jason Willow also had an RBI double in the inning.

Michael Stovman works eight innings for Canada to get the win. Jack Decooman works the ninth to earn the save. Victor Mesa, the rising Cuban star went 4 for 4 in the first game of the tournament, but then could only string together four hits in the final seven games. He did not draw a walk in the tournament.

Under 18 Super Round - Day 2 United States Blanks Korea

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

It was a matchup between the only two teams who had yet to take a loss in the tournament. The United States knocked Korea off of that mountain and are now king of the hill. In two upsets Australia surprised Cuba and Canada knocked off Japan to send the crowd into a tizzy over who will face the United States in the championship. Korea does battle with Japan today and a win will clinch a rematch with the United States.

United States 2 Korea 0

As it has been throughout this tournament the United States pitchers carried the team. The Korean pitcher Be-En Gwak was not too bad either. Ethan Hankins was a mystery to Korea for his six innings of work. He gave up two hits and struck out 14 of the 22 hitters he faced. All those K’s impacted his pitch count and he was relieved by Ryan Weathers for 2.2 innings. Weathers gets into a little trouble in the 9th giving up a two out single and a walk to put two runners on. John Ginn gets the last out on a strikeout to preserve the shutout and give the United States pitchers 19 whiffs on the day.

Gwak did not have the high strikeout totals of Hankins but he had the United States hitters perplexed through the first seven innings. The score was 0-0 after seven when the United States struck first. It was Gwak himself who gifted the run when he made an error to put a runner on first. Jarred Kelenic singled Michael Siani to third and Anthony McNair was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. A wild pitch scores the first run.

The United States scores an insurance run in the ninth on a double by Nolan Gorman that drives Gwak from the game. A single by Brice Turang gives the United States a 2-0 lead, enough for the vaunted pitching staff to protect.

Australia 3 Cuba 0

Both teams banged out 12 hits. Cuba failed to get the clutch hit when they needed it, stranding 13 runners. Australia stranded 11 runners but they were able to get two big hits in the three run fourth that turned the ballgame. Jack O’Loughlin went seven innings, scattering nine hits, but not allowing a runner to cross the plate.

An RBI triple by Joshua Bedggood and a two run triple by Alex Hall in the fourth inning drive in all the runs Australia needs to escape with a victory. Cuba gets four hits in five at bats from Cesar Prieto, but they are all wasted.

Canada 6 Japan 4

Perhaps Japan was looking ahead to their game against Korea. Canada put them in the present, winning the game despite making 5 errors. Japan made two errors but it cost them the game in the 7th. Canada had just committed two big errors in the sixth to allow Japan to take a 4-3 lead. A one out error allowed Canada to put a runner on second. Archer Brookman drives him in with a single to tie the game at 4-4. A strikeout should have ended the inning but the ball gets past the catcher to put runners on first and third. A wild pitch gives Canada a 5-4 lead and a single by Victor Cerny extends the lead to 6-4.

Dondrae Bremner drove in two runs for Canada but also committed two errors at short. Harley Gollert pitches the last three innings of shutout ball to close out the victory for Canada. Japan gets a solo shot from Kotaro Kiyomiya, his second of the tournament.

For Japan to get into the finals they must beat Korea and hope the winless Cuban team downs Canada. If Canada wins it will throw second place into a three way tie if Japan beats Korea. If Korea wins they will play the United States in the championship. Australia needs to beat the United States to have any hope of getting into the bronze medal game with either Japan, Korea or Canada and hope for a couple upsets, i.e Cuba beating Canada and Japan beating Korea to put second place into a four way tie. Cuba has nothing left to play for.

Under 18 World Cup Super Round - No Surprises

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Korea came into the super round undefeated so it was no surprise they beat Cuba. How easily they beat them was a surprise. While Korea needed just eight innings to dispose of Cuba it took 11 innings before Japan could slay the battling Aussies. The United States walked their way past Canada.

Korea 17 Cuba 7

The Korean bats are impressive. When Cuba rallied for three in the top of the third Korea struck back with nine in the bottom frame. Cho Dae-Hyun got the nine run inning started with a two run double and it was off to the races for Korea after that. A six run rally in the eighth by Korea ends the game an inning early.

Cho finished with three RBIs, but Choi Hyun-Jun was the top run producer with four. Kang Baek-Ho and Jang Jun-Hwan also drove in three runs. Of the 15 hits the Koreans collected only two were for extra bases, both doubles. The Cuban pitchers also issued seven walks.

On the Cuban side Michel Triana drove in three runs. Both Cesar Prieto and Roidal Martinez each banged out three hits. The Cubans almost out hit the Koreans with 13 of their own, but none of the four pitchers they trotted out to the mound had an answer to the Korean bats.

Japan 4 Australia 3

It wasn’t easy for Japan. Hisanori Yasuda, who had a critical hit in a two run first and drove in a run with a double in the fourth ended the game in the bottom of the 11th with a bases loaded RBI single. Tatsuya Shimizu got them to the 11th with four innings of shutout relief. Fumimaru Taura avoided disaster after his walk loaded the bases with one out in the top of the 11th. He struck out the next two hitters to leave Australia scoreless and give Japan an opportunity to win the game.

Kyota Fujiwara, Kaito Kozono and Yasuda, the first three hitters in the Japan lineup each collected three hits to combine for nine of the 12 Japanese hits. Kyota scored twice from the lead off spot.

The bottom two hitters, Joshua Bedggood and Jordan Barnett, drove in all three runs for Australia, with Barnett driving in runs in the fourth and sixth innings.

United States 8 Canada 3

The United States pitching staff finally gave up more than one run. Canada felt like they had an opportunity to score more than three runs. Two runners were thrown out at home in the second inning and they grounded into a bases loaded double play in the seventh. The United States used three straight walks issued by Eric Cerantola to begin the first to score the first two runs of the game. Triston Casas took charge with his bat to control the rest of the game, hitting a solo shot in the third and a three run double in the eighth to finish the game with five RBIs.

Canada out hit the United States 10 to 6 but their pitchers issued 9 free passes to gift the United States with more opportunities to put men on base.

The big game will be played today when the two undefeateds, the United States and Korea do battle.

Under 18 Super Round Participants

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

The super round participants have been identified. The United States pool was easy to determine since the won loss record identified the United States, Japan and Cuba to advance. The Korean pool had a three way tie for second at 3-2 meaning one of Canada, Taiwan and Australia had to be eliminated. Korea advanced as the first place team.

The first tie breaker was head to head and each team finished 1-1 against each other. The second tie breaker was Team Quality Balance when playing against each other. The first criteria was the top ERA, the second was the best batting average and if you got to the last it was a coin flip. Taiwan got eliminated by having the worse ERA among the three teams when playing against each other. Overall Canada had the worst ERA (4.91), Taiwan was next (4.30) and Australia was on top (3.15), but it was different when the two teams competed against each other. The problem I have with ERA is a team can be rewarded with poor fielding when many of the runs they give up are unearned. The two game comparison is also a smaller sample size, even though you are comparing the teams when competing against each other and not how they are competing against the other teams.

The wins and losses from the first round carry over against the teams that advance to the first round. So the United States win over Cuba gives the United States one win and Cuba a loss. Their win over South Africa does not carry over. The standings beginning the super round are:

United States (2-0), Korea (2-0), Japan (1-1), Canada (1-1), Australia (0-2), Cuba (0-2)

Each team will play a game against the team from the other pool. The top two teams will play for the championship, while the third and fourth place teams will play for third place. Cuba and Australia will be a long shot to get to the championship round since they will have to win all their games and hope things play out where the other teams lose enough games to have multiple teams tied at 3-2.