Archive for the 'Cuba' Category

Puerto Rico Site of 2020 Series del Caribe

Monday, November 25th, 2019

Puerto Rico will be the site of the 2020 Series del Caribe. The last time it was held in Puerto Rico was in 2015. Myworld was there to witness Cuba’s first participation in the event. They ended up Series del Caribe champions that year. Hiram Bithorn stadium will again host the event. The dates are from February 1-7, with the first five days being pool play and the last two days playoffs. Three games will be played each day with the first game starting at 10 AM and the last starting at 8 PM. Usually when you buy one ticket it will allow you to attend all three games that day.

Panama returns after winning the event last year in their first ever participation. There was some thought of Nicaragua and Colombia also participating but that is expected to happen in 2021. The teams participating in the event are Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Each of those countries has their winter league season and the winning team from those winter leagues advances to the Series del Caribe.

Baseball America’s Qualifier

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

The America’s is another opportunity for the United States to qualify for the Olympics in Japan in 2020. The next to last qualifier will be played in Arizona from March 22 -26. The last qualifier will be played in Taiwan. The second and third place teams from the America’s qualifying round will be eligible to participate in Taiwan. Below are the pools from that group.

Group A

United States, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

Group B

Cuba, Venezuela, Canada and Colombia

The United States would be the favored team in this group.

Australia Reaches Super Round

Saturday, November 9th, 2019

In a bit of an upset, Australia advanced to the Super Round by beating Canada 3-1 to advance to the Super Round. A Korean win over Cuba left a three way tie for second between Australia, Canada and Cuba. Australia wins the tie breaker. Logan Wade got the game winning hit with a two run triple off Scott Mathieson in the bottom of the eighth to break a 1-1 tie.

Five different pitchers got in the game for Australia. Steven Kent did the brunt of the work with 4.1 innings of shutout ball. Ryan Searle got the last out with a fly out to centerfield to earn the save.

Brock Dykxhoorn made his return to Korea a successful one allowing just two hits in six innings of work. He gave up a run in the first inning after a lead off double by Timothy Kennelly and an eventual sacrifice fly by Robert Glendinning that plated Kennelly. After that he held Australia hitless until the sixth inning when he gave up a two out single to Glendinning.

Canada came back to tie the game in the second off Australia starter Timothy Atherton. Tristan Pompey started the inning with a double and Rene Tosoni drove him in with a double.

It stayed scoreless until the eighth. A lead off walk by Mathieson to pinch hitter Luke Hughes hurt Canada in the eighth. Mathieson also walked Glendinning with two outs to set the stage for the game winning triple by Wade.

In order for Australia to advance they needed Korea to beat Cuba. They did handily 7-0 with six different Korean pitchers combining for the shutout. Despaigne and Gracial continued their struggles with the bat, going 1 for 8 in this game and finishing the three games a combined 2 for 24.

Korea got all the runs they needed after a two run single in the second by Ha Seong Kim. Korea added four more in the fifth inning to put the game away.

Cuba could score only three runs in the tournament in their win over Australia. They were shutout by Canada and Korea in the first and third games. Canada could only score five runs in the three games they played. Australia was also limited to five runs, but advanced to the Super Round as a result of the tie breaker. The tie breaker was the Total Quality Balance between the three teams, a comparison of the runs scored and innings played and the runs given up and innings played.

The standings for the final six in the Super Round (with the top two teams qualifying for the Olympics):

Japan, Korea and Mexico are 1-0. The United States, Australia and Taiwan are 0-1.

Korea Advances to Tokyo; Cuba Still in Hunt

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Cuba stayed alive for the Super Round with a 3-2 10 inning win over Australia. Korea advanced to the Super Round with their 3-1 win over Canada. Cuba must now beat Korea to have any hope of advancing to Tokyo and hope Australia beats Canada to advance on a tie breaker.

Korea relied on their starting pitching again, getting six innings of one hit shutout ball from Kwang-hyun Kim to lead them to victory. Canada responded with five innings of shutout ball from Robert Zastryzny. Both pitchers were sharp in the early going but Korea was able to get to Zastryzny in the sixth.

The rally started with a one out single from Byung-hun Kim, only the third hit off Zastryzny. A walk to Ha-Seong Kim finished the day for Zastryzny and brought in Chris Leroux. He retired the first hitter he faced for the second out, but then loaded the bases walking slugger Byung-ho Park. Jae-hwan Kim then stroked a clutch two out single into right field to score two and break the tie.

Korea went to their bullpen in the seventh. In the eighth they broke through the Korean barrier by scoring the first run off the Korean pitching staff. Dalton Pompey sliced a one out single into left field. Wesley Darvill drilled a double into right field to score Pompey and Canada had pulled to within one.

Korea replaced Deok-ju Ham with Sang-woo Cho. Cho struck out the next two hitters to finish the eighth and retired the side in order in the ninth to secure the victory for Korea and the hometown crowd. It did not matter that Korea scored an insurance run for him in the ninth on a Min-Woo Park single. Korea advances to Tokyo. Canada must beat Australia to advance.

Australia loaded the bases with no out in the first inning but failed to score. A strikeout and fly out throw out at home ended the rally and could have ended any hope for Australia advancing.

Cuba could not get a man on base in the first four innings off Australian pitcher Joshua Guyer. An Alfredo Despaigne single and walk to Frederich Cepeda ended the day for Guyer and brought on the veteran Peter Moylan. He could not put out the fire, giving up an RBI single to Yordanis Samon and the second run scoring when Australia could not turn the double play.

Australia was able to come back in the top of the sixth to tie it. Timothy Kennelly led off the inning with a homerun. A Logan Wade single drove in the second run.

Cuba had an opportunity to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth when they put runners on first and third with one out. Yurisbel Gracial failed to drive him in, striking out and Alfredo Despaigne grounded out to strand the runners. Australia put runners on second and third with one out in the top of the ninth but Allan de san Miguel struck out and Timothy Kennelly flied out.

It went to the tenth where the tie breaking rules put runners on first and second. Canada eschewed the bunt and a popout to short bit them. They failed to score. Cuba was successful with their bunt advancing the runners to second and third. Yurisbel Gracial this time did not fail Cuba by hitting one deep enough to centerfield to score the winning run on a sacrifice fly.

Cuban sluggers Gracial and Despaigne are now 1 for 16. Cuba needs their bats if they hope to advance to Tokyo.

Canada and Korea Get Opening Day Win

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

Two shutouts to begin pool play in Korea. The hosts blanked Australia 5-0 and Canada did the same to the punchless Cuban offense 3-0.

Hyeon-Jeong Yang was masterful for 6 innings, giving up just one hit and striking out 10. Three different relievers completed the one hit shutout. The Korean pitchers did not walk one hitter. Robert Glendinning got the lone hit for Australia, chopping an infield hit to the shortstop in the fourth.

The Korean bats lashed out seven hits and elicited eight base on balls. Jung-Hoo Lee, Kyoung-min Hur and Hyun-soo Kim each contributed two hits and one RBI to lead the offense.

Phillipe Aumont completed eight innings of two hit shutout ball to lead Canada over Cuba 3-0. Scott Mathieson finished the shutout by striking out the side in the ninth. The Cuban sluggers Alfredo Despaigne and Yurisbel Gracial, who play for the champion Hawks in the NPB, combined to go 0 for 8 and 6 strikeouts.

Eric Wood scored twice on two hits to lead the offense. The game inched along at 1-0 through seven. Cuba brought in their ace reliever Livan Moinelo for the 8th. He hit the leadoff batter, gave up a single to Wood and after a sacrifice, intentionally walked Charles LeBlanc. Moinelo got the second out on a popup to short left, but then back to back walks forced in a couple to increase the score to 3-0.

The best Cuba could do is get a runner to second. Not once did the Cubans get a runner to visit their third base coach.

Cuban Roster for Premier 12

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

If they could use major leaguers who have defected it would be a pretty impressive roster, but not even the United States or any other country can use players on major league rosters, so it would be a moot point. Myworld has not followed the Cuban Nacional Series as we did earlier because of time commitments and the massive defections have made the league a bit less interesting. This team is a mixture of veterans who are too old to defect, players like Livan Moinelo, Alfredo Despaigne and Yurisbel Gracial, who play under contract in the NPB and other players unfamiliar to myworld who we assume are younger players not yet defecting to the United States for the big bucks. They will be playing in Korea against Korea, Australia and Canada.

Pitchers

Carlos Juan Viera (Las Tunas), Yosimar Cousin (Camaguey), Yariel Rodriguez (Camaguey), Livan Moinelo (Pinar del Rio), Vladimir Garcia (Ciego de Avila), Vladimir Banos (Habana), Yoenni Yera (Matanzas), Lazara Blanco (Granma), Freddy Alvarez (Villa Clara), Framk Madan (Camaguey), Raidel Martinez (Pinar del Rio), Andy Rodriguez (Habana), Yudiel Rodriguez (Las Tunas)

Catcher

Ariel Martinez (Matanzas), Yunior Ibarra (Sancti Spiritus), Yosvany Alarcon (Las Tunas)

Infielders

William Saavedra (Pinar del Rio), Yordanis Samon (Habana), Raul Gonzalez (Ciego de Avila), Alexander Ayala (Camaguey), Cesar Prieto (Cienfuegos), Pavel Quesada (Cienfuegos), Erisbe Arruebarruena (Matanzas)

Outfielders

Roel Santos (Granma), Oscar Colas (Santiago), Frederich Cepeda (Sancti Spiritus), Yurisbel Graical (Matanzas), Alfredo Despaigne (Granma)

Both Frederich Cepeda and Alfredo Despaigne are professional hitters whose best position is DH. One of those two will have to play the field.

Puerto Rico Wins Pan Am Games

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Puerto Rico won the Pan Am Games, defeating Canada 6-1 in the finals. The United States did not participate in the games, choosing to focus on the Premier 12 games to be played in Tokyo. Other teams that participated in the Games - The host Peru, Argentina, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Nicaragua. For Puerto Rico it was their first Pan Am Gold, defeating the two time defending champs Canada. The poor hosts, Peru, were the only team that did not win a game.

Giovanni Soto got the start and the win for Puerto Rico in the gold medal game. Chris Leroux took the loss for Canada. Jorge Padilla drove in the first run for Puerto Rico with a double. Brahiam Maldonado went deep with a solo shot in the sixth and Edwin Gomez closed out the scoring for Puerto Rico with a two run single in the seventh.

Nicaragua, Colombia, Canada and Puerto Rico all qualified to play in an Olympic qualifier. Cuba had a rough tournament, only winning one game. They had a tough 10 inning loss to the Dominican Republic that was tied 1-1 after regulation time. When they scored 8 in the 10th it appeared they had the game won, but the Dominican Republic scored nine in the 10th to win it.

Puerto Rico won a tight 2-1 game against the Dominican Republic that went 10 innings and then two days later they beat Colombia 2-1. They finished the tournament undefeated.

Nicaragua shutout Colombia in the bronze medal game 6-0. During pool play Colombia had defeated Nicaragua 11-1.

Awards for the Under 12 World Cup

Monday, August 5th, 2019

Below are the awards issued for the Under 12 World Cup.

MVP - Chen Kai-Sheng (Taiwan) - .471 batting average, 3-0, 1.32 ERA

The All World Team:

Catcher - Shinsuke Kuwamoto (Japan) - .625, 11 RBIs and six doubles
First Base - Christian Saez (Cuba) - .522, 10 runs scored, 14 RBIs and four homeruns
Second Base - Kazuki Takahata (Japan) - .571
Shortstop - Johan Rodriguez (Cuba) - .483, 12 runs scored and six doubles
Third Base - Huang Tien-Szu (Taiwan) - .567, 14 runs scored, 21 RBIs and three triples
Left Field - Chiang Tsung-Chun (Taiwan) - .552, 15 runs scored, 11 RBIs and seven stolen bases
Center Field - Alejandro Prieto (Cuba) - .583, 14 runs scored, 11 RBIs, seven stolen bases and six doubles
Right Field - Tae-Ho Lee (Korea) - .455, 11 RBIs and six stolen bases
Designated Hitter - Leonel Dominguez (Venezuela) - .550, 13 RBIs and six homeruns

Starting Pitcher - Chen Kai-Sheng (Taiwan)
Relief Pitcher - Sakumi Aoki (Japan) - 2-1, 0.69

The most outstanding defensive player was Rui Akazawa (Japan)

Taiwan Under 12 World Champion

Sunday, August 4th, 2019

In the first Under 12 World Championship Taiwan was the winner but the United States did not participate. In the next three events the United States participated and Taiwan took second. It may have been better for Taiwan to have beaten the United States for the World Championship, but beating Japan was a second best option. The United States team failed to qualify for the Super Round eliminating their opportunity to defend their championship.

Taiwan relied on Kai-Sheng Chen to pitch five innings of three hit shutout ball before turning it over to Cheng-Yu Lin to close the game out in the final frame. Chen also showed some mastery with the bat hitting a solo homerun in the top of the sixth to close out the scoring for Taiwan. He finished the game with two hits and two runs scored.

Taiwan scored their first runs in the third on RBI singles from Tien-Szu Huang and Ting-Yi Jiang. Hung-Jen Yeh contributed a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.

Japan’s best opportunity for scoring came in the fifth when two singles and a stolen base put runners on second and third with two out. Chen was able to get the strikeout to end the inning. In the fifth two Taiwan errors put runners on second and third with one out. Chen was up to the task again getting out of the inning with two whiffs. He finished the game with five strikeouts.

After the win the blue ticker tape that can trap you like a spider’s web rained down upon the crowd.

Cuba 2 Korea 1

Cuba came on strong at the end and beat Korea for a second time to take the bronze. A two run homerun by Christian Saez in the first were the only runs Cuba needed to get the victory. Alejandro Prieto pitched 5.1 innings of one run ball to get the win. An error in the third, two stolen bases and a wild pitch resulted in Korea’s only run. Cuba called on Boris Sarduy to get the last two outs in the sixth inning.

For Cuba it is their first medal in the under 12 since 2011 when they finished second. For Japan the silver medal finish was their highest placement. In 2013 they took the bronze medal. Mexico, Venezuela and Nicaragua are other bronze winners.

Taiwan and Japan to Play in Under 12 Championship

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

Japan and Taiwan advance to the championship. Cuba got hot late, winning their last four games, but their two early losses against Japan and Taiwan eliminated them. As expected, three time champion United States won the lower round. They were upset by Venezuela and Mexico to be left out of the Super Round.

Cuba 10 Korea 8

Cuba rallied for six runs in the last two innings, while Korea could only score two runs to pull out the win and ultimately eliminate Korea from the finals. Christian Saez clubbed a big two run homer in the third but his biggest hit was his two run single in the sixth that broke a 7-7 tie. He finished the game going 4 for 4 with three runs scored and four runs driven in. Alejandro Pena scored three times for Cuba on a 2 for 3 day with one walk.

Japan 8 Korea 7

Both teams were tied at 5-5 after regulation. Korea scored two runs in the seventh after an error. The Korean bullpen was unable to retire a Japanese hitter in the home half and went on to win it. Shinsuke Kuwamoto drove in three runs for Japan to be the hitting star. Their big bat Shosei Takahashi pitched a scoreless sixth and drove in two runs in the seventh inning to tie the game. He ended up scoring the game winning run.

Taiwan 14 Venezuela 6

The home plate umpire was from Korea so the 9 walks by Venezuelan pitchers could not be blamed on home umpiring. Taiwan scored all their runs in two innings, the third and fourth, while Venezuela took an early 6-0 lead scoring three each in the first and second innings. Hung-Jen Yeh drove in three runs from the lead off spot with a three run double in the fourth while Chen-An Kuo drove in three runs in the third with a three run homer. Yan-Chang Yu was able to quiet the Venezuelan bats, pitching four shutout innings while striking out nine.

Mexico 8 Japan 3

Once Japan had defeated Korea they had already qualified for the championship. Mexico was playing against bench players and scored all eight of their runs in the last three innings to earn the victory, taking advantage of the Japanese bullpen.

The United States crushed Czech Republic 15-0 and then beat South Africa 18-0 to win the lessor round. Czech Republic was limited to one hit in their game while South Africa could not get a hit against United States pitching.

Cuba and Korea will battle for third place in a rematch of yesterday’s game. Japan and Taiwan will play for the championship.