Archive for the 'Canada' Category

World Baseball Classic Officially Announces Qualifiers

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020

The World Baseball Classic has officially announced their qualifiers, both to be played in Tucson in March. The games will be played at the Kino Sports Complex.

Pool 1 (March 12-17) - Brazil, France, Germany, Nicaragua, Pakistan and South Africa

Pool II (March 20-25) - Czech Republic, Great Britain, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines and Spain.

The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the World Baseball Classic that will be held March 2021. All 16 teams who participated in the 2017 World Baseball Classic have qualified for the 2021 event. Those countries include the defending champion United States, Australia, Canada, Cuba, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Venezuela

Japan is Number one in Both Men’s and Women’s Baseball

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Japan has achieved the top rating in both men’s and women’s baseball. The United States is second in men and fifth in women. For men the United States team bypasses a number of tournaments such as the World Cup Under 23, and play amateurs in the Premier 12, which prevents them from accumulating the points that Japan earns. The United States women are hampered by the culture of forcing talented players to pursue softball, where it is a high school recognized sport, abandoning baseball. This eliminates talented female baseball players from continuing with the sport.

Below is the Top 12 Ranking for each gender.

Men’s Top 12

1. Japan (6,127 points)
2. United States (4,676)
3. Korea (4,622)
4. Taiwan (4,352)
5. Mexico (3,375)
6. Australia (3,249)
7. Netherlands (2,690)
8. Cuba (2,641)
9. Venezuela (2,624)
10. Dominican Republic (2,512)
11. Puerto Rico (2,013)
12. Canada (1,873)

The top 12 is significant since a team qualifies for the Premier 12 by being ranked in the top 12 for baseball.

The women’s top 12.

1. Japan (2,505 points)
2. Canada (1,947)
3. Taiwan (1,852)
4. Venezuela (1,736)
5. United States (1,524)
6. Australia (1,182)
7. Korea (955)
8. Cuba (947)
9. Dominican Republic (717)
10. Hong Kong (520)
11. Netherlands (500)
12. Puerto Rico (371)

In women’s softball the United States is ranked number one with Japan at number two. For the men in softball Japan is ranked number one. The United States is sixth, behind Argentina, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

WBSC America’s Qualifier Pool

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

The United States failed to qualify for the Olympics in the Premier 12. Their Southern neighbor Mexico qualified, as well as Korea. This leaves four of six countries qualified for the Olympics, Japan (host), Israel (European/Africa qualifier), Korea and Mexico (both from Premier 12). The Americas qualifier is the next to last opportunity countries have to qualify for the Olympics. The second and third place finishers become eligible for the final qualifier in Taiwan, to be held in April..

Below are the pools:

Pool A

United States, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

Pool B

Cuba, Venezuela, Canada and Colombia

The United States has been fielding a team of minor league prospects. While these players have been competitive they have yet to qualify the United States team for the Olympics. The same prospect heave team is expected for the Americas qualifying round to be held from March 22-26.

The final qualifier will be held in Taiwan from April 1-5.

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.

Premier 12 Canadian Roster

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

The Canadian roster is filled with familiar names on the baseball scene. Unfortunately, it is for what they accomplished in the past and not for what they can bring in the present. Justin Morneau is the most familiar name, an ex-major leaguer who made his mark on pitchers in the past, winning an American MVP award. Some other familiar names include Philippe Aumont, Adam Loewen and Scott Mathieson on the mound, with Mathieson currently pitching for the Yomiuri Giants in the NPB. He was out most of the year with injuries. In addition to Morneau the bats have Michael Saunders, a former major league All Star, and the two Pompey brothers Dalton and Tristan. Tristan was recently drafted by the Marlins in the third round in 2018, while Dalton was once a highly prized prospect that has seen his flame wither because of injuries. Depending on how much fuel some of these players have in the tank will determine how well they compete in Korea against Cuba, Australia and Korea. This roster has many names that won the bronze medal in the last World Cup that was held in Panama back in 2011. That was eight years ago.

Pitchers

Philippe Aumont, Brock Dykxhoorn, Chris Leroux, Adam Loewen, Brandon Marklund, Scott Mathieson, Will McAffer, Dustin Molleken, Daniel Precopio, Dylan Rheault, Scott Richmond, Evan Rutckyj, Rob Zastryzny

Catchers

Kellin Deglan, Dustin Houle

Infielders

Wes Darvill, Charles Leblanc, Jordan Lennerton, Jonathan Malo, Justin Morneau, Eric Wood, Andy Yerzy

Outfielders

Gareth Morgan, Connor Panas, Dalton Pompey, Tristan Pompey, Michael Saunders, Rene Tosoni

Ernie Whitt will manage the team with Larry Walker and Denis Boucher helping out in the coaching department. If Ernie needs a pinch hitter in the clutch Larry might be able to still do the job.

Under 18 All World Team

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

Yu Chien, who pitched the championship match against the United States was named MVP. Below is the All World Team for 18 and under by position.

Catcher - Juan Gonzalez (Spain) - .323, 8 runs scored, 9 RBIs, 4 doubles
First Base - Yuya Nirasawa (Japan) - .345, 8 runs scored
Second Base - Ji-chan Kim (Korea) - .528, 11 runs scored, 10 stolen bases
Third Base - Shun-Ho Wang (Taiwan) - .364, 8 runs scored, .682 slugging, 3 stolen bases
Shortstop - Austin Gomm (Canada) - .345, 7 runs scored, 10 RBIs
Left Field - Darryl Collins (Netherlands) - .345, 8 runs scored, 12 RBIs, .759 slugging
Centerfield - Pete Crow-Armstrong (United States) - .364, 9 runs scored, 3 triples, .606 slugging, 3 stolen base
Rightfield - Robert Hassell (United States) - .514, 14 runs scored, 14 RBIs, 5 doubles, 2 homeruns, .886 slugging
Designated Hitter - Tyler Soderstrom (United States) - .294, 10 RBIs
Relief Pitcher - Alejandro Rosario (United States) - 3-0, 1.30 ERA
Starting Pitcher - Yasunobu Okugawa (Japan) - 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 18 K’s in 7 innings pitched, .083 batting average against
MVP - Chien Yu (Taiwan) - 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 saves, 15 K’s in 10 innings pitched

18 and Under World Cup - United States to Play Taiwan in Championship

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

The United States won their game against Korea. Taiwan could not beat Canada. They were fortunate that Australia beat Japan. Since Australia and Taiwan tied for second place in the Super Round, Taiwan won the tie breaker, since they beat Australia in their earlier meeting.

United States 8 Korea 5

Korea jumped out to an early 5-0 lead after the first two innings. The United States turned to Alejandro Rosario to finish out the first inning and he went 7.2 innings, giving up just the three unearned runs in the second inning. The United States pecked away in the third through sixth innings, scoring twice in three of the innings and once in the fifth to take a 7-5 lead.

Robert Hassell got things started with a two run homer in the third. In the fourth RBI singles from Nolan McLean and Jack Bulger pulled the United States to within one. The lone error by Korea in the fifth put Aaron Vuckovich on second where he eventually scored on a ground out. In the sixth a Drew Bowser RBI single put the United States up for good and Robert Hassell drove in an insurance run with a SF. Hassell finished the game with three RBIs. Nolan McLean pitched the ninth inning to pick up the save.

Canada 12 Taiwan 7

The Canadian bats came alive with 17 hits in their rout of Taiwan. Dasan Brown led the charge with three hits and three runs scored. Sam Schofield and Owen Diodati each drove in three runs for Canada. Canada used three big innings to score their crooked numbers.

Wie-Chieh Lo contributed three hits for Taiwan, driving in two runs and scoring once.

Australia 4 Japan 1

Brandan Bidois had his second strong start to allow Australia to pull off a mild upset of Japan and knock them out of any hope of a championship playoff appearance. In his last outing against China he allowed just one hit and two runs in six innings of work. Against Japan he allowed just a first inning run and three hits to shut down the Japanese bats for seven innings.

Australia erupted for four runs in the second inning to come away with the upset. Sota Asada could not retire any of the five hitters he faced in the second inning, giving up four hits and a walk. Another Japanese fielding error created an unearned run for Australia in the inning.

The loss by Japan vaulted Taiwan into the championship game against the United States. Korea and Australia will play in the bronze medal game. Japan has to settle for fifth place, one of their lowest finishes in youth international tournaments.