Archive for the 'Canada' Category

Little League World Series Summary

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

The Little League World Series got underway over the weekend. Below is a summary of the games.

Latin America (Panama) 10 Mexico 2

Panama put the game away with five runs in the seventh. Carlos Gonzalez and Esmith Pineda each drove in three runs to lead the Panama offense. Gonzalez also retired the last five batters in the game.

Australia 3 Italy 1

Clayton Campbell pitched five innings of no hit shutout ball, striking out seven to lead Australia to a victory. He also drove in one run.

Canada 10 Japan 4

Japan was abused by a Canadian team that scored in every inning but the second. Loreto Siniscalchi struck out 13 hitters in his 5.2 innings to lead Canada.

Asia (Korea) 3 Caribbean (Curacao) 0

Korea struck early with two runs in the first and Jun-Ho Jeong pitched four innings of shutout ball, striking out 10 to get the win. Sang-Heon Park worked the last two innings to complete the shutout.

Mexico 12 Italy 7

It was a wild sixth inning with Mexico scoring 8 runs and Italy scoring 6 runs. Isaac Cortez and Alejandro Mar each drove in three runs for Mexico. Italy was eliminated from the tourney.

Curacao 2 Japan 1

Japan was eliminated by Curacao. Jaden Gosepa worked five innings to pick up the win and Nair Jamanika and Donovan Antonia each drove in a run for Curacao.

Mid Atlantic 7 New England 2

Ryan Harlost drove in four runs with the New York team scoring six runs in the first two innings to hammer out the victory.

Southeast 3 Northwest 2

Tennessee rallied for two runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull out their victory, Robert Carroll driving in two runs to get the victory. Zach Williams pitched all six innings to get the victory, striking out 9.

Midwest 5 West 1

The Chula Vista team scored the first run but Iowa rallied for the next five to beat the boys from California.

Great Lakes 11 Southwest 1

Not much of a game, only going five innings because of the 10 run slaughter rule.

New England 8 Northwest 0

Rhode Island eliminated Oregon, Kenny Rix driving in three runs and retiring the last five hitters to lead the victory.

West 5 Southwest 0

Chula Vista eliminated San Antonio, Victor Lizarraga throwing a complete game five hit shutout.

Little League World Series Participants

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Below will be the participants for the Little League World Series. Only the Great Lakes region has yet to be decided.

International

Asia Pacific - East Seoul Little League
Australia - Hills Little League in Sydney
Canada - Hastings Community in Vancouver
Caribbean - Pariba Little League in Curacao
Europe/Africa - Emilia Little League in Emilia, Italy
Japan - Chofu Little League in Tokyo
Latin America - Aguadulce Cabezera Little League in Aguadulce, Panama
Mexico - Nicolas Little League in Nuevo Leon

United States

Great Lakes - Undecided
Mid-Atlantic - Maine Endwell Little League in Endwell, New York
Midwest - Johnston Little League in Johnston, Iowa
New England - Warwick North Little League in Warwick, Rhode Island
Northwest - Bend North Little League in Bend Oregon
Southeast - Goodettsville Baseball Little League in Goodetsville, Tennessee
Southwest - McAllister Park American in San Antonio, Texas
West - Park View Little League in Chula Vista, California

Future Rosters Announced

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

The United States team has dominated this event the last couple years. Myworld will list the international players and identify their country of birth. There are some interesting countries that have not normally been represented in Futures Games. Dominican Republic has the most players while Venezuela was restricted to two and one of those players went to high school in the United States. Despite all the signings Cuba only has one player here.

Pitchers

Jharel Cotton (Virgin Islands), Chih-Wei Hu (Taiwan), Joe Jimenez (Puerto Rico), Adalberto Mejia (Dom Rep), Dovydas Neverauskas (Lithuania), Ricardo Pinto (Venezuela), Alex Reyes (Dominican Republic), Francisco Rios (Mexico), Dylan Unsworth (South Africa)

Catchers

Francisco Mejia (Dominican Republic), Gary Sanchez (Dominican Republic)

Infielders

Willy Adames (Dominican Republic), Carlos Asuaje (Venezuela), Jeimor Candelario (Dominican Republic), Ronald Guzman (Dominican Republic), Dilson Herrera (Colombia), Jorge Mateo (Dominican Republic), Yoan Moncada (Cuba), Josh Naylor (Canada)

Outfielders

Jorge Bonafacio (Dominican Republic), Eloy Jimenez (Dominican Republic), Manuel Margot (Dominican Republic), Tyler O’Neil (Canada), Raimel Tapia (Dominican Republic)

Top Ten Baseball World Rankings

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

The World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC) has come out with their baseball rankings. Below myworld has listed the top ten in these rankings. Korea moved up as a result of their winning the Premier 12. Cuba has dropped with many of their players leaving for the United States and hopes for major league success.

The rankings take into account results of many of the youth tournaments organized by the WBSC. You can take a look at the full rankings at the link below. The 2014 ranking is listed within the parenthesis.

1. Japan (1) - 5154 points
2. United States (2) - 5091
3. Taiwan (4) - 4702
4. Korea (8) - 4641
5. Cuba (3) - 3727
6. Venezuela (10) - 2833
7. Mexico (12) - 2792
8. Canada (7) - 2659
9. Italy (11) - 2297
10. Netherlands (5) - 2096

Baseball rankings

Top Ten Minor League Prospects from Canada

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

It can sometimes get a little cold in Canada, making hockey the sport of choice for many Canadians. There are a few oddballs from the north that ignore the call of the stick and puck and find the bat and ball the more attractive options. Dalton Pompey was the number two pick on this list last year and he graduated to the major leagues. There were three Canadians selected in the first two rounds of the major league draft last year and they have found their names on the current list, as well as a player that should have been selected earlier in the draft. They were able to squeeze onto the list because of off years by players who made the list last year. Out with the old and in with the new.

This is one of the more impressive top ten lists myworld has put together for Canada. Normally, we have to scramble to find a player from Canada to fill the list three or four to make the top ten and it is usually a journeyman player who has no hope for a major league career. This year we had at least 15 players to chose from when making this top ten, but we picked the ten we felt the most worthy.

1. Josh Naylor OF (Marlins) - Many thought the Marlins had reached when they selected Josh in the first round. Miami liked his power. At 6′0″ he does not remind you too much of Giancarlo Stanton until he sends balls into orbit far over the outfield fences. Josh was drafted with the 12th overall pick, making him the highest drafted Canadian position player, surpassing Brett Lawrie who was drafted with the 16th pick. Josh played for Team Canada in the 18U tournament, leading all players with 15 hits and clubbing three homeruns. His speed precludes too much time spent in the outfield so expect him to settle at first base. For a power hitter he showed a good ability to make contact, hitting .327 with just 11 whiffs in 25 games. He’s still three or four years from the major leagues, so it will take time before he finds himself in the same lineup as Giancarlo, but once he arrives the duo could put on a pretty impressive batting practice display.

2. Jameson Taillon RHP (Pirates) - After the Pirates selected Taillon with the second pick in the 2010 draft many said they preferred him over the first pick, Bryce Harper. Harper has won an MVP. Injuries have prevented Taillon from making his major league debut. Tommy John surgery and a hernia forced Taillon to miss two seasons in a row. Prior to the injuries his fastball could hit the high 90s and he had a nice break to the curveball. Tommy John can lesson the break on the curveball and tame the velocity readings on the fastball. The last time he played in 2012 he got six starts in AAA. After missing two years the Pirates may start him slow at Altoona and have him progress his way to the major leagues. If he does well a September callup would not be a surprise, depending on his innings count. The Pirates will keep a close eye on his work load. Jameson pitched for Canada in the 2013 WBC, his eligibility coming from his parents birth in Canada.

3. Tyler O’Neil OF (Mariners) - The California League has inflated many a players batting stats. Tyler jumped out into the scene with a nice 32 homer output for Bakersfield, 19 more homeruns than he hit his previous year. The red flag for his season should be the .260 average and his 29/137 walk to whiff ratio. The 32 homeruns is pretty impressive when you consider he missed a couple weeks of the season to play for Canada in the Pan Am games, his three homeruns contributing to the gold medal in their win over the United States. In addition to the power Tyler also stole 16 bases in 21 attempts. He is not a burner on the bases but he has enough speed to cover ground in the outfield and a strong enough arm to fit in right field. Expect a promotion to AA this year with his production a good measuring stick of his future performance with the Mariners.

4. Demi Orimaloye OF (Brewers) - Demi could be the steal of the draft. Born in Nigeria if myworld had enough African players to make a top ten list he would be on top with Gift Ngoepe a close second. Because there is no African list Demi will have to settle for fourth on the Canadian list. Demi has five tool potential. His bat generates easy power, he has the speed to cover ground in centerfield and an arm that would not discourage a shift to right field. At 6′4″ with an athletic frame all he needs to do is learn to make better contact. A 3/19 walk to whiff ratio is evidence of his impatience at the plate, though he hit .292 with six homeruns in 33 games, stealing 19 bases. Demi also played for the 18U Canadian team but he did not make an impact like Naylor. Next year he should make his debut in a full season league.

5. Mike Soroka RHP (Braves) - The Braves made Soroka a first round pick in 2015. Unlike many United States pitchers drafted in the first round who can hit the radar guns consistently in the mid-90s, Soroka is not as overpowering, working in the low 90s. What makes the pitch so effective is the command he has for hitting the corners and forcing weak contact. At 6′4″ he also has a large frame that gives him an intimidating delivery when his arms come down towards the plate. In his rookie league debut he was able to start 9 games, limiting the opposition to a .246 average and striking out 9.8 hitters per nine innings. Next year he should start the season in Low A.

6. Gareth Morgan OF (Mariners) - Gareth was a second round pick in the 2014 draft. A year behind Tyler he could one day share the same outfield with him, giving the Mariners two Canadians in their outfield. At 6′4″ Gareth has an intimidating presence at the plate. If pitchers spied his batting practice homeruns they would avoid giving him any pitches to hit. The batting practice clouts have not transferred to the field yet with his swing and miss struggles restricting his power potential. The last two years have been spent in short season where he has hit .194 with a .329 slugging percentage and 162 whiffs in 100 games. Not fleet afoot, Gareth will be restricted to a corner outfield. The Mariners may want to challenge him and give him a shot in a full season league. If he struggles they can always demote him to short season, but at this point in his game he needs at bats to improve his ability to make contact.

7. Nick Pivetta RHP (Phillies) - Nick was drafted in the fourth round by the Nationals in the 2013 draft. The Phillies were more than happy to depart with Jonathan Papelbon to acquire Pivetta. At 6′5′ he could probably put on a pretty good choke hold on any player. His fastball can hit the mid-90s but Nick has little clue what part of the plate the ball will cross, if it is even in the strike zone, walking close to six hitters per nine innings pitched. Last year he struggled in AA, both at Harrisburg and Reading with ERAs over 7.20 in ten starts. The opposition hit him at an average close to .300. The Phillies will probably have him return to AA, perhaps moving him to the bullpen to see if that adds a few ticks to his fastball velocity. He does have the repertoire to start with a curve, slider and change, but if he can’t find the plate the bullpen would be his best address.

8. Tom Robson RHP (Blue Jays) - Tom was a fourth round pick in 2011. Tommy John surgery has prevented him from rising up the farm system, with Low A his highest affiliation. He has a fastball/change combination but lacks a breaking pitch to survive in the starting rotation. Though he has been a starter in his minor league career the most innings he has thrown in one year is the 64 innings he threw his first year. The two seasons he has pitched in Low A the opposition has raked him for a .300 plus clip. He also has had issues finding the plate walking between four and five hitters per nine innings. If he fails to develop a breaking pitch expect a move to the bullpen. A third season in Low A is probably best for his development, allowing him to have some success before seeing High A.

9. Jeff Degano LHP (Yankees) - The Yankees drafted Jeff in the second round of the 2015 draft. His ability to throw lefthanded with the radar guns reading his fastball in the mid-90s perhaps inflated his draft position. Lefthanders in the New York Penn League did not find him that difficult to hit, raking him for a .333 average, but in limited at bats. Jeff did miss two seasons of college ball as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. At 24 years of age to begin the 2016 season expect the Yankees to challenge him with a stint in Low A.

10. Kellin Deglan C (Rangers) - A number of bad years from four players led to three of them dropping from this list. Kellin remained at the tenth position despite a .236 average in the California League. What keeps him here is his ability to hit the ball over the fence (13 homeruns). Two years ago he broke the Australia League record for homeruns in a season with 16. He also made the roster for the Canadian Premier 12 and Pan Am team. The Rangers traded Jorge Alfaro to the Phillies and have no one in their system including the major league roster that they can call a premier catcher. So the opportunity is there if Kellin can improve on his defense and his ability to throw out baserunners.

2015 top ten Canadian prospects

Premier 12 - Quarterfinals - Mexico bounces Canada

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Sloppy fielding was the name of the day. Also, the teams in Group A found out they were facing some pretty good teams in Group B. Even number four Mexico beat the top seeded and undefeated Canada, though it was gift wrapped with some of that sloppy fielding. There will not be a Japan and Korea final since those two teams will have to do battle in the semi-final. The United States defeated Korea to capture second place in their group. It was a Group B sweep of Group A in the quarter finals.

Mexico 4 Canada 3

Sloppy fielding resulted in Mexico plating three runs in the eighth inning to bounce the previously undefeated Canadians from the tournament. Mexico was not supposed to even be in this tournament, requesting that the Premier 12 organizers find another team to participate. Now they find themselves in the semi-finals, going to Japan, one win away from the million dollar finals.

Canada did not restrict its poor fielding to just the eighth inning. An error in the opening frame by shortstop Sean Jamieson allowed lead off hitter Kevin Medrano to reach first. After stealing second Medrano scored after back to back singles from Robert Lopez and Humberto Sosa.

Miguel Pena quieted the Canadian bats for the first five innings on just two hits. In the sixth a Pete Orr single got things started for Canada. With runners on first and second and two out Rene Tosini ripped a clutch single up the middle to drive in one run and Brock Kjeldgaard powered a double into left to score two. In pool play for Group A that may have been enough to generate a win.

Scott Diamond was gold after giving up an unearned run in the first. He worked seven innings and gave up only two more hits, retiring the last 13 hitters he faced. Canada brought in the enigmatic Phillippe Aumont to close out the eighth. Aumont has had a history of not finding the plate. That came into play when his first pitch hit the leadoff hitter Jose Torres. A single by Juan Perez put two runners on with no one out.

Mexico bunted and Canada was successful in getting the out at third. Pete Orr got greedy and attempted to get two, committing a throwing error to allow the runners to advance. An infield single loaded the bases for Tim Torres who drove in the first run of the inning with a single. The wild Aumont was still in the game with the bases loaded, got ahead in the count 0-2, coaxed Humberto Sosa to hit a grounder to short, but the ball went through the wicket of Jamieson’s legs allowing two runs to score to give Mexico the lead.

Canada did not put up much of a fight after that. Andrew Romo retired the first two hitters he faced in the eighth after retiring the side in order in the seventh. The Mexican closer Brennan Bernardino retired the four hitters he faced, the last two on strikeouts. It was a tough first loss for Canada, knocking them out of the Premier 12.

United States 6 Netherlands 1

The United States took advantage of some sloppy fielding and the five innings of solid pitching by Zack Segovia to neuter the powerful Dutch bats. Segovia was pitching on just three days rest after pitching against Korea. Brooks Pounders shut the Dutch down for the last four innings.

The Netherlands got their only run in the third after a two out strikeout went to the backstop, allowing Kalian Sams to score and Randolph Oduber to reach first. The United States put two runners on in the fourth but Jim Ploeger relieved Tom Stuifbergen to strike out Brett Phillips to end the threat.

The Netherlands had Curt Smith playing left field to accommodate Andrew Jones to play first. Smith normally plays first and his drop of a fly ball for an error got the fifth inning started for the United States. Orlando Yntema relieved Ploeger and threw a way a bunt attempt allowing a run to score and another runner to reach second. Another bunt by the United States, another throwing error by Yntema allowed the second run to score and Elliot Soto raced all the way to third, the scorer giving him a hit but advancing two bases on the error. A Jacob May single made it 3-1. The United States bunted again, Yntema made his third throwing error of the inning, but with runners on third and second with no outs the United States could not score.

They did score three more runs, all of them earned, two of them crossing the plate courtesy of sacrifice flies. Timothy Frazier drove in one run with his double in the seventh and scored on a fly ball from Matt McBride. Brett Phillips led the eighth inning off with a triple and scored on a fly ball from Tyler Pastornicky.

The United States now has to face Mexico in the semi-finals. This one could be ripe for an upset. It was Mexico that knocked the United States out of the 2008 Olympics. They have a way of getting motivated to play their neighbors from the north.

South Korea 7 Cuba 2

South Korea took control of the game with a five run second and rode the bullpen to a victory. Eu-Jii Yang was the big bat for Korea going 3 for 3 with an RBI single in the second and a solo homer in the eighth. Byung-Ho Park got the second inning started with a leadoff triple.

The Cuban bats were a bit lifeless until the fifth. Stayler Hernandez hit an RBI single after a single and walk put two runners on. While Alexander Malleta was scoring on the hit, Osvaldo Vazquez was thrown out at third. A walk of Lourdes Gourriel by Won-Jun Chang ended his day. Yuniesky Gouriel singled to plate a second run, but Yuliesky Gouriel representing the tying run grounded out. It was the last spark of life fizzled out for Cuba. They failed to generate any more offense in their bats.

The Korean bullpen limited the Cuban bats to just two hits the rest of the way. Now the Korean bats will get another try at Shohei Otani, who shut them out the first time he faced them, striking out 10.

Japan 9 Puerto Rico 3

Japan had little trouble with Puerto Rico. Kenta Maeda shut them out for seven innings, limiting the Puerto Ricans to just four hits. With a couple days off before the semi-finals Maeda may get the call to start in the finals.

Japan did not get any big crooked numbers, but they scored in every inning they batted except the second and fifth. Hayato Sakamoto drove in three runs to lead the offense. Sho Nakata had a quiet day, going 0 for 4 without any RBIs. Akira Nakamura scored three times and drove in two runs on his 2 for 3 performance with two walks.

Japan will face Korea in the semi-finals and throw Shohei Otani. The last time Otani pitched against the Koreans he shut them out for five innings, striking out 10, but then we already said that.

Premier 12 - Day 5 United States Downs Korea

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

The United States minor leaguers may be no match for the Japan major leaguers, but they were still able to beat the Korean professionals from the KBO to advance to the second round. The Japan major leaguers had a bit of a struggle over Venezuela having to rally for two in the bottom of the ninth to remain undefeated and Puerto Rico shocked the Taiwan major leaguers to send them home if they were not already home. Canada keeps on winning and one has to wonder how? They certainly were not one of the favorites in their brackets at the beginning of the tournament. The one exciting aspect of the Premier 12 is the unpredictability of the games.

Advancing to the second round are Japan, United States, Korea and Mexico from Group B. From Group A it was Canada, Cuba the Netherlands and Puerto Rico.

United States 3 Korea 2

The United States kept its hope alive to still keep playing by squeezing one out over the Korean professionals. The United States got six shutout innings from Zake Spruill to lead them to the win. It took a tenth inning run and two innings of shutout relief pitching from Seth Simmons to harness the victory.

The United States scored first on an RBI single by Tyler Pastornicky and a RBI double from Dan Rohlfing. They had an opportunity to expand the lead but failed to score despite having runners on second and third with no outs. Sang-Woo Cho came on in relief and struck out two, the final whiff being Brett Eibner with the bases loaded.

The United States went to their bullpen in the seventh and Korea took advantage. John Church walked the first two hitters he faced, a bunt moved them over and Byung-Hun Min plated them both with a single.

The Koreans had an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the ninth. Three singles loaded the bases with the Koreans preferring a base at a time philosophy. With the bases loaded and one out Simmons got a line out and a ground out to end the inning and send the game into overtime.

With two runners placed on first and second the United States tried to bunt as is traditionally the expected practice and bunted into a double play, Adam Frazier advancing to second on his failed bunt attempt. Brett Eibner atoned for his whiff with the bases loaded by delivering a clutch single to score Frazier to give the United States a 3-2 lead.

Korea put their two runners on base and were unsuccessful with the bunt. Yong-Kyu Lee flied out to left. This brought up the hottest hitter on the Korean team, Hyun-Soo Kim, but he popped to short. The slugger Byung-Ho Park walked to load the bases bringing up Min-Ho Kang. Kang grounded out to first to end the game. Normally Dae-Ho Lee may have batted in that spot, but Korea had already clinched a spot in the second round and chose to rotate Park and Lee in the DH spot. With the win the United States advanced to the second round.

Japan 6 Venezuela 5

Japan had already advanced to the second round so there was no motivation to win this game. A loss to Venezuela would not have transferred since Venezuela was not advancing. The only thing Japan was playing for was pride and that pride showed up in the bottom of the ninth.

Venezuela started their ace Freddy Garcia. He limited Japan to three runs in 7.1 innings. Venezuela held a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the eighth, but Garcia was removed after giving up a one out single. The bullpen could not protect the lead. With one out and runners on second and third Luis Sojo chose to intentionally walk Yoshitomo Tsutsugo to load the bases to face one of the hottest hitters in the tournament Sho Nakata. A bold move to set up a double play but one that did not pay off after a Nakata double scored two and gave Japan the lead. Japan could not expand the lead after a runner was thrown out at home on a ground out and they turned the ball over to closer Yuki Matsui to finish the game.

Yuki was not sharp, issuing a walk and two hits to load the bases. Jose Yepez sent the Japanese fans into apoplexy with a pinch hit two run double to recapture the lead. With runners on second and third and one out Yuki was able to entice a pop up and strikeout to end the inning, keeping the deficit to one.

Venezuela went with their closer Fernando Nieve. A walk and hit by pitch put two runners on with a bunt moving them up a base. With one out Sojo continued his strategy with an intentional walk to Tatsuto Yamada to load the bases. A wild pitch scored the tying run forcing Sojo to intentionally walk Shingo Kawabata to load the bases again. With Sho Nakata on deck the strategy backfired when Akira Nakamura buzzed a single into left field.

Venezuela had scored their first three runs when Rainer Olmedo started the game with a homerun off Japanese starter Yuki Nishi. In the fourth Juan Apodaca hit a two run homer off Nishi to give Venezuela a 3-1 lead.

Puerto Rico 7 Taiwan 4

Puerto Rico was able to advance with their win over Taiwan, knocking out their hosts, which also dashed any hope of large attendance figures in the second round. It was a pitcher’s duel to begin the game with each staff giving up only one run through the first nine. Andres Santiago got the start for Puerto Rico going 6.1 innings. Chun-Lin Kuo got the start for Taiwan and completed eight innings. Kuo struck out 10 in his effort.

A Chih-Sheng Lin homer in the fourth accounted for the only run for Taiwan in the regulation frames. Puerto Rico scored their one run on a wild pitch in the bottom frame after a double by Joiset Feliciano and a bunt moved him to third.

Neither team scored in the first extra frame, Taiwan failing to exercise a bunt to advance the runners and Puerto Rico successfully bunting but failing to score with runners on second and third with one out.

Taiwan was more successful with the bunt in the 11th inning, resulting in RBI singles from Chih-Hsien Chiang and Chih-Kang Kao. Puerto Rico countered with two runs on a two run double from Jorge Jimenez. An intentional walk loaded the bases with no out, a prime opportunity for Puerto Rico to pull it out in 11. They failed. A force out at home, a pop out and a ground out ended the inning with the game still tied.

They went to the 12th. Taiwan scored a run without benefit of a hit going up by one. Puerto Rico responded with a bunt single to load the bases with no out bringing up Aldo Mendez. The previous inning Puerto Rico could not score a run with the bases loaded and no out. Mendez left no doubt about this outcome, sending Taiwan fans home in tears with a shot to right field that cleared the fence and gave Puerto Rico an unlikely 7-4 win.

Cuba 2 Italy 1

Cuba advanced to the second round with a hard fought win over Italy. Italy went home winless, seeing their rivals the Netherlands advancing to the second round. Cuba got a good effort from Yosbany Torres, who went 6.2 innings. They gave the ball to Livan Moinello to finish the game and advance Cuba to the second round. He retired all seven hitters he faced. Italy went with their Japanese professional Alessandro Maestri. He could only go 4.2 innings.

Both teams scored in the second. Italy got an RBI single from Alberto Mineo. Cuba scored their run on a Osvaldo Vazquez RBI single after Maestri walked the leadoff hitter and advanced him to third with a wild pitch.

Cuba benefitted from more walks after two were issued in the seventh giving Alfredo Despaigne an opportunity to give Cuba the lead for good with an RBI single.

Canada 3 Netherlands 1

Canada finished the first round of play undefeated, but it will be interesting if they can replicate that in the second round playing Korea, Japan and the United States. They tamed the high powered Netherlands offense to just one run, Chris Leroux going seven innings. Jordan Lennerton gave them all the runs they needed with a two run double in the sixth after an intentional walk to Tyler O’Neill put two runners on.

The Netherlands scored their only run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI double from Wladimir Balentien. Sean Jamieson hit a solo shot in the eighth for Canada to get the run back. In the bottom of the ninth Dustin Molleken struck out the side to earn his third save of the tournament.

Mexico 9 Dominican Republic 6

In a game that did not mean much, Mexico sent the Dominicans home winless. Mexico almost did not make the tournament, asking the organizing officials to send Panama instead. They can now go home, but at least they won two games. Not a lot to say about this one except it is over for both sides. Apologies to Mexico. The win advanced them to the quarter finals, so they can’t go home yet and are scheduled to face Canada. Wouldn’t it be fun if they happened to win the tournament?

Premier 12 - Day 4 No Contest Japan Over the United States

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

Don’t know if the United States really thought they could compete against the Japan NPB with their minor leaguers, but yesterday Japan showed the United States was no match for them in a 10-2 drubbing.

Japan 10 United States 2

The minor leaguers had the lead 2-0 after three. Jarrett Grube pitched well in five innings, allowing just one run. When the United States went to their bullpen Japan attacked showing no mercy. The big bat on their team Sho Nakata had the big blow in the sixth with a three run shot into the left field bleachers to give the Japanese a 5-2 lead. They tacked on five more in the seventh, Nobuhiro Matsuda found the left field bleachers off Cody Satterwhite for a grand slam homerun.

Matt McBride continued his hot hitting with a solo homerun in the second to give the United States an early 1-0 lead. McBride had gone 5 for 5 his previous game. A Brett Eibner RBI single in the third upped the lead to 2-0. After that the United States bats went silent. The Japanese bullpen of Yasuaki Yamasaki, Hirotoshi Masui and Hirokazu Sawamura each pitched an inning in relief and retired all nine hitters they faced in the last three innings.

Yoshitomo Tsutsugo contributed three RBIs for Japan with an RBI double in the fourth to drive in the first run for Japan, and RBI singles in the sixth and seventh innings.

Korea 4 Mexico 3

Korea scored all four of their runs early then had to hang on to beat a determined Mexican team. Hyun-Soo Kim struck again with a big two run double in the opening frame to give Korea an early 2-0 lead. Byung-Ho Park delivered his first blast of the tournament in the top of the third with a solo shot to give Korea a 4-0 lead. After that it was all Mexico.

Gerardo Sanchez and Brennan Bernardino shut down the Korean bats on just four hits in the last six innings. In the bottom of the third a Juan Perez triple scored one and a fly ball plated Perez to pull the Mexicans to within two, 4-2. In the fifth Mexico inched to within one run on a wild pitch and throwing error by the catcher to third that allowed Brandon Macias to score.

Mexico was shut down by Woo-Chan Cha after that. After walking the leadoff hitter in the fifth and throwing the wild pitch that resulted in the third run, Cha struck out eight of the next nine Korean hitters, a single by Yadir Drake to lead off the sixth interrupting the strike out string.

Taiwan 4 Cuba 1

Chih-Sheng Lin broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the eighth to give Taiwan its second win of he Premier 12. It was the second consecutive game in which Lin has homered. Chia-Hao Sung pitched 6.1 innings of one run ball to get credit for the win. The run was unearned after the second error by Taiwanese shortstop Yen-Wen Kuo followed a Yulieski Gourriel triple in the sixth.

Cuba was able to rally to put two runners on with one out in the ninth, but two ground outs ended the threat.

Canada 4 Italy 0

Canada continues to get excellent pitching to stay undefeated while Italy falls short for their fourth consecutive game. Jared Mortensen pitched the first seven innings, allowing just five hits. Kyle Lotzkar worked the final two innings. Tyler O’Neill blasted a two run homer in the opening frame to give Canada an early 2-0 lead. For O’Neill it was his tournament leading third homer.

Netherlands 11 Puerto Rico 7

One of the better hitting teams of the tournament continued to swing the hot bats. They scored eight runs in the first two innings and had a 9-1 lead after six, but Puerto Rico battled back to make it interesting. Randolph Oduber walked to open the first and scored the first run for Netherlands after a single by Wladimir Balentien. Oduber slugged a two run homer in the six run seventh, then added a solo shot in the fifth. He finished the game 3 for 4 with three RBIs and three runs scored with two homeruns from the leadoff spot.

Shawn Zarrage drove in four runs for the Netherlands on just two hits. He walked with the bases loaded in the first to drive in his first run. He added an RBI single in the second and after Puerto Rico had closed the game to 9-7 gave the Dutch more breathing room with a two run single in the eighth.

Shairon Martis went the first five innings to get the win. He gave up a solo homerun to Juan Medina in the third for his only blemish of the night. Medina would add a two run single in the eighth to close out the scoring for Puerto Rico. Loek Van Mil gave up that hit but still preserved in the victory, retiring the side in order in the ninth.

Venezuela 8 Dominican Republic 6

This is not the WBC team that took the title away from Japan in 2013 as they went down to their fourth consecutive defeat under the tutelage of Miguel Tejeda in the dugout. The Dominicans had an early 5-3 lead but a two run single by Renny Osuna in the fifth tied the game and a three run double from Luis Jimenez broke the game open. Yoman Bazardo pitched 3.2 innings of shutout relief to get credit for the win. For Jimenez he now has 8 RBIs in the tournament.

Standings

Group A

Canada 4-0, Netherlands 3-1, Taiwan 2-2, Cuba 2-2, Puerto Rico 1-3, Italy 0-4

Group B

Japan 4-0, Korea 3-1, Venezuela 2-2, United States 2-2, Mexico 1-3, Dominican Republic 0-4

Cuban National Team to Play in Can-Am League

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

The Cuban National team will play 19 games from June 9-30 in the Independent Can-Am League. Franchises for the Can-Am League are located in Quebec, Trois-Rivieres, and Ottawa in Canada and New Jersey, Rockland and Sussex County in the United States. Last year Cuba loaned out four players to the Quebec team, Alexei Bell, Yunieski Gourriel, Ismel Jimenez and Yordan Manduley.

In addition to the Cuban team playing games in the Can-Am League a Japanese team of Shikoku All Stars will be playing 19 games against Can-Am teams. No dates were given for that series.

Information for this article was obtained from Baseball America.

Premier 12 - Day 3 Canada and Japan Remain Unbeaten

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Canada and Japan finished the second day of Premier 12 as the only unbeaten teams in the tournament. Both of them won their third game to remain unbeaten. No major upsets, though Netherlands handed Italy a big spanking in a European rivalry match. Many of the games were close and filled with drama.

Canada 9 Taiwan 8

Taiwan went with former major league pitcher Fu-Te Ni while the Canadians chose their former major leaguer Shawn Hill for their start. Shawn Hill reached the fifth and got credit for the win, but neither pitcher was sharp.

Taiwan got on the board first with a two run homer from Chun-Hsui Chen in the second to give them an early 2-0 lead. Canada had loaded the bases in the top of the second but could not score. The top of the third Ni had some struggles. He walked Tyler O’Neil, balked and then threw a wild pitch to get him to third. Jordan Lennerton drove him in with a single for one of his four RBIs on the day.

Canada took the lead for good in the fourth with RBI doubles from Sean Jamieson and a two run double from Jordan Lennerton. Ni was removed from the game after the double by Lennerton. Taiwan battled but they could never retake the lead after that.

They were able to tie it in the fifth after a two run homer by Po-Jung Wang. Canada sprung back after an RBI single by Jordan Lennerton and a two run double from Brock Kjeldgaard. Taiwan hit their third homer of the game, a solo shot from Chih-Sheng Lin to make the game 7-5. They then loaded the bases with no outs on a walk, hit by pitch and error but could not score. A strikeout and ground out double play ended the rally.

Canada went to the long ball in the top of the eighth with solo shots from Tyler O’Neill and Rene Tosoni. For O’Neill it was his second homer in two days. Taiwan strung four hits together to score three runs, Po-Jung Wang ripping a two run double for his third and fourth RBIs of the game. Wang was stranded at second after Tyson Gillies had a ball deflect off his glove after hitting the wall and Rene Tosini was right there to make the catch on the deflection.

After struggling a bit in the eighth Dustin Molleken was able to retire three of the four hitters he faced to save the game, his second of the tournament.

Japan 4 Dominican Republic 2

Sho Nakata was the offensive hero again for Japan. After driving in five of the six runs yesterday Nakata drove in three of the four runs today. His two hits give him a .634 batting average for the tournament with 8 RBIs in three games. Tetsuto Yamada scored three of the four runs for Japan.

Japan scored their first run in the opening frame after a dropped fly ball allowed Yamada to score from second. Yamada had hit a two out double to begin the rally. The Dominicans loaded the bases in the bottom frame but Shota Takeda coaxed slow footed Miguel Olivo to ground into a inning ending double play.

Nakata drove in his first run with an RBI single in the fourth. Two walks opened the frame, including one to Yamada who scored his second run of the game.

Takada was taken out after four innings, giving up five hits and walking one, but not allowing a run to cross the plate. The Dominicans got to reliever Yasuhiro Ogawa in the seventh to tie the game, Ronny Rodriguez depositing a pitch into the empty left field bleachers. In the eighth a couple walks and a balk set things up for Nakata. With first base open the Dominicans chose to pitch to him and he rammed one down the left field line for a two run double.

That was all Japan needed to get the victory. Yuki Matsui pitched the ninth. A bunt single put a runner on first with one out and Ronny Rodriguez at the plate. Ronny could not find the seats this time, instead finding the glove of Hayato Sakamoto for a game inning double play.

Cuba 8 Puerto Rico 7

Cuba got a walkoff win in the bottom of the 10th when Puerto Rico chose to turn the double play with runners on first and third and failed to do so. In the top of the ninth Puerto Rico had come back from a 7-2 deficit to tie the game.

Cuba got unexpected production from Yuniesky Gourriel, who is the older and less noted of the Gourriel brothers. This was his first international tournament of note and he rewarded Cuba with two hits and three RBIs hitting from the nine hole.

Alexander Malleta drove in the first two runs for Cuba with a two run triple in the first. Puerto Rico tied it with single runs in the third and fourth, Aldo Mendez going deep in the fourth to tie the game. In the bottom of the fourth Puerto Rico chose to walk Rudy Reyes intentionally to face the lesser Gourriel and he got the Cuban fans jumping with a RBI single.

Cuba then tacked on single runs to pull away from the game. Despaigne went deep in the fifth for one run. In the sixth another intentional walk to Reyes loaded the bases, but Gourriel grounded to second. Puerto Rico could not turn two and a run scored. Yuniesky drove in his final run in the eighth with an RBI double to give Cuba what was thought to be a comfortable 7-2 lead.

Substitutions were made to take out the Cuban starters, including Yulieski Gourriel. Puerto Rico scored two runs after three consecutive hits, Alexis Pantoja driving in the two with a single. Cuba brought in closer Hector Mendoza to finish the game. After a strikeout to his first hitter Mendoza hit a batter to bring up Richard Thon, who now represented the tying run. Thon blasted one to left field to tie the game.

South Korea 13 Venezuela 2

Korea made a statement with a slaughter shortened game over Venezuela, who was riding high after an upset win over a depleted United States the previous day. Jae-Gyun Hwang went deep twice to drive in three runs in a 4 for 4 day to lead the offense. Hyun-Soo Kim also drove in three runs, his second consecutive game with three RBIs.

Juan Apodaca had a good game for Venezuela, going 3 for 3 with a solo homerun, but it was far short to make up for the Korean bats.

United States 10 Mexico 0

The United States finally got a well pitched game, Zack Segovia going six innings in the victory. The game only went eight innings. Matt McBride had a big 5 for 5 day with three RBIs.

Netherlands 16 Italy 1

Italy certainly embarrassed themselves in this laugher against their rivals in Europe. They even had a 1-0 lead after the first inning but then the walls caved in. Netherlands erupted for five in the second and it was all over. Curt Smith drove in six runs with his four hits, falling a triple short of the cycle. Kalian Sams drove in three runs, two of them on a homerun in the fourth. Sams had a perfect 2 for 2 day with three walks. Leadoff hitter Randolph Oduber did his job with 5 hits in six at bats, driving in two and scoring three times.