Archive for August, 2017

Japan Wins Gold at Universiade

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Japan defeated the United States team 10-0 in a tournament played in Taiwan named the Universiade. The United States team is not affiliated with the U.S. National team, or at least the players do not appear to be the same.

Japan erupted for six runs in the second inning to take an overwhelming lead. Masato Morishita went seven innings and allowed just two hits for Japan, striking out 11.

In the game for third place Korea defeated the Czech Republic 6-2. Yun Hee yeong pitched a complete game, striking out eight. He did allow two runs on seven hits.

Kang to Play in Dominican Republic

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Jung-Ho Kang may not be able to get a visa to work in the United States but Koreans can visit the Dominican Republic for 90 days without a visa. The Aguilas Cibaenas signed Kang to play in the winter league that begins play in October.

Kang has been prevented from playing in the major leagues because of his numerous drunk driving incidents, the latest a hit and run accident with a guard rail that resulted in a conviction and jail time. Because of this he has been unable to get a work permit to play major league baseball in the United States. Kang is signed through 2018 but it is unclear whether he can resolve his issue before his contract expires. That will leave him missing two years worth of pay checks as he remains suspended while his inability to play continues. The KBO could be his future in 2019 or 2018 if it becomes clear he is unable to continue his major league career.

Japan Little League World Series Champions

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

For the second time in three years Tokyo Kitasuna wins the Little League World Series championship. It is their fourth championship since they won their first championship in 2001.

Japan 12 Southwest (Lufkin) 2

The good news for Southwest is the two runs they scored were double what the three previous teams who played Japan had scored. The bad news is the Japan bats scored 12 runs against their pitching staff. In the first inning Southwest took a 2-0 lead after a leadoff homerun from Chandler Spencer and another solo shot from Hunter Ditsworth one batter later. After that Japan starter Tsubasa Tomi gave up only one more hit in pitching a complete game five inning affair, striking out 9.

Japan rallied for three runs in the bottom of the second off Southwest starter Chip Buchanan. Keitaro Miyahara drove in the first two runs with a triple and scored on a single by Ryusei Fujiwara to give Japan a 3-2 lead. Miyahara would finish the game a single short of the cycle. In the fourth he hit a solo shot and the fifth added a two run double for five RBIs on the day.

In the fourth inning Japan hit three homeruns, two off Buchanan and one off Malcolm Deason. Daisuke Hashimoto led off the fourth with a solo shot. After a ground out Miyahara hit a solo shot. Natsuki Yajima finished off the scoring with a two run homer. A five run fifth ended the game after five innings, Yajima driving in the final run with a single.

Mexico 14 Southeast 8

Coming into the game Matthew Matthijs had not given up a hit in 9 innings. He left the game after retiring four hitters, three of them on strikeouts and giving up no hits. Unfortunately, a walk, two wild pitches, a passed ball and a strikeout/passed ball gave Mexico three runs against him, only one of them earned. The Southwest tried five other pitchers, all of them making their first appearance on the mound in this Little League World Series and Mexico pounded them for 10 hits and 11 more runs. When Mexico scored six in the fourth to take a 14-2 lead the Southeast roared back for six runs to keep the game going.

Carson Hardee hit his third homerun of the tournament and Ashton Byars also went deep for the Southeast. Cesar Monjaraz pitched the last 2.1 innings without allowing a run to get the win for Mexico to take home the third place trophy.

Little League World Series - Southwest versus Japan

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

Mexico fought their way from the loser’s bracket but were done in by the brilliant pitching staff of Japan. The Southwest were able to overcome a brilliant pitching staff facing the Southeast and got a bit of revenge after an earlier loss.

Japan 5 Mexico 0

When Keitaro Miyahara led off the first inning for Japan with a homerun Mexico knew it would be tough to overcome. The Japan pitching staff had only given up one run in their first three games. When Japan tacked on three more in the inning the task became that much more difficult. Riku Goto was up to the task, pitching 5.2 innings of shutout ball, striking out 13 batters. The only event that drove him from the game was the pitch count. After the homerun by Miyahara Japan loaded the bases on a strikeout/wild pitch, an error and a walk. Yuya Nakajima drove in two runs with a single in the first inning and a double in the fifth.

For Japan and Kitasuna Little League this is their fifth Little League World Series Championship. They won the Little League World Series in 2001, 2012 and 2015 and finished second in 2007. They have also appeared in three of the last four Little League World Series, losing to Korea in the 2014 International championship. In 2015 Kitasuna Little League eliminated a team from Mexico to advance to the championship. They beat a team from the Mid-Atlantic to win the championship in 2015. They now appear again in the 2017 championship.

Southwest (Lufkin) 6 Southeast (North State) 5

The last time these two teams played Southeast won 2-1. One consolation for the Southwest is they had gotten the first hit and first run off the Southeast pitching staff in that game. On the mound for the Southeast was relative newcomer Carson Hardee, who had only pitched 1/3 of an inning. Matthew Matthijs and Chase Anderson were the primary pitchers for the Southeast, both combining in the back to back no hitters. Matthijs had reached his pitch limit for this game but was eligible for the championship. He had not allowed a hit in 9 innings and struck out 12 of the 13 Southwest hitters he faced in their 2-1 win. Chase Anderson had allowed just one hit in his 8.2 innings of work but was eligible to pitch in this game.

The Southeast jumped out to a 5-0 lead. JoeJoe Byrne and Bryce Jackson each drove in two runs. Carson Hardee held the Southwest to zero the first three innings. The chink in the armor began to be exposed in the fourth inning when Carson Wigley slugged a two run homer, following the two out single by Mark Requena. The fifth inning was filled with wild pitches and an error that saw two more runners cross the plate to make the score 5-4. Chase Anderson was called on in the fifth and was charged with one of the two runs in the inning.

The sixth saw Collin Ross lead off the inning with a hit by pitch. Mark Requena then shocked Williamsport with a two run homer to finish an amazing comeback win from a 5-0 deficit to give Lufkin a 6-5 lead. Facing the bottom of the Southeast order Chip Buchanan retired the side in order to secure the domestic championship.

For Lufkin this is their first appearance in the Little League World Series. They are not veterans of the event like Kitasuna. The championship match begins tomorrow. Japan has only given up one run in the four games they have played. Lufkin has seen that story before.

Little League World Series - Mexico and Southwest Advance

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Mexico defeated Canada in the semi-finals of the international bracket and now faces Japan in the finals. Mexico lost opening day to Latin America but has fought their way up the losers bracket to get to the finals. The Southwest defeated New England and now gets a rematch with the Southeast. These two played in the finals of the winners bracket with the Southeast winning in seven 2-1.

Mexico 6 Canada 2

Carlos Garcia scored two of the first three runs for Mexico, the second time he got on base the run scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball in the fourth inning to break a 2-2 tie. Jorge Garcia led off the fifth inning with a solo shot to extend the lead. After Andre Garza walked Jorge Lambarria went deep with a two run homerun that put the game out of reach. Samuel Juarez tossed the last two innings for Mexico, retiring five on strikeouts and scattering just two hits. Andre Garza got the start and pitched four innings to earn the victory.

Southwest (Lufkin) 14 New England (Fairfield American) 4

Southwest used an 8 run opening frame to put this game out of reach early. Collin Ross had a big hit in the first inning with a three run homerun. Michael Ianazzo put New England on the board with a two run homer in the third and Matthew Vivona pumped a solo shot in the fifth, but it was not enough to overcome the 8 run deficit. .

Asia Baseball Championship

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

The Asian Baseball Championships will be held October 2 through 8 in New Taipei City, Taiwan. The teams competing in the event are Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Taiwan. The tournament will serve as a qualifier for the Under 23 championships to be held in 2018.

Group A

Korea, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Taiwan

Group B

China, Hong Kong, Japan and Pakistan

Little League World Series - Japan and Southeast Settle into Winner’s Bracket

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

There are now two loser’s bracket teams and one winner’s bracket team from the domestic and international pools. The two losers bracket teams will battle tomorrow to determine who will play Japan and the Southeast. The championship game will be played Sunday.

Japan 10 Canada 0

Japan has allowed only one run in their three Little League World Series game. They made easy work of Canada, scoring in four of the five innings they played. Three different Japanese pitchers allowed just one hit. Tomi Tsubasa allowed that hit but pitched three innings to get the win. Natsuki Yajima was a perfect 3 for 3 with three runs scored and three RBIs on a homerun and two singles. Yuya Nakajima went deep for his only hit, but he also drove in three runs.

Canada will play Mexico in the semi-finals of the International bracket. The winner will play Japan for the international championship.

Southeast (North State) 2 Southwest (Lufkin) 1

The first game myworld remembers going extra innings. Southwest made two errors in the seventh inning to give Southeast the win and a spot in the winner’s bracket to await their opponent for the semi-final game. Carson Hardee was a perfect 2 for 2 with two walks for Souteast. His homerun in the first inning was the lone run for the Southeast until the 7th inning. The Southwest was limited to one hit, a Mark Requena double in the third inning. A wild pitch and ground out scored the run. Matthew Matthijs was dominate in relief. He worked 4.1 innings of relief and struck out 12 of the 13 hitters he faced. In his 9 innings of work he has yet to give up a hit and struck out 20, with his two walks the only baserunner.

The Southwest will play New England in the semi-finals of the domestic bracket.

New England (Fairfield American) 12 Mid-Atlantic (Holbrook) 2

New England exploded for five runs in the first to bury Mid-Atlantic early. Troy Ashkinos hit a grand slam homerun in the fourth inning, driving in five runs to lead the New England offense. The grand slam eliminated any hope of a comeback by Mid-Atlantic after they had crept to 5-2 after three innings.

New England will play Southwest in the finals of the loser’s bracket. The winner will play the Southeast for the domestic championship.

Back to Back to Back Walkoff

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Back to back to back homeruns always create a lot of buzz. When they result in a walkoff homerun that buzz turns into a frenzy. The Yokohama Bay Stars are fighting for a playoff spot. They were playing the first place Hiroshima Carp. The Carp were leading 5-2 going into the bottom of the ninth.

Tatsuhiro Shibata started the inning off innocently enough with a single off starter Yusuke Nomura. Yoshitomo Tsutsugo ended the day for Nomura with a blast to right to pull the Bay Stars to within one. Closer Takeru Imamura came on to try to pick up his 24th save. Jose Lopez greeted him with a homerun to left field to tie the game. That brought up Toshiro Miyazaki. He drove a pitch from Imamura over the left field fence for a walk off game winning homer.

The fans in Yokohama must have been going crazy after that hit. The win puts Yokohama about two games ahead of the Yomiuri Giants for the second wild card spot and about three games behind the Hanshin Tigers for the first wild card spot.

Little League World Series - Down to Top Six

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Only one game that had some significance. Australia beat the Mid-West 11-7, but that was just a game to get the kids one more game. Both Australia and the Midwest have been eliminated.

Mexico 8 Latin America (Venezuela) 0

After winning yesterday on a walkoff triple, the Venezuelan bats went cold. Isaac Miranda limited the bats to just two hits then turned it over to Erick Vazquez for the last five outs. Erick struck out for of the five hitters he faced. Andre Garza hit his third homerun for the tournament. He only has three hits. The only game he has not hit a homerun he walked twice. Samuel Juarez also hit a homerun, his first of the tournament. A five run second put the game out of reach.

Little League World Series - Day 5

Monday, August 21st, 2017

All the teams that played today are 1-1. A loss means elimination. A win means one more day in Williamsport. The major leaguers have left for larger cities. The nosy nights of anticipation waiting to come fact to face with a major leaguer has been replaced by the intense desire to survive one more day to win the Little League World Series, which Todd Frazier is the only current major leaguer who can make claim to a championship.

Mexico 1 Asia Pacific (Korea) 0

This was an old fashioned pitchers duel. Jorge Garcia and Andre Garza combined to limit Korea to just one hit. Jorge Garcia went four innings, giving up the lone hit and walking three. Garza walked two but five of the six outs he recorded were by strikeouts. For Korea Ahn Ky-Um did not allow a hit but walked four in his 2.2 innings of work. In the third inning his two walks finished the day for him. Shin Jin-Won gave up the one hit, to Jorge Lambarria to plate the one run in the game to give Mexico the 1-0 victory and one more day of life.

Mid-Atlantic (Holbrook) 12 West (Santa Margarita) 9

Mid-Atlantic erupted for 9 runs in the third inning to take a 12-1 lead then hung on to complete the victory. R.J. Vashey went deep twice for Mid-Atlantic to drive in three runs. Charlie Meglio also went deep for Mid-Atlantic to drive in two. Drew Rutter drove in three runs with his two doubles in a losing cause for the West.

Latin America (Venezuela) 3 Caribbean (Dominican Republic) 2

The two countries with the most major leaguers outside the United States are always making claims that they have the best baseball talent. Venezuela proved to be the best on this day. Barely. They had to rally for two runs in the last inning to win the game. Omar Romero lined a one out walk off triple with two runners on base to win the game. The Dominicans could only manage one hit off the duo of Dario Cardozo and Jorge Daboin, but took advantage of the two passed balls to score both of their runs.

New England American (Fairfield) 14 Northwest (Walla Walla) 6

An 8 run fourth inning wiped out a 5-2 Northwest lead and was enough to give New England the victory. Michael Iannazzo was a perfect 3 for 3 with a homerun and three RBIs. Christian Smith also drove in three runs with his homerun. Matthew Vivona pitched a scoreless sixth inning to secure the victory for New England.