Cuba Defends 15 and Under Championship

The major leagues may have robbed Cuba of many of their players older than 16. They still have their 15 year olds, who beat Japan 9-4 to defend their championship. After being shut out by Japan in pool play the first time they played them Cuba erupted for five runs in the second inning, then added three more in the fourth to jump out to an 8-0 lead.

Loidel Chapelli is a name you may want to remember. He went 5 for 5, driving in three runs and scoring two to lead the Cuban offense. He finished the tournament with a .444 average, stealing one of the six bases the Cubans took off Japanese catchers. Franny Cobos delivered three hits and stole two bases, driving in two runs. The top hitter for Cuba was Malcolm Nunez, who finished the tournament with a best .613 average and 1.375 OPS. He went 1 for 4 in the championship game with a sacrifice fly to drive in one of the nine Cuban runs.

Livan Chaviano worked five shutout innings before giving up an unearned run in the sixth. Japan was able to score three more runs off reliever Osdany Rodriguez in his three innings of work. Shota Katekaru was the big bat for Japan getting four hits in five at bats. He drove in one and scored one.

The United States was able to win the bronze medal game over Panama 8-3. They scored six runs in the seventh to break a 1-1 tie.

The order of finish for the teams:

1) Cuba, 2) Japan, 3) United States, 4) Panama, 5) Venezuela, 6) Colombia, 7) Taiwan, 8) South Korea, 9) Mexico, 10) Czech Republic, 11) Australia and 12) New Zealand

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