Opening Salvos of Under 23 Tournament Begin

The United States and Cuba, two of the top teams in the world are not participating in this tournament, but their absence opens the opportunity for other teams to play. Austria and Argentina are two new countries who took advantage of the absences to participate in the tournament. They found the going rough but the experience will be beneficial for their development in baseball. There were no surprises on this first day.

Japan 6 Nicaragua 1

Nicaragua hung with Japan for eight innings. A three run assault in the ninth allowed Japan to pull away 6-0. Keisuke Honda quieted the Nicaraguan bats on two hits in the first seven innings to bring Japan the victory with a paucity of offense. Tomo Otosaka and Koki Yamashita each drove in two runs to lead the Japan offense.

Australia 8 Austria 1

In their first big tournament Austria scored the first run in the opening frame on a two out solo homerun from Ferdinand Obed. Unfortunately that would be all the runs Austria would score. Australia used three big innings to score their eight, Zachary Shepherd, Connor McDonald and Guy Edmonds all going deep for the Australian team. Shepherd and McDonald each drove in three runs. Nicholas Hutchings recovered from the first inning homerun to pitch six innings to get the win, allowing just two more hits in those innings.

Taiwan 10 Argentina 0

Taiwan went eight innings to beat Argentina, the game ending an inning early because of the 10-run rule. Argentina squeaked out five hits and drew five walks but could not use the Taiwan generosity to cross the plate. Yi-Chung Liao went five innings to pick up the win, striking out eight. Chung-Ting Chen was the big bat for Taiwan driving in three runs with a homerun. Tzu-Wei Lin also homered from the leadoff spot, finishing the day 2 for 2 with two walks and two runs scored.

Venezuela 14 Russia 1

Venezuela only needed seven innings to dispose of Russia. They scored 13 runs in the first three innings to make it an early run away, Francisco Martinez going a perfect 4 for 4 with three RBIs. Jonathan Linares also drove in three runs with a homerun and sacrifice fly on a perfect 1 for 1 day in his three at bats. Joscar Alvarez lashed out three hits from the lead off spot scoring three runs. Russian pitchers walked 8 hitters and gave up 14 hits.

Korea 6 Czech Republic 1

Woo-Jin Sim drove in three runs with his three hits to lead Korea to victory. Chae-Hueng Choi pitched 6.2 innings allowing just one run to pick up the victory.

Panama 3 Mexico 1

Panama was not too kind to the hosts of the tournament. Carlos Sanchez drove in one run with a solo homerun and Humberto Mejia shut down the Mexican bats for seven innings on three hits. Mexico rallied in the ninth for one run, but it came up short.

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