XII Jr. Men's Softball World Championship

2018-07-07 - 2018-07-15

@wbsc   #2018jrworlds   CAN

Canada, New Zealand advance to top four at WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship

2018-07-14

Canada and New Zealand won today their respective playoff games today, and will face each other in the las match of the day. The host team defeated Argentina, while the Junior Black Sox eliminated Mexico in the first two games of the day.

New Zealand 8-0 Mexico

New Zealand beat Mexico, 8-0, in five innings and advanced to the next game in the Playoff Round of the WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship. The Junior Black Sox already secured a spot in the top four of the tournament, and tonight will play to earn a place in the podium for the third time in a row.

New Zealand built its victory from the beginning, with a superb performance by starting pitcher Reilly Makea who threw 4 hitless innings with 10 strikeouts, and a solid relief by Taine Slaughter in the fifth.

Mexican starter Adrian Villalobos had a rough outing, allowing four runs in the first inning of the game. The New Zealand offensive hit for the cycle with a single by Kaleb Rona, an RBI double by Reilly Makea, an RBI triple by Harrison Valk and a towering 2-run home run off the bat of Jared Gillard.

After two quiet innings, New Zealand put together another 4-run rally in the bottom of the fourth episode against Jose Felix, who had pitched 2.1 hitless innings in relief. A pair of doubles by Ryschan Thompson and pinch hitter Tobias Makisi, and a single by Makea, produced the four runs for the black team.

This way Mexico ends its participation in the WBSC Junior Men’s World Championship at sixth place, with an overall record of 4-4.

In the other hand New Zealand advances in the playoff and will play tonight, at 20:00 local time. They wait for rival between Canada and Argentina, who play next.

Riley Manion, the starter for Canada

Canada 6-4 Argentina

Canada remain in the hunt for its second Junior Men’s Softball World Championship gold medal in history. Today the host team beat Argentina by a score of 6-4, and tonight will face New Zealand trying to clinch a spot in the top three of the event.

Argentina stroke first in the game. With a runner at second, and two outs, Canadian pitcher Riley Manion struck out Alejo Muñoz for the third out of the inning, but catcher Brendan Hagerman had a pass ball. Then Hagerman made a bad throw to first, allowing Lucio Retamar to score from second.

However Canada took the lead in the bottom of the second inning and never looked back. With two outs and runner on second, Mackenzie Fischer walked and Noah Baker singled trough the middle to tie the game. A few pitches later, Fischer scored on a wild pitch to give the host team a 2-1 lead.

In the third inning Jordan Pomeroy hit a lead-off triple to right field for the red team, and scored immediately with a single off the bat of Brady Hogg. At that moment, Juan Jose Pepe took the ball in relief of Marcelo Martinez for Argentina, but two outs later, Dallas Kipfer homered to center field to make it 5-1 for Canada.

The South Americans reacted in the top of the fifth. Agustin Gomez singled to center field and Gian Scialacomo walked, with one out on the board. And then Retamar hit a strong line drive that went off the glove of first baseman Troy Kosmynka, for a 2-RBI single.

Canada added one more run in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single by Brendan Hagerman, to score pinch runner Mackenzie Mulvey, who stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error by Argentine catcher.

In the top of the sixth Argentina had a chance to tie the game; they loaded the bases with one out, on a single and two walks. But the reliever David Watson retired Gomez on a grounder to second (producing the fourth run for the South Americans) and then took Scialacomo on a fly ball to right field, to escape the jam.

Even when Argentina put a runner on base in the top of the seventh, the score remained the same. Watson struck out Machuca for the last out of the game and clinched the victory for his team.

The two-time world champion Argentina ends the WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship 2018 in the fifth place.

Canada will play tonight against New Zealand. The winner will play tomorrow the second semifinal of the tournament and remain in medal contention.