Canada Wins to Advance to the Super Round

September 2nd, 2015

There wasn’t much of a reason to play this game. Canada would have advanced to the Super Round even if they had lost because of the tie breaker rules on head to head. They played it anyway and Canada won 11-10. They rallied for five runs in the bottom of the ninth to pull it out, adding some respectability towards their advancement by finishing over .500.

Isaac Deveaux drove in two runs with a single. Andrew Yerzy tied it in the ninth with a two run homer. Demi Orimoloye has not been having a good tournament, but he showed off his talent by drawing a walk and stealing second and third. A walk and a bunt single loaded the bases to set the stage for Royce Ando to hit a walk off single. South Africa tried three different pitchers in the ninth inning but none of them could buy an out.

Josh Naylor went deep for Canada, his second homerun of the tournament to tie him with Luis Robert of Cuba. He and Deveaux drove in three runs. South Africa got three RBIs each from Tyrone Milne and Aiden O’Connor.

Richard Freure got the win by taming the South African bats for the last seven outs.

18 and under Day 5 - Five Teams Advance to Super Round

September 1st, 2015

In Group A Japan, the United States and Australia will advance to the Super Round. In group two it will be South Korea and Cuba. Canada will play South Africa today and if they win they will be the third team to advance. If they lose both Taiwan and Canada will be tied for third at 2-3, but since Canada beat Taiwan in the head to head they will still probably advance. Each team will take their wins and losses with them to the Super Round in games they have competed against other teams who are also advancing to the super round.

The team with the best hitting (.353) is Japan. They are 46 points ahead of their closest pursuer South Korea (.307). The United States bats are a disappointing fifth (.265), behind the three Asian Tigers and Australia. The top pitching belongs to Japan (0.00) followed by Cuba (0.62). The United States is third (1.32). Japan has out performed the hard throwing United States team in strikeouts 57-55.

Cuba 3 Taiwan 2

Taiwan could have made things more interesting with a win over Cuba. Lazaron Najarro shut down the Taiwan bats for the first eight innings, but in the ninth the Taiwan bats came alive. Two singles and a double scored the first run for Taiwan. Yandy Molina came in to retire the final two batters, one on a sacrifice fly to score the second run for Taiwan. The big bat for Cuba continues to be Luis Robert, who collected four hits in four at bats, including a two run double in the third and an RBI single in the fifth to account for all of the runs scored by Cuba. Robert has driven in 11 of the 24 runs scored by Cuba.

United States 5 Brazil 2

The United States bats still remain relatively quiet. Blake Rutherford drove in two runs on three hits and McKenzie Moniak also drove in two runs on two hits, including a sacrifice fly. The United States could not get a sustained rally, getting single runs in five innings, leaving eight men on base but still coming up with the victory to advance. The jet lag should be over for their Super Round competition.

Australia 10 Czech Republic 0

Rhys Steedman threw six innings of shutout ball and Australia took advantage of eight walks and 14 hits to bash the Czechs. Dean Frew was the big hit machine for Australia with three hits to score three times and drive in two. He also was one of three players who drew two walks.

South Korea 11 Italy 3

South Korea finished undefeated after the first round with their thrashing of Italy. They started slow but Jun-Young Park ignited them with two hits and two walks to score four times. Sun-Do Hwang put together three hits to drive in four runs.

Japan 12 Mexico 0

Japan did not have too much trouble with Mexico to remain undefeated in the other bracket. In five games Japan has only given up one run, that was unearned against Australia.

Under 18 World Cup Day 4 - Cuba Wallops Canada

August 31st, 2015

Brazil beating Mexico and South Korea nipping Taiwan were considered mild upsets. The Cubans beating the Canadians by ten runs was a big surprise.

Cuba 11 Canada 1

Miguel Vargas drove in three runs with a triple in the seven run fourth to crush the Canadians. Oscar Colas also drove in three runs with a two run double in the first to open the scoring for Cuba and an RBI single in the seven run fourth. Cooper Davis hit a solo shot for Canada, one of only three hits off Josimar Cousin.

United States 11 Australia 1

It took them eight innings but the United States replicated the score Cuba defeated Canada. The United States scored in every inning but the first and fourth, with Nicholas Pratto throwing a complete game. Pratto only allowed two hits in his eight innings of work.

South Korea 4 Taiwan 3

The South Koreans shocked their Asian counterparts to remain undefeated. Won-Jun Choi continued to wreak havoc from the leadoff spot with three hits, two doubles and a walk to score twice. Suk-Jin Im came through with the big hit, a two run double in the second that gave Korea a 4-0 lead. Taiwan rallied in the eighth, scoring twice and loading the bases but came up short. Young-Ha Lee was able to get a pop up with the bases loaded, then turned it over to Jun-Young Park who retired the side in order in the ninth.

Brazil 9 Mexico 7

Gabriel Maciel triggered the offense from the leadoff spot with four hits for Brazil. Jose Quinonez drove in five runs from the DH spot for Mexico. Thiago Yaginuma worked nine innings despite giving up seven runs, throwing 135 pitches for Brazil.

Italy 12 South Africa 2

Italy won their first game. Gabriel Tealdi smacked four hits and Giulio Monello added three to account for 7 of the 13 hits for Italy. Federico Pecci pitched seven innings to get the win, allowing two unearned runs. Matthias Zotti worked two perfect innings of relief to seal the victory.

Japan 15 Czech Republic 0

Shoki Katsumata bashed a three run homer in a five run first and Japan was off to complete the skunk. Shoki finished with four hits, two doubles and the homerun to drive in five runs. Ryo Shinohara also collected four hits for Japan but only drove in two. The Czechs were helpless against Masato Morishita, striking out 12 times and only collecting three hits.

Japan Wins Little League World Series

August 30th, 2015

Red Sand Little league scored 10 runs in the first inning to take a 10-2 lead in the World Series championship. There was excitement in Pennsylvania until the team from Tokyo scored seven in the second. Japan turned to reliever Nobuyuki Kawashima to limit Red Sand to just one run in the last five innings and Japan won the Little League World Series in Pop Warner style 18-11.

The balls were flying out of the park. Shingo Tomita slugged two homeruns with Yugo Aoki, Kengo Tomita and Masafuji Nishijima joining him in the homerun derby. Nishijima did not start in the game but led the team in hits with four and RBIs with 6. Shingo Tomita led the team in scoring with four.

The team from Pennsylvania got a grand slam from Dylan Rodenhamer and a homerun from Jaden Henline, who matched Rodenhamer with four RBIs. Red Sand did not get any production from Cole Wagner, who struck out three times and walked once in four at bats.

In the battle for third Pearland, a team from Texas downed Mexico 6-4. The Texas team rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth to pull out the victory, triggered by a three run homer from Isaac Garcia. Raffi Gross hit a two run homer in the third for Texas. Mexico was aided by two solo homeruns by Raul Leon and a solo homerun by Gerardo Lujano to account for three of their four runs.

South Korea Downs Cuba; Japan Continues to Roll

August 30th, 2015

There were some exciting games at the Under 18 World Cup, a change from the previous two days. South Korea and Japan have escaped as the only two undefeated teams in their pool. Two more series of games are still scheduled in the first round of action.

South Korea 4 Cuba 3

It took 10 innings but South Korea finally prevailed on a single by Sang-Hyun An to score the winning run. Cuba had loaded the bases with no out but could not score a runner in the top of the tenth. In international extra inning play runners are automatically placed on first and second to start the inning. South Korea scored the first three runs in the third, gifted by two errors from Cuba. Cuba came back in the eighth to tie it with three of their own, their big bat Luis Robert driving in two with a single. South Korea loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning but could not score.

Japan 10 Australia 1

Japan brought Australia back to earth. Wataru Funabiki drove in four drawing two bases loaded walks and adding a two run single to drive in four runs. The ace of the Koshien series Shinnosuke Ogasawara got the start and went six innings, allowing one unearned run while striking out nine. Max Barrett pitched well for Australia, allowing only one run in five innings, but five walks, including three in the second inning when Japan scored their first run proved to be his undoing. Over 7,000 came to watch the home team reward them with a victory.

Brazil 10 Czech Republic 9

Brazil won their first game in a slugfest with the Czechs. Trailing 9-6 in the bottom of the seventh Brazil scored four runs on just one hit to take the lead. Three walks and an error allowed Brazil to rally for the win. Gabriel Maciel got a two run single to put Brazil on top 10-9. Thiago Yaginuma recorded the last eight outs to get the win. Marek Chlup drove in five runs on four hits, two doubles for the Czechs.

United States 5 Mexico 1

Kevin Gowdy pitched five plus innings of one run ball to allow the United States to bounce back after their loss to Japan. Ian Anderson pitched the last three plus innings to get the save. The United States benefited from six walks issued by Mexican pitchers, their hitters only able to put together four hits. Mexico outhit the United States 6 to 4.

Taiwan 15 South Africa 1

Taiwan exploded for nine runs in the first two innings to cruise to their win over South Africa. Wen-Hsien Chang and Chen-Fei Lin went deep for Taiwan. Chang drove in four runs.

Canada 10 Italy 0

Vincent Beauregard pitched the first seven innings of shutout ball, allowing the Italians only four hits. Josh Naylor continued to swing a hot bat, going a perfect 3 for 3 to drive in two. Tristan Pompey also drove in two for Canada. Royce Ando got the engine purring for the Canadians with three hits and a walk from the leadoff spot to score three times.

Tokyo Versus Red Sand in LLWS Championship

August 30th, 2015

Armando Verdugo pitched six innings of shutout ball for Mexico without allowing a run. Kabu Kikuchi matched him for the six innings of shutout ball. Other than a first inning walk and a fielder’s choice in the first inning Verdugo did not allow a baserunner until an error in the sixth. Mexico was able to get a runner to third with one out in the fifth after a leadoff double by Daniel Zaragoza and a bunt moved him to third. Kikuchi bore down and struck out the next two hitters to escape from the inning. Both pitchers struck out 10 in the game.

Kikuchi retired the side in order in the top of the seventh. The Japanese bats finally got to Verdugo in the bottom frame. Yugo Aoki got the inning started with the first hit, an infield single. Kengo Tomita roped a double to left field to put runners on second and third with no out. Pitcher Kabu Kikuchi struck out but reached first when the catcher dropped the ball and did not risk the throw to first. Another strikeout got the first out. Koki Jo grounded a ball to short. Mexico tried to turn two to get out of the inning and failed, the winning run scoring on the ground out.

In the United States championship game Red Sand in Pennsylvania edged Pearland 3-2 on a one out walk off single by Chayton Krauss. The previous two runs scored by Red Sand were on solo homeruns by Cole Wagner and Jaden Henline in the first and fourth innings. For Wagner it was his fourth homerun of the tournament. Of his six hits, five have gone for extra bases. Cole Wagner also pitched the first 5.2 innings but had to yield to Henline to get the last out in the top of the sixth.

The International team has won the last three Little League World Series. Japan won it in 2012 and 2013 but had their streak broken by South Korea last year. The Tokyo Kitasuna Little League team will try to replicate the titles they won in 2001 and 2012. Red Sand hopes to give the United States a title. It would be their first.

Scouts Flocking to Korea to Watch Slugger

August 29th, 2015

With the success of Jung-Ho Kang with the Pirates, scouts from a number of teams are herding to Korea to watch his teammate Byung-Ho Park crush balls out of the KBO parks. Park has been on a tear this year with a .345 average, 46 homeruns and 127 RBIs. That is without his slugging teammate Kang in the lineup to protect him and the their 200 hit man Keon-Chang Seo injured for almost all of the season.

Park has already exceeded his career RBI total. He only needs six more homeruns to break the 52 he hit last year. The Korean record of 56 homeruns in a season is within his grasp. His .345 average is 60 points over his .280 career average and 30 points more than his season high of .318. At this point Park has done everything with the bat to make major league scouts drool at the possibilities.

The ball tends to be juiced a little more in Korea but according to stats provided by myKBO, the average distance for his homeruns measures out to 131.02 meters. In the major leagues the longest average distance for homeruns is held by Joc Pederson at 129.72. Giancarlo Stanton sits third with an average homerun distance of 127.28 meters.

While Kang hit 40 homeruns last year in the KBO that has only translated to 12 homeruns to date in the major leagues. Still, Kang has been an important contributor to the Pirate offense hitting .291. His career OPS in the KBO was .886. His first year in the major leagues his OPS is .825.

For Park his career OPS in the KBO is .950. Major league teams would love to have a first baseman give them a .890 OPS if he replicates the downward trend of Kang.

Max Kepler Progressing with Twins

August 29th, 2015

Max Kepler is having a breakout season in the Twins minor league system. Credit is given to his constant repetition using his baseball skills. In Europe he tended to play more soccer games than baseball because that was more available. Now that he is focusing on baseball his skills are breaking out after five seasons of struggles. The Twins had signed Kepler out of Germany for $800,000 in 2009.

The Twins have been patient with him. In his five seasons in the minor leagues he has yet to hit over .300. In season six his OPS is close to 1.000 and he leads the team in slugging (.569) with a .330 batting average in AA. He is not a big power hitter, thriving more on hitting the gaps and making contact. He has also improved his hitting against lefthanded pitching (.346) something he struggled with two seasons ago (.117).

You can read more about his progress at the link below:

Max Kepler

Under 18 Day 2 - Japan Blanks the United States

August 29th, 2015

Japan has a high school tournament called Koshien. They do it in the spring and summer. Most of the games see 40,000 plus to watch high school players compete for the championship. Perhaps it has more of a tradition, but not many in Japan have shown a big interest in the 18 and under international championships. This is an age equivalent of Koshien. The Japanese team is composed of the best high school players who participated in Koshien. Yet, only 5,500 showed up to watch Japan shut out the defending champions, the United States.

Japan 3 United States 0

Sena Sato pitched six games at the Koshien tournament between August 8 to August 20 throwing 680 pitches. In his last game he got smacked around for 9 runs to raise his ERA to 2.36. The eight days or so of rest seemed to have done him good. He went nine innings against the United States team, allowing only five hits, striking out nine and walking three. The United States loaded the bases in the fifth with one out but Sato was able to get a double play grounder to end the inning. Rui Okoye was again the hitting star from the leadoff spot with two hits and one run driven in. Japan scored all three of their runs in the fifth, Okoye driving in one run with an infield single and later scoring on a throwing error. United States pitcher Jordan Butler was virtually unhittable, striking out seven hitters in three plus innings of shutout relief.

Cuba 7 South Africa 0

Robert continued with the big bat for Cuba collecting two hits and three RBIs, driving in two runs with a triple and another with a single. Oscar Colas limited the South Africans to five hits in his six innings of work, striking out 10. Three pitchers relieved him, each striking out two in a hitless inning of relief.

Mexico 8 Czech Republic 4

The Czechs continued to play sloppy defense, committing two errors that opened the gates for Mexico to score five unearned runs. Villafranca drove in two runs in the inning with a double. He later added a two run homer in the seventh. Mexico got three innings of shutout one hit relief from Gerardo Bojorquez.

South Korea 6 Canada 2

After upsetting Taiwan yesterday Canada could not repeat the feat against the second Asian tiger, the scores being reversed. W. Choi banged out three of the Koreans 12 hits and stole five bases to lead the offense. He scored two runs and drove in two. Josh Naylor drove in both runs for Canada with a solo homer and a ground out. Chung-yeon Choi worked seven plus innings and only allowed the solo shot to Naylor to get the win.

Taiwan 11 Italy 1

Taiwan rebounded from their loss to Canada yesterday with a pasting of the Italian team. Sh Chiang drove in four runs, including getting the big two run double that gave Taiwan a 2-1 lead after two. He added another two run double in the six run fourth that broke the game wide open. H. Chen drove in three runs in the inning with a bases clearing double. Wen-Chi Yeh got the win working the first five innings of a seven inning game.

Australia 11 Brazil 1

Australia remained undefeated with their rocking of Brazil. Tristan King bashed two homeruns to drive in six runs to be the one man wrecking crew for Australia. He hit three run homeruns in the third and the seventh to lead the offense. Alexander Wells worked six of the nine innings to get the win.

The two big games tomorrow include Cuba versus South Korea and Japan against Australia to see who will remain undefeated in their respective pools. To follow the scores click on the link below.


Little League World Series Update

August 29th, 2015

A lot has happened in the Little League World Series since myworld posted the first day results. Uganda got shutout on one hit by Venezuela 7-0, Jose Castillo striking out 14. He also hit a homerun in the game. They were eliminated in their next game 5-0 by Taiwan. Taiwan eventually got bounced out by Mexico 11-0.

Mexico and Japan have advanced to the International championships while the Mid-Atlantic (Red Land Little League in Pennsylvania) and the Southwest (Pearland Little League in East Texas) will do battle in the United States division. Mexico had lost 3-1 in an earlier game to Japan. The Southwest will try to take revenge on the Mid-Atlantic for an earlier 3-0 loss.