Press Release International Baseball Federation, www.ibaf.org
RAIN ALTERS THE ITALIAN SCHEDULE: Two make-up games were played today in Italy, with the game scheduled for Torino moved to Godo due to persistent rains. San Marino played host to the Japan-Chinese Taipei clash, while Mexico and Canada squared off in Godo. In the Netherlands, all four games went off as planned.
SECOND ROUND CONTINUES THURSDAY: The second round, which will be held at sites in the Netherlands and Italy, continues Thursday. A full slate of games in Italy is headlined by a battle of unbeatens when Chinese Taipei meets the United States in Torino. Other games include Canada-Japan (Bologna), Australia-Italy (Parma), and Mexico-Netherland Antilles (San Marino). All games start at 20:00. Four games will also take place in the Netherlands, with Puerto Rico and Great Britain starting off the action at 13:00 in Haarlem. The night games, all which start at 19:00, include Netherlands-Venezuela (Haarlem), Spain-Cuba (Amsterdam), and Nicaragua-South Korea (Rotterdam).
The complete second round matchups for the week can be seen at 2009BaseballWorldCup.com
CUBA AT 6-0 LEADING THE WAY: With Wednesday’s win Cuba continued their unbeaten run in the World Cup. Led by a pitching staff with a 1.59 ERA and 70 strikeouts vs. only 12 walks, and a World Cup best .351 batting average, the Cubans are the lone remaining undefeated team from the first two rounds. Cuban pitcher Norge Vera raised his record to 2-0 on Wednesday and has yet to allow a run in 14 innings, while Miguel Gonzalez struck out ten consecutive batters against Puerto Rico in his first start (13 overall in 6 1/3 innings), one short of the World Cup mark of 11 set by former Major Leaguer Burt Hooton (Dodgers and Cubs) of the USA in 1971.
CHINESE TAIPEI PACED BY PITCHING: Chinese Taipei won their fourth straight Wednesday, has suddenly won three games in a row after starting out 0-2. Their staff that has allowed just four earned runs in their last 37 innings of work.
DUTCH MOVE TO 3-0 ON HOME TURF: The Netherlands improved their record to 3-0 with Wednesday’s win. San Francisco Giants prospect Sharlon Schoop, who played with Connecticut of the Eastern League this season, is hitting .583 (7-12) in the first three games, while former Baltimore Oriole Eugene Kingsale is hitting at a .455 pace.
SMOAKIN THE HOMERS: Texas Rangers prospect Justin Smoak continued his torrid home run pace on Tuesday and now leads all players with six home runs in the World Cup. Smoak has a pair of two homer games for the USA, whose 16 homers as a team also lead the way.
NEW DUTCH HALL OF FAMER: Former national team-pitcher and manager Jan-Dick Leurs officially was inducted into the Dutch Baseball and Softball Hall of Fame on Wednesday during a ceremony before the game of the Netherlands and Spain in Haarlem. As a player, Leurs won five Dutch championships with Haarlem Nicols, whom he then coached to six more titles. As manager of the Dutch national team, Leurs guided the squad to three European titles.
WELCH SETS AUSSIE STRIKEOUT MARK, TIES GONAZLEZ FOR MOST IN A GAME: Tuesday’s Australia-Chinese Taipei pitching duel saw Milwaukee Brewers pitching prospect David Welch set an Australian record with 13 strikeouts in just seven innings. The 13 k’s match Cuba’s Miguel Gonzalez, who had 13 strikeouts against Puerto Rico in round one,
USA PITCHING IN CONTROL AGAIN: Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Brad Lincoln made his second start another solid one, allowing just one run against Japan on Tuesday. Lincoln joins a rotation that has seen Texas Rangers prospect Kasey Kiker San Diego Padres prospect Cory Luebeke, California Angels prospect Trevor Reckling and Atlanta Braves prospect Todd Redmond… combine to allow just two earned runs, 13 hits and 40 strikeouts in 34 innings. On Saturday Reckling, had 11 K’s against China, which tied the mark of former Dodger and Cubs pitcher Burt Hooten, who fanned 11 consecutive batters in 1970. Sunday, Luebeke joined Reckling, Ben McDonald (1988) and Hank Woodman (2003) as the only USA pitchers to reach double digits in a game. Overall Team USA set their own World Cup record with 16 strikeouts vs. China, breaking the mark of 14 set against Brazil in 2003.
AUSSIES LOSE TWO BY A RUN: Australia’s extra inning loss Tuesday was their second by a lone run, following their 10-9 loss to Mexico in Round One. In their four wins, Austraila’s margin of victory is seven, including two 13 run victories. Their 61 runs scored are the most thus far in the tournament, and their 13 home runs trail only Cuba (14) and USA (16).
ORIOLES PROSPECTS LEADING THE WAY FOR PUERTO RICO, SPAIN: The Baltimore Orioles have three players in this World Cup, but all three are making an impact for their respective countries. Daniel and Paco Figueroa are leading Spain in hitting and were key factors in Monday’s landmark win over Venezuela, while Puerto Rico’s Miguel Abreu is leading his team in hitting (.450, 7 runs scored three doubles). Paco Figeuroa leads the team with a .526 average, while Daniel is hitting at a .364 pace.
METS PROSPECTS AND VETS ALSO MAKING AN IMPACT: Besides the 10 Minnesota Twins prospects in the World Cup, the New York Mets organization is represented by 13 players, eight current and four former players…Team USA first baseman Ike Davis, the club’s 2008 first round pick, is hitting .417 while infielders Shawn Bowman and Jonathan Malo are playing for Team Canada, infielder Stefan Welch is playing for Australia and is second on the team with 3 HR and 8 RBI, right handed pitcher Montero Cruz is playing for Spain, catcher Kai Gronauer represented Germany, lefthanded pitcher Arturo Lopez plays for Mexico and infielder Ray Van Gurp is on the Netherlands roster. Puerto Rico’s roster has four former Mets players not currently signed to an MLB team, including Jose Santiago, Raul Casanova, Luis Matos, Jose Valentin and Juan Padilla. Valentin is tied for Puerto Rico’s lead in runs scored with six.
EXTRA INNING RULE: The IBAF’s Extra Inning Rule, designed to control the length of games, took effect for the second time Monday in the Australia-Canada game. For extra innings, each team starts their half of the inning with runners on first and second and no out. Each subsequent inning starts the same until a winner is determined. A version of the rule, starting in the 11th inning, was implemented during the Beijing Olympics and was used five times, with only one game going an additional inning before being decided. The World Baseball Classic adapted the rule, starting in the 14th inning, but it was never put into effect. The rule has now been used four times, with Chinese Taipei now 2-0 and Australia 1-1 in extra inning games.