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Oct '11 09

BWC: Round 2 Spots up for Grabs as Pool Play comes to an end in Panama



Press Release International Baseball Federation, www.ibaf.org

First round ends with plenty of open Spots available for 2nd Round

Panama City, Panama – Rain added some drama to the scene at the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup, as two games were rained out, including the highly anticipated clash between the USA and Panama, and others got delayed. On the second to last game day of the first round, just four of eight tickets for the second round are taken. In Group 1 Puerto Rico shut out Japan to stay alive. Canada won an extra inning thriller against the Netherlands, which ended their undefeated streak.

In Group 2 Cuba moved to 6-0 with a win over Germany, which wasn’t as easy as expected, the situation behind them in the standings is getting tense. Australia continued its recent surge with a five-inning blowout over Venezuela, which now has to fear the possability of not moving on to the second round. Also the Dominican Republic and Korea won on Saturday to make statements towards advancing.

Link to photo gallery

Group 1

Netherlands 4 – Canada 5

In a thrilling duel between two of the top teams in Group 1, Canada prevailed 5-4 in 11 innings at Rod Carew Stadium, Panama City to hand the Netherlands its first loss of the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup. Both teams are now 5-1 with one game to play in the first round. In a back and forth battle an RBI single by Emerson Frostad in the 11th inning decided the outcome with the IBAF Extra Inning Tie Breaker Rule in effect.

Greece – Chinese Taipei postponed

The Group 1 matchup between the winless teams from Chinese Taipei and Greece in Aguadulce, Panama was suspended due to rain in the third inning with the Asian team leading 7-0. A make-up date hasn’t been announced yet. Greece will face Japan on Sunday. Chinese Taipei takes on Puerto Rico. Both games will be played in Aguadulce.

Panama – USA postponed

The duel between Team USA and Panama, which was scheduled for Saturday evening at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City, was postponed due to rain after officials and teams waited nearly two hours. The game is scheduled to be made up on Monday at 2pm local time. With Puerto Rico winning on Saturday against Japan, the defending champion needs to win both of its remaining games in the first round to advance.

Puerto Rico 6 – Japan 0

Puerto Rico moved to 3-3 after defeating Japan at Remon Cantera Stadium. The final score of 6-0 was the product of solid play from Puerto Rico, outclassing the Japanese. Japan could only manage Five hits with two errors while the classy Caribbeans collected 11 hits and built the win in the first half of the game. Cesar Crespo had his second homerun in the 2011 Baseball World Cup for Puerto Rico.

Group 2

Australia 15 – Venezuela 0

It took only five innings for Australia to win (15-0) against Venezuela, a game whose first pitch was delayed three hours because of rain. The Aussies impressed with a 13 hit- 3 home run offense and their starter Chris Oxspring was helped by four double plays in each of the first four Venezuelan offensive innings.

Cuba 8 – Germany 2

Team Germany played at its best against Cuba, and was able to keep an early lead for a long part of the game, counting on a very consistent performance from starting pitcher André Hughes. The Cubans rallied back in the fifth and went out of reach with a four-run seventh. Jose Abreu hit a homerun for Cuba, remaining undefeated after six first round games.

Korea 4 – Italy 0

Thanks to another strong pitching performance by starter Hyon Taek Oh Korea shut out Italy 4-0 Friday evening in Chitre. The game didn’t start until 9pm due to rain and the late start of the Australia-Venezuela matchup, but Oh found his rhythm quickly and allowed just five hits in 7 2/3 innings, while striking out 14. The Olympic champion got in front with a solo homerun by Jae Hoon Choi in the fifth. Three runs in eighth, two on a two-run single by Choi, provided some much needed insurance against a strong Italian team.

Dominican Republic 16 – Nicaragua 1

The Dominican Republic crushed Nicaragua 16-1 in six innings on Friday evening to improve to 3-3 and to stay alive in Group 2 at the IBAF Baseball World Cup. They scored in five of the six innings with a six-run rally in the fourth highlighting the contest. Dionys Cesar and Alexis Gomez combined for seven hits, four runs and six RBI. Willy Lebron Perez gave up just two hits in five strong innings for the win. Dwight Britton scored the lone run for Nicaragua, which dropped to 1-5.

Notes

It was just the second win by the Netherlands against Team USA in Baseball World Cup history. In 1998 Rob Cordemans pitched a complete game to lead the Dutch team to a 3-1 victory in Palermo, Italy. However an American professional team had never lost a game to the Netherlands in international competition….Three games at the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup have been rained out so far….with the Dutch loss, only Panama and Cuba remain undefeated in the tournament…..

Standings

Group 1

1) Panama 5-0
2) Canada 5-1
3) Netherlands
4) USA 3-2
5) Puerto Rico 3-3
6) Japan 1-5
7) Chinese Taipei 0-5
8) Greece 0-5

Group 2

1) Cuba 6-0
2) Venezuela 4-2
3) Korea 4-2
4) Australia 3-3
5) Dominican Republic 3-3
6) Italy 3-3
7) Nicaragua 1-5
8) Germany 0-6

Outlook

With the exception of the two rained out games from Saturday, the first round at the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup will be completed on Sunday. In Group 1 Panama, the Netherlands and Canada are advancing into the second. But due to the format of another round robin, their remaining games are very important. USA and Puerto Rico are battling for the fourth spot. On Sunday USA has to take on Canada in a must-win game. Puerto Rico hopes to down Chinese Taipei to raise the pressure for the defending champion. Also the Dutch team is playing against the hosts and Greece faces Japan.

In Group 2 the race for the second-round spots is getting dramatic. Cuba is the lone team, which can plan for the second round. Nicaragua and Germany are out. The rest still have a chance to make it. In the afternoon Australia hopes to extend its winning streak to four games against Germany and Venezuela tries to bounce back from a horrible loss in a matchup with Italy. In the evening the Dominican Republic and Korea will face each other in another key matchup. Cuba closes out the first round against Nicaragua.

Schedule, Sunday, October 9

14h00 USA – Canada
14h00 Greece – Japan
14h00 Australia – Germany
14h00 Venezuela – Italy
19h30 Panama – Netherlands
19h30 Chinese Taipei – Puerto Rico
19h30 Dominican Republic – Korea
19h30 Nicaragua – Cuba
(local times Panama)

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