The preliminary round at the 2010 Intercontinental Cup ended on Wednesday with another successful day for the Netherlands and the Italy. The Squadra Azzurri handed Japan its first loss thanks to a two-hit shutout, improving to 3-1 in the tournament. The Dutch team also is 3-1 after the expected victory over Thailand. Italy, Japan and the Netherlands will go into round two with 1-1 records. In group A Cuba finished 4-0 thanks to an easy no-hitter against Hong Kong. Additionally South Korea denied the Czech Republic a trip into the medal round with a shutout. Cuba is going to have two wins, Taiwan one and South Korea no wins in the next round.
2010 Intercontinental Cup, Day 5, Wednesday, October 27:
Cuba – Hong Kong 20-0 (5)
HOK 00 0 00 0 0 3 CUB 34(11) 2X 20 21 0 Win: Hinojosa, D.; Loss: Heung, T. C.
Cuba rolled over Hong Kong on Wednesday, winning by a score of 20-0 in five innings, after scoring eleven runs in the third. Dalier Hinojosa (W 1-0) was perfect through five innings to lead the Cuban team on the mound. He needed just 47 pitches, while striking out seven. At the plate Giorvis Duvergel, who also hit a grand slam, and Hector Olivera combined for seven hits and eight runs at the top of the batting order. All nine players in the starting lineup had at least two hits and a run. Tsz Chun Heung (L 0-2) already took his second loss of the tourney, surrendering all 20 runs (17 ER) on 21 hits and four walks in four innings.
South Korea – Czech Republic 9-0
CZE 000 000 000 0 2 1 KOR 120 500 01X 9 14 0 Win: Ko, W. J.; Loss: Schneider, M.
The Czech Republic has to settle for the consolation round at the 2010 Intercontinental Cup after losing 0-9 to South Korea in their last first-round game on Wednesday. Wong Jun Ko (W 1-0) and two relievers held the Czech offense to two hits and a walk through nine innings to lead the way. Ko was perfect in five of the six frames he was on the mound. Only in the second, the European threatened a little bit. Matej Hejma led off with a walk, but was thrown out trying to steal second. With two outs Pavel Budsky singled through the middle. Just one more Czech batter reached base afterwards, when Michal Ondracek singled with two outs in the ninth. Led by the 4-for-4 performance by Ji Young Lee South Korea took a fast 3-0 lead after two innings and blew things wide open with a five-run rally in the fourth. Martin Schneider (L 0-1) took the loss, conceding three hits, three runs and two walks in three innings.
Netherlands – Thailand 7-2
THA 000 000 200 2 5 1 NED 000 120 31X 7 15 1 Win: Heijstek, K.; Loss: Nattapong, M.
The Netherlands picked up its third win in four games on Wednesday, as they beat Thailand 7-2. Kevin Heijstek (W 1-0) impressed as starting pitcher with five stellar one-hit innings, allowing just two base runners in the process. He struck out eight of the 16 batters he faced. He left with the Dutch team leading 3-0. Thailand decided to make things interesting with two runs in the top of the seventh against Orlando Yntema, but the offense of manager Jim Stoeckel answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame to widen the gap again. Mariekson Gregorius went 4-for-5 with a double, a run and a RBI. Danny Rombley (2-4, 2 RBI) and Jason Halman scored two runs apiece. Meeboonrond Nattapong (L 0-1) was charged with eleven hits, six runs (5 ER) and a walk in six-plus innings.
Japan – Italy 0-3
ITA 020 100 000 3 9 1 JPN 000 000 000 0 2 1 Win: Cillo, C.; Loss: Akagawa, K.
Italy lifted the Dutch team into the first seed of Group B due to tie-breaker rules after defeating Japan 3-0 on Wednesday. More importantly Italy goes into round two with a win on its belt. Cody Cillo (W 1-0) gets the player of the match honors after issuing just two hits and a walk in eight strong innings, while striking out six. He only allowed four base runners overall and just two between the third and the eighth. Yovany D’Amico closed it out with a perfect ninth.
The Squadra Azzurri had taken an early 2-0 lead in the second, when Alex Sambucci scored on an error and Leonardo Zileri on a RBI single by Juan Carlos Infante. They added the third run in the fourth thanks to a RBI single by Jairo Ramos. Afterwards Italy also wasn’t able to produce anything offensively, mainly due to a strong Japanese bullpen. Starter Katsuki Akagawa (L 0-1) struggled by giving up seven hits, three runs (1 ER) and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. Shoma Sato, Shoki Kasahara and Yusuke Uemura only conceded two more hits in the reminder of the game.
Final Standings Round 1:
- Cuba 4-0
- Taiwan 3-1
- South Korea 2-2
- Czech Republic 1-3
- Hong Kong 0-4
- Netherlands 3-1
- Japan 3-1
- Italy 3-1
- Nicaragua 1-3
- Thailand 0-4
Standings going into the Medal Round:
- Cuba 2-0
- Japan 1-1
- Italy 1-1
- Netherlands 1-1
- Taiwan 1-1
- South Korea 0-2
The schedule for the next round wasn’t officially announced yet; check IBAF.org for the upcoming games in Taiwan. The medal round is supposed to begin on Thursday at 6.30am Central European Time. The consolation round starts a day later.
Photo: © Ezio Ratti/FIBS