After an intense last day of Opening Round play in Ankara, Türkiye, the final four teams to advance to the Youth Baseball5 World Cup Super Round were confirmed, while the remaining six nations will compete in the Placement Round. World No. 1 Taiwan, No. 12 Mexico, No. 24 Türkiye, and No. 26 China joined France and Cuba in the Super Round.
The morning session of Day 3 started with two intense games between China and host team Türkiye, starting with a classic matchup that ended, after two extra innings, in favour of Türkiye, 10-9. The rubber match was a nailbiter as well, finishing 8-6.
Türkiye claimed its spot in the Super Round by winning the last Opening Round game against Tunisia 5-1, 2-0. The loss saw Tunisia, with two wins and three defeats, miss out on the Super Round.
‘’I’m really happy, we will go to the Super Round,” said Türkiye’s Ela Akturk. “We aim for first place with great excitement. Being strong means team spirit for me. It’s the team spirit that ties us together. We cover each other’s gaps. We do not discriminate between boys and girls. We are a team.’’
Meanwhile, France, the highest-rated nation in the tournament, claimed its fifth win from as many games with a 7-2, 3-0 win over winless — and unranked — Australia to set up a Super Round matchup with Cuba on Day 4.
One of three African nations in the tournament, World No. 4 Tunisia had a heart-breaking pair of games after starting the day needing only one win to put itself in the position to advance to the Super Round. In its first game of the day, Tunisia lost to a scrappy China squad in another Group A thriller, splitting the first two games 2-5 and 4-1, before pushing China to two extra innings before falling 8-7.
Mexico claimed a 4-3, 7-1 win over Ghana in the morning session, while Ghana claimed its second win of the tournament. It set down No. 8 Korea 5-2, 8-6, to finish with the same record as Tunisia. Meanwhile, in a game between the two winless teams in Group A, Zambia and Malaysia played out a rollercoaster series before Zambia won 2-3, 3-1, 9-7.
All games of the WBSC Youth Baseball5 World Cup will be broadcast live on GameTime, the WBSC’s online streaming service, as well as the WBSC’s official YouTube channel (geo-blocking restrictions may apply).