Venezuela has won the first IBAF 15U Baseball World Championship, which was played from August 16 to 26 in Chihuahua, Parral and Cuauhtémoc, Mexico. They defeated heavy favorite Cuba 10-2 in the Gold Medal Game on Sunday evening. Cuba had won all games prior to the final, including a 6-5 walk-off win on Saturday to oust host Mexico from the championship game.
15 teams overall participated in the tournament after the Bahamas didn’t show up. Several other federations like USA, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Netherlands decided not to come due to security concerns in the region near the US American border. However police escorts for all the teams made sure that nothing happened at a very well organized tournament.
Four European teams participated in the event, including Germany, which came straight from the PONY World Series, where they represented European Baseball for the first time. They won their first game in Washington, PA, but had to forfeit their next match, as they had to leave for Mexico.
In the 15U Baseball World Championship they ended up in 11th place right behind Italy. Both teams won three games and lost five in the tourney, having to settle for the consolation round. The Ukraine and Lithuania lost all of their games in the first round and were stuck to play a round robin with Indonesia for ranks 13th to 15th.
Difference between the teams were pretty steep, especially in the first round, where heavyweights Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela didn’t show any mercy and dismantled several opponents brutally. 24 of the 34 games in the first round ended due to mercy rule. This changed in the second phase, where teams played more games at their competitive level.
The 15U Baseball World Championship was created by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) to replace the 16U Baseball World Championship on the International Baseball Calendar. It is scheduled to return in 2014. Headed by a big contingent from the Texas based clubs, scouts from Major League Baseball filled the stands, trying to recruit new amateur free agents for the Minor Leagues.
3) Chinese Taipei
12) Hong Kong
Leading Hitter: Conrado Díaz (MEX)
Pitcher Best ERA: Dannel Díaz (CUB)
Pitcher Best Win-Loss Record: Kevin Reyes (HON)
Most Runs Batted In: Sergio Cestarelli (ITA)
Most Home Runs: Greifer Andrade (VEN)
Most Stolen Bases: Lucas Sakay (BRA)
Most Runs Scored: Lucas Sakay (BRA)
Outstanding Defensive Player: Yu Tang Ming (TPE)
Most Valuable Player: Ricardo Sanchez (VEN)
All Star Team
Starting Pitcher: Dannel Diaz (CUB)
Relief Pitcher: Jose Garcia (HON)
Catcher: Jose Herrera (VEN)
First Baseman: Yordan Alvarez (CUB)
Second Baseman: Hector Chapa (MEX)
Third Baseman: Hector Guerrero (MEX)
Shortstop: Rangel Ramos (CUB)
Outfielder: Nestor Tejada (VEN)
Outfielder: Conrado Diaz (MEX)
Outfielder: Camil Quintero (CUB)
All information about the I IBAF 15U Baseball World Championship is available on www.ibaf.org