Press Release World Baseball Softball Confederation
TAINAN, Taiwan — The Opening Round of the 2015 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup came to an exciting finish on Tuesday, as six of the twelve participating nations advanced to the Super Group phase that begins Thursday (30 July) and will set the stage for the world championship grand finale on Sunday, 2 August.
The four top-ranked nations in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings — No. 1 Japan, defending U-12 World Champions No. 2 United States, No. 3 Cuba and No. 4 Chinese Taipei — have all advanced to the second round of the 2015 U-12 Baseball World Cup. They will be joined by No. 10 Venezuela and No. 16 Nicaragua.
The Chinese Taipei and U.S. National teams finished the Opening Round undefeated atop their respective groups:
In the next phase, the top three nations from Group A will collide with the top three nations from Group B.
The Super Group competition schedule has been set, with all contests to take place at Tainan Municipal Stadium (all times local):
Thursday, 30 July
10:00: Nicaragua vs. Cuba
14:30: Venezuela vs. United States
18:30: Japan vs. Chinese Taipei
Friday, 31 July
10:00: Venezuela vs. Nicaragua
14:30: Japan vs. Cuba
18:30: Chinese Taipei vs. United States
Saturday, 1 August
10:00: Japan vs. Venezuela
14:30: Cuba vs. United States
18:30: Nicaragua vs. Chinese Taipei
Head-to-head results among the Super Group will carry over from the Opening Round and the two nations with the best records at the conclusion of the Super Round will compete for the U-12 World Championship and gold medal on Sunday, 2 August at 18:30.
Chinese Taipei and the United States will enter with records of 2-0, with Cuba and Nicaragua within striking distance at 1-1. Japan and Venezuela will have little room for error, bringing in 0-2 records. (See Super Group standings as of 28 July).
The bronze medal match is scheduled for 14:30 on Sunday.
A consolation round will be running alongside the Super Round to determine Nos. 7-12 in the final standings.
In total, 50 games are being staged in Tainan for the III WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup. The fourth edition in 2017 and fifth edition in 2019 of the youth baseball world championship will also be hosted by Tainan.
Day 5 Highlights
Five nations — Cuba, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Venezuela — entered the final day of the Opening Round in full contention to claim one of the three remaining spots in the Super Group. (On Day 4, host Chinese Taipei took the top spot in Group A, while the United States and Nicaragua captured first and second place in Group B, respectively.)
Group B: Japan and Mexico met in a winner-take-all battle that saw the victor advance to the Super Round and the loser eliminated.
Top-ranked Japan overcame near elimination before Rintaro Imamura hit a dramatic game-winning home run in the bottom of the sixth inning that broke a 1-1 tie with Mexico and brought the crowd to a frenzy. Mexico’s offence had loaded the bases in the top half of the sixth inning, but was unable to score — setting the stage for Imamura‘s game-winning heroics. (Video: Japan vs. Mexico final moments.)
Cuba, South Korea and Venezuela were vying for Group B’s two remaining spots in the Super Round, which set the U-12 World Cup stage for another all-important head-to-head contest to close the Opening Round.
Cuba vs. South Korea: The Cuban National Team used a brilliant one-hit pitching performance by Ernesto Cabrera to knock South Korea out of the world championship. The win earned Cuba second place in Group A, while guaranteeing that Venezuela would take Group B’s third Super Group.
The South Korean National Team had entered Day 5 needing a victory against Cuba Tuesday morning and a loss by Venezuela Tuesday night for a chance at the Super Round.
The Brazilian National Team earned its first victory at the 2015 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup, defeating Russia, 16-2.
For the full standings, schedule, ‘live’ play-by-play, stats, results and box scores, click here.