The WBSC U-23 Men’s Softball World Cup Super Round and Placement Round action in Parana, Argentina, concluded on Saturday, with Australia completing the World Championship Final matchup, and setting up the bronze medal playoff between Mexico and Argentina.
While Japan awaited their next opponents in the World Championship Final, the 3-2 win-loss records of Australia, Mexico and Argentina created a triple tie in second place. However, Australians earned the spot in the final as they defeated the two Latin American squads in their head-to-head games. The Oceania powerhouse squad will make their third consecutive finals appearance in any Men’s Softball World Cup category.
Another masterpiece by left-handed ace Jack Besgrove and a clutch three-run homer off the bat of Ashlee Goffer guided Australia to a 4-0 win against Canada in the Super Round.
A costly defensive error by New Zealand second baseman Brock Evans in the bottom of the seventh opened the door for a 5-4 walk-off win for Mexico. They will face Argentina in the bronze medal game after Luciano Biondi’s bunt ended the electric pitching duel of his squad and Japan’s after nine innings.
Full information are available at the tournament website.
Day 8 games
- South Africa 1-4 Venezuela – Boxscore
- Team WBSC 0-8 Czechia – Boxscore
- Singapore 6-1 Israel – Boxscore
Argentina 1-0 Japan
In an electric pitching duel, Argentina scored the first and only run of the game in the top of the ninth. With the tie-break runner on third, and two outs, Lucian Biondi laid down a bunt in front of the plate to reach first and score Tomas Machuca.
Canada 0-4 Australia
Riley James led off the bottom of the sixth with a triple to left field and scored later on a wild pitch. Australia pitcher Jack Besgrove was almost perfect after six innings, allowing only a walk with eight strikeouts and no hits. Australia ahead with a 4-0 advantage.
A three-run homer by Ashlee Goffer gave Australia a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
New Zealand 4-5 Mexico
However, Mexico took advantage of a two-out error by second baseman Brock Evans to mount a really and walk it off. Junior Flores singled with a hard line drive to short stop and then Jorge Martinez hit a walk-off double down the left field line to end the game.
In the top of the seventh, Brock Attewell sent a line-drive over the center field for a no-doubter. New Zealand take their first lead in the game.
New Zealand tied the game in the top of the sixth. Xavier Sage bunted for a single, and advanced to second on a throwing error by third baseman Jesus Romero. He then dvanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch. The game levelled at 3-3.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Mexico’s Junior Flores was hit by a Liam Potts pitch, and then scored the go-ahead run on a double by catcher Jorge Martinez. Mexico were ahead 3-2.
New Zealand tied the game in the third frame. With the bases loaded and two outs, Brock Evans hit a clutch two-run single up the middle to tie the game. In the play, Brock Attewell was thrown out at third base by Mexican center fielder Abelardo Penuelas.
In the bottom of the second, the Mexican squad scored twice to take the lead in the game. Junior Flores hit a leadoff single, advanced to second and scored from there with a Hector Garcia double down the left field line. Garcia scored on a single to right field by Manuel Zepeda.
Singapore 6-1 Israel
Israel’s only run of the game was a home run by Bar-Arie Shrim in the bottom of the sixth. It was also the only hit of the European team in the game.
One inning later, Singapore scored their last run of the tournament when Chian crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
The Asian squad took an early lead in the first inning, with an RBI single off the bat of Audric Chia. In the fourth, Bin Mohammad gave his team a comfortable lead with his grand slam, making it 5-0.
Team WBSC 0-8 Czechia
A pair of homers in the third inning off the bats of Jakub Hajny and Adam Buchner doubled Czechia’s lead. Hajny led off the inning with a shot to left field, while Buchner hit a two-run bomb over the center field fence.
One inning later, Martin Magula homered to the centre field, and Adam Buchner hit an RBI triple to score Jakub Hajny.
Czechia took the lead early in the game. In the first inning, Jakub Hajny drove in Martin Magula with a sacrifice fly, while Adam Buchner singled in Geroge Harris for the 2-0. One inning later, Lukas Kubat scored with an infield hit by Jannis El Amin that widened the gap to 3-0.
South Africa 1-4 Venezuela
Michell Chirinos repeated with an RBI triple in the fourth and scored on a grounder by Denny Monjes for a decisive 4-1 game.
Venezuela answered with two runs. Jesus Gimenez scored on a Yeison Diaz grounder, while Michell Chirinos gave Venezuela a 2-1 lead with a triple to right field.
South Africa scored one in the top of the first with an RBI single by Kiddo Malematja. Reece Nyland scored the run for the Africans, who led 1-0.