Rain becomes a factor in Round 2 World Cup Games.
With a bit of rain this week in the forecast I am sure we will have a challenging time with the venues as none have a full infield tarp. nevertheless, the ground crews will do there best to get the games in and keep the field playable. The following notes are from the IBAF update summaires we are given every day.
SECOND ROUND CONTINUES MONDAY: The second round, which will be held at sites in the Netherlands and Italy, continues Monday 14 September with eight games, including Mexico-Italy (Bologna), Cuba-Nicaragua (Haarlem), Netherlands-Puerto Rico (Rotterdam), Canada-Australia (Novara) and USA-Netherlands Antilles (Verona)
The complete second round matchups for the week can be seen at: http://hosting3.sportingpulse.com/www.2009baseballworldcup.com/index.php?id=10
NETHERLANDS 4 KOREA 2: The second round of the 2009 World Cup opened in dramatic fashion, as Netherlands catcher Sidney de Jong hit a three run home run off reliever Kyung-Eun Noh in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving the Dutch a come from behind win in Amsterdam. Korea took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third, with an RBI double by Lee Ho and a second run scoring on a ground out against starter Tom Stuifbergen. The Netherlands got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth when Scharlon Schoop tripled with two outs, knocking in Raily Legito. The score remained the same until de Jong’s three run shot in the eighth. Dennis Neuman pitched the ninth to earn the save for the Dutch.
AUSTRALIA 19 NETHERLANDS ANTILLES 6: The Aussies continued their torrid hitting, jumping out to a 10-0 lead after three innings on their way to a 19-6 seven inning win. Luke Hughes’ two run first inning homer off starter Andley Simmons got the scoring going, and they then broke the game open in the third, sending 10 men to the plate, scoring seven runs on seven hits, with Stefan Welch’s three run homer and a two run double by Bradley Harman keying the inning. Australia also sent 16 men to the plate in a nine run, eight hit fifth inning as well to move to 3-1 thus far. Tim Kennelly and Joel Harmon had four hits apiece for Australia, who used four pitchers and allowed just six hits in the win.
USA 8 CANADA 0: The defending World Cup champions cooled off the first round’s hardest hitting team, as Cory Luebeke flirted with a no-hitter into the eighth inning, and eventually allowed one hit and had 10 strikeouts in 7 2/3 shutout innings, as the Americans used a balanced hitting attack to down Canada in their round two opener in Caselli, Italy. Team USA touched up Canadian starter Chris Begg for four runs on three hits in the first, with Terry Tiffee’s two run double the key hit. Tiffee had another RBI double as part of a two run third that made it 6-0, and Pedro Alvarez’s first World Cup homer in the seventh closed the USA scoring. Tiffee and Jon Webber had three hits apiece to lead USA, while catcher Chris Robinson had Canada’s only hit, a single with two out in the eighth inning.
PUERTO RICO 12 SPAIN 2: The second meeting of the World Cup between Spain and Puerto Rico was not as close as the first, as Puerto Rico rallied for seven runs after two were out in the second inning and went on to the win in seven innings. Major League veteran Jose Valentin helped stake Puerto Rico to a 2-0 lead in the first with a solo home run, and then PR broke the game open in the second, getting seven straight batters on base, including a pair of two run singles by Carlos Rivera and Angel Sanchez, to give them a 9-0 lead. Luis Perez’s two run third inning homer was all Spain could muster against a trio of Puerto Rico pitchers, including Luis Atilano, who went five innings for the win.
JAPAN 9 MEXICO 3: The Japanese posted their most impressive victory of the World Cup, stopping undefeated Mexico 9-3. Kenichi Yamakoa’s two run fourth inning triple off starter Juan Pablo Oramas opened the scoring for Japan, but Mexico rallied and tied the game at three on Saul Soto’s two run homer in the top of the sixth. However the Japanese answered right back, scoring three runs on five hits in the bottom of the inning, with Go Yamaoka, Ikuhiro Kiyota and Yoshinobu Kotegawa plating runs with singles. Japan then put the game away in the bottom of the eighth on a Keiji Ikebe three run home run.
VENEZUELA 7 NICARAGUA 4: Venezuela moved to an impressive 4-0 in World Cup play, scoring four runs in the first and two in the third on their way to a 7-4 win over previously undefeated Nicaragua. Venezuela batted around in the first inning against Nicaragua starter Alvaro Aguilar, scoring four, two out runs on singles by Rene Reyes, Luis Landaeta and Jonathan Sivira, and broke the game open on a two run Landaeta home run in the third. Nicaragua rallied late in the game to get within 7-4, and had the tying run at bat with two outs in the ninth, but Danilo Sotelo flew out against pitcher Jose Rodriguez to end the game. For Nicaragua, third baseman Jimmy Morales failed to homer after hitting five in their Nicargua’s first three games, but he did go 4-5 at the plate with another RBI. Landaeta and Yosnel Garcia had three hits apiece for Venezuela.
CHINESE TAIPEI 5 ITALY 2: Chinese Taipei spoiled Italy’s home World Cup opener, taking an early 3-0 lead and then holding Italy to only four hits in Firenze. Tai-Yung Kuo’s leadoff third inning homer off Tiago DaSilva got Chinese Taipei on the scoreboard, and Ming-Jen Kuo’s RBI single and an throwing error pushed the lead to 3-0 after four. Leonardo Zilari’s fifth inning RBI single got the Italians their first run, but a Chung-Chun Wu RBI single made it 4-1 in the eighth, and the Italians never threatened after that. Yen-Feng Lin allowed two hits and one run over six innings for Chinese Taipei, who had four pitchers combine on the four hitter.
CUBA 6 GREAT BRITAIN 0 Freddy Alvarez pitched a two hitter for the Cubans, who scored three of their runs in the second inning and three more in the eighth. Yoennis Cespedes and Ariel Pestano homered off starting pitcher Stephen Spragg in the second to lead the victory.
USA PITCHING DOMINATES AGAIN: San Diego Padres prospect Cory Luebeke became the second Team USA pitcher in as many days to reach double digits in strikeouts with 10 on Sunday vs. Canada. On Saturday teammate and California Angels prospect Trevor Reckling, had 11 K’s against China, which tied the mark of former Dodger and Cubs pitcher Burt Hooten, who fanned 11 consecutive batters in 1970. Luebeke joined Reckling, Ben McDonald (1988) and Hank Woodman (2003) as the only USA pitchers to reach double digits in a game. Overall Team USA set their own World Cup record with 16 strikeouts vs. China, breaking the mark of 14 set against Brazil in 2003.
NETHERLANDS WIN A RARE ONE FOR THE HOME SQUAD IN WORLD CUP: The Netherlands come from behind win Sunday against Korea was just the second overall for a home country in this World Cup. Spain went 1-2 in Barcelona, while the Czech Republic, Sweden and Croatia all went 0-3, and Italy lost their home opener Sunday to Chinese Taipei, making the host country just 2-12 thus far. The host country has only won the Gold Medal eight times since 1948…Cuba (’52, ’71,’73, ’84,’03) Columbia (’65), USA (’74), and Korea (’82)…Cuba’s win in 2003 was the only time in the last nine events the World Cup has been won by the host country and was also one of two times in the last nine the host country won a medal (host Chinese Taipei won Bronze in 2001).
JAPAN’S WIN CHRISTENS NEW STADIUM: Japan’s win over Mexico was the inaugural game in Parma’s new Aldo Nottari Stadium, named after the late IBAF President. Australia will play Italy in Parma Thursday in the second game at the new field.
deJONG CONTINUES INTERNATIONAL HEROICS: Catcher Sidney deJong was a key member of the Netherlands successful World Baseball Classic team, leading the Netherlands by hitting .500 (5 for 10). He continued the heroics on Sunday, hitting the game winning three run homer run against Korea.
DUTCH ADD JERSEY SPONSOR: On Sunday it was announced that Argos Oil will be sponsoring the Dutch team during the Baseball World Cup. The name of the fast growing company in Rotterdam-Hoogvliet (400 employees, 1.5 billion euros turnover) will be displayed on the sleeves of the Dutch players the coming weeks. Argos Groep is one of the largest independent oil companies in the Netherlands and is active in the areas of trading, storage and sales of (bio)fuels and lubrication. Founder and general director is Peter Goedvolk, Havenman van het Jaar (Harbourman of the Year) 2006.
AUSSIES CONTINUE TO HIT AWAY: Australia continued their torrid hitting on Sunday, and have now smacked 11 home runs and scored 50 runs in their first four games. Philadelphia Phillies prospect Tim Kennelly’s three homers and 9 RBI while Minnesota Twins prospect James Beresford led the team in hits with nine in the four games. Six Twins prospects are on the Australia roster.
NICARAGUA’S GONZALEZ CONTINUES TORRID PACE: Nicaragua’s 3-1 start has been led by the long ball of third baseman Jimmy Morales Gonzalez, who has hit five home runs in their first four games and went 4-5 from the plate Sunday. The 31 year old Gonzalez played in the Pioneer and California Leagues from ’98-2000 in the Dodgers organization, for Great Falls and San Bernadino, and has played for Granada in the Nicaraguan Professional League since then. He had 20 HR and 180 RBI with a .295 average in his three seasons in the minors.