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Botswana advances to first Championship Round as Pool Play ends at WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship

posted Jul 16, 2017, 9:48 PM by Jairy Otero

Botswana advances to first Championship Round as Pool Play ends at WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship

WHITEHORSE, Yukon, Canada – The final day of the round robin pool stage came to an end today after 56 games, leaving eight teams remaining in the hunt for the Gold Medal.

Several teams were put in must win positions to finish in the top four in each pool.

Botswana has made history for its country advancing to the playoffs for the first time, guaranteeing at least 8th place. Their previous highest finish was 9th in 2000.

Pool B
No. 8 Czech Republic (3-4) v Turkey (0-7)
20-0 (3 innings)

Box Score
Play-by-Play

Czech Republic and Turkey both started the day knowing that win or lose, they would be delegated to the Placement Round.

Czech Republic scored early and often in this one-sided contest, scoring all the game’s runs in the first inning. Patrik Kopecny started things off with a double. Jiri Nezbeda then walked, allowing Mikula Klas to hit the 2-RBI single to center. From there, Czech Republic went on to score 19 runs on 16 hits.

Win: Marek Maly
Loss: Mehmet Saki Yildirim

Next Up:
Czech Republic advances to the Placement Round with the #5 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 3:00pm against South Africa.

Turkey advances to the Placement Round with the #8 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 10:00am against Hong Kong.

Pool B
No. 1 New Zealand (6-1) v No. 19 Botswana (3-4)
7-0 (5 innings)

Box Score
Play-by-Play

Even with a 7-0 loss, Botswana has now advanced to the playoffs for the first time at a WBSC world championship.

Karabo Motsholathebe could not get things going walking the first five batters to give Thomas Enoka bases loaded with no outs. Enoka did what he does and blasted a shot over the center field fence for a quick 5-0 lead. Following a pitching change, Botswana retired the next three batters.

In the third inning, Botswana tried to get things going as Moses Kgosimore hit a two-out single down the third base line. But a strike-out ended the top half of the inning.

Wayne Laulu kept the home runs going crushing a two-run shot to give the Black Sox a 7-0 lead. In a jam with the bases loaded, Romeo Tshelametse would come in to pitch and got a ground-out to end the inning.

Karl Gollan came in to pitch for New Zealand in the 4th inning and was lights out retiring all batters to end the game 7-0 in five innings.

Win: Nik Hayes
Loss: Karabo Motsholathebe

Next Up:
New Zealand advances to the Championship Round with the #1 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 7:00pm against Australia.

Botswana advances to the Championship Round with the #4 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 11:30am against Argentina.

Pool A
No. 5 Australia (5-2) v Hong Kong (1-6)
10-0 (4 innings)

Box Score
Play-by-Play

Australia got a big win last night that even with a loss today, they have booked a ticket to the Championship Round. However, they continued their home run fest, defeating Hong Kong 10-0 in four innings.

Just like the night before, Australia kept hitting home runs as they scored the first six runs off homers by Joshua McGovern, Jarryd Farrell, Lewis Weldon, and Julian Jemmott.

In the fourth, the Steelers scored four more runs on three hits to close of the round robin on a high note with a 10-0 win.

Win: Jarryd Farrell
Loss: Ling Yuk Sing

Next Up:
Australia advances to the Championship Round with the #2 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 7:00pm against New Zealand.

Hong Kong advances to the Placement Round with the #7 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 10:00am against Turkey.

Pool B
No. 7 Venezuela (6-1) v No. 10 Great Britain (1-6)
11-0 (4 innings)

Box Score
Play-by-Play

After experiencing travel delays and unable to play their first game, Venezuela has won every game since. Today they picked up another win to close out the round robin, defeating Great Britain 11-0 in four innings.

Venezuela took the early 1-0 lead on a solo home run from Arturo Acacio in the first inning.

Jorge Lima then knocked another one out of the park in the second to make it 2-0. Luiger Pinto reached with a double and was hit in by a hard hit up the middle by Frances Rojas. But Kyle Linton struck out Ruben Guerrero and Rojas got caught stealing second to end the inning.

In the third, Acacio lead off with a double, advanced to third on a fly out to center, and scored on a passed ball. Rafael Flores then hit a RBI double and was pushed home on a Carlos Carreno single. But two wild pitches allowed Lima and Carreno to score to make it 8-0.

Venezuela closed the game out in the 4th when Flores sent the ball over the fence. After three straight walks by Great Britain loaded the bases, Guerrero was hit by a pitch to bring in Lima and a wild pitch brought Carreno home for a 11-0 ball game.

Win: Maikel Pimentel
Loss: Kyle Linton

Next Up:
Venezuela advances to the Championship Round with the #3 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 2:00pm against USA.

Great Britain advances to the Placement Round with the #7 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 12:30pm against India.

Pool A
No. 4 Canada (7-0) v India (0-7)
11-0 (4 innings)

Box Score
Play-by-Play

Canada is looking strong in their quest for back-to-back World Championship going undefeated in round robin play. They tuned up their bats today, defeating newcomers India in four innings.

Canada hit all the game’s runs in the first inning as India struggled in the pitching circle. After four straight walks and two passed balls, Mathieu Roy and Stephen Mullaley scored with two runners on. After a pitching change, Shane Boland hit a RBI single to go ahead 3-0. Blake Hunter followed with a bunt to load the bases. Another walk and a Kevin Schellenberg single, Mark Johnson and Shane Boland scored. One more walk loaded the bases for Andrew Skelton to deliver the grand slam to make it 11-0.

Win: Colin Walsh
Loss: Kumar Deepak

Next Up:
Canada advances to the Championship Round with the #1 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 4:30pm against Japan.

India advances to the Placement Round with the #8 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 12:30pm against Great Britain.

Pool A
No. 6 USA (5-2) v No. 14 South Africa (2-5)

4-3 (8 innings)

Box Score
Play-by-Play

With their win last night, USA advanced to the Championship Round.

South Africa struck first in the second inning when Lindsey Kerchoff reached base on an error by the 2nd baseman. William Thomason singled up the middle to have two runners aboard with two outs. Then Javier Frost popped a huge 3-run home run. USA tried to get on the board in the bottom half, loading the bases but South Africa recovered and got out of the inning up 3-0.

Tony Mancha threw six consecutive strike outs to get USA into the seventh, down three runs. With two outs, Kevin Castillo brought USA within two runs hitting a solo homer. Then Chase Turner singled into center, only to be pushed home by Matt Ratliff’s two-run shot to tie the game up and force extra innings.

As South Africa could not get anything done at their at-bat, USA stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Erick Ochoa was walked. But Tyler Dudley redeemed himself from a costly error to hit a single down the third base line as Ochoa sprinted home to win the game 4-3 in 8 innings.

Win: Tony Mancha
Loss: Tidima Barnat Kekana

Next Up:
USA advances to the Championship Round with the #4 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 2:00pm against Venezuela.

South Africa advances to the Placement Round with the #6 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 3:00pm against Czech Republic.

Pool B
No. 2 Japan (6-1) v No. 13 Denmark (3-4)
11-0 (4 innings)

Box Score
Play-by-Play

When the day began today, Denmark was on the bubble to advance to the playoffs with Botswana. It had to win to advance. But Japan was too strong, defeating them in four innings.

Japan took a game from a close one to a blow-out in one at-bat.  Daishi Uramoto started things off hitting a long two-run home run as Japan went on to score 11 runs in the fourth inning. With two runners on, Naoaki Kawada hit a hard grounder to short to drive in Matsuda 3-0. Kataoka then laced the ball into the gap in left center to score two more runs for a triple, and scored himself on an error. Naoaki Morita lifted it out to left field for a double before Masaki Sawada drove him in on a triple. The hitting continued as Matsuda singled to score Sawada with two outs. But Oishi loaded the bases after being hit for the 2nd time. Kataoka doubled down the right field to score two more for the 11-0 eventual win.

Win: Hikaru Matsuda
Loss: Kim Hansen

Next Up:
Japan advances to the Championship Round with the #2 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 4:30pm against Canada.

Denmark advances to the Placement Round with the #6 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 5:30pm against Dominican Republic.

Pool A
No. 3 Argentina (5-2) v No. 11 Dominican Republic (3-4)
11-6

Box Score
Play-by-Play

This was a big game for both teams. The winner advanced to the playoffs, while the loser dropped to the Placement Round.

Dominican Republic jumps out to an early 2-0 lead when Sergio La Hoz hit a two-run homer in the 1st inning. But Argentina struck back tying the game up as Bruno Motroni would walk in a run to make it 2-1. Then with bases still loaded, Gustavo Godoy hit into a fielder’s choice to score Juan Malarczuk. Dominican Republic sent in Yan Carlos Gonzalez in relief, who struck out Gonzalo Ojeda to end the inning 2-2.

In the second, Dominican Republic went ahead again Juan Ramirez doubled to left field to drive in Josuel Chalas.

But Argentina had a monster third as 15 batters came to the plate. Juan Zara started things off by homering to center field to tie the game up. With runners on the corners, Leonardo Latasa then absolutely crushed the ball to bring the game to 6-3. A bases loaded walk scored Teo Migliavacca and then Gustavo Godoy would bat in his brother Manuel. Alan Peker would make a risky head first slide on a wild pitch before Ojeda would single to score Zara to make it a safe 11-3 lead.

Dominican Republic lessened the deficit when Juan Arias would double to right field to score Chalas to make it 11-4 in the fourth.

In the fifth, Dominican Republic kept trying to claw back as Chalas blasted a two-run shot to center field, down 11-6. The next inning, Francis Medina walked with two outs. And even with a great defensive play by Ojeda, Eias Valerio singled. But Zara made a great throw to get Melvin Cruz out at first.

Now in the seventh, Argentina just needed to hold Dominican Republic to advance to the playoffs. And they just that, winning 11-6 to advance to the Championship Round.

Win: Huemul Mata
Loss: Yan Carlos Gonzalez

Next Up:
Argentina advances to the Championship Round with the #3 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 11:30am against Botswana.

Dominican Republic advances to the Placement Round with the #5 seed. They will play tomorrow, 14 July at 5:30pm against Denmark.

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