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No. 7 Venezuela upsets No. 1 New Zealand on Day 5 at the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship

posted Jul 16, 2017, 9:44 PM by Jairy Otero

No. 7 Venezuela upsets No. 1 New Zealand on Day 5 at the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship

WHITEHORSE, Yukon, Canada – After five days concluded, things are still unclear on who may advance to the Championship Round at the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship.

Cold weather continued to plague the World Championship. Due to the rain delay yesterday, four teams – New Zealand, Japan, Australia, and Dominican Republic – were forced to play double headers today.

Playing that early morning game against Japan may have affected New Zealand, as Venezuela upsets the Black Sox with defensive marvel.

Pool B
No. 1 New Zealand (4-0) v No. 2 Japan (3-1)
8-1 (6 innings)

Box Score

No. 1 New Zealand and No. 2 Japan went to battle tied for first place in Pool B last night. But the game could not be completed as planned due to rain, just as Japan got on the board in the third inning. The game picked up this morning with New Zealand drilling the ball for an 8-1 game.

With the rain coming down quite hard in the third, Yusuke Itose got on base on a throwing error and stole second putting him in scoring position. A solid hit from pinch-hitter Kota Mera to the left allowed Itose to cross over the plate for Japan’s first run of the game.

But the rain took its toll on the field and the game had to be postponed. Play then resumed this morning forcing both teams to play double-headers. Japan started the resumed game with Masaki Sawada on second. But two grounders ended the inning, still scoreless.

New Zealand got things going quickly in the bottom of the third on a Cole Evans hit to have runners on first and second. Then, Nathan Nukunuku hit his first homer of the championship for a 3-1 lead. But a diving stop toward the 3rd base side by Ryo Koshikiya closed the inning.

Tyron Bortorillo hit his fifth home-run of the championship for a 4-1 ball game in the fifth inning, followed by a two-run shot by Nukunuku to extend the lead to 5.

In the sixth, a single and defensive error allowed Masaki Sawada to reach second with two outs. But Japan’s trouble continued as a 4-3 put-out stopped the inning.

New Zealand ended the game early in the bottom half as Zane Van Lieshout drilled the ball through the shortstop side with a solid single RBI. Campbell Enoka then hit to left-center to score Kallan Compain and end the game 8-1 for New Zealand.


Next Up:
New Zealand – 11 July at 3:00pm against Venezuela
Japan – 11 July at 4:30pm against Great Britain

Pool A
No. 5 Australia (4-1) v No. 11 Dominican Republic (3-2)

Box Score

After being postponed until this morning due to rain, Australia and Dominican Republic entered the game as the two undefeated teams atop Pool A. Both would have to play big games tonight in their quest to reach the Championship Round.

Dominican Republic got into trouble right away as Australia loaded the bases with one out. But they turned a huge double play to end the inning.

Andrew Kirkpatrick had things working for him as he struck out 15 in the game. The Aussie bats backed him up as Brendan O’Byrne came home all the way from first from a sac-bunt by Hayden Mathews and a throwing error in the fourth. After Yan Carlos Gonzalez threw two walks, Melvin Cruz came in relief to get out of the inning

Steelers James Todhunter knocked a RBI single to right to score O’Byrne for the 2-0 lead after five.

A solo homer and a bat flip for Elias Valerio cut the lead to one in the top of the seventh. But two more strike-outs for Kirkpatrick, plus a put-out ended the first game of the day in favor of Australia.

Kirkpatrick earned the win with 15 strike-outs.

Win: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Loss: Yan Carlos Gonzalez

Next Up:
Australia – 11 July at 7:00pm against Canada
Dominican Republic – 11 July at 5:30pm against United States

Pool A
No. 14 South Africa (1-4) v Hong Kong (1-4)
10-0 (4 innings)

Box Score

South Africa got its first win of this year’s world championship with a 10-0 win over Hong Kong in four innings.

South Africa got on board first as Phomolo Phaladi led things off with a triple. Cristopher Bann followed up with a sac-fly to score Phaladi to close out the inning leaving the score 1-0.

Hong Kong showed off their defensive skills as Wong Wei Hung struck out the first two batters. Then Pang Kam Man shut down a hit with a great play to first to close out the 2nd inning.

South Africa put the game out of reach in the third scoring nine runs on eight hits, including home-runs by Phaladi and Sehlabi Molokoane.

Win: Francois Steyn
Loss: Wong Wai Hung

Next Up:
South Africa – 12 July at 12:30pm against India
Hong Kong – 12 July at 11:30am against USA

Pool B
No. 13 Denmark (3-2) v Turkey (0-5)
23-0 (3 innings)

Box Score

Denmark earned their 3rd win of the world championship as they continue to fight for one of the coveted Championship Round spots.

The Nordic nation had the bats going scoring 14 runs in the first, followed by nine runs in the second for the 23-0 win. Valdemar Terkelsen and Anton Brown both went 3-3 on the day.

Turkey continues to improve in their debut on the world stage. Center-fielder Oguz Ates made several nice grabs, showcasing Turkey’s potential.

Win: Daniel Julenon
Loss: Cansin Etgu
Save: Lukas Lohmann

Next Up:
Denmark – 12 July at 3:00pm against New Zealand
Turkey – 12 July at 2:00pm against Great Britain

Pool B
No. 19 Botswana (3-2) vs. No. 8 Czech Republic (2-3)

Box Score

Botswana upset No. 8 Czech Republic for their third 1-0 win of this year’s championship as they pushed a run across in the fifth in a pitcher’s duel for the game’s only run.

Botswana’s Kagiso Mogale opened the game up with two walks before he settled down to find his groove; through four innings, he had fanned 9 out of 11 batters. It wasn’t until the fourth inning that Czech Republic recorded its team’s first hit.  But Ondrej Malecek also did his job keeping Botswana in check through four as well, striking out five and allowing only one hit.

However, in the fifth inning, Botswana caught up to Malecek. Thabiso Radithobane singled to left-field to lead off the inning and then advanced on a Onkagetse Motsumi single to shortstop. A throwing error by Malecek allowed Radithobane to score. That was all for Malecek as Michal Holobradek then came in relief to strike out Moses Kgosimore. But the ball got away from catcher David Mertl allowing Kgosimore to reach first. With the ball rolling to the backstop, Motsumi sprinted home only to be tagged out by Holobradek. Two strike-outs ended the inning but the damage had been done with Botswana up 1-0.

Czech Republic tried to tie things up in the sixth as Patrik Kolkus singled to left field and made it to third with two-outs, before Tomas Benda grounded out to shortstop.

Mogale struck out the side to end the game with an impressive 14 total strike-outs in the 1-0 win for Botswana.

Win: Kagiso Mogale
Loss: Ondrej Malecek

Next Up:
Botswana – 12 July at 10:00am against Venezuela
Czech Republic – 12 July at 4:30pm against Japan

Pool A
No. 3 Argentina (4-1) v India (0-5)

Box Score

Martin Gonzalez pitched the perfect game, racking up 18 strike-outs in the one-sided contest.

Argentina’s Matías Minigutti got on base first in the game on a bunt in the first inning. Juan Zara then doubled to right-field to score Minigutti. A wild pitch advanced Zara before Huemul Mata hit a RBI single to shortstop Rajan Vineeth to score Zara for the 1-0 lead. Gonzalo Ojeda kept the inning alive to single to right-field and Mariano Montero walked before both advanced on a wild pitch. But Leonardo Latasa struck out to end the inning, up 2-0.

In the third inning, Zara hit his second double of the day to right-center, then stole third and scored on a wild pitch for the 3-0 Argentina lead.

The next three innings were quiet for both teams before Argentina broke the game open and put it out of reach scoring eight runs in the top of the seventh. Back-to-back singles scored Minigutti, Alan Peker, and Federico Eder before Ojeda and Francisco Lombardo each hit a home-run for a combined five RBIs to end the game in favor of Argentina.

Win: Martin Gonzalez
Loss: Kumar Deepak

Next Up:
Argentina – 12 July at 5:30pm against Australia
India – 12 July at 12:30pm against South Africa

Pool B
No. 2 Japan (4-1) v No. 10 Great Britain (0-5)
14-0 (4 innings)

Box Score

Facing their second game of the day after a blow-out defeat to No. 1 New Zealand, Japan cruised to a 14-0 win over Great Britain.

Great Britain kept Japan off the board until Taiyo Kataoka was hit by a pitch and driven in on a Yusuke Morita single up the middle in the second.

Japan then took control in the third inning scoring six runs. The fourth was more of the same as they scored seven more to end the game 14-0.

Naoaki Kawada went 2-4 with two home runs in the game.

Win: Hikaru Matsuda
Loss: James Darby

Next Up:
Japan – 12 July at 4:30pm against Czech Republic
Great Britain – 12 July at 2:00pm against Turkey

Pool B
No. 7 Venezuela (4-1) v No. 1 New Zealand (4-1)

Box Score

Venezuela has never beaten New Zealand in men’s international play…until today. They showed off their sparkle with numerous incredible defensive plays to earn the 7-3 upset over the Black Sox.

Venezuela took the early 1-0 lead off a solo home run by Yeider Chirinos and never looked back.

In the bottom of the inning, New Zealand threatened. It appeared Venezuela had turned a double play, but they did not complete the tag on the lead runner allowing Cole Evans to reach 2nd. But two pitches later, Evans was called out for leaving the bag early clearing the bases. Thomas Enoka then reached base but was picked off by Edwin Linares to end the inning.

Carlos Carreno led off the second with a walk and two batters later was driven in by Jorge Lima. Linares drilled another ball to the outfield to score Lima with one out. But after sending seven batters to the plate, New Zealand got out of the inning down 3-0.

The Black Sox again threatened and this time able to capitalize as Kallan Compain homered to center with two outs. A tough infield bounce let Tyron Bartorillo reach first, but a put-out to Lima ended the inning 3-1.

Venezuela showed off their defensive skills in the third. Campbell Enoka reached on a throwing error by shortstop Chrinos. Evans then slapped the ball off the glove of John Zambrano. But out of nowhere, Lima drove to grab the loose ball and tag first in one motion for the out. Two pitches later, Rafael Flores threw out Enoka at second on a large lead, but three straight hits scored Nathan Nukunuku to bring the score to 3-2.

Venezuela recovered those runs in the fourth. Luiger Pinto got on base in time for Lima to blast the ball over the centerfield fence for a 5-2 game with no outs. An error by Evans puts two runners on for Carreno to drive in Chirinos before Nik Hayes struck out his seventh, down 6-2.

Nukunuku chipped away at the deficit driving in Enoka on a stand-up triple. But Carreno made an amazing diving catch in left-field to rob Brad Rona of an RBI to end the inning as Venezuela still up 6-3.

The fifth remained quiet, but a sac-fly from Herwins Querales to score Lima made it 7-3 the next inning.

Evans got on base in the bottom of the seventh with one out as Nukunuku hit a high fly-out for out number 2. Then a ground ball to Chirinos made history for Venezuela, beating New Zealand 7-3 for the first time ever.

Win: Erick Urbaneja
Loss: Nik Hayes

Next Up:
Venezuela – 12 July at 10:00am against Botswana
New Zealand – 12 July at 3:00pm against Denmark

Pool A
No. 6 USA (3-2) v No. 11 Dominican Republic (3-2)
12-2 (4 innings)

Box Score

USA silenced Dominican Republic’s bats to earn a 12-2 shortened game win.

Dominican Republic got on board first in the top of the first inning after a solo homer by Elias Valerio. USA then answered to push four runs across. Three straight walks loaded the bases before Tyler Dudley doubled on a fly ball to left field to score three runs and advance to third on the throw in to home.  A sac fly from Pat Sagdal would allow Dudley to score from 3rd, putting USA up 4-1.

Back-to-back singles from Dominican Republic in the top of the second inning prompted a pitching change for USA as Tony Mancha entered in relief with three-straight strikeouts.

The Dominican Republic would cut the lead in half in the top of the third inning after a lead-off home run by Sergio Lahoz. But Dudley responded with his own solo shot in the bottom of the frame as USA scored seven runs for a 12-2 game.

Needing just three outs to end the game via run-rule, Mancha did just that as he recorded three strikeouts to end the game.

Win: Tony Mancha
Loss: Yan Carlos Gonzalez

Next Up:
Dominican Republic – 12 July at 7:00pm against Canada
USA – 12 July at 11:30am against Hong Kong

Pool A
No. 4 Canada (5-0) v No. 5 Australia (3-2)

Box Score

Canada came back down four runs to defeat Australia 9-4 as Sean Cleary struck out 15 in the complete game.

A three-run rocket by Brendan O’Byrne got Australia up by four with one out in the 2nd. Then after batting through the order, Cleary struck out Lewis Weldon for the third out down 4-0. But Canada’s Ryan Boland answered back hitting a grand slam, following two hits and a walk, to tie the game up. After Harrison Peters walked Kristopher Walushka, Adam Folkard will come in. O’Byrne then had an incredible grab in the hole to take away a hit from Brandon Horn to end the inning.

Australia got the lead runner on with a bunt but Cleary struck out the next three in the 3rd. Canada went ahead in the bottom of the inning as Derek Mayson’s RBI single pushed Bradley Ezekiel across the plate before Folkard sat the next two batters down with Canada still up by 1.

Canada showed off its skills as Stephen Mullaley made a diving catch to snag the bunt pop-up and nearly threw out the runner at 1st. An intentional walk to Nick Shailes paid off as Cleary sat the next three down in the fourth.

In the bottom of the fifth, Ezekiel and Mullaley both got on base to allow Mayson to drive in Ezekiel. Mark Johnson then broke the game open with a three-run shot for a 9-4 game. This caused Folkard to leave the game in exchange for Jarryd Farrell, who struck out Boland.

Horn had a tremendous defensive play of his own in the sixth as he scooped up a deflected ball and tossed to Mullaley to get Liam O’Leary out at first to shut down the Aussies. Canada then handled Australia in the 7th to earn the 9-4 come-back win.

Win: Sean Cleary
Loss: Adam Folkard

Next Up:
Canada – 12 July at 7:00pm against Dominican Republic
Australia – 12 July at 5:30pm against Argentina