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XXVII U-18 Baseball World Cup 2015 - Official Payoff

Super Round Preview II: WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup

03/09/2015

OSAKA, Japan – The much anticipated second stage of the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup — the electrifying six-nation “Super Round” — begins Thursday in Osaka.

OSAKA, Japan – The much anticipated second stage of the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup — the electrifying six-nation “Super Round” — begins Thursday in Osaka.

In the Super Round, the top 3 nations from Group A will collide with the top 3 nations from Group B.

12:00: South Korea (2-0) vs. United States (1-1) at Maishima Stadium

This game is between countries winning this competitions the second (United States, 7) and third (South Korea, 5) most of all-time.

Their last encounter came in the first round in the 2013 U-18 Baseball World Cup in Taichung.  Korea and the U.S. fought a tight, one-run contest in which both teams were limited to six hits, with the U.S. prevailing, 2-1.

South Korea and the U.S. have traded victories in their last six meetings, each winning one game, then losing the next (or vice-versa). According to this pattern, it is South Korea’s turn to take the victory.

Both historically and looking forward, Korea and the U.S. have met in U-18 world championship finale five times, the last in 2008, with Korea taking the gold each time.

15:30: Cuba (1-1) vs. Australia (0-2) at Nanko Chuo Stadium

Cuba have won three of the last four games against Australia at the U-18 Baseball World Cup.

In 2008, these nations met in the bronze medal game, with Cuba winning by a score of 6-2.

In 2010, these teams met in the semifinal. Australia won a one-run pitching duel, 2-1, on their way to their best result ever in the tournament, finishing second in the world. Cuba finished third in 2010, taking the bronze.

17:30: Japan (2-0) vs. Canada (0-2) Maishima Stadium

The world No. 1 and world No. 7 have met in the last two editions (2012 and 2013) of the U-18 Baseball World Cup, however, those two encounters were during the group stage of the event.

Canada and Japan’s meeting in 2012 went extra-innings, with Canada edging Japan, 6-5 in 10 innings.

The last battle between these nations was another thriller. Canada jumped out to a 3-1 lead to start the game and maintained 5-4 lead through three innings.  Japan put three runs on the scoreboard in the fourth and held on to win, 7-5. Japan’s catcher Tomoya Mori (NPB’s Saitama Seibu Lions) had 3 RBIs.

ROAD TO THE SUPER ROUND – HIGHLIGHTS

Samurai Japan have outscored their five opponents 54-1 on 54 hits to lead all nations in Osaka with a .353 batting average and 0.00 ERA. Shoki Katsumata has gone 7-for-10 with two doubles, a triple and a home run.

South Korea are second in team batting average (.307) and have stolen 16 stolen bases, tops in Osaka. Lee Jin-Young has gone 9-for-17 (.529) and has swiped three bags, while teammate Choi Wonjun leads the 2015 U-18 Baseball World Cup with six stolen bases.

Canada’s Josh Naylor (.579, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R) has been one of the most dangerous hitters in Osaka, leading everybody with 11 hits. Naylor was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft. Teammate Royce Hyatt Ando leads all nations with 4 doubles. Of the six Super nations, Canada (5.71 ERA) have allowed the most hits and runs.

Two-time defending U-18 world champions (.265 AVE) are second-to-last in team batting average among the Super Group. Morgan Mccullough (.333 AVE) leads the U.S. in hitting. On the pitching side (1.32 ERA), they have racked up 55 strikeouts, only less than Japan (57 K).

Cuba (.264 AVE) rank last in batting average within the Super Group, but Cuba’s Luis Robert (.500, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 3 2B, 4 SB) has shown a rare display of power and speed, leading all hitters in total bases (21).

Australia’s Tristian King (.375 2 HR, 8 RBI) and Dean Frew (.353, 7 R) are players to watch on offence. Australia’s 4.61 ERA is only behind Canada’s.