New rules make first Women’s Baseball World Cup played on US soil more exciting

WBSC will test during the VIII Women’s Baseball World Cup a new set of rules.
“The twelve-second rule between pitches has been in use for some time now,” cleared WBSC Umpire Director Gustavo Rodriguez during the presentation press conference “But we will be using a clock on the field for the very first time.”

Players will have 90 seconds between half innings to get ready and managers will be able to declare an intentional walk.
The big change in the rules will be the introduction of instant replays. Every manager will have the possibility to challenge one decision of the umpiring crew. When a manager loses the challenge, in the sixth and seventh the decision to turn to instant replays will be left to the umpiring crew

Australia’s manager Simone Wearne seemed not too worried about the new rules.
“They are not going to affect the way we play. Baseball is baseball”.

20180821 Women Baseball World Cup Trophy and Medals

Japan is a five-time defending champion but Megumi Kitta is a first year manager.
“My English is very bad, but my players are very good,” she joked “We have a lot of twenty-year olds on the roster and three High School players.”
Taking over after five World Titles must put some pressure on you: “Well, everybody jokes with me about the possibility I may be the first losing manager after five wins, including my parents…”

Kitta San was joined during the press conference by star pitcher Ayami Sato, who has been the World Cup MVP for the last two editions.
“I am here to be the MVP for the third time in a row. I feel very good. I also have expanded my range of pitches.”

Canada finished second in 2016 and manager Andrè Lachance said: “It’s amazing how much this tournament has grown since the first edition in Edmonton.”

Carlos Torres is the manager of Venezuela, that won a bronze medal two years ago.
“It’s a honour to be here, representing my country. I am sure you are all aware of the sacrifices we had to do, to make this possible.”

Also USA’s Matt Weagle is a rookie manager. But he was on the staff for the last two World Cups as the pitching coach.
“It’s a real honour. I don’t take lightly the fact I am managing on USA soil and I want to thank everyone who made this possible. I can’t promise victories, but I can promise we will play hard.”

The VIII Women’s Baseball World Cup opens on Wednesday, 22 August, at Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida. The first two games (Dominican Republic-Japan and Chinese Taipei-Venezuela) are scheduled at 10 am (US Eastern time). The opening ceremony will start at 6 pm and will be followed by Puerto Rico-USA to close Day 1 of competition.

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Cuban Gracial hits two more homers in Japan

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 23 (ACN) Cuban ballplayer Yurisbel Gracial hit two home runs today, thus amounting three in the last two matches, during the continuation of the regular stage in the Japanese Professional Baseball League (NPB).

According to the NPB official website, Gracial, who batted third in the line-up of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, first blasted a three-run homer in the very first frame to then hit another one in the ninth but this time with only one teammate on base for his squad, which finally beat 9-6 the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.

The day before, the outstanding Cuban utility had achieved his first homer in NPB after being hired by the Hawks last February.

Now, he has batting average of .340 (18 hits in 53 AB), with three homers and 9 RBIs in the tough NPB Pacific League.

The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, franchise in which also play Cubans Alfredo Despaigne (OF/DH), Livan Moinelo (LHP) and switch-hitter Oscar Colas, the latter is in the farm system, appear third in the standings in the Pacific League with 55 wins and 49 losses, behind the Seibu Lions (64-42) and the Fighters (57-50), in that order.

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U-15 Baseball World Cup down to 6 nations as WBSC announces Super Round schedule

DAVID, Panama – The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced the Super Round schedule for the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2018 in Panama.

The global field has been cut in half, with six nations left competing For The Title of World Champion at Estadio Kenny Serracín in David.

Final Standings Opening Round U 15 Baseball World Cup 2018

Advancing from Group A are United States, Panama and Chinese Taipei, while Cuba, Japan and Dominican Republic advanced from Group B.

Wins/Losses against nations eliminated in the Opening Round will not carry into the Super Round.

Two-time defending U-15 World Champions Cuba enter the Super Round tomorrow (16 August) as the only undefeated nation.

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? Super Round schedule -- starts TOMORROW (Thursday, 16 August) !!!!!

The Super Round kicks off Thursday with continental rivalries, including Chinese Taipei versus Japan, Dominican Republic versus USA, and host Panama versus Cuba.

Friday’s action includes Chinese Taipei against the Dominican Republic, USA taking on Cuba and Panama facing Japan.

Saturday’s games will be highlighted by a battle between the No. 1 and 2 ranked nations in the world in USA and Japan, while Chinese Taipei takes on Cuba and Dominican Republic faces Panama.

Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Netherlands and South Africa will continue in the 7th-12th Place Consolation Round.

Global Live-Stream

All nine games of the Super Round will be available to global audiences via the WBSC YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/wbsc.

For full event coverage, including news, live play-by-play, stats and standings, visit the official website of the U-15 Baseball World Cup at u15bwc.wbsc.org.

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Cuba, Panama 2-0 at U-15 Baseball World Cup; Aussies, Chinese Taipei earn first wins

Two-time defending U-15 World Champions Cuba as well as host Panama improved to 2-0 in the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2018, while Chinese Taipei and Australia both recorded their first wins of the global tournament.

Chinese Taipei 9, Brazil 7

With their backs against the wall, world No. 6 Chinese Taipei scored eight runs in the seventh inning to avoid an upset with No. 19 Brazil.

Down to their final three outs and trailing 5-1, Chinese Taipei used five walks, a hit batter and four hits, including a two-run single from Kuei Yu to even their record to 1-1.

Shan-Tsung Peng was awarded the victory with a scoreless inning of relief with one strikeout.

Sulivan Ribeiro de Almeida suffered the loss after Brazil starter Joāo Sakurai Ferreira worked four innings allowing just one run.

Australia 16, South Africa 6

Bash brothers James Nati and Jake Burns.

World No. 8 Australia received home runs from James Nati and Jake Burns to earn a 16-6 victory over No. 26 South Africa.

Quinn Johnson’s two-run single highlighted a five-run first inning for Australia and he would finish the game with five RBI while Burns added four.

South Africa made things interesting in the fifth, scoring five runs courtesy a Nicholas De Ascensāo two run single while Kyle Schwartz drove in three on a double.

Ian Lee was credited with the win for Australia while Nathan Grobler took the loss for South Africa.

Panama 2, China 1

Leonardo Bernal Carrion led off the top of the sixth with a triple and took home with two out on a wild pitch as No. 14 Panama edged No. 22 China, 2-1.

China took a 1-0 lead in the second when Tianzhou Zhu singled and later scored on an error before Panama drew even with a run in the fourth.

Alexis Bernal Vega recorded the win going four scoreless innings allowing just two hits and walk with eight strikeouts. China reliever Lei Wang suffered the loss.

Cuba 9, Dominican Republic 0

Cuba’s Osiel Veranes struck out 10 versus Dominican Republic Saturday.

Osiel Veranes struck out 10 batters over six scoreless innings and Frank Gonzalez Cuellar drove in two runs as No. 4 Cuba defeated No. 12 Dominican Republic, 9-0.

Leading 4-0 in the fifth, Cuba put across five runs including a two-run single from Montero to go ahead 9-0 and put the game out of reach.

Dominican Republic starting pitcher Julio Torres Guzman worked two innings and took the loss.

Opening Round action continues on 12 August with USA taking on Chinese Taipei, Germany facing China and Brazil against host Panama in Group A, while Group B match-ups include Netherlands against South Africa, Dominican Republic taking on Australia and Cuba facing Japan.

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The baseball stars who ignore MLB to stay loyal to Cuba ... and Canada

Cuban players can make millions if they defect to the United States but others prefer to plot a career path that will keep them close to their families.

Most of the year, Noelvis Entenza pitches in Havana’s historic Estadio Latinoamericano, a ballpark that shakes from the 55,000-capacity crowds and where the buzz of fans’ horns drowns out the players on the field.

But when Entenza’s season ends, he gets on a plane and flies north – to Kitchener, Ontario, where he pitches in front of crowds of a few hundred in a semi-professional baseball league a world away from his life as a star in Cuba’s National Series.

“In Cuba, it’s so crazy. Here, they sit quiet, like in church,” he says, through a translator.

Entenza, a 33-year-old right-hander for the Havana Industriales, is one of four Cubans playing in Canada this summer under a unique agreement with the Cuban baseball federation. While dozens of their former teammates have defected from Cuba in pursuit of millions in Major League Baseball, they’ve chosen to stay loyal to their country.

Entenza, Miguel Lahera, Jonder Martinez and Yorbis Borroto, all veterans from Cuba’s national team, play for the Kitchener Panthers of the Intercounty Baseball League. But while they’re good enough to pursue much bigger paychecks in the US, they say there’s more at stake than just money.

“It’s a decision each person has to make. Every one is different,” said Entenza, who has watched teammates from Jose Abreu to Yasiel Puig to Lourdes Gurriel Jr flee for riches in the MLB.

These players, meanwhile, say they’re happy to be allowed to play abroad, without breaking any laws. After their season in Canada ends, they’ll return home to their families, and their respective Cuban teams.

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“Playing in the MLB is the dream, but we want to play legally,” said Borroto. “We play for our family and our country. To play for a million dollars and be away from Cuba, that’s a big change … We feel good to play in Cuba.”

Two years ago, there were great hopes things were improving. MLB and Cuba were discussing ways for Cuban players to sign with big league teams without having to defect. President Obama went to Havana to watch a game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team. Lahera, Martinez and Borroto all played in that game, and say they felt they were close to something historic.

“It was very emotional,” said Lahera, who has also pitched for Cuba in the Olympics and World Baseball Classic. “I was proud to know we could play with major league players.”

“We came here because it’s a new experience. We wanted to show other countries that Cuban baseball is a good quality,” said Borroto, who plays for the Ciego de Avila Tigres in Cuba. “We wanted to get experience from another country and learn a different style to play.”

By coming to Canada, the four Cubans hope they’re starting something bigger, something that could eventually lead to other Cubans playing legally in the MLB.

Cuba seeking third straight WBSC Under-15 World Cup

Cuba will seek a third successive title when the World Baseball Softball Confederation's Under-15 Baseball World Cup begins in Panama tomorrow.

Action is due to take place over 10 days at the Estadio Kenny Serracín in David and the Estadio Rico Cedeño in Chitré.

Cuba, the six-time winners overall, will play in Group B alongside Japan, the tournament's second-ranked side.

They will be joined by South Africa, Australia, The Netherlands and the Dominican Republic.

Cuba are set to open their account tomorrow against the Dutch.

Hosts Panama are in Group A along with United States, the world's top-ranked team seeking a sixth tournament win but a first since 2011.

Chinese Taipei, Brazil, Germany and China complete the group.

The players taking part will be aged between 13 and 15.

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Cuba Gets Beaten for 5th Consecutive Time

Haarlem, The Netherlands, Jul 19 (Prensa Latina) Cuba suffered its fifth defeat in this baseball week after losing 2-12 to Taipei of China, knockout in seven innings, and will bid farewell to the tournament with the worst performance in the history of the contest.

The Cuban players only hit seven hits against two Asian pitchers, including a double by first baseman Sergio Barthelemy.

The Asian team connected 13 hits, including a homer of the designated Yi-Teng, four dobles and a triple.

The victory went to reliever Chih Jung Cheng, who in six chapters allowed two runs, gave three strikeouts and no tickets to four pitchers.

For Cuba, starter Dachel Duquesne charged with the defeat by earning equal amount of runs and three hits in two thirds of an inning.

The Caribbeans already lost in the fair against the Germans 4-5, Japanese (1-7), Italians (3-7) and Dutch (4-6) and will now play fifth place tomorrow with the loser of the game between Germans and Italians.

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WBSC names SSK as Official Ball for Premier12, 2020 Olympic Baseball and Baseball World Cups

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and the Osaka-based SSK Corporation today announced a partnership expansion that makes the iconic Japanese brand the Exclusive/Official Competition Ball and Kit Supplier of baseball’s biggest upcoming international events through 2020, including the top-tier 2019 Premier12, the 2020 Olympic Games and 2018-2020 Baseball World Cups.

The agreement expands upon WBSC and SSK’s already existing global partnership, which made SSK the exclusive Umpire Kit Supplier for the inaugural 2015 Premier12 and Baseball World Cups (U-12, U-15, U-18, U-23, and Women’s) for the 2015-2020 cycle.

As part of the newly expanded agreement, and beginning with the upcoming WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2018 in Panama this August, SSK will have a major presence on the field of play of WBSC international baseball events, with the umpires kit, WBSC officials apparel and competition ball all derived from SSK’s elite product line.

In addition, the SSK logo will be featured on all outfield fences and within team dugouts, and the SSK corporate video will be shown on the scoreboard during select WBSC Premier12 and Baseball World Cup games. The innovative Japanese baseball brand will also have an in-stadium presence that includes space for setting up exhibitions. SSK will also have the right to use the WBSC, Baseball World Cup and Premier12 logos for other promotional and advertising activity.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said: “Only an iconic and elite baseball brand like SSK could be trusted to fill this critical role during what will be some of the most impactful and most watched international baseball events in history. WBSC is delighted to welcome SSK as the Official Competition Ball and Kit Supplier of international baseball and expand upon our partnership that has spanned more than 20 years. With committed partners like SSK, we will continue to drive baseball into a new and golden global era.”

SSK President Kyoichi Sasaki said: “SSK’s brand motto is ‘Baseball, it’s our game’. We strive to connect the world through the sport of baseball and help them achieve a better life. SSK will be providing official competition balls to Baseball World Cups of all categories, from U-12 to professional – competitions that crown the best baseball country in the world. SSK has been supporting WBSC with umpire gear and apparels for over 20 years, and through this agreement with WBSC, we aim to contribute to baseball’s further development in the world.”

Established in 1950, SSK has evolved into one of the most elite and innovative baseball brands whose products are used by many top professional players and clubs around the world.

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