22/02/2020 - 01/03/2020

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U-18 Men's Softball World Cup 2020 - Official Payoff

1 year ago today: Japan wins the WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup 2020, topping Australia in the Final

1 year ago today: Japan wins the WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup 2020, topping Australia in the Final
01/03/2021
The WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup in held in Palmerston North, New Zealand was the only WBSC baseball or softball event to be held in 2020 following the postponement of the 2020 international calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One year ago, on 1 March 2020, the Japanese U-18 Men's National Softball Team finished an undefeated campaign, with a 9-2 five-inning win over Australia, to claim the inaugural WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup held in Palmerston North, New Zealand. It was Japan's third youth softball world title in history, including two in the last three competitions.

The elite youth softball event gathered 12 nations from across the globe to play For the Title of World Champion. Argentina, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Singapore and South Africa competed in Group A, while Denmark, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand (host) and USA clashed in Group B. Highlighting softball's growing global footprint, teams representing all five Olympic continents were featured in the youth Softball World Cup.

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The Japanese squad had a solid tournament in all aspects of the game, dominating the tournament from the beginning. The Japanese pitching staff combined for a 1.59 ERA in 44 innings pitched, allowing only 11 runs (10 earned) in nine games; while the lineup combined for a .366 batting average to finish second place among all teams and scored a total of 83 runs, averaging 9.2 runs per game. See the complete statistics of the 2020 WBSC U-18 Men's Softball World Cup here.

Japan’s Hitto Nagayoshi earned MVP honours and was named to the WBSC U-18 All-World Softball Team as the second baseman. Five countries were represented on the WBSC All-World Team: Australia, Japan, Czech Republic, New Zealand and Argentina. It was the first time that individual awards were given in a softball world championship.

Czech ace Jakub Osicka was named the best pitcher of the tournament, leading the European nation in a historic campaign, grabbing their first ever medal in the history of the youth event. They defeated Argentina, 2-0, in the Bronze Medal Game.

The WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup 2020 was the first competition in this age bracket, replacing the former Junior Men’s Softball World Championship, for U-19 athletes, and marking the beginning of the new Softball World Cup brand. It was the only WBSC baseball or softball event to be held in 2020 following the postponement of the 2020 international calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japan has always been one of the powerhouses on the youth men’s softball global stage. They have participated in every tournament since 1981, winning three championships (only behind Australia's five world titles) and medalling 11 times.

Guatemala also had a tournament for the records, advancing to the Super Round for the first time in just their second appearance in the competition. In 2018, they made their debut and finished in 11th place, with an overall win-loss record of 2-6.