22/02/2020 - 01/03/2020

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

WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup Day 7: Nagayoshi, Yagi heroics keep Japan's unbeaten run going, sets up gold medal match against Australia

WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup Day 7: Nagayoshi, Yagi heroics keep Japan's unbeaten run going, sets up gold medal match against Australia
Japan kept their unbeaten record, while Australia lost at this level for the first time since losing to Japan in the last Opening Round game in 2018.

The finalists in the U-18 Men's Softball World Cup are confirmed with one day still to play in the Super Round with Japan and Australia to meet in the World Championship game in a repeat of the 2018 final.

Hitto Nagayoshi’s inside the park home run handed Australia their first loss of the tournament, also securing a berth for both teams in the final after Japan's 5-2 Super Round victory on Friday at Colquhoun Park in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

The defeat stopped Australia's run of consecutive wins in this age group at nine, having last lost to Japan in the final game of the Opening Round of the 2018 edition.

Day 7 Match Results & Info

Super Round
Czech Republic 10-0 Guatemala
Argentina 7-3 New Zealand
Australia 2-5 Japan

Placement Round
Canada 6-1 Mexico
South Africa 12-2 Denmark
Singapore 2-4 United States

The confirmation of Japan and Australia in the final maintains both sides' excellent record at this level, having won the previous two editions - Australia (having beaten Japan in the final) in 2018, Japan in 2016 - with Japan now having medalled an incredible 11 times in 13 editions.

Meanwhile wins for the Czech Republic and Argentina confirmed their spots in the bronze medal game on Sunday.

In the Placement Round, Canada secured a seventh-place finish while Denmark is confiremd to finish 12th after losing to South Africa in the battle between the two winless teams.

There is one day of Super Round to play on Saturday before the World Championship game and bronze medal match on Sunday.

The main protagonists in Japan’s 5-2 victory were Hitto Nagayoshi with the bat as he started the team’s three-run surge in the third inning that swung the momentum to their side, and Koka Yagi from the circle as he struck out nine Australian batters to win the game and keep their unbeaten record in the U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup.

The 2016 champions will set up a rematch against Australia in Sunday’s World Championship Game, while the Czech Republic and Argentina will meet in the bronze medal game.

The Czech Republic defeated Guatemala with a 10-run beating, including Jan Voracek’s grand slam in the top of the fifth inning. Argentina, with the help of Luciano Biondi who collected two RBI and two runs, triumphed over hosts New Zealand 7-3 and denied them of finishing on the podium for only the sixth time in 13 editions.

Meanwhile, Mason McKay led Canada to secure seventh place in the tournament after their 6-1 victory over Mexico. Canada appeared in all 12 editions of the Junior Men’s Softball World Championship, where they collected eight medals. Their seventh place finish this year equalled their lowest finish in this age-group tournament since 2014.

United States second baseman Ian Winterhalder jumpstarted the offence for their side to mount a comeback to beat Singapore 4-2, while Nicholas De Ascencao’s three runs over three different innings powered South Africa to defeat Denmark 12-2.

Pitcher William Melin had an incredible game in Denmark's 12-2 loss to South Africa in the battle of the two winless sides. Matching the tournament record of 18 strikeouts in six innings (reaching 40 for the tournament) Melin also gave up 12 hits and 10 runs at the sametime. He struck out the first nine batters he faced and retired 17 of the 18 outs while the 18th was a dropped third strike, although he was credited with the strikeout despite Neo Mofokeng reaching safely after catcher Nicholai Andersen dropped the ball in the sixth.

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