II U-23 Baseball World Cup

2018-10-19 - 2018-10-28

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II U-23 Baseball World Cup - Official Payoff

Venezuela earns historical bronze medal in the U-23 Baseball World Cup

2018-10-28

Venezuela earned a historical bronze medal in the U-23 Baseball World Cup with a 5-4 win against Korea.
Korea came a long way to tie the game in the top of the seventh, but in the bottom of the eighth Venezuela scored the go ahead run thanks to some good, old fashioned hustle along the base path. Anthony Concepcion ran all the way from first to third on a single by Leandro Cedeño and Jorma Rodriguez beat a throw to first that would have ended the inning on a double play, allowing Concepcion to score the winning run.

Venezuela’s starter Nivaldo Rodriguez (a prospect at class for the Houston Astros) threw five, very strong innings. He allowed only one hit and left with a solid 3-1 lead.

“I had a plan and it worked beautifully” said Nivaldo Rodriguez at the end of the game “I knew them, because I had pitched against Korea in Monteria.”
Rodriguez added: “We shared the same record with Mexico, but this wasn’t enough to make the final. We went after it like warriors, day after day. This medal is our reward. I want to tell to our fans: keep fighting with us, despite all the problems of our Country”

Venezuela had scored all of the runs against Yoon Joong Hyun, picked as a starter despite not getting an out in the rest of the tournament.

With four at bats left, Korea was not ready to give up and managed to tie it in the top of the seventh. Venezuela had built a 4-1 lead and used four pitchers to defend it.  Maiker Pinto, who had relieved Nivaldo Rodriguez in the sixth, gave up a single to Ko Seong Min and then left. Miguel Burgos got started with back to back strike outs, but then was hit hard along the right field line by Kim Chan Hyung, whose speed turned the hit into a triple and cut Venezuela’s lead to 4-2. Luis Garcia allowed a base hit to Han Dong Hui for the third run and a double off the wall in right field to Choe Tae Seong that tied the game. Christian Mejias picked off Choe Tae Seong to end the inning.

Venezuela wasted a chance to win back the lead in the bottom of the seventh against Kim Ho Jun. With one out, Jesus Lujiano doubled. He then became the second out trying to steal third. Yonni Hermandez followed with a double that would have easily scored him from second.

In the bottom of the eighth, with Anthony Concepcion (walk) at first, Korea gave the call to Lee Won Joon. Leandro Cedeño came up with his second hit of the game, bringing Concepcion to third. Then he left for pinch hitter Joscar Alvarez. Jorma Rodriguez grounded to shortstop. Korea got the force out at second, but Jorma Rodriguez beat the throw to first, allowing Concepcion to score the winning run from third.

“I wanted that at bat” said Leandro Cedeño through an interpreter “I wanted that chance, because I know I’m good in those situations. I felt really calm. I prepared mentally in the dugout. They changed the pitcher, and I felt even calmer, because I was intimidating them. And thank God I could hit, and run with all I had to reach safe and put the runner in scoring position.”
Also Cedeño has a message for his fans: “To all the fans, to all the people who followed us through social media and television, thank you for all the positive feedback. Thank you, you kept supporting and trusting us.”

In the top of the ninth Ivan Andueza, who had taken over for Mejias with one out in the bottom of the eighth, gave up a lead off single to Yen Jinwon. Korea than failed to advance the runner in scoring position as Choi Ji Hoon bunted into a force out at second.
Andueza faced only two more hitters and picked the win.

Nivaldo Rodriguez, a Houston Astros prospect, strarted for Venezuela