23/09/2021 - 02/10/2021

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III U-23 Baseball World Cup 2020 - Official Payoff

Mexico, Venezuela to meet in Final for U-23 Baseball World Title

Mexico, Venezuela to meet in Final for U-23 Baseball World Title
02/10/2021
Mexico won a dramatic elimination game against Colombia to finish the Super Round. Colombia and Cuba will play for bronze.

Thanks to Cuba, Venezuela earned a spot in the World Championship game in Friday. Cuba opened the third and final day of the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup Super Round with a dramatic walk-off win against Panama.

The defending champions Mexico had to earn the right to defend their World Title in the night game against Colombia.

Cuba-Panama 9-8 GAME REPORT BOX SCORE
Venezuela-Chinese Taipei 5-2 GAME REPORT BOX SCORE
Mexico-Colombia 3-2 GAME REPORT BOX SCORE

Cuba came back from a 5-0 deficit in the bottom of the fifth and scored in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings. Trailing 8-6 in the bottom of the eighth, Cuba scored three runs. Left fielder Yuddiel Gonzalez walked it off with the only hit of his morning.

"I always try to stay positive when I step to the box," said Gonzalez after the game. "I did the same this time. It's great that I got the hit that gave us this win."

The bottom of the eighth was a true drama. Two umpire calls went through the on-field review, including a safe return to third by Miguel Gonzalez, who would score the winning run.

"It was emotional, and I feel proud for the way this group of players is competing and the way we won this game. It was a tremendous effort," said manager Eriel Sanchez

Sanchez added: "This tournament has been an adventure, and we are still in the race for a medal. This was our goal from the beginning."

The manager announced that Naykel Sanchez would start the eventual bronze medal game.
"No matter who we face, we will play hard. You will see a very much alive and kicking Cuban team on the field."

Yuddiel Gonzalez echoed his manager: "Cuban players never give up. We are not beaten until the game is over. Now we celebrate for a little while and we start focusing on tomorrow. We want a bronze medal."

Venezuela finished third in the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup 2018. They will be competing for the U-23 World Title on Saturday, 2 October, in Hermosillo, Mexico.

"This is a team that played with grit and enthusiasm. They came together, as a real baseball team should do," commented manager Carlos Garcia after the game.

"Winning for Venezuela gives me sensations I cannot even describe," El Almirante added. "These are challenging times for our country, and the idea we can make our people happy and proud fills me with happiness."

At the moment of the interview, Venezuela didn't know which National Team they would meet in the final.

"Both Mexico and Colombia are powerful teams," concluded Garcia. "Those players represent their countries with pride. They both worked hard to get where they are now. I'm sure the fans will have fun watching the final."

Chinese Taipei will finish the U-23 World Cup in sixth place.

"The preparation for this tournament was not easy," said manager Shih-hsin Wu through an interpreter after the game. "You could tell from our hitting, that struggled early and improved later."

Wu is satisfied with the pitching.
"Definitely so. Our staff proved strong and competitive."

You chose to field a very young pitching staff with three high school pitchers.
"You don't pick a player for his age," said Wu on a final note. "These three kids are solid pitchers. You were impressed by Chun-wei Chiu last night if I'm not mistaken."

Which is the strongest team you faced in this tournament?
"I would say Mexico."

Mexico tied the game against Colombia thanks to a smart and gutsy move on the base paths and scored the go ahead run on a solo homer by Tirso Ornelas.

"We can't say we played the game we had planned," commented manager Enrique Reyes. "We actually made mistakes and we didn't hit up to our capability. Still, we gave all we had and I'm proud ot what I saw."

"Tomorrow, we will need to hit better," added El Che. "Venezuela is an excellent team. We lost against them playing five good innings and one bad inning."

Reyes concluded saying he has not picked his starter for tomorrow yet.

Francisco Vallejo relieved starter Juan Tellez and allowed just one hit over three innings of work, using his sinker/slider combination.
"We did an amazing job as a team. We wanted this win, we got it, and we are in the final, thank God. I'm super happy."

"We are motivated for tomorrow, fully charged. Hopefully, our fans can charge us even more."

Juan Robles got the final six outs.
"I feel so happy, so grateful that I cannot put it into words. Playing the final makes me feel emotional."

Robles added: "Colombia has good hitters. I attacked the zone and tried to make it quick at-bats."

Saturday, 2 October-the schedule (all times are local)

BRONZE MEDAL GAME
1 pm Cuba @ Colombia

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
7.30 pm Mexico @ Venezuela