HAGATNA (Guam): World No. 11 Australia defeated unranked Guam, 18-0, in the final of the inaugural U-12 Oceania Baseball Championship to become the first-ever U-12 champion of Oceania and qualify for the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup® 2017 in Tainan, Taiwan.
Host nation Guam, unranked American Samoa and Australia — the top-ranked nation in Oceania battled in the double-elimination youth continental championship, which was staged Guerrero Field in the nation’s capital.
Facing elimination on Saturday, Australia overcame undefeated Guam in an exciting 10-9 extra-inning, walk-off win to force the winner-take-all Final rematch on Sunday. Earlier Saturday, Guam knocked out American Samoa, 18-6.
The youth National Team of Guam had previously surprised Australia with a 11-5 victory to open the U-12 Oceania Baseball Championship on Thursday (12 January). The host nation’s strong performance generated featured headlines across social and national media outlets.
“Congratulations to Australia for advancing to the U-12 Baseball World Cup,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari, who was in attendance in Hagatna. “I applaud the Baseball Confederation of Oceania on the staging of this new youth championship, which highlights our sport’s ongoing global development and popularity among young people.
“The enthusiasm, excitement and friendship among the young players competing in their first international sports event was remarkable, and the response from Guam’s community was great. This milestone result is built on the collective efforts among the national federations, youth baseball organisations as well as the professional leagues to place a priority on and invest in the development of the next generation of players and fans around the world.”
In other baseball activities in Guam over the weekend, players from Nippon Professional Baseball’s Yomiuri Giants, including Japan National Team star shortstop Hayato Sakamoto, visited Okkodo High School in Dededo to give a free training session for the island’s young ballplayers.
In the 2017 Official WBSC Baseball World Rankings, Australia will advance to within 45 points of No. 10 Italy, while Guam and American Samoa are set to debut at No. 63 and No. 71, respectively.
WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup 2017
In previously contested continental qualifiers around the globe, Germany and the Czech Republic advanced out of Europe, while Mexico, United States, Nicaragua and Brazil earned the right to represent the Americas in the U-12 Baseball World Cup. From Asia, Japan, Korea and Chinese Taipei earned tickets to compete for For the Title of World Champion in the U-12 category (ages 11-12).
With 10 of the 12 nations qualified, two representatives, Africa (1) and a Wild Card (1) are still to be determined.
3. American Samoa
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