Six Teams Advance to Super Round – Unbeaten Japan and Australia, joined by NZL, ARG, CZE and GUA
Argentina, Australia, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Japan and New Zealand will battle For the Title of World Champion, WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup 2020 at Palmerston North, New Zealand.
The six teams represent half of the twelve teams that began play five days ago. The 2018 Finalists, Japan and Australia went unbeaten, with perfect 5-0 records, while New Zealand, suffered but one loss, to Japan.
The other three teams needed wins on their final day of play yesterday to advance through to the Super Round. #2 ranked Argentina stumbled out of the gate, losing to #17 upstart, Singapore, but finished pool play strong, with a 10-0 shellacking of Canada. The Czech Republic topped Singapore, 6-3, while Guatemala squeaked by Mexico, 4-3 for the final spot.
New Format for Super Round
Super Round play gets underway Thursday in New Zealand (Wednesday for those of us here in North America). In the new format, teams will start the round with a record based on their wins and losses against other Super Round teams. (For example, though Argentina was 3-2 in pool play, they lost only once against Super Round opponents (Australia), while the Czech Republic, another 3-2 will start the Super Round 0-2, since both of their losses came against Super Round foes. (Australia and Argentina). WBSC rule changes for 2020 saw the U19 division changed to U18, consistent with the age groupings for WBSC Baseball, and also changed over to baseball’s Super Round format.
Super Round Standings as of Today
Schedule of Super Round Games Today
Japan vs. Argentina; Guatemala vs. Australia and Czech Republic vs. New Zealand
Placement Round Games Also Get Underway Today
Placement Round games will also get underway today, for the six teams not advancing to the Super Round, with the same format applying to them. The final finish in the Placement Round will determine seeding for the next U18 World Cup
Canada and Mexico were both 2-0 against Placement round opponents. Canada defeated Singaport and South Africa, while Mexico beat the USA and Denmark.
Placement Round Standing (at Start)
Placement Round Games Today
USA vs. Canada; South Africa vs. Mexico; and Singapore vs. Denmark.