Aberdeen, Md. – Playoff Friday is the first day of elimination play to determine the participants of the International Championship and U.S. Championship game at the Cal Ripken World Series.
The U.S. Championship game will begin Saturday, Aug. 18 as Maryland takes on Middle Atlantic at 5 p.m. The International Championship game will follow as Republic of Korea plays Japan at 7:30 p.m. Both games will take place at Cal Sr.’s Yard and both games will be broadcast LIVE on CBS Sports Network.
The International Championship, U.S. Championship and World Championship games for the 2012 tournament will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com on August 18 and 19. CBS Sports Network’s James Bates will be in the broadcast booth throughout the Live telecasts from Cal Sr.’s Yard in Aberdeen, Md. along with MLB Hall of Famer Cal Ripken on Saturday, August 18, and both Cal and Bill Ripken on Sunday, August 19.
Here is a recap of all the action on Playoff Friday:
Dominican Republic 3, Republic of Korea 7
Republic of Korea advanced to the International Championship game after taking home a 7-3 victory over the Dominican Republic in six innings at Cal Sr.’s Yard on Friday.
The Dominican Republic couldn’t get anything going as long as Hyeon Su Kim was on the mound. Kim held the Dominican Republic hitless over 1 2/3 innings, allowing no earned runs, walking none and striking out four.
Luis Almanzar racked up two RBIs on two hits for the Dominican Republic and homered in the fifth inning.
Korea stayed on top until the final out after taking the lead in the third inning, scoring three runs on two errors and an RBI single by Kim.
Korea added four more runs in the bottom of the fourth. A three-run home run by Gun Woo Lim ignited the offense, scoring Shihiro Hironaka and Kyu Yeol Bae. That was followed by Young Soo Yoon’s single, scoring Jun Young Ha.
Two runs in the top of the fifth helped Dominican Republic close its deficit to 7-3, but Kim got Nerio Rodriguez to strike out to end the game in the sixth inning.
Maryland 8, Southeast 3
Southeast (Jupiter, FL) lost despite Tyler Ward’s spectacular day from both the mound and the plate. Ward racked up two RBIs on two hits for Southeast. He homered in the second inning and singled in the third inning.
Ward was in control on the rubber and held Maryland hitless over 2 2/3 innings, allowing no earned runs, walking none and striking out three. In the top of the second inning, Maryland took an early, 3-0, lead. After Jake Heskett doubled, Maryland kept the pressure on Southeast pitching, as Walsh homered, scoring Heskett.
Brooks Bengston racked up three RBIs on two hits for Maryland, hitting a single in the third inning and hitting a homer in the fourth inning. John Paul Walsh got the win for Maryland, allowing only three runs and striking out five over six innings.
“It’s just incredible to win – not as a coach, but more for the players,” said Maryland Manager Jody Pearre. “It’s an amazing opportunity for them to be able to do something once in a lifetime. Not many people ever get to play baseball on national television, so the kids are going to be super excited. I think we’ve worked them hard. We’ve played a lot of the better teams up and down the East Coast to prepare ourselves for this type of event so the kids are relaxed and focused. Hopefully, we’ll get a curfew tonight and get them to bed so we can show up tomorrow and be ready to roll.”
Mexico 0, Japan 6
Three pitchers joined forces on Friday to throw a no-hitter for Japan in a 6-0 victory in six innings over Mexico at Cal Sr.’s Yard.
Hiroki Matsumoto, Takashi Nakayama, and Shoto Yamazaki rounded out their sterling stat line with 10 strikeouts and one walk.
Mexico had no answer for Nakayama, who held Mexico hitless over four innings, allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out six. Six runs in the opening three innings allowed Japan to easily put away Mexico. Japan was led by a flawless day at the dish with Yamamoto who went 2-2 against Mexico’s pitching.
Middle Atlantic 9, Pacific Southwest 8
The bats were busy at Cal Sr.’s Yard on Friday, and when the dust cleared Middle Atlantic (Bronx, NY) had a 9-8 win over Pacific Southwest (Mililani, HI).
The teams combined for 28 hits, including eight extra base hits.
Middle Atlantic starter Jimmy Abreu struggled, allowing eight runs in 5 2/3 innings, but the bullpen let up no runs and the offense banged out 15 to pick up the slack and secure the win for Middle Atlantic.
The game was back-and-forth heading into the ninth, with six lead changes. Middle Atlantic finally managed to grab the lead after a strong ninth inning.
A passed ball scored Jason Manuel Pineda to give Middle Atlantic the lead for good. Pineda got on base four times in the game for Middle Atlantic, scored three runs and had one RBI.
Jose Navarro recorded the win for Middle Atlantic, tossing two innings of shutout ball.
The Pacific Southwest attack began with a single from Mathew Inaba. Keene Tanaka singled, bringing home Shea Yamaguchi. The scoreboard lit up again for Pacific Southwest when Donahue scored on an RBI single by Ryne Oshiro.
“I feel excited and great,” said Peggy Guzman, Manager for the Middle Atlantic team from the Bronx. “Thank goodness we won. It took a long time to get the win, but we made it, so here we go to the semi-finals. In the next game, we are looking forward to more defense, and hopefully we make it to the World Championship.”