Venezuela upsets Cuba to win I IBAF 15U Baseball World Championship
Venezuela blows out heavy favorite in Gold Medal Game in Chihuahua

Chihuahua (Mexico). Venezuela upset Cuba in the Gold Medal Game of the inaugural IBAF 15U Baseball World Championship in Chihuahua, Cuauhtémoc and Parral, Mexico. The South Americans handed the heavy favorite its first loss in the tournament with a 10-2 blowout on Sunday evening at Chihuahua Stadium. Cuba had won all games prior to the final, including an 11-5 victory over Venezuela in the second round.

Venezuela stunned the favorite right in the first, scoring three runs thanks to the first two of five Cuban errors overall. The Caribbean team countered in the bottom half of the frame, but couldn’t do much afterwards. Venezuela on the other hand slowly extended their lead with runs in the second and fifth before blowing the score wide open with four runs in the sixth.

Cuba got back on the board in the seventh inning, bringing their second run on the board on an error. They could have scored more, but Alexander Guerra grounded into a 1-5-3 double play to erase two base runners, who had reached with no outs. Venezuela regained their eight-run lead in the eighth thanks to an insurance run.

Jose Herrera led Venezuela at the plate. He went 3-for-6 with three runs scored and three RBI. Angel Manzanarez and Luis Perdomo collected three hits apiece as well, as part of a 13-hit attack against the heavy favorite. Nestor Tejada scored twice. Alejandro Rivero drove in both runs for Cuba.

On the mound tournament MVP Ricardo Sanchez gave up six hits and six walks in seven innings, but only allowed two runs still, one of them unearned. He struck out six for the win. Carlos Suniago closed it out, retiring all six batters he faced. Opposing starting pitcher Johan Oviedo didn’t make it out of the first inning, getting replaced after two outs, three hits, three unearned runs and a walk. Cuba used five more hurlers, but only Orlando Martinez was able to keep Venezuela scoreless.

Earlier in the day Chinese Taipei had won the bronze medal, defeating Mexico 6-1 and Brazil finished in fifth place after a 9-7 win over Nicaragua. The classification rounds for ranks 7th to 15th were already concluded on Friday respective Saturday.

Final Standings

1) Venezuela
2) Cuba
3) Chinese Taipei
4) Mexico
5) Brazil
6) Nicaragua
7) Honduras
8) Argentina
9) Aruba
10) Italy
11) Germany
12) Hong Kong
13) Ukraine
14) Lithuania
15) Indonesia

Individual Awards

Leading Hitter: Conrado Dí­az (MEX)
Pitcher Best ERA: Dannel Dí­az (CUB)
Pitcher Best Win-Loss Record: Kevin Reyes (HON)
Most Runs Batted In: Sergio Cestarelli (ITA)
Most Home Runs: Greifer Andrade (VEN)
Most Stolen Bases: Lucas Sakay (BRA)
Most Runs Scored: Lucas Sakay (BRA)
Outstanding Defensive Player: Yu Tang Ming (TPE)
Most Valuable Player: Ricardo Sanchez (VEN)

All Star Team

Starting Pitcher: Dannel Diaz (CUB)
Relief Pitcher: Jose Garcia (HON)
Catcher: Jose Herrera (VEN)
First Baseman: Yordan Alvarez (CUB)
Second Baseman: Hector Chapa (MEX)
Third Baseman: Hector Guerrero (MEX)
Shortstop: Rangel Ramos (CUB)
Outfielder: Nestor Tejada (VEN)
Outfielder: Conrado Diaz (MEX)
Outfielder: Camil Quintero (CUB)

(From IBAF Website)