USA takes 12U Baseball World Cup with 8-1 victory over Chinese Taipei
Team US defeats defending champion Chinese Taipei in front of a packed stadium of sellout crowd of 10,000 fans

TAIPEI CITY —The United States have won the II 12U Baseball World Cup. They defeated host and defending champion Chinese Taipei 8-1 on Sunday afternoon in front of a 10,000+ sold-out crowd at Tianmu Stadion in Taipei City.

The 14-nation 12U (12 and under) Baseball World Cup, sanctioned by the international baseball governing body, is the only national team world championship across all sports in this youth category.

Seven runs in the bottom of the second and a strong outing by starting pitcher Justin Campbell helped the Team US 12U National Team claim the title in their first ever international competition appearance.

The Gold Medal Game was decided in the bottom of the second inning. Joseph Naranjo set the tone with a solo home run over the fence in left field. Six runs followed, three alone on an error by center fielder Ching-Chieh Chen after Anthony Volpe’s single. Jakob Hines capped the rally with a double to right field.

Chinese Taipei didn’t score until the top of the fourth. Po-Chun Chen doubled and scored thanks to a single by Ching-Chieh Chen. But Hines answered with a solo home run over the center field fence, keeping the seven-run cushion.

Campbell didn’t need that much. He allowed just six hits, a run and a walk in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out four for the win. After reaching his pitch limit, Matthew Allan came in and got the last out of the game with a pop-out to first baseman Naranjo. Team USA finished the tournament, giving up just six runs in ten games, three of them in their lone loss to Venezuela in the preliminary round.

Chinese Taipei was able to put a few men on base, but wasn’t able to threat the US pitching seriously. Po-Chun Chen had two of the six hits. Chih-Heng Chiu got charged with the loss, surrendering seven hits and seven runs (5 ER) in just 1 1/3 innings. Ding-Hong Guo and Sheng-Hong Wu afterwards kept the American bats in check, but it was not enough to initiate a comeback.

Earlier on the day, Japan defeated Venezuela 8-2 in the Bronze Medal Game, Panama edged out Korea in the Game for 5th Place and Mexico shut out Brazil in the Game for 7th Place.

The staging of the 12U BWC comes ahead of the September 8th vote by the International Olympic Committee in September on whether to include baseball and softball in 2020 Olympic Games.

The 12U BWC is part of the World Baseball Softball Confederation's global development strategy to spread basebal-softball across the globe and attract future generations of boys and girls.

Already, baseball and softball are played in more than 140 countries and comprise one of the largest youth bases of athletes in the sporting world.

More than 65 million athletes of all ages play baseball and/or softball at various levels.

Over 150 million fans worldwide attended baseball games in 2012, making it one of the most popular and entertaining sports in the world, and the biggest not under the Olympic umbrella.

An international construction boom has taken off in baseball/softball, with new facilities built or planned in Africa, Europe, Central and South America, and South Asia.

WBSC leaders stress that with Europe’s significant advancements over the last few years and the current growth trends in China, Africa, India, Pakistan, South America, baseball and softball would deliver a sport that is in a "golden era" to the 2020 Olympics, spreading Olympic values and excellence to future generations of young people around the world to advance the Olympic Movement.

If included in the 2020 Olympics and eventual Youth Olympic Games, baseball/softball would be unlike any other sport on the Olympic Programme, bringing new and unique sporting skills and qualities to Olympic fans and viewers as the only bat and ball sport at the Games, helping to balance and diversify the Olympic programme and Olympic Games experience, as well as tapping into one of the largest pools of young boy and girls followers in the world.

Final Standings

1) USA
2) Chinese Taipei
3) Japan
4) Venezuela
5) Panama
6) Korea
7) Mexico
8) Brazil
9) Italy
9) Russia
11) Czech Republic
11) Hong Kong
13) Pakistan
13) Philippines

All Star Team

Starting Pitcher: Justin Campbell (USA)
Relief Pitcher: Kevin Martin (USA)
Catcher: Gabriel Briones (USA)
First Baseman: Po-Chun Chen (TPE)
Second Baseman: Anthony Volpe (USA)
Third Baseman: Kevin Garcia (MEX)
Shortstop: Chin-Chun Chen (TPE)
Outfielder: Jakob Hines (USA)
Outfielder: Jose Aguilar (VEN)
Outfielder: Chih-Heng Chiu (TPE)

(From IBAF Website)