Archive for June, 2008

Team China win several exhibition games

June 29th, 2008

For New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) team at exhibition games with China Olympic Baseball Team, the result is not what they thought. Before excitement 917 fans who arrived at Rogers Park, Danbury Westerners lost by 6-19, and they are impressive by Team China.

Following the game, Westerner catcher Brad Pippa came away impressed with the offensive performance of Team China.

“They’re obviously a very good hitting team. They can jump on pitches if you make mistakes. They hit the ball hard all over the place.”

According to East Windup Chronicle:

Team China has been on an east coast tour, mostly playing teams from the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Yesterday the team beat the Danbury Westerners 19-6 and while the level of competition isn’t what it will face in the Olympics, everyone seems to think Jim LeFebvre’s squad is improving. The team pounded out 23 hits and five HRs in the game.

Later when they meet Holyoke Blue Sox, who lost 2-7 to Team USA before more than 3,600 fans on June 13, Team China won again.

It’s not often that Olympic level competition comes to Western Massachusetts.

But that was the case yesterday, as the Chinese national baseball team defeated the Holyoke Blue Sox 2-1 in an exhibition game at MacKenzie Field in Holyoke.

The Chinese took advantage of two early errors by Blue Sox left fielder Jonathan Ross to take a 2-0 first inning lead, with an RBI coming from Hou Fenglian and Wang Chao.

Lowell All-Americans lost too.

Lowell, MA- The Chinese National team visited Lowell Friday night to take on the All-Americans. It was all China in this one touching up starter Alex Szymanski (Franklin Pierce/Londonberry,NH) who allowed 4 runs off of 4 hits and a 2 run home run to begin the game. He would settle down not allowing another run until a solo shot off the bat of Zhang Yufeng making the score 5-0 in the fourth. China would not score again until a 2 run home run to right field in the 8th made it a 7-0 Chinese lead. China would tack on two more to make the final 9-0.

This was an exhibition game between the Chinese National team and the Lowell All-Americans, the Chinese team has been training in Arizona since April in preparation for this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing. The All-Americans were one of many stops this summer for the Chinese team as they played a full schedule of opponents in the NECBL.

Keene Swamp Bats can not win.

Chinese National Team Holds Off Swamp Bats, 9-7
2008 Beijing Summer Games hosts open 9-1 lead early, hold off late Keene charge

RINDGE, N.H. (June 25, 2008) – The National Baseball Team for the People’s Republic of China held off a late rally by the Keene Swamp Bats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) to post a 9-7 victory before 901 at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field on the campus of Franklin Pierce University tonight.

Centerfielder Sun Lingfeng (Beijing/Beijing Tigers), catcher Wang Wei (Beijing/AZL Mariners) and leftfielder Wang Chao (Tianjin/Tianjin Tigers) led a 16-hit attack for the Chinese National Team, which will represent the host country in the baseball tournament at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing with three hits each. Lingfeng was 3-for-5 with a home run, while Wei hit 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a run scored and three RBI. Chao finished 3-for-5 with an RBI. Shortstop Zhang Yufeng (Shanghai/Shanghai Eagles) batted 2-for-5 with a double, RBI and run scored, while designated hitter Hou Fenglian (Tianjin/Tianjin Lions) scored three runs and stole four bases in the contest.

Righthander Li Chenhao (Beijing/Beijing Tigers) picked up the win on the mound, allowing two earned runs on five hits with a strikeout and walk over four innings. Righthander Chen Kun (Sichuan/Sichuan Dragons) pinned down the save with a scoreless and hitless ninth, working around a two-out walk.

John Barr (Ivylans, Pa./Virginia) led Keene’s nine-hit attack, hitting 2-for-3 with two triples and four RBI. Shortstop Chris Tremblay (Cranberry Township, Pa./Kent State) batted 2-for-4 with a double and run scored, while first baseman Paul Karmas (Douglaston, N.Y./Saint John’s) chipped in by going 1-for-2 with an RBI.

Lefthander Tom Cote (Swanzey, N.H./Franklin Pierce) took the loss, surrendering seven runs, six earned, on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks over 2.2 innings.

China jumped ahead as its first batter of the night, Lingfeng, laced a lead off homerun down the rightfield line. Fenglian followed with a walk, stole second and third before scoring on a wild pitch. The Swamp Bats got one of those runs back in the home half of the first as Tremblay led off with a double down the rightfield line and scored on a single to left by Karmas.

China added a single run in the second with an RBI single by Sun Wei (Beijing/Beijing Tigers), before breaking the game open with a four-run third to chase Cote. Wang Wei and Yufeng each posted RBI doubles, before Li Lei (Beijing/Beijing Tigers) drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Chao notched an RBI single.

The teams traded single run innings through the middle frames, before Keene got back in the contest with a four-run seventh. A hit batter, walk and single loaded the bases for the Swamp Bats with one, before Barr cleared the bases with a triple down the rightfield line. Barr scored on a passed ball and Keene loaded the bases again, but stranded them all to end the rally.

Keene (9-6, 9-4 NECBL) is back in action tomorrow night when it hosts the Pittsfield (Mass.) Dukes in an NECBL interdivisional battle at Alumni Field in Keene at 7 p.m. The Chinese National Team is back in action on Friday, when it faces the Lowell (Mass.) All-Americans of the NECBL at 7 p.m.

Chinese National Team 9, Keene Swamp Bats 7

1-2-3 4-5-6 7-8-9 R-H-E
CHN 2-1-4 1-0-1 0-0-0 9-16-3
KNE 1-0-0 1-1-0 4-0-0 7-9-3

CHN: Li Chenhao, Chen Junyi (5), Zhu Dawei (7), Li Weiliang (7), Guo Youhua (8), Chen Kun (9) and Wang Wei, Yang Yang (5).
KNE: Tom Cote, Sean Tierney (3), Adam Kolarek (7), Sean McDermott (8), Matt Jebb (9) and Franco Valdes.

WP: Chenhao
LP: Cote
SV: Kun

HR: CHN – Lingfeng (solo in the 1st)

TOG: 3:05 ATT: 901

Torrington Twisters Strong but loss.

The Torrington Twisters played well, but did not have enough Saturday night against a tough Chinese Olympic team, losing 2-1 in an exhibition game at Fuessenich Park. Josh Zeid pitched well for Torrington, going eight innings. In those eight innings, Zeid gave up two runs on six hits, striking out seven while walking two. “Josh Zeid pitched a gem,” Twisters coach Gregg Hunt said.

Torrington got runners on base against five Chinese pitchers as they banged out five hits, reached base on two errors and drew four walks. The Twisters left 10 men on base, getting a run only on a fifth-inning sacrifice fly from first baseman Jaren Matthews. The run was unearned due to two errors by Team China in the inning. “We had guys on base,” Hunt said. “We had guys in scoring position all night, and we didn’t cash in.” Torrington had runners in scoring position in the first, second, third, fifth and sixth innings, but scored just the one run. “Fundamentally, (Team China is) very, very solid,” Hunt said.

Even when the Twisters hit the ball hard, a Chinese player was in position to make the play, something that is preached by the Chinese coaching staff. “You got to train smart,” coach Jim LeFebvre said. The players constantly communicate with one another, especially on any ball hit in the air. “We work a lot on that,” LeFebvre said. “Communication is very important. You’ve got to practice. Everything is important.”

With the talent level from the United States, Cuba, Japan, South Korea, Chinese Taipei and Canada expected to be high at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese will need to be on top of their game, LeFebvre said. “We’re just going to go out there and play hard and play the game right,” LeFebvre said.

Team China was able to get plenty out of its pitchers. Starter Wang Nan was solid in five innings, giving up the one unearned run on five hits. Nan struck out four and walked two. The star of the bullpen for China was Bu Tao. Tao started the eighth inning and proceeded to strike out all five batters he faced. “You got to work at your game,” LeFebvre said. “We do that everyday. The game is about defense. Pitching and defense.” Four Chinese relievers yielded just two walks and struck out seven batters in four innings of work. LeFebvre appreciated the experiences his team had in front of a big crowd at Fuessenich. “It’s the kind of game we need to play,” LeFebvre said of the one-run game. “We put a couple of guys in the game that we needed to get in the game.” Hunt also enjoyed the experience. “It’s fantastic,” Hunt said. “It’s a great honor to play them.”

Zeid called it an honor to pitch against the Chinese Olympic team and said that the hitters were tough, fouling off many pitches and refusing to strike out. China scored a run in the third on a two-out, run-scoring double by Feng Fei. Team China added one more in the fourth on a sacrifice fly to deep center field by Li Lei.

Newport Gulls did win.

Jared Prince, normally an outfielder, pitched two scoreless innings of relief to lead Newport to a 4-2 victory over the Chinese National team in an exhibition game Sunday.
The game was the last of six exhibition games the Chinese team played against New England Collegiate Baseball League competition. The team will serve as the host squad this summer at the Beijing Olympics.
In his two innings of work, Prince struck out three batters. Reliever Chase Reid struck out the side in the top of the ninth to preserve the victory and earn the save.
A two-run fourth inning keyed the win for Newport. Mike Melillo scored on a single by Mike Tamsin, and then Kyle Socorro brought in Kyle Conley with an RBI single. Melillo later drove in Kyle Rhoad ? who scored twice for Newport ? with a sacrifice fly.
China scored its first run in the top of the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Wang Chao that drove in Sun Lingfeng. Li Lei scored the team?s other run on a double-play grounder in the top of the seventh.

So maybe host China could have a chance to win one or two games at 2008 Olympics.

The Schedule of China vs NECBL is:
19 CHINA @ Danbury Westerners                 16-9
21 CHINA @ Torrington Twisters                 2-1
23 CHINA @ Holyoke Blue Sox (POSTPONED)
25 CHINA @ Keene Swamp Bats                    9-7
27 CHINA @ Lowell All-Americans                9-0
28 CHINA @ Holyoke Blue Sox 11:30am            2-1
29 CHINA @ Newport Gulls                       2-4

IBAF fight for Baseball to Return to Olympic 2016

June 27th, 2008

During press conference with Cuban Media, IBAF President Havery Schiller talk about Baseball return to Olympic in 2016.

Havery Schiller trust that baseball will return to the Olympic Games.You can’t deny that Havery Schiller, president of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) is an optimistic person in assuring on more than one occasion that baseball will return to Olympic Games in the summer of 2016, after being excluded in London 2012.

Schiller, from the US, answered questions from sportswriters in Havana for around 45 minutes at a press conference held at the Latinoamericano baseball stadium where he once again thanked the Cuban authorities for their unlimited support for Olympic baseball.

“I have held very important and interesting talks [here] about the organization of the upcoming Beijing Games and the strategy to follow in the coming months towards a common desire, to see baseball back on the Olympic program after 2012. This is my second visit to Cuba [the first was in 1991 during the Pan American Games] and I am leaving pleased with the trip. I hope to return very soon.”

Asked about how the IBAF is going to resolve one of the main problems facing today’s baseball, the excessive length of the games, Schiller responded: “We have discussed the need to speed up the games with the umpires, especially during the competition in Beijing. In addition, a change in the rules is being studied in games beyond nine innings. When the game enters the 10th inning, the first two players in the lineup would be placed on first and second base and each team starts with one out. It’s a proposal that we have made to the eight countries that will participate in Beijing and that’s a step forward.”

Regarding the participants in the Olympics, Schiller said the United States will take players on the 40-player rosters from the Major League teams, but not those on the 25-man roster, something that could be resolved in the future. The other teams, including Cuba and Japan, will compete with their best players.

Ricardo Frascari, IBAF vice president, noted that next year’s World Cup will include qualifying rounds in Holland and Italy. He said the eight top teams in round robin play will then play the sudden death games, often considered unfair, before the semifinals and finals.

Other issues brought up at the press conference were the IBAF web site (which has a new special page for the Olympic Games, ready for live play-by-play transmission of the games and a greater quantity of statistics), the Second World Baseball Classic, a recognition to Latin America with the designation of two of the qualifying round venues, Mexico and San Juan, and a new acknowledgement to Cuba for its efforts to help nations with less development in the sport.

Schiller detailed the work being done in preparation for the International Olympic Committee General Assembly in Copenhagen, Denmark in October 2009, in which seven sports will defend their hopes to be included in the Olympic program.

“We are working hard to be the first to reach all our friends around the world, asking them to take the message of a sport with more than a hundred years of tradition and with more than a hundred countries that play it. We are optimistic of a return in 2016,” said Schiller.

So let’s hope his effort will be enough for Baseball in Olympic 2016.

Team Japan names 39 final candidates

June 20th, 2008

According to Kyodo, Japan release their 39 final candidates of 2008 Beijing Olympic Baseball Team.

Japan manager Senichi Hoshino kept Uehara, who has pitched in major international events such as the Athens Olympics and the World Baseball Classic, on the roster although he has been sent to Yomiuri’s farm team and is recovering from leg problems after a rocky start to the season.

But Lotte Marines right-hander Hiroyuki Kobayashi, Rakuten Eagles left-hander Kohei Hasebe and Chunichi Dragons infielder Masahiko Morino were left out of the roster because of disappointing showings this season as Hoshino and coaching staff reduced the team’s roster to 39 from 81.

The three players were on the team that won the Asian Championship in Taiwan last December to earn an Olympic berth.

”We had a hard time picking 39 guys because so many players are injured. I hope the members will compete with each other without picking up injuries,” Hoshino said.

The team is scheduled to announce the final 24-man roster in mid-July.

Japan will face three-time gold medal winner Cuba in its opening game of the Beijing Olympic tournament. Japan is looking for its first Olympic gold medal since baseball became an official medal sport in 1992. The country has won a silver and two bronzes with one fourth-place finish.

Japan’s roster

Pitchers — Koji Uehara (Yomiuri Giants), Kenshin Kawakami, Hitoki Iwase, Kazuki Yoshimi (Chunichi Dragons), Minoru Iwata, Kyuji Fujikawa, Tomoyuki Kubota (Hanshin Tigers), Yu Darvish (Nippon Ham Fighters), Yoshihisa Naruse, Shunsuke Watanabe (Lotte Marines), Tsuyoshi Wada, Yuki Kume, Toshiya Sugiuchi (Softbank Hawks), Masahiro Tanaka, Hisashi Iwakuma (Rakuten Eagles), Hideaki Wakui (Seibu Lions)

Catchers — Shinnosuke Abe (Yomiuri Giants), Akihiro Yano (Hanshin Tigers), Ryoji Aikawa (Yokohama BayStars), Yoshiyuki Ishihara (Hiroshima Carp), Tomoya Satozaki (Lotte Marines), Toru Hosokawa (Seibu Lions)

Infielders — Michihiro Ogasawara (Yomiuri Giants), Masahiro Araki, Hirokazu Ibata (Chunichi Dragons), Takahiro Arai (Hanshin Tigers), Shuichi Murata (Yokohama BayStars), Shinya Miyamoto (Yakult Swallows), Tsuyoshi Nishioka (Lotte Marines), Munenori Kawasaki (Softbank Hawks), Hiroyuki Nakajima, Yasuyuki Kataoka (Seibu Lions)

Outfielders — Yoshinobu Takahashi (Yomiuri Giants), Kazuhiro Wada (Chunichi Dragons), Norihiro Akahoshi (Hanshin Tigers), Norichika Aoki (Yakult Swallows), Atsunori Inaba (Nippon Ham Fighters), Saburo Omura (Lotte Marines), Takahiko G.G. Sato (Seibu Lions)

Can’t wait for the final 24.

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