1998 World Youth Championship
The 1998 World Youth Championship was held in Fairview Heights, IL. The host American team (managed by Mark McKenzie) won its first title (never having even finished second in the eight prior World Youth Championships). They topped Taiwan, 11-10, in the finale, with Venezuela placing third.
The USA outscored opponents 57-5 in Pool play. In the Gild Medal game, the US was down 10-5 before a grand slam by C Tony Richie cut the deficit to one. In the 7th, backup Landon Powell delivered the winning hit, a two-out single to score winning pitcher Ruben Salazar. Richie (.419, 2 HR, 11 RBI) was named MVP. Other US players included OF Brian Horwitz (.481, 10 R, 12 RBI), 1B Casey Kotchman (.370, 11 R), 2B Kevin Melillo (.429, 11 R), SS Michael Hollimon (.294, 13 R), P Carmen Pignatiello (2-0, 1.29), P Joe Torres (3.00 ERA), P Matt Harrington (1-0, 4.00, 19 K in 9 IP) and P Sean Burnett (1-0, 7.71).
Taiwan was also 5-0 in Pool play; Chih-Sheng Lin would go on to a good career. Venezuela and Mexico were 4-1 in the pool play, Australia 3-2. 2-3 teams were Japan, Brazil, South Korea and South Africa. Italy went 1-4 while the Czech Republic (10 R, 76 RA) and Ukraine (8 R, 5 1 RA) were both 0-5.
Source: 1999 Baseball Almanac
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