2018 World University Championship
The 2018 World University Championship was the sixth World University Championship and first in eight years. It was held in Chiayi, Taiwan. Japan won its first title as Asian teams claimed the top three spots. The 4th-place US had sent the University of Kansas instead of a typical national team.
- USA 16, Hong Kong 1. The US cruises as expected. Ryan Zeferjahn, Daniel Hegarty (W) and Nathan Barry combine on a two-hit, no-walk mercy rule six-inning shutout. Hegarty gives up both hits, to CF Ho-Lam Andy Lo and 1B/P Chun-Yiu Ryan Cheung. US batters draw 18 walks, 3 from leadoff man CF Rudy Karre. Karre and 2B James Consentino each score 3 while 3B/SS Skyler Messinger and SS Benjamin Sems (2 SF) each drive in 3. Chun-Pang Yuen takes the loss with 12 walks and 11 runs in two innings.
- Japan 15, Russia 0. Hiromu Ise, Yuki Tanaka and Hiromasa Kobayashi combine on a six-inning mercy rule perfect game while RF Tatsuya Ochi goes 3 for 3 with 3 RBI. Danill Peredelskii takes the loss.
- South Korea 10, Czech Republic 9. In the only close match of the day, the Czechs put up a surprising challenge before falling in ten innings. Cleanup hitters CF Marek Chlup (3 for 5, 3 R) and LF Jong-eun Choi each drive in 3; Chlup falls a triple shy of the cycle. Jun-su Kim gets the win with six innings out of the bullpen, while Filip Čapka takes the loss. Czech pitchers nearly survive issuing 12 walks.
- Czech Republic 22, Australia 6. 3B Martin Červinka (5 H, 4 R) and LF Matěj Lázníček (4 H, 6 RBI) lead a massive Czech attack to make a winner of Jiří Vavruša. 3B/P Karl Hoschke had 3 runs and 3 RBI for Australia, while Scott Cronan took the loss despite being much better (6 R in 5 2/3 IP) than the Aussie bullpen (16 R in 3 1/3 IP).
- Taiwan 12, South Korea 2. The hosts start off strong as C Yu-Chieh Kao has 3 runs and 2 RBI to back Hsuan-Ta Liu (1 R in 6 IP). Jun-young Choi took the defeat.
- Russia 19, Hong Kong 11. After no hits or walks in their opener, Russia's offense explodes. LF Denis Leonov drives in five, while 2B Frank Bulte had 4 runs and 3 walks. Viacheslav Shmelev got the win with solid relief (2 R, 1 ER in 4 IP). SS Yik-Shun Yiu drove in three for Hong Kong. Ching Connor Kwok gives up 11 runs in 3 innings, but only 4 are earned.
- South Korea 20, Australia 5. Australia's staff is again hammered. 3B Tae-woo Kim and LF Jun-ho Park each drive in four, while Jeong-O Lee goes the distance for the win. 1B Scott Hillier drives in 3 in a losing cause. Carter Bell (11 R in 1 1/3 IP) takes the loss.
- Japan 5, USA 1. Koichi Takada (1 R in 5 IP) and Shumpei Isomura (0 R in 2 IP) shut down the US in the first match of top teams, which was rained out in the top of the 8th. SS Yuta Soma has 3 hits and CF/LF Daiki Kawai 3 walks. Nolan Metcalf homers for the lone US run. Steven Washilewski allows 5 hits and 3 runs in 1 2/3 IP for the loss.
- Taiwan 11, Czech Republic 0. C Yu-Chieh Kao stars again, with 4 hits, 2 runs and 3 RBI. Shuo-Cheng Wei (1 H, 2 BB, 10 K in 7 IP) and Hsin-Chieh Lin stifle the Czezh offense that scored 31 runs their first two games. Filip Čapka takes the loss. The only Czech hits are from 3B Martin Červinka and RF Matěj Lázníček.
- Japan 21, Hong Kong 1. CF Tatsuru Yanagimachi scores 3 and drives in 4 as Japan needs only 4 1/2 innings for a mercy rule romp. Yuya Ishii gets the win in relief. Hong Kong's lone run comes when DH Chun-Yiu Ruan Cheung drives in CF Ho-Lam Andy Lo. Wing-Tung Mok follows Hong Kong's game 1 issues of way too many walks (8 BB, 2 H, 11 R, 6 ER in 2 IP).
- USA 12, Russia 2. Russia surprisingly goes up 2-0 in the 1st as CF Andrei Stepanov hits a two-run single off Elijah Davis. Blake Goldsberry gets the win over Danill Peredelskii. 1B Jaxx Groshans goes 4 for 4, RF Blaine Ray scores three and C Brooks Asher drives in three.
- Taiwan 10, Australia 0. Australia finally holds an opponent under 20 runs but their offense fails to show. 1B Shih-Tsang Wang goes 3 for 3 and CF Hsiang-Lin Chu has 2 runs, 2 RBI and a homer. Yi-Chung Liao, Hao-Chun Cheng and Chih-Yuan Lai combine on a two-hitter, with RF Scott Hilier and 1B Ryan Woodrow getting the lone hits and Thomas Rees the loss.
- Japan 15, South Korea 0. Hiromu Ise throws a three-hit, no-walk, 8-K six-inning mercy rule shutout. LF Daiki Kawai and 2B Yuuki Yoshida each drive in three while C Yuya Gunji scores three. SS Gun-woo Kim, 3B Tae-woo Kim and 1B Jeong-ho Kwon have the three hits, while Dong-hyeon Kim takes the loss.
- Taiwan 8, USA 7. In the most dramatic game yet, the teams are tied at 3 after 9. Each scores twice in the 10th and 11th. In the bottom of the 12th, Ryan Cyr hits 2B Kai-Wei Li with the bases loaded to score backup SS Wen-Hsien Chang with the winner. Chun-Chang Su gets the victory. Each center fielder gets three hits - Wei-Han Hong for Taiwan, Rudy Karre for the US.
- Russia 16, Australia 1. Australia's terrible tournament continues in a blowout five-inning mercy rule loss. 3B Iliya Vorobyev drives in four, CF Konstantin Porkhun is 4 for 4 with 2 runs and 3 RBI and 2B Frank Bulte has 3 walks and 3 runs. Denis Ladoshkin gets the win (4 H, 1 BB in 5), Jay Myers the loss. SS Scott Cronan drives in 1B Thomas Rees with Australia's only run.
- Czech Republic 13, Russia 3. 3B Martin Červinka keeps on rolling, with 3 hits and 3 RBI, and Jiří Vavruša improves to 2-0, while Danill Peredelskii falls to 0-3. DH Denis Leonov raps three hits for Russia.
- Hong Kong 6, Australia 2. Australia remained winless in a game cut short after five due to rain. Ching Connor Kwok got the win, while CF Ho-Lam Andy Lo was 2 for 2 wit three RBI. 3B Tyler Kennedy singled and tripled in his two at-bats for the Australians while Scott Cronan took the loss.
- Japan 2, Taiwan 0. In a pitching duel between the two unbeaten squads, the teams combine for only five hits. 2B Yuuki Yoshida has both Japanese hits and drives in one of their two runs. Hiromasa Kobayashi got the win and Yuki Tanaka the save. 2B Kai-Wei Li had two hits and 1B Kuan-Yu Shih one, while An-Ko Lin takes the hard-luck loss.
- Czech Republic 12, Hong Kong 2. 3B Martin Červinka again drives in three, while 1B/CF Filip Moštěk has two runs and two RBI. Lukáš Ercoli gets the win over Chun-Pang Yuen. Hong Kong's pitchers walk ten, a continued issue for them. SS Yik-Shun Yiu and 1B Chun-Yiu Ryan Cheung each have two hits while the rest of the team combines for one.
- USA 3, South Korea 2. South Korea looks in control of the Bronze Medal Game preview as Jeong-O Lee has allowed one hit in the first seven innings while fanning 12. Down 2-1, US left fielder Matteo Zunica lays down a bunt hit. DH Blake Shinkle lays down a sacrifice attempt but an error by 1B Jeong-ho Kwon scores Zunica and puts Shinkle on third. Jin-su Kim relieved and allowed a sacrifice fly to CF Rudy Karre to give the US the lead. Gabriel Sotomayor relieved Daniel Hegarty (who got the win) in the 9th and got the save, allowing a one-out double to PH Jin-woo Park.
- 7th/8th place game: Australia 6, Hong Kong 3. Australia finally gets a win, to avoid last place, taking advantage of continued wildness by Hong Kong's pitchers (11 BB). Ching Connor Kwok shuts out the Aussies for 4 while Hong Kong takes a 3-0 lead but things fall apart in the 5th and 6th. Wing-Tung Mok takes the loss, while Thomas Rees gets the win and Ryan Woodrow the save. 3B Karl Hoschke has 2 runs and 2 RBI.
- 5th/6th place game: Czech Republic 6, Russia 1. Russia starts strong against former minor leaguer Jan Novak when LF Konstantin Porkhun singles in C Frank Bulte in the 1st but that would be their only run. Denis Leonov blanks the Czechs for four before fading. SS Vojtěch Menšík doubles, triples and drives in three.
- Bronze Medal Game: South Korea 7, USA 4. Jun-young Choi allows one run in 6 1/3 IP to beat Elijah Davis and the US. LF Hyeong-sun Yoo drives in three to give South Korea its second Bronze in the event's history.
- Gold Medal Game: Japan 8, Taiwan 3. Japan gets its first title in the World University Championship as Hiromu Ise (1 R, 8 K in 7 IP) stifles the home team's offense and RF Tatsuya Ochi goes 3 for 4 with 2 runs, 3 RBI and a homer. Shuo-Cheng Wei takes the loss.