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Updated: March 9, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

New Zealand first finalist; 3 teams eliminated
AUCKLAND (New Zealand) - On Day 9 of the World Championship, host New Zealand became the first team to qualify for the all-deciding final on Sunday, while Japan and Canada were eliminated in the first two games today. In the final game today, Argentina also was eliminated and finished in fourth place.

On Sunday, Australia meets Venezuela in the bronze medal game to decide who will be the second finalist.

today's games:

Game 61: Japan vs. Australia

Reigning world champion Australia avoided elimination by winning 4-0 against Japan in the opening game today. Winning pitcher Andrew Kirkpatrick went the distance and threw a No-Hitter. Australia showed its intentions right from the beginning, scoring three runs in the first inning. Michael Tanner led off with a single and scored when Joel Southam followed with a triple. After a groundout, Zenon Winters was hit by a pitch. With two outs, an error was made on a grounder by Nick Shailes, which led to two runs and a 3-0 lead. In the first Japanese at bat, Hiraku Yokoyama walked, but then Kirkpatrick retired the next 15 batters in a row. In the sixth, Australia made it 4-0 when Jeff Goolagong hit an one-out homerun. Japan got a runner on base again in the home of the sixth when Kota Mera walked, but then a double play followed. Kirkpatrick then retired the side in the seventh to seal the win. With this, Japan was eliminated, while Australia had to face the winner of the Argentina vs. Canada match-up later today in their next elimination game.

Game 62: Argentina vs. Canada

Argentina won 2-1 to eliminate 2009 bronze medal-winner Canada. Argentina now will play against Australia later today. The first five innings of this game remained scoreless. Argentina then scored twice in the home of the sixth. With two outs, Nicolas Bittor walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Mariano Montero, while Sean Whitten took over the pitching for Paul Koert. But the first hitter he faced, German Sachs then homered on a 2-0 count. In the seventh inning, Brad Ezekiel homered for Canada with one out. But with a runner on first base and two outs, the Canadians ended up empty-handed, as a groundout ended the game.

Game 63: New Zealand vs. Venezuela

...15 K's...
New Zealand became the first finalist after winning 2-0 against Venezuela. Winning pitcher Jeremy Manley struckout 15 batters and gave up only four hits. The Kiwis opened the score in the second inning when Donny Hale led off with a single. The next batter then struckout, but at the same time Hale stole second base. This was followed by a throwing error by the catcher and an error by the centerfielder, enabling Hale to score. Ben Enoka then singled, but left base too early, while a groundout ended the at bat. The second run was also set up by Hale. With one out in the sixth inning, he singled and was replaced by pinch-runner Daniel Milne, who scored when Rhys Casley followed with a double. In the seventh inning, Manley struckout the side to end the game.

Game 64: Argentina vs. Australia

Australia played another tough game, needed extra innings, but won 2-1 in nine innings vs. Argentina to advance to the bronze medal game on Sunday. It will also be their third elimination game in a row. With the loss, Argentina ended in fourth place. Winning pitcher Adam Folkard went the distance, struckout 17 batters and threw a No-Hitter. In the first seven innings, there were only three baserunners in the entire game! For Australia, Zenon Winters hit a lead-off single in the second inning and that was it. For Argentina, Francisco Sabate walked with two outs in the second inning and also was the next runner when he walked with one out in the fifth. In the Australian eighth inning, James Todhunter was the pinch-runner on second base, who then advanced on a sac-bunt by Jeff Goolagong and scored on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the eighth, Santiago Carril was the pinch-runner at second base for Argentina. A sac-bunt by Francisco Sabate was then misplayed by pitcher Folkard, leading to the tying run and brought Sabate to third base. Folkard then struckout the next two batters and walked the next two intentionally to create a force play, but he ended with another strikeout. In the top of the ninth inning, Timothy Crome was the tie-break runner and, with one out, advanced on a sac-bunt by Mark Harris and scored the go-ahead run on a single by Michael Tanner to make it 2-1. In the bottom of the ninth, a sac-bunt brought the tie-break runner to third base, then Folkard followed with two strikeouts to end the game.

(March (9)

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