Japan Wins International Tournament

Vali Ebert &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Team Japan celebrates after winning its seventh straight World Tournament Baseball competition at the College of Alameda baseball field. The tournament included teams from all over the world including Italy, Australia and Korea. The tournament also included an Alameda team.

Japan Wins International Tournament


Team Japan won the 36th annual World Tournament Baseball event after a 2-1 victory over team Korea in the final Saturday, Aug. 12, at the College of Alameda. It was Japan’s seventh straight World Tournament Baseball championship.

The tournament brought together high school underclassmen from all over the world to compete in the exhibition. Eligible players had to be 15 years or younger by March 31. 

The event lasted all week beginning Sunday, Aug. 6, with an opening ceremony and culminating with the semifinal and final games Saturday. Teams were given a break on Wednesday, Aug. 9, to watch an Oakland A’s baseball game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. During the week the 10 teams (Alameda, Fresno Red, Fresno Blue, San Diego, Australia, Germany, Mexico Rojo, Korea, Italy and Japan) battled for a spot in the semifinal. 

Team Alameda had a solid showing in the preliminary round. On Monday Aug. 7, Alameda defeated Mexico Rojo 6-3. They defeated team Italy 4-2 on Tuesday, Aug. 8. They took down team Australia 7-3 on Thursday, Aug. 10. Alameda suffered its only loss of the preliminary round to team Fresno Blue in a 14-7 shootout on Friday, Aug. 11. Alameda qualified for the semifinal with a 3-1 preliminary-round record.

Alameda lost to eventual champion Japan 7-5 in the first semifinal matchup. Korea beat Fresno Blue 8-5 in the second game. Japan went a perfect 6-0 in the tournament. Japan won all of its games with relative ease. 

Japan defeated San Diego 7-1 in its first match of the tournament last Monday. Followed that with a 5-2 victory over Fresno Red lastTuesday. They defeated Germany 17-0 on Thursday. Then took down Korea 11-1 on Friday. Korea also went 3-1 in the preliminary round. They beat Germany 5-2 last Monday and then defeated Fresno Red 2-0 last Tuesday. Korea took down San Diego in a close 6-5 match on Thursday, before losing to Japan on Friday.

Team Alameda was coached by Jeff Croft. Many of the players are local Alamedans who attend Alameda, Encinal and St. Joseph Notre Dame high schools. Alameda won this tournament in 1986 as part of Team NorCal with Fresno players. Tournament games were played at College of Alameda, Lincoln Field and Stargell Field at Encinal High. Alameda last hosted this tournament in 2008.

The goal of the exhibition tournament is to promote International understanding and friendship among all the countries involved.

For more information on the tournament, visit alamedaworldbaseball.com.