May 31, 2017
By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA- Canada will open the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup on September 1 against Chinese Taipei at Port Arthur Stadium in Thunder Bay, Ont., after the World Baseball Softball Confederation announced today the game schedule for the event that will take place from September 1 to 10.
A record nine top 10 countries have qualified into the 12-nation, premier youth baseball tournament, which will feature the best 16- to 18-year-old baseball players from around the world.
Canada, ranked No. 10 in the world, will participate in Group A in the Opening Round along with No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 8 Australia, No. 12 Italy, No. 3 Korea and No. 15 Nicaragua, while Group B will feature three-time defending champion No. 2 USA who will be joined by No. 5 Cuba, No. 1 Japan, No. 6 Mexico, No. 9 Netherlands and No. 29 South Africa.
Canada will take on Nicaragua (September 2), Korea (September 3), Italy (September 4) and Australia (September 5) in Opening Round action with the top three seeds in each group advancing to the Super Round.
Teams advancing to the Super Round will carry their Opening Round records with them (only against teams that are also advancing) to the Super Round and play against the top three seeds from the opposite group from September 7 to 9. On September 10, the top two seeds following Super Round play will meet for gold while the third and fourth seeds will play for bronze.
Team Canada is receiving automatic entry into the event by virtue of being the host nation while all other participating nations qualified through various regional events.
In 27 all-time U-18 Baseball World Cup events, Canada has won six medals including one gold (1991), one silver (2012) and four bronze (’83, ’87, ’97, 06).
Prior to the World Cup, Team Canada will hold a selection camp in Ajax, Ont. from August 18 to 28 where 20 players will be chosen to represent their country in Thunder Bay.