Youth baseball team downs Cuba, advances to quarterfinalsLooking to win its third consecutive title, the Korean youth baseball team secured a spot in the quarterfinals of the 24th World Junior Baseball Championships with a 5-3 win over Cuba yesterday in Thunder Bay, Canada.
Having amassed a record of three wins and one loss in Group B, Korea has secured one of four spots given to Group A and B, which contain six teams each. With a win over the powerful Cuban team, Korea moves onto the knockout phase of the tourney regardless of the results of its final group game against Panama today. Korea also avoids having to face the United States and Taiwan - the top teams from Group A - in the quarterfinals.
The tourney, sponsored by the International Baseball Federation, features players under the age of 18, and competition is held every two years. Having won the inaugural tournament in 1981, Korea has gone on to win a total of five titles, including the last two tournaments in 2006 and 2008. Earlier this year, IBF officials announced that Korea will host the 25th World Junior Baseball Championships in 2011.