U-18 Baseball World Cup Returns to U.S. Soil

Todays News

Photo courtesy of AnnaMariaIsland.com.

Here on Florida’s Gulf Coast, a unique type of baseball exists. It may not have the flash or glamor of the Major Leagues, but it doesn’t need it. For in the coming weeks, within the walls of the minor league stadiums that dot the coastline the sport will be played in perhaps its purest, most unadulterated form: at the amatuer level.

Starting on Friday, September 9th and continuing through Sunday, September 18th, USA Baseball will host the U-18 Baseball World Cup, an elite international tournament that has historically featured some of Major League Baseball’s brightest stars including Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Francisco Lindor, and Buster Posey to name a few. The 2021 U-18 Baseball World Cup (so named after last year’s cancellation of the tournament) returns to the United States for the first time since 1955 and will see teams from twelve competing international federations, including the United States, compete for a world championship.

Games will be played at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota (the Baltimore Orioles Spring Training facility) and Bradenton’s LECOM Park (the Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training facility). The tournament will kick off Friday at 11am at both stadiums, with Team USA opening their tournament at 7pm against the Netherlands in LECOM Park. The round-robin tournament will split the twelve different teams into Groups A and B and the top three of each group will advance to the super round from which the top two teams will compete for the championship.

Notable storylines include Team USA’s motivation to reclaim the U-18 Baseball World Cup Title on home soil - before falling to Chinese Taipei in finals of the latest tournament in 2019, the United States had won the previous four U-18 World Cups. A victory would culminate Team USA’s recent hot streak, as they’ve already won the U-12 and U-15 Baseball World Cups this summer. Look for the U-18 team to lean on Tampa Bay area shortstop Aidan Miller, a senior out of J.W. Mitchell High School in Trinity. Miller, a University of Arkansas commit, was named the MVP of the High-School All-American game this July and is widely regarded as a potential top 10 pick in next June’s 2023 MLB Amatuer Draft.

Games are held at 11:00 a.m 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., Tickets include access to all three games, $10 Adult $5 Children.

Photo courtesy of AnnaMariaIsland.com.

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