Yesterday, the sixth annual Hong Kong International Baseball Open concluded, and the host nation brought home the first national pool title of the HKIBO. As explained in our preview (link), the first five editions saw Hong Kong’s National Team and Under-18 National Team compete against clubs from across East Asia. This year, however, the tournament featured a national team bracket. Originally scheduled to include four teams, Singapore, Russia (a Vladivostok club with Under-18 NT players), and Hong Kong battled it out after visa issues forced Nepal to drop out.
The bracket was designed as a round robin, with each team playing each other once. Without Nepal, this meant a three-game field. On Thursday, Hong Kong beat Singapore 10-3. Sing Li Wing earned the win, while Jordan Wen Tsz Yin earned the save. Wong Riota took the loss. The victors had 12 hits to Singapore’s six, while Hong Kong had one fewer error (3-2).
A day later, Singapore beat Russia 20-3 in six innings on the combination of 14 hits and eight Russian errors. Wong Riota (1-1) earned the victory this time, while Sergey Varnikov took the loss. Varnikov’s offence compiled seven safeties.
Hong Kong finished 2-0 on Saturday with a 15-0 drubbing of Russia that ended after the minimum five innings. Chung Leung Yu earned the victory, while Denis Khomich had the defeat. The home side pounded out 16 hits against Russia’s five.
Hong Kong matched up again with Singapore to determine the champion and romped to a 16-1 triumph in five frames. Sam Leung Ka Ho took home the win and Jeremy Yeo Shi Feng was the loser. Hong Kong rode 12 hits and three Singapore errors to the title, allowing only three safeties of its own.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s U18 side finished fourth at 1-3, defeating Lanzhou New Way (China) 17-2 in five innings on day one and losing to champion Ateneo University Blue Eagles (Philippines) 9-6, Sydney University 11-7, and Lanzhou 4-3 in the bronze medal match.