Guam capped a solid fortnight of baseball competition by qualifying for the Under-15 World Cup after an impressive comeback in the Ocean Championship. Only Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and New Zealand entered the competition, held immediately after the senior national teams of Guam and CNMI contested the Micronesian Baseball Classic [link], also in Hagåtña, Guam. The championship of Guam’s younger team also meant the U.S. territory will receive rankings points for the second consecutive year.
Despite an opening day loss to the eventual champions, New Zealand finished round robin play in first place, forcing Guam to play an extra game. That playoff against CNMI served as an excellent tuneup for the hosts, who then smashed the higher-ranked Diamondblacks 12-0 in six innings to claim the title.
The tournament was a boon to all four territories, none of whom receive regular competition. CNMI, in particular, is hardly ever seen outside of Micronesian-only contests. The event also marked only the second time an Oceania tournament has actually been held since 2017, with the Under-23 Championship, also scheduled for this month, cancelled as most events are. Accordingly to official WBSC methodology [link], Guam took home a whopping nine points—potentially enough to move from 52nd to No. 50 in the WBSC poll—and New Zealand claimed 4.95 markers, with CNMI’s .95 of a point re-entering the U.S. territory in the global rating list.
New Zealand 4-14 Guam (5 innings)
New Zealand 18-1 CNMI (5 innings)
Guam 9-5 CNMI
CNMI 9-20 New Zealand (5 innings)
Guam 3-4 New Zealand
CNMI 1-11 Guam (5 innings)
New Zealand 8-7 Guam
New Zealand 6-7 CNMI
Guam 9-1 CNMI
Page Playoff: Guam 4-1 CNMI (3rd)
Championship Game: Guam 12-0 New Zealand (6 innings)
Final Standings W-L RF RA
1st- Guam* 6-2 69 24
2nd- New Zealand 4-3 60 53
3rd- CNMI 1-6 25 77
*Qualifies for 2020 U15 Baseball World Cup