The Pacific Rim College League World Series is now underway, and the Manila U Aztecs have pulled even in the series with the Japan-Korea Conference’s Pyongyang Stellar U Continentals, after an 8-4 win on Sunday.
The two first-time conference champs will tangle again tomorrow in North Korea, with Manila’s hot start Jordan Guzman taking the mound against Pyongyang’s Ding Bing.
Despite taking a loss yesterday, Pyongyang has been hot lately. The Continentals ended the season on a 4 game win streak, including back-to-back wins against Japan Division leaders Sapporo College, who they went on to face in the Conference Championship Series.
After taking out Sapporo, Pyongyang opened the World Series with a 10-1 win over Manila that included a string of doubles and a home run from catcher Manuel Garcia. Garcia then homered again in yesterday’s loss.
Last year, Pyongyang finished in 3rd place, just 2 games above .500, missing the playoffs. This year, leading the JKC in home runs and OPS, the team from North Korea has established themselves as a dominant force.
The team, which represents a diplomatic sports college in the Hermit Kingdom’s capital, has just three representatives from its home country, including pitcher Ding Bing. However, the top players on the roster are thought to be Wei-qiang Koo, a 19-year-old center-fielder from China, who hit .389 this season, and Japan’s Eizan Nishida, a 20-year-old third baseman who led the club in doubles this season with 19.
The other PRCL World Series team, Manila, finished with a 33-22 (.600) record over the season, and were noted for being the top defensive team in their Conference, and for translating their batting power into 51 home runs on the season, placing them 2nd among the Australasian-Oceanic Conference.