(GAME DATE — July 21, 2020) — Now things get hard.
The round-robin portion of the Summer College Tournament has ended and the tournament now moves into its playoff elimination phase. With the added challenge comes brighter prospects for the surviving teams to capture the 2020 crown.
Four teams advance to the playoff round, after having achieved success over the course of the last 14 games. Australia, Canada, South Korea and the United States are our four contenders for the gold, silver and bronze medals.
South Korea is returning after missing the 2019 edition. They had tied Japan Samurai with a 7-7 record last season, but were bumped out of the elimination round because Japan had a better run differential. Canada is also returning after missing out in 2019.
Australia makes their 4th consecutive appearance, and finished with a gold last season. The United States is making a second straight appearance after finishing with a silver medal in 2019.
The 2018 gold medal winner, Dominican Republic, who finished 1st place after the 2019 round-robin but crashed out to a 4th place showing in the playoffs, did not qualify this time around, nor did Japan who earned a bronze in 2019.
The top hitter at this year’s tournament round-robin phase was Japan Samurai’s Nagateru Omori, who batted .440. He regularly plays for Daegu College Renegades in the Pacific Rim College League, and was selected to the all-star game in 2019, his freshman year. He ended his 2019 campaign early with a torn labrum, after the third baseman had completed 44 games with a ,310 average, and 21 runs scored. His 2020 campaign went the distance, and while his average dropped to .278, he produced 37 RBIs and 8 home runs in 53 games.
Australia’s Otto Hahn led the tourney in home runs with 5. The former third baseman for the Newcastle Nuclears, one of the teams in the now-defunct Bull Oceanic League, had a promising career as a young up and comer in that Australian and New Zealander independent league. When it folded in 2017, he joined the Ontario College of Art and Design, when it had a team in the Can-Am College League. He has played in all four Summer College Tournaments since then, with a tournament average of .276, a total of 8 home runs and 46 RBIs, and 33 runs scored, after 54 total games.
Hahn now plays during the college year for CBSA College, in the Can-Am College League. He has yet to be drafted, and will be eligible to play just one more season with CBSA College.
The tournament began on July 6, and the playoff phase should end by July 31.