The Asian group went as expected with the two favorites Korea and Japan advancing easily into the second round.
In Toronto, the US advanced though they squeaked out a tough 6-5 win against Canada in the first game. The Italians then stunned Canada to eliminate them and are now playing Venezuela in an elimination game (0-0 in the 4th).
In Mexico, the Cubans won their first game South Africa easily clubbing 6 HRs. Australia rallied to shock heavily favored Mexico 17-7 and will play the Cubans tonight the winner to advance. Mexico destroyed South Africa in their second game and will play the loser of tonight's game (that will be Australia).
In Puerto Rico, the Netherlands team is the biggest surprise of the tourney so far; they upset the mighty Dominican Republic 3-2 and led Puerto Rico 1-0 before giving up 3 runs in the 8th and falling 3-1. Puerto Rico, which wiped out Panama thus advances. The DR also hammered the hapless Panama team (which got outscored 16-0 in their two games) and thus earned a rematch with the Dutch later tonight. Of course, the DR remains a heavy favorite but the Dutch have been certainly been pitching tough and playing good D. Elimination of the Dominicans in the first round, who are loaded with big name MLB players, would still be a shock though.
In sum, it's been pretty interesting with quite a few surprises. So far though all the advancing teams were expected.
(as I was typing, Venezuela has scored 3 runs in the 4th and is still batting).