HYOGO, Japan – Gallaudet University's baseball head coach Curtis Pride returned triumphantly from a trip to Japan with a gold medal in hand as he guided Team USA to its first World Physically Challenged (WPC) Tournament championship. The team arrived in Japan on Oct. 29 to prepare for the two-day tournament on Nov. 1-2, 2014, where the team faced Japan, Korea, Puerto Rico and Taiwan.
The majority of the United States team was made up of wounded war veterans and college baseball players with physical challenges. Among others, Pride was accompanied by former Bison William Chapman and Mike Rose, a former SUNYIT Wildcat who hit two inside-the-park home runs.
"Will played well," said Pride. "He was one of the outstanding performers of the tournament. He did everything we asked him to do and he had a great time."
Each team played four games and the team with the best record won the tournament. This year there was a three-way tie for first as Team USA faced Japan in the final game and they needed to beat Japan by four runs or more to win it all. Team USA shutout Japan, 5-0, in Japan's first loss in three tournaments.
A few players from Team USA were mentioned as Outstanding Performers in the tournament including Chapman, Rose and pitcher Matt Kinsey who was awarded tournament MVP for his two one-hit shutout games, with nine strikeouts in each game.
"Overall it was a great experience. I am happy we won," Pride said. "Japan was a great host for us and we had a blast."