Favorites on Track in Pools A and B of World Baseball Classic

03/03/2013

Fukuoka/Taichung. Day two of the first round in Pool A and B at the 2013 World Baseball Classic is in the books. Pool A at the Yahoo! Dome in Fukuoka saw no surprise on Sunday, as Cuba entered the tournament with a win over Brazil and Japan downed China for its second victory. At Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, Chinese Taipei won the battle of undefeated teams in Pool B against the Netherlands to earn their second win.

Fukuoka/Taichung. Day two of the first round in Pool A and B at the 2013 World Baseball Classic is in the books. Pool A at the Yahoo! Dome in Fukuoka saw no surprise on Sunday, as Cuba entered the tournament with a win over Brazil and Japan downed China for its second victory. At Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, Chinese Taipei won the battle of undefeated teams in Pool B against the Netherlands to earn their second win.

Brazil 2 – Cuba 5

Cuba entered the 2013 World Baseball Classic with a 5-2 win over Brazil in the first game in Fukuoka on Sunday. Shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena led the way, scoring in the fifth and driving in two in the sixth. Ismel Jimenez and Raciel Iglesias kept Brazil’s bats in check with dominating pitching. Brazil again impressed, but looks at two losses in as many games, trying to avoid last place in Pool A.

Japan 5 – China 2

Two-time World Baseball Classic winner Japan captured its second win in the tournament with a 5-2 victory over China in an All-Asian duel in the second game in Fukuoka on Sunday. Kenta Maeda and three relievers allowed just two base runners through eight innings to give Japan the decisive edge. Yoshio Itoi scored and plated three with a bases clearing double. China didn’t score until the ninth.

Chinese Taipei 8 – Netherlands 3

In a clash of undefeated teams in Taichung on Sunday afternoon, Chinese Taipei overcame a 0-3 deficit against the Netherlands to improve to 2-0 in first-round play. Four runs in the fourth gave the host of Pool B the lead, a two-run home run by Dai-Kang Yang in the sixth sealed the win. Dashenko Ricardo had two RBI for the Dutch team. Wei-Lun Pan pitched 4 2/3 innings of one-hit, one-walk relief.

Standings:

Pool A
1) Japan 2-0
2) Cuba 1-0
3) China 0-1
4) Brazil 0-2

Pool B
1) Chinese Taipei
2) Netherlands 1-1
3) Australia 0-1
4) Korea 0-1

Outlook

Two games are scheduled on Monday. In Pool A in Fukuoka, Japan, fans at the Yahoo! Dome will see the contest between Cuba and China, which could lift both favorites, Cuba and Japan, into the second round. At Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung 2009 finalist and 2008 Olympic Gold Medal winner Korea faces a must-win situation against Australia in match between winless opponents. Pool C (San Juan) and Pool D (Phoenix) will open first-round play on Thursday, March 7.

Photo: World Baseball Classic, Inc.