First Round underway in Phoenix and San Juan

08/03/2013

Phoenix/San Juan/Tokyo. After the first round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic got finished in Pools A and B on Wednesday, the preliminary phase gets underway in Phoenix and San Juan. Italy shocked Mexico with a late rally to deliver the first big surprise of the tournament. In the second matchup on Thursday the Dominican Republic slugged their way past Venezuela.

Phoenix/San Juan/Tokyo. After the first round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic got finished in Pools A and B on Wednesday, the preliminary phase gets underway in Phoenix and San Juan. Italy shocked Mexico with a late rally to deliver the first big surprise of the tournament. In the second matchup on Thursday the Dominican Republic slugged their way past Venezuela.

First Round, Pool D

Mexico 3 – Italy 4

Italy delivered the first big surprise of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. The European champion, which already had stunned Canada in the 2009 event, shocked Mexico in the Pool D opener at Salt Rivers Field in Phoenix, Arizona on Thursday afternoon. Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs had a one-out, two-run double in the top of the ninth off San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo to give the Azzurri a 6-5 win. Drew Butera also homered for Italy. Jorge Cantu had three RBI for Mexico.

First Round, Pool C

Dominican Republic 9 –Venezuela 3

The Dominican Republic scored five runs in the first two innings to overcome the rain and Venezuela in a 9-3 victory in the Pool C opener at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Robinson Cano doubled twice in the first two frames for three RBI. Jose Reyes had four hits out of the leadoff spot. Hanley Ramirez hit a solo home run. Pablo Sandoval, MVP of the 2012 World Series for the San Francisco Giants, drove in two for Venezuela.

Outlook

While the first round in Pools C and D continues on Friday evening with Spain entering the tournament against Puerto Rico, Canada taking on Italy and Mexico squaring off with Team USA, the second round gets started at the Tokyo Dome. The modified double elimination round gets kicked off with Cuba vs. Netherlands and Chinese Taipei vs. Japan.

Schedule

Friday, March 8, 2013

Second Round:
12:00 Cuba – Netherlands (Tokyo Dome in Tokyo)
19:00 Chinese Taipei – Japan (Tokyo Dome in Tokyo)

First Round:
12:00 Italy – Canada (Pool D, Chase Field in Phoenix)
18:30 Puerto Rico – Spain (Pool C, Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan)
19:00 USA – Mexico (Pool D, Chase Field in Phoenix)

(all times local)

The 2013 World Baseball Classic is officially sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF). The winner will be named IBAF World Champion for the first time. The final round will be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California from March 17 to 19. More information including highlights can be found at www.worldbaseballclassic.com

Photo: © World Baseball Classic, Inc.