WBC First Round in San Juan and Phoenix gets started

06/03/2013

Fukuoka/San Juan/Phoenix. Cuba defeated Japan on Wednesday to conclude the first round Pool A in Fukuoka as the number-one seed. Both teams will advance to the second round joined by Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands from Pool B. Games at the Tokyo Dome start on Friday.

Fukuoka/San Juan/Phoenix. Cuba defeated Japan on Wednesday to conclude the first round Pool A in Fukuoka as the number-one seed. Both teams will advance to the second round joined by Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands from Pool B. Games at the Tokyo Dome start on Friday.

Meanwhile the 2013 World Baseball Classic gets kicked off at Pools C and D of the first round in San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Phoenix (Arizona) on Thursday. Puerto Rico, Spain, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela will play their round robin at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan.

Team USA, Mexico, Canada and Italy will play at the ballparks of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and of Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, in Phoenix. A round robin phase will determine two teams each to advance to the second round at Marlins Park in Miami (Florida).

Cuba 6 – Japan 3

Cuba, which had lost two exhibitions to Japan last November, handed Japan a 6-3 loss in the conclusion of first-round play in Pool A in Fukuoka. Home runs by Yasmany Tomas and Alfredo Despaigne lifted the record world champion to the victory. Team Samurai didn’t score until the top of the ninth inning. Both teams already were qualified for the second round prior to the game.

Standings

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

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

Outlook

Cuba, Japan, Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands will have Thursday off, as they prepare for the second round at the Tokyo Dome. Cuba will face the Dutch teams in the first game of the modified double elimination round on Friday afternoon. Afterwards Japan takes on Chinese Taipei. Australia, Korea, Brazil and China have been eliminated.

There still will be games at the 2013 World Baseball Classic on Thursday, as the first round in Pools C and D starts. In the afternoon Mexico faces European Champion Italy in Pool D’s opener at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Phoenix, Arizona. In the evening play commences at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico with the highly anticipated duel between the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

Schedule

Thursday, March 7, 2013

First Round:
13:00 Mexico vs. Italy (Pool D in Phoenix)
19:30 Dominican Republic vs. Venezuela (Pool C in San Juan)
(local starting times)

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.