WBC: Italy shocks Mexico in the World Baseball Classic

08/03/2013

Phoenix. Italy provided the first surprise in pool D of the World Baseball Classic defeating (6-5) Mexico at the end of a 9 innings of memorable drama.

Phoenix. Italy provided the first surprise in pool D of the World Baseball Classic defeating (6-5) Mexico at the end of a 9 innings of memorable drama.

Italy got immediately to Mexico starter Rodrigo Lopez with a 2 run first inning, but Mexico punched back with a 3 run bottom half of the frame scoring 3 runs. Mexico probably thought they had the game locked up a couple of times. When they were leading 4-2 in the fourth and Red Sox hurler Aceves took the mound. Team Italy’s catcher Drew Butera homered to the left to tie the game.

Mexico definitely believed they had the game filed away when Sergio Romo, the hero of the 2012 World Series, walked to the mound with the team leading 5-4. Romo gave up a pair of doubles (to Punto and Rizzo) and ended up blowing a save opportunity and suffering the loss.

Italy sent Jason Grilli to the mound for the bottom half of the night and Grilli loaded the bases and the count on Jorge Cantu. Then got him on a grounder to second and celebration started.

Team Italy’s manager Marco Mazzieri said: “Well, I almost cannot believe we beat Sergio Romo. I hope people realize what we did. I think that we deserve a little more respect than what we have been getting so far. Honestly”.

Catcher Drew Butera was asked about his home run: “There have been a lot of keys to this game. My home run gave us a little momentum, but I think at the same time it was a collective win. Our pitchers also did a great job. Da Silva? He has couple speeds to his change ups and he kind of throws that in all counts”.

Mexico’s manager Eric Renteria credits Italy: “They take this to heart, you could see the emotion Italy had when they came out on top. But tomorrow’s another day”.

Italy’s third baseman Alex Liddi believes the same: “It’s a great win, but we haven’t achieved anything yet. Tomorrow is another day”.