World Baseball Classic Day 6: Australia qualify for quarterfinals; First win for Dominican Republic and Great Britain; Puerto Rico and USA claim second victories

World Baseball Classic Day 6: Australia qualify for quarterfinals; First win for Dominican Republic and Great Britain; Puerto Rico and USA claim second victories
There were a total of six games of pool play on Monday including the last two Pool B games which confirmed Australia in second place. Pool C and Pool D will complete their pool play on Tuesday and Wednesday. Australia will face Pool A winners Cuba on Wednesday, 15 March, in the first quarterfinal at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. Pool B winners Japan will take on Italy, runners up in Pool A, in the second quarterfinal on Thursday also at the Tokyo Dome.

Australia defeated Czechia 8-3 to earn a spot in the World Baseball Classic quarterfinals for the first time as Group B runners-up behind Japan before Korea set an all-time Classic record in Group B's final game, while last-place China will have to qualify for the next edition.

The Dominican Republic earned their first win of the tournament, defeating Nicaragua, 6-1, while Puerto Rico recouped to earn their second win after beating Israel 10-0 in Group D.

Great Britain also obtained their first victory in a 7-5 win against Colombia, while the United States earned their second victory courtesy of a 12-1 victory over Canada in Group C.

World Baseball Classic Day 6 results

Australia-Czechia8-3BOX SCORE
Korea-China22-2 (5 innings)BOX SCORE
Colombia-Great Britain5-7BOX SCORE
Canada-USA1-12 (7 innings)BOX SCORE
Dominican Republic-Nicaragua6-1BOX SCORE
Israel-Puerto Rico0-10 (8 innings)BOX SCORE


World No. 3 the United States earned their second win and took top spot in Group C, following a 12-1 win over No. 14 Canada in Chase Field in Phoenix.

Mike Trout hit a three-run homer to send USA to victory in seven innings. Nolan Arenado drove in two and Trea Turner hit a solo home run in the win.

The United States jumped out to an early lead after an explosive bottom of the first, as nine runs were scored. Arenado started the 9-0 rally with a two-run play for Mookie Betts and Trout to score off his sharp line drive to the left, and culminated with Trout’s three-run homer.

Jared Young responded in the top of the second with a homer of his own to score Canada’s first run in the game. However, the United States recovered quickly and gained a 12-1 edge in the bottom of the second, as two runs came in off a triple by Tim Anderson and a sacrifice fly, before Turner launched his homer.

United States' starter Lance Lynn went five innings striking out six while allowing only two hits and a run.

"These are the games that you’re here for when you know that your team needs you and you know that you've got to show up. I know that I have to go deep, and it worked out tonight," Lynn said.

World No. 22 Great Britain secured their first win of the event with a 7-5 victory against No. 11 Colombia at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, in Group C. The European debutants recovered from a three-run deficit, tying the game in the fourth and taking the lead one inning later.

“It felt tremendous. We felt like what we hadn't yet done was showing everybody what we’re capable of. Like you saw pieces of it, and then it finally came together today. It’s a wonderful feeling,” said British manager Drew Spencer. 

Colombia started well, scoring first with an Oscar Mercado RBI single in the second before adding two more in the fourth with a single by Dayan Frias. Meanwhile, William Cuevas tossed three scoreless innings to start the game.

However, in the bottom of the fourth Cuevas gave up a leadoff single and a walk, opening the door to a British three-run rally to tie the game. BJ Murray put Great Britain in the scoreboard with a sacrifice fly, and Chavez Young singled-in a pair to tie the game again.

The momentum changed rapidly and Great Britain cashed in with four more unanswered runs. Jaden Rudd hit a go-ahead two-run double in the fifth and Harry Ford homered in the seventh to make it 7-3.

“Young is an absolute leader, you saw it. It was the right move to put him in the leadoff spot after the USA game, that’s been a diference-maker for this team,” added Spencer. 

The British bullpen held the difference until the ninth inning, when Dilson Herrera blasted a solo shot to left center field in the ninth. Ian Gibaut allowed one more run on a grounder, but got the save with a strikeout against Meibrys Viloria.


World No. 13 Puerto Rico's scoring first came in threes, as the Boricuas plated a trio of runs in the first, second and fifth innings, then topped it with a closing solo run in the eighth to beat No. 20 Israel 10-0 and earn their second win in Group D in Miami.

Puerto Rico’s offence started early with three runs courtesy of a pair of doubles from Javier Baez and Eddie Rosario in the bottom of the first.

The Boricuas added three more runs in the second on a RBI double by Enrique Hernandez that scored Martin Maldonado and Francisco Lindor, followed by Emmanuel Rivera’s triple that scored Hernandez for a 6-0 lead.

Former MLB pitcher Jose De Leon threw a five-inning perfect game with 10 strikeouts.

"Having a moment like this after all the obstacles I have overcome throughout my career and playing in front of my family here and playing in my Puerto Rican jersey, makes this 100 times more special. This is a dream I am living, and it is a very special one," he said after the game.

"Representing Puerto Rico in 2017 was the highlight of my career. I always said that there is only one way to top that and that is to do it again in the next one. Now I am here and I am truly grateful for the opportunity. But I never saw a moment like this coming, so I am definitely going to enjoy it."

In the bottom of the fifth, Francisco Lindor tripled to right field, producing a three-run rally for Baez, Vimael Machin and Martin Maldonado to mount a 9-0 lead. Enrique Hernandez followed that up three frames later by driving in a solo run for Maldonado as he singled on a ground ball to the left, closing the offence of Puerto Rico and securing the win in the eighth inning.

De Leon, Edwin Diaz, Yacksel Rios and Duane Underwood Jr. combined to throw eight perfect innings in shutting out Israel, while Francisco Lindor drove in three runs in the win.

MLB superstars Juan Soto and Manny Machado homered to lead a consistent 12-hit offensive performance in world No. 9 Dominican Republic’s 6-1 win over No. 17 Nicaragua. A strong four-inning start by Cristian Javier, backed by a solid bullpen, allowed the Dominican’s secure their first win in Group D.

After losing their opener against Venezuela, the Dominican Republic bounced back with a solid performance at loanDepot Park in Miami. The Dominicans scored at least one run in five of their first seven at bats, to build a comfortable lead throughout the game.

“Every win is great. Nobody dress in uniform to lose, the guys were in great mood today, and the did a great job,” said Rodney Linares, manager of the Dominican Republic. “I’m happy with the adjustmens we made at the plate. A lot of good swings... They played great defense, their outfielders made great plays. So a lot of credit to them too.”

Javier tossed four quality innings for the winners, giving up only two hits and a walk while striking out four. The bullpen backed his performance tossing four scoreless innings. The only run for Nicaragua came in the eighth inning, with an RBI single by Elian Miranda. However, Soto also displayed his defense in the play by throwing out Benjamin Alegria at home plate.

“Historically, he’s had rough first innings. But if you look at what he did, Javier pitched the way Javier pitches. Up in the zone, sliders, threw a couple of really nasty change ups. So there were no worries about him in the first inning, especially knowing that we have an offense capable of coming back from one or two runs early. 

Soto, Machado and Eloy Jimenez connected two-hits and produced one run each for the Dominican Republic, while Willy Adames also contributed with a pair of hits for his team.

“We needed this win, we played the game well as a team and thank God we came out with the victory today. We need to keep playing the way we did today,” said Machado.

“I’m happy every time I wear the Dominican Republic uniform. It doesn’t matter the rival, I’ll be always that way. Because you don’t know when it’s happening again. This is my way,” said Soto. “We are happy we came out with the victory, as Manny said, we needed it.”


World No. 10 Australia used a couple of rallies in the seventh and eighth inning to beat brave No. 15 Czechia and advance to the quarterfinals.

The Czechs didn't make it easy for Australia. Starting pitcher Martin Schneider gave Czechia 5.1 solid innings, and Marek Minarik got the final two outs of the sixth.

With the game tied at one, Australia got to Minarik in the top of the seventh thanks to a two-out and two-RBI double by shortstop Logan Wade.

After hitting a solo home run in the top of the first, designated hitter Alex Hall added a two-RBI triple off reliever Daniel Padysak in the top of the eighth.

Daniel McGrath earned the win for Australia, pitching 2.2 innings in relief. He left with a couple of runners on base in the bottom of the eighth, and WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup alum Marek Chlup got to his substitute Sam Holland with a two-RBI single.

Australia added a couple of insurance runs in the top of the ninth to make Jon Kennedy's job easier in the bottom half of the frame.

"[This win] means the world," commented third baseman and WBSC Premier12 alum Darryl George. "Like massive underdogs, nobody expected anything from us. We are not surprised, though."

"I'm extremely proud of the group," commented manager David Nilsson postgame. "Not only the players but everyone involved along the way. Qualifying for the second round gives us a sense of relief because we worked really hard. Tonight it was a tough game [against Czechia], but I think we played it very well."

Australia will face Cuba in the first quarterfinal on Wednesday, 15 March, at the Tokyo Dome. Czechia earned a spot in the next World Baseball Classic through an early win against China.

World No. 3 Korea outscored No. 30 China 22-2 in five innings in the final Group B game, setting an all-time World Baseball Classic record for runs scored.

Korea's hitters combined 20 hits, including two grand slams by right fielder Kun-Woo Park in the top of the fourth and third baseman Ha-Seong Kim, a WBSC Premier12 All-World teamer, in the top of the fifth.

First baseman Jie Cao put China on the scoreboard with a two-RBI single off starter Tae-In Won in the bottom of the first.

Hyeong-Jun So took over for won in the bottom of the second and worked three perfect innings for the win.

GROUP B FINAL STANDINGS: Japan (4 wins-0 losses); Australia (3-1); Korea (2-2); Czechia (1-3); China (0-4).

Japan and Australia advanced to the quarterfinals, while China must qualify to participate in the next edition of the World Baseball Classic.