World Baseball Classic Day 7: Venezuela qualify undefeated, Canada, Mexico and Dominican Republic earn second win

World Baseball Classic Day 7: Venezuela qualify undefeated, Canada, Mexico and Dominican Republic earn second win
Venezuela defeated Nicaragua, 4-1, securing their third consecutive win and a spot in the quarterfinals. The Dominican Republic beat Israel 10-0 to improve their record to 2-1. They will play a one-game playoff against Puerto Rico for the runner-up spot in Group D. Canada topped Colombia, 5-0, in a critical matchup in Group C to collect their second win. Mexico created a three-way tie with Canada and the United States after their 2-1 win over Great Britain. Canada-Mexico on Wednesday, 15 March, is another elimination game.

Venezuela advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic with a 4-1 victory over Nicaragua, their third win in as many games. Venezuela clinched first place in Group D. The Dominican Republic beat Israel, 10-0, and will play an elimination game against Puerto Rico on Wednesday, 15 March.

In Group C, Canada clinched a crucial win against Colombia to remain in contention for one of the two tickets to the quarterfinals. Mexico forced a three-way tie in Group C by the end of the day following their 2-1 win over Great Britain. Canada-Mexico on Wednesday will promote one of the two to the quarterfinals.

World Baseball Classic Day 7 results

Canada-Colombia5-0BOX SCORE
Great Britain-Mexico1-2BOX SCORE
Nicaragua-Venezuela1-4BOX SCORE
Israel-Dominican Republic0-10 (7 innings)BOX SCORE

Group C

World No. 5 Mexico defeated No. 22 Great Britain 2-1, forcing a three-way tie with Canada and the United States in Group C, where two quarterfinal berths are still on the line.

Mexico scored the first run in the game in the bottom of the second on a two-out single by Alexis Wilson, scoring Isaac Paredes.

Great Britain broke through on the scoreboard in the sixth inning after three scoreless frames, as BJ Murray plated Chavez Young on a ground ball to tie the game at 1-1.

Wilson drove his next into left field for a RBI single, scoring Alan Trejo to regain the one-run lead for Mexico in the bottom of the seventh.

Giovanny Gallegos finished out the game after a pitching change in the top of the ninth inning, retiring the Great Britain batters to send Mexico off to their second win in three games.

Wilson powered Mexico's offence with two RBI singles in Phoenix, while Taijuan Walker struck out eight batters over four innings.

"I'm very happy with the opportunities that have been given to me. I have been working hard to face any kind of situation. I am satisfied that we came up with a victory in this game and we trust that we would come up with another win tomorrow, with the same attitude and intensity to win," said Wilson.

"Working with a pitcher like Walker makes our job easy. The way he played today is marvellous and today we worked well together, also with the help of the scouting reports that made our win possible. It's a big night for Walker and the other boys."

World No. 14 Canada topped No. 11 Colombia, 5-0, and collected their second win in the competition in a key matchup in Group C. Behind a spectacular pitching performance, Canada decided the game with four runs in the last two innings.

Noah Skirrow had a stellar outing for Canada. The 24-year-old right-hander tossed five innings of two-hit ball, striking out five against one walk in his international debut with Canada.

“I cannot ask for much more, really,” said Skirrow. “I tried to be as aggressive as I could, and give us a chance to win.” 

Curtis Taylor hurled two scoreless innings in relief allowing only one hit, and Trevor Bridgen pitched a perfect eighth, with two strikeouts, to keep his team in the lead. In the ninth, Premier12 veteran Scott Mathieson closed the game. 

"Our pitching was outstanding, Skirrow did a great job and the bullpen did the rest,” said Ernie Witt, Canada’s manager. 

Canada scored their first run in the fourth inning. With runners on first and second and two outs, Bo Naylor hit a 1-2 pitch from Adrian Almeida for a single that scored Tyler O’Neil. It was Naylor’s first hit of the tournament.

Canada added an insurance run in the eighth inning with a two-out single off the bat of Owen Caissie to plate Otto Lopez, who had tripled to leadoff the inning. One inning later, Lopez itself decided the game with a three-run blast to give Canada a 5-0 lead.

Canada moved to 2-1 in the very contested Group C standings, and tomorrow will close the group stage against Mexico. Colombia dropped their record to 1-2.

“Coming in into this tournament we knew that we had to win three games, and the three games were Great Britain, Colombia and tomorrow against Mexico. If we do that, there’s no chance for us not going forward. It takes all the maths out of play. And we built our pitch for that,” closed Witt.

GROUP C STANDINGS: Canada, Mexico, USA (2 wins-1 loss); Colombia (1-2); Great Britain (1-3).

Group D

World No. 9 the Dominican Republic defeated No. 20 Israel 10-0 to improve their record to 2-1, setting up a decider against Puerto Rico for the remaining quarterfinals berth in Group D.

Manny Machado homered and drove in three runs, while Jean Segura ended it with a two-run double and Julio Rodríguez picked up two RBIs in the Dominican Republic triumph.

Eloy Jimenez lined an RBI single to left to open up the scoring and give the Dominican Republic a 1-0 lead in the first.

Machado ripped a homer to left centre field to increase the lead to two runs in the bottom of the third. It was the second home run in two days for the six-time All-Star.

Ketel Marte joined in with an RBI double a few batters later for Rafael Devers to cross a run, capping the third inning with a 3-0 edge.

The Dominican Republic logged four more runs in the sixth to distance themselves from Israel, starting with Julio Rodriguez’s double on a ground ball that scored Jeimer Candelario and Gary Sanchez. With no outs and Juan Soto on third, Machado singled to right scoring both Soto and Rodriguez.

2013 World Baseball Classic MVP Robinson Cano hit an RBI single on a ground ball to centre field that allowed Jeremy Pena to score. Cano and Nelson Cruz eventually scored runs off Jean Segura to secure victory for the Dominican Republic at 10-0 in the seventh inning.

“I always said that the 30 players of this roster are going to play in this Classic. We will need everyone, so I talked to some of them. We wanted the line-up to have the possibility to score more runs. I talked to Nelson, Robinson and the others that they will all have the opportunity, same for Segura, who had a very important hit today," said Dominican Republic manager Rodney Linares.

World No. 6 Venezuela grabbed their third win of the tournament with a 4-1 victory against No. 17 Nicaragua, in spite of being outhit by the Central Americans 11-7. A three-run rally in the fourth inning, and seven scoreless innings from their bullpen, gave Venezuela a key win in Group D.

Nicaragua took the lead in the second inning, when Norlando Valle scored on a grounder by Steven Leyton. Nicaragua’s lineup connected seven of their 11 hits in the first two innings, but Venezuelan starter Eduardo Rodriguez managed to allow only one run in that span of the game, to keep Venezuela in the game.

Venezuela took the lead in the fourth with a two-out rally. Andres Gimenez tied the game with a run-scoring single, and Eugenio Suarez came through with a clutch two-RBI single to put Venezuela in front 3-1.

“I was looking for a good pitch to do some damage, and trying to stay calm, no matter the situation. For me, that was the key,” said Gimenez. 

“Anytime I came to the field, I’m calm; but when I go into the two lines, I just want to compete. I’m very competitive... And I want to do it right. So I’ll always do my best to help the team win,” said Gimenez.

Anthony Santander gave his bullpen an insurance run in the fifth with a long double to center field. It represented his fifth hit and fifth RBI in three games.

Two-inning outings by Jose Ruiz and Carlos Hernandez led a Venezuelan bullpen that was brilliant in the game, combining for seven scoreless innings, four hits and nine strikeouts.

Nicaragua finished their first-ever participation at the World Baseball Classic with a 0-4 record, and will need to qualify for the next tournament in 2026.

GROUP D STANDINGS:Venezuela (3 wins-0 losses); Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico (2-1); Israel (1-2); Nicaragua (0-4).