PREVIEW: US, Mexico to battle for bronze, Olympic berth today

PREVIEW: US, Mexico to battle for bronze, Olympic berth today
The US and Mexico will battle for Premier12 bronze and the fourth spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

An Olympic berth is on the line as no. 2 ranked USA and no. 6 ranked Mexico play for the WBSC Premier12 bronze medal this afternoon.

Mexico, who finished the Super Round with a 3-2 record, enter the game after a 7-3 loss against no. 3 ranked Korea in their final Super Round game.

The US defeated Chinese Taipei to finish the Super Round with a 2-3 record, and had to rely on other results to secure a place in the Bronze Medal game. Chinese Taipei defeated Australia 5-1 yesterday, which saw the US qualify for the Bronze Medal game, and gave them a chance to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

Mexico scored five runs in the eighth inning against the US en-route to a 8-2 win in their Group A game in Guadalajara. Ali Solis went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI against the US, while Mexico’s bullpen shut down the US offence, allowing just three hits after the third inning.

Starting pitcher: Arturo Reyes (Mexico)

Arturo Reyes makes his third start of the tournament in today’s Bronze Medal game.  Reyes has tossed eight scoreless innings during the 2019 Premier12, which includes a strong start against Chinese Taipei. Reyes anchored Mexico’s Super Round win over Chinese Taipei, scattering two hits in five scoreless innings. Opponents are hitting .111 off Reyes during the Premier12.

Starting pitcher: Cody Ponce (USA)

Like Reyes, Cody Ponce will make his third start of the 2019 Premier12. Ponce dominated the Netherlands in Group A play, conceding two hits in five scoreless innings. However his second start of the tournament didn’t go as planned. The 25-year-old right hander gave up three earned runs in 3.1 innings against Korea.

Player to watch: Jonathan Jones (Mexico)

Mexico’s leadoff man has been outstanding for his country, claiming 10 hits with and six RBI in this year’s Premier12. Jones has homered in his last three games, with his latest coming against Korea.

After going 1-for-6 to begin the tournament, Jones is 9-for-20 in his last five-games. Jones has also starred defensively, making strong plays in centre-field throughout the Premier12.

Player to watch: Jordon Adell (USA)

A 20-year-old outfielder with big league potential, Jo Adell has made his mark at the 2019 Premier12. Adell – the number five prospect according to MLB Pipeline – leads the US offence with 11 hits in seven games, and has excelled in centrefield.

Adell has homered twice at the Premier12, once in the Opening Round and once against no. 1 ranked Japan in the Super Round.

First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 JST from the Tokyo Dome.