(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)
Wins for Colombia, Venezuela, Dominicans & Puerto Rico
MIAMI, Florida (USA) / ZAPOPAN, Jalisco (México) -
Colombia won 4-1 against Canada in its second game in Pool C on Saturday (March 11), the day after it led 2-0, but 3-2 to the USA.
In the evening, Team USA suffered a 7-5 loss against the Dominican Republic after leading 5-0.
In México, Venezuela and Italy played a spectacular game.
Venezuela won 11-10 in ten innings to record its first victory.
Both teams are now 1-1.
In the evening in Zapopan, Puerto Rico handed México its second loss by winning 9-4.
In Miami, Canada took an 1-0 lead in the first inning against Colombia, but then was kept scoreless in the remainder of the game.
Colombia came alongside in the third, then took a 2-1 lead in the fifth and added runs in the sixth and ninth inning.
Colombia collected 11 basehits.
Donovan Solano (New York Yankees) batted in two runs, which were the tying run and go-ahead run.
Julio Teheran (Atlanta Braves) threw five strong innings for Colombia, giving up only two basehits.
In Miami, the USA scored two runs in the third, added a run in the fourth and scored two more in the sixth to take a 5-0 lead against the Dominican Republic.
But the game was far from over.
The 2013 WBC-champion got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth and scored its third run in the seventh.
Trailing only 5-3, the Dominicans rallied for four runs in the eighth to record a spectacular come-from-behind 7-5 victory.
An error and a single gave the USA two runs in the third, then Brandon Crawford singled in another run in the fourth.
Doubles by Giancarlo Stanton and Crawford accounted for the next two runs in the sixth and it 5-0 in favor of the Americans.
In the bottom of the sixth, Manny Machado homered for the Dominicans with one out, then Carlos Santana singled in a run later in the at bat.
Back-to-back doubles by Starling Marte and Welington Castillo made it 5-3 in the seventh.
In the bottom of the eighth, José Bautista led off and was hit by a pitch, then Carlos Santa singled.
Nelson Cruz followed with a homerun that gave the Dominicans a 6-5 lead.
With one out, Starling Marte also homered, making it a 7-5 score.
In Zapopan, Italy led 5-0 after four innings, but then Venezuela came alongside by scoring three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth at bat.
Venezuela then took an 8-5 lead in the seventh.
This time, Italy came back, scored twice in the bottom of the seventh and another run in the eighth to make it an 8-8 score.
In the top of the ninth, Venezuela re-took the lead by scoring twice, but again, Italy came alongside.
Venezuela then finally decided the game in the tenth and won 11-10.
Leading 1-0, Daniel Descalso singled in two runs in the third to increase Italy's lead to 3-0.
In the fourth, Alex Liddi and Brandon Nimmo both homered to make it 5-0.
Venezuela scored three runs in the fifth, two of them on a double by Martin Prado, then Alcides Escobar added a 2-run double in the sixth to tie the score.
A single, double and error gave Venezuela the lead in the seventh.
Francisco Cervelli singled in two Italian runs in the bottom of the seventh and in the eighth, John Andreolli singled in the tying run.
Veteran catcher Salvador Perez gave Venezuela another lead in the ninth when he hit a 2-run homerun.
But Italy again came alongside in the bottom of the ninth on a grounder by Chris Colabello and a single by Gavin Cecchini.
On this last single, the tying run was scored, but it also led to an inning-ending out at the plate and an injury for catcher Salvador Perez, who left the game.
A double by Martin Prado made it 11-10 in favor of Venezuela in the tenth and that also was the final score.
After the 4:43 hours thriller between Venezuela and Italy, host México played against Puerto Rico.
With a 9-4 win, Puerto Rico put itself in a good position with its second victory, while México lost its second game.
Puerto Rico led 5-1 halfway the seventh inning, but then México suddenly came back into the game by scoring three runs.
In the top of the ninth inning, Puerto Rico decided the game by scoring four runs and lift the lead to 9-4.
The ninth inning-rally was highlighted by a 3-run homerun by Javier Baez (Chicago Cubs).
Francisco Lindor (Atlanta Braves) hit a 2-run homerun for Puerto Rico in the first inning to give his team an early lead.
In this game, Dutch umpire Winfried Berkvens officiated at first base.
During the game, there was a brief interruption.
Behind the third base dug-out, there were some arguments between Mexican and Puerto Rican fans.
This led to the entire Puerto Rican team to clear the dug-out with all players going to the border of the field to join the argument.
The delay was only briefly, as police restored order and the game continued.
USA needs extra inning to win; Puerto Rico wins big. (March 10)
Cuba advances to Second Round WBC; Australia eliminated. (March 10)
Italy wins opener on walk-off single; Dominicans win big. (March 9)
Netherlands empty-handed vs. Israel; finishes 2nd in Pool. (March 9)
Orange in 2nd Round WBC after walk-off win; Israel also in. (March 8)
Netherlands opens WBC with shutout vs. South Korea. (March 7)
Israel upsets South Korea in WBC-opener with 10-inning win. (March 6)
Netherlands Team closes WBC-preparations with loss. (March 5)
Netherlands Team wins big in Korean exhibition game. (March 3)
Netherlands closes exhibition series in Arizona with loss. (February 25)
First game Netherlands vs. Twins ends in tie. (February 24)
Netherlands Team wins big in exhibition game vs. Geckos. (February 23)
Exhibition losses Netherlands Team in Arizona. (February 20)
Orange roster announced for World Baseball Classic. (February 8)
Netherlands Team to prepare in Arizona. (February 8)