(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)
USA comes from behind to win against Venezuela
SAN DIEGO, California (USA) -
Team USA trailed 2-1 halfway the eighth inning on Wednesday-evening (March 15) against Venezuela in its first game in Pool F in the Second Round of the World Baseball Classic.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Americans rallied for three runs to turn the game its way and won 4-2.
Venezuela will play its next game on Thursday-evening against the Dominican Republic.
The USA has the day off on Thursday, then meets Puerto Rico on Friday-evening.
Venezuela scored in the third and the seventh inning, while the Americans were held scoreless.
The USA got one run back in its seventh at bat, then decided the game in the next inning.
In the top of the third inning, off of starting pitcher Drew Smyly (Seattle Mariners), Carlos González (Colorado Rockies) led off for Venezuela with a single, then advanced when Robinson Chirinos (Texas Rangers) reached on a bunt-single.
That was followed by a throwing error by Smyly, which enabled González to move to third base.
Moments later, he scored on a sacrifice fly by Ender Inciarte (Atlanta Braves).
Venezuela was then retired in order in the fourth through sixth inning.
In the seventh, with two outs, Rougned Odor (Texas Rangers) homered to double the Venezuelan lead.
The USA got the bases loaded with one out in the third inning, but a double play then ended this scoring opportunity.
It was the only time that the USA reached base in the first five innings.
In the sixth, two American runners were left behind.
In the bottom of the seventh, the USA got one run back.
Eric Hosmer (Kansas City Royals) led off with a single, which was followed by a pitching change.
Arcenio Leon (Chicago White Sox) took over from José Castillo (San Diego Padres), but he saw Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona Diamondbacks) reach on an error.
Hosmer advanced on a flyout, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Lucroy (Texas Rangers).
Hereafter, Alex Bregman (Houston Astros) followed with a single, but the USA stranded two runners.
In the eighth, Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs) took over the Venezuelan pitching and was greeted with a lead-off homerun by Adam Jones (Baltimore Orioles) that tied the score at 2-2.
That sparked the comeback.
Christian Yelich (Miami Marlins) then singled and with one out, it was Eric Hosmer, who decided the game by hitting a 2-run homerun.
In the First Round, the USA trailed 2-0 against Colombia in its opener, then came alongside and won in the ninth inning on a walk-off single by Adam Jones.
In its second game, the USA led 5-0 against reigning WBC-champion Dominican Republic, but lost 7-5.
The team then closed Pool C with an 8-0 shutout against Canada.
In Pool D, Venezuela was shutout 11-0 in its opener against Puerto Rico.
The team then trailed 5-0 against Italy in its next game, but won 11-10 in ten innings.
Venezuela closed with an 11-9 loss against México, which resulted in a 3-way tie.
Venezuela had to play a tiebreaker against Italy and again trailed, this time 2-1 after eight innings.
The team then scored three runs in the ninth, won 4-3 and reached the Second Round.
Big win Netherlands vs. Cuba; in Semi-Finals after Japan wins. (March 15)
Puerto Rico defeats Dominicans in Second Round-opener. (March 14)
Japan wins vs. Cuba, but Pool is not decided yet. (March 14)
Venezuela comes from behind & eliminates Italy. (March 13)
A dream come true for Dutch WBC-umpire Winfried Berkvens. (March 13)
Netherlands wins convincingly against Israel. (March 13)
Three teams qualify for 2nd Round; Tie-breaker Italy vs. Venezuela. (March 12)
Netherlands ends up short in extra innings vs. Japan. (March 12)
WBC-wins for Colombia, Venezuela & Dominican Republic. (March 11)
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)