After a controversial situation went down on early Monday morning leaving Mexico out of Round 2, Venezuela defeats Italy in the only tiebreaker game of Round 1.
I will not get into the whole scenario with Mexico and why they did not make Round 2, or at least have a chance in the tiebreaker game. Instead I will let friend of the site, and former contributor Gabriel Fidler explain it. Gabriel was on site for the game and explanation that came early Monday morning.
For more see his post – BREAKING: México Will Protest MLB Tiebreaker Decision You can also contact him on Twitter @extrainnings_bb
Back to Venezuela and Italy in the tiebreaker. It was a whale of a game. Italy came 3 outs away from advancing to Round 2, but Miguel Cabrera came up huge. Leading off the inning Cabrera homered off of Mike DeMark to tie the game at 2. Cabrera’s shot was a no-doubter just to the right of dead centerfield. But Venezuela wasn’t done. Victor Martinez was up next and walked on four pitches. Rougned Odor then hit a blast, which he thought was gone, to centerfield just off the top of the wall. Yangervis Solarte, who came into run for Martinez, scored from first. However, Odor’s slow trot admiring his
homer single left him at only first base.
Carlos Gonzalez then singled to center moving Odor to third. Gonzalez was thrown out at 2nd trying to stretch it into a double. Then the final run for Venezuela would come on an Alcides Escobar squeeze bunt giving Venezuela a 2-run lead heading into the bottom of the 9th.
Like Italy did all tournament, it made a comeback. Alex Liddi led off the bottom of the 9th with a solo home run making it 4-3. Unfortunately for Italy that was all they could muster. Francisco Rodriguez would finish off Italy to pick up the save.
A.J. Morris pitched great in the start for Italy. He tossed 5.0 shutout innings giving up just 1 walk and no hits. He struck out 5.
With the win Venezuela advances on to Round 2 with Puerto Rico out of Pool D. Advancing to San Diego, Venezuela will face off with the USA tomorrow at 9 PM EST.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.