The 2023 World Baseball Classic continued Wednesday with some high-stakes contests on the schedule. While one single-elimination quarterfinal match has already been played (see below), round-robin pool play was still going on stateside. Pool play ends Wednesday night, however, and from that point on it’s all “winner take all.”
Now here’s a recap of the Wednesday’s action.
Wednesday’s WBC scores
- Cuba 4, Australia 3 (quarterfinals)
- Venezuela 5, Israel 1
- Mexico 10, Canada 3
- Puerto Rico 5, Dominican Republic 2
- Colombia vs. United States, 10 p.m., FS1
Cuba reaches semis with close win over Aussies
Cuba is one of the last four teams standing in the WBC for the first time since 2006. The one-time baseball power endured a bit of an inauspicious start to this edition of the Classic, but they rebounded to advance out of pool play. Then early Wednesday they edged Australia by a score of 4-3 in Japan’s Tokyo Dome to advance to the “Final Four.” Yoan Moncada reached base four times for the Cubans and had a double and a run scored. 5-foot-9 closer Raidel Martinez secured the high-leverage save for the Cubans with a perfect ninth.
With the outcome, Australia’s run is done, and Cuba is headed to Miami for the semis. Once there, Cuba on Sunday will face the winner of the quarterfinal that will pit unbeaten Venezuela against the runner-up from Pool C (either Mexico, the United States, or Canada).
Mexico became the first team from Pool C to advance to the next round on Thursday by defeating Canada 10-3 in blowout fashion. Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena was the driving force, as he notched two hits and five RBI.
Mexico got off on the wrong foot in the tournament, losing their opener to Colombia in extra innings. They recovered nicely from that slip-up, beating both the United States and Canada in dominant fashion. They also weathered a storm from Great Britain on Tuesday. That put them at 3-1 in pool play.
Puerto Rico advances
Puerto Rico joined Venezuela as the Pool D teams advancing to the quarterfinals on Wednesday night by defeating the Dominican Republic 5-2.
The Puerto Rican team got on the board first in the third inning, when Twins catcher Christian Vazquez popped a solo home run. They would subsequently build a 4-0 lead before the end of the frame, with Francisco Lindor, Enrique Hernandez, and MJ Melendez contributing.
The Dominican Republic would fight back, with Juan Soto clobbering a solo home run in the bottom of the third. Both teams would score one more apiece, but no runs would be scored after the bottom of the fifth.
Puerto Rico has finished second in each of the last two WBC. For now, their hopes of making it three in a row — or, perhaps, even winning the whole thing — remain very much alive. The win, however, was dampened because closer and Mets star Edwin Díaz suffered an injury on the field after recording the final out.
Quarterfinal spot hangs in the balance
Pool play concludes on Wednesday night with the United States vs. Colombia in Pool C (10:00 p.m. ET). Here’s what’s on the line:
- If Team USA beats Colombia, then they advance. That, in turn, will mean that Colombia and Canada are eliminated.
- If Team USA loses, then it comes down a tiebreaker scenario to determine whether the Americans, Colombia or the Canadians moves on.
In other words, one way or another, we’ll know the full field of the second round after Wednesday’s action.