We had the best game of the qualifying tournament yet today.
Great Britain rode a three-run third inning and Brazilian DH Juan Carlos Muniz was thrown out trying to steal third base for the last out of the game as Great Britain advanced over Brazil 4-3, setting up a final rematch on Sunday with Israel.
There was no scoring in this game until the top of the third inning, when Brazil broke through against Mets minor leaguer and former second-round draft pick Blake Taylor on a two-run single by Twins minor league shortstop Leonardo Reginatto.
But Regginato would give the runs back in the bottom of the third, when Great Britain scored three runs off of Brazilian starter (and former White Sox and Marlins major leaguer) Andre Rienzo. Rienzo loaded the bases with no one out in the third on a double, a single and a hit batsman. It looked like Rienzo was going to get out of the jam when he struck out hte next two batters, but then he hit his second batter of the inning to force in a run. Then Angels farmhand Jordan Serena hit a ground ball that led to a two-run error by Reginatto.
Team Great Britain would take on another run in the bottom of the when Pirates farmhand Kyle Simmons singled home former Phillies and Dodgers minor leaguer Albert Cartwright. But Brazil would get within a run again in the top of the eighth when Reinaldo Sato doubled with one out and later scored on an error.
That set up the top of the ninth. Former first-round draft pick Chris Reed too over for British starter Taylor to start the fifth inning and was going into his own fifth inning of work to start the ninth. After dispatching the first to batters of the inning on a strikeout and a ground out, Reed gave up a two-out double to Muniz. Former Mariners minor leaguer Dan Cooper came on for Reed at that moment and on an 0-1 count, Munis broke for third. Muniz was thrown out at third base trying to steal for the final out of the game and the final out of Brazil's trip to the 2017 World Baseball Classic qualifiers.
This sets up a rematch between Great Britain and Israel tomorrow night at 5pm central time for the right to be the 16th and final team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. These two teams met on the first day of the qualifier with Israel winning 5-2.
The game will be televised on the MLB Network and available for free streaming at worldbaseballclassic.com