Team USA gets a spanking. Pool B finishes up in Tokyo.
WBC Tonight is your daily look at the games from the World Baseball Classic from the previous 24 hours and a look ahead to the next day’s action. You can also use this space as a game thread for any of the WBC action as it happens.
Pool A is done with Cuba and Italy advancing on tiebreakers. Japan already won Pool B, so we are just waiting to see who was the second team to advance and who finishes last.
Pool B—Tokyo, Japan
For the first time ever, Australia has advanced to the second-round of the World Baseball Classic with an 8-3 win over the Czech Republic.
Brewers farmhand Alex Hall homered in the top of the first inning to give Australia a 1-0 lead. But the Czech Republic tied the game up in the third inning on a single by Eric Sogard.
That home run by Hall was the only hit that Czech pitch Martin Schneider allowed over his 5.1 innings of work. But the Czech relievers weren’t as good as Australia scored two in the seventh, three in the eighth and two in the ninth. The Czechs got two runs off of Australian relievers in the eighth.
That win by Australia eliminated Korea’s chances of advancing to the quarterfinals, but the final game in Pool B would decide who would finish last in Pool B and be relegated to qualifying next time. Well, Korea made no doubt that China would be relegated as they took out their frustrations with a 22-2 shellacking that ended after five innings because of the mercy rule.
Kunwoo Park and Ha-Seong Kim both hit grand slams for Korea.
So the final standings in Pool B are as follows:
Czech R. 1-3
While the media-darling Czechs did not advance, they accomplished what they set out to do by not finishing last and qualifying for the 2026 tournament. Also, they won the respect of all of their opponents and looked like they belonged, despite being a team consisting almost entirely of amateurs.
Japan, on the other hand, looks like a powerhouse that maybe should have been considered the favorite to win the entire tournament all along.
Australia will play Cuba on Wednesday in the first quarterfinal. Japan will play Italy on Thursday in the second one.
Pool C—Phoenix, Arizona
Team Mexico fed off the pro-Mexico sellout crowd. Team USA looked flat. And Nationals first baseman Joey Meneses hit two home runs as Mexico routed USA, 11-5.
Meneses gave Mexico a 2-0 lead in the first inning with his first home run. Team USA got one run back in the second inning on an RBi triple by Kyle Tucker.
But Mexico tacked on another run in the third an blew this game open with a four-run fourth inning of pitcher Brady Singer, which included a three-run home run by Meneses.
Still, with Team USA’s lineup, a 7-1 deficit in the fourth inning didn’t look insurmountable, But that’s when Mexico manager Benji Gil called upon the Cubs’ Javier Assad. Assad threw three scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit to Mike Trout. He struck out two—both times it was Pete Alonso.
Will Smith hit a solo home run for Team USA in the seventh inning.
Here are the highlights of Meneses’ big day.
Colombia is taking on Great Britain in pool play as I write this.
Both Mexico and USA are 1-1 in pool play. Great Britain is 0-2.
Team USA takes on Team Canada this evening at 9 p.m. Central on FS1. Lance Lynn starts for the USA and Rangers prospect Mitch Bratt goes for Canada. Al Yellon is attending this game and will have a recap.
Pool D-Miami, Florida
Venezuela took a commanding lead in the group with a 9-6 win over Puerto Rico.
Our own Sara Sanchez was at that game and has got all the action covered.
Earlier today, the Dominican Republic bounced back from their loss to Venezuela with a 6-1 win over Nicaragua.
Rafael Devers had an RBI double in the first inning for the Dominican Republic. Juan Soto hit a solo home run in the sixth and Manny Machado hit a solo home run in the seventh.
Here’s Juan Soto’s upper-deck homer.
Israel and Puerto Rico play at 6 p.m. Central on FS1.