New Zealand Moves Into Qualifier Final; Marimon Leads Colombia

Righthander James Wilson scattered six hits and gave up only one run in 4 2/3 innings, and New Zealand took advantage of seven Philippines errors to earn a 10-6 victory and earn a spot in the finals opposite Taiwan in the World Baseball Classic qualifier.

Righthanders Jonathan and Lincoln Holdzkom both pitched, with Jonathan, a member of the Reds organization, recording three of his four outs via strikeout; brother Lincoln got the last four outs for the save, pitching on one day's rest after throwing 46 pitches in a loss to Taiwan in New Zealand's opener.

New Zealand improved to 2-1 in the WBC as three of its top players combined for six RBIs. Former Futures Gamer Scott Campbell, who played at Gonzaga and in the Blue Jays organization, had a double and three RBIs while the Moanaroa brothers—Red Sox farmhand Boss and ex-Red Sox farmhand Moko—had run-scoring singles. Athletics farmhand Ryan Pineda continued his strong weekend for the Philippines, going 2-for-5 with an RBI.

New Zealand plays Taiwan in a winner-take-all championship game that begins at 1 a.m. Eastern Time Sunday, which is 2 p.m. local time. The winner of that game secures a spot in the 16-team WBC proper, which begins in March.

Panama Regional: Colombia Roughs Up Ramirez

Facing big league righthander Erasmo Ramirez (Mariners), Colombia's lineup wasn't fazed Friday, erupting for a five-run second inning and cruising to an 8-1 victory behind its own ace, righthander Sugar Ray Marimon.

The Royals farmhand tossed five innings, giving up just four hits and one run without walking anyone while striking out four. He got early support in the second. Former Astros farmhand Steve Brown and Edgar Renteria had RBI singles, and they came home on a two-run triple by Marlins second baseman Donovan Solano, who scored on the play on an error. 

Brown added a two-run homer in the eighth, and Indians farmhand Giovanny Urshela had a solo homer in the fifth as Colombia finished with nine hits. Four relievers—including ex-Padres farmhand Yesid Salazar, ex-White Sox minor league lefty Ronald Ramirez and ex-Mets and Orioles righty Oscar Melendez—followed Marimon to keep the Nicaraguans at bay in the WBC opener for both clubs.

Saturday, Colombia plays Brazil, with the winner earning a spot in the championship game. Nicaragua faces host Panama in the nightcap, with the losing team eliminated from the qualifier.