World Baseball Classic Roundup: Canada Tops Great Britain In Highest Scoring Game In WBC History

Image credit: Tyler O'Neill (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Canada 18, Great Britain 8 (7 innings)

What Happened: Canada scored in every inning to rout Great Britain in the highest-scoring game in WBC history. The 26 combined runs set a new record for the most in a WBC game, breaking the previous record of 24 set when Australia beat Mexico, 17-7, in 2009. Canada sent at least nine batters to the plate in the first, third and fourth innings, and all nine of its starters reached base at least twice. Great Britain scored three runs in the top of the first inning to take an early lead and knock Canada starter Cal Quantrill from the game, but Canada responded with five runs in the bottom of the fifth and never trailed again. The game took 3 hours, 38 minutes to complete seven innings.

Stars of the Game: Outfielder Tyler O’Neill reached base in all six plate appearances and finished 4-for-4 with a double, two walks, four RBIs and four runs scored. Fellow outfielder Jacob Robson went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI and third baseman Abraham Toro went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Mariners No. 1 prospect Harry Ford hit a three-run homer for Great Britain and became the youngest player to homer in WBC history at 20 years and 19 days old.

Prospects of Note: Twins No. 4 prospect Edouard Julien led off the bottom of the first with a home run on the first pitch he saw for Canada and finished 1-for-2 with a homer, four walks and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot. Cubs No. 13 prospect Owen Caissie went 2-for-5 and hit a long homer to center that traveled an estimated 427 feet, according to Statcast. Ford provided Great Britain’s big hit and Pirates outfield prospect Chavez Young went 1-for-3 with three stolen bases, including stealing home on the back end of a double steal in the first inning.

What It Means: Canada opens its WBC slate with a commanding win, although it had to burn more pitchers than it would have liked against Great Britain. Canada faces Team USA on Monday and may choose to throw its less-talented pitchers to preserve its best arms for more winnable games against Mexico and Colombia. Great Britain, meanwhile, continues to play tougher than expected and held an early lead over a superior opponent for the second day in a row. The Brits face Colombia on Monday in what may be their best chance to win a game in pool play.

Israel 3, Nicaragua 1

What Happened: After being held scoreless for the first seven innings, Israel rallied for three runs in the eighth thanks to a single by Alex Dickerson, a hit by pitch for Ryan Lavarnway, a Spencer Horowitz RBI single and a Garrett Stubbs two-RBI double. Robert Stock closed out the game with strikeouts of Cheslor Cuthbert and Elian Miranda to secure the save.

Stars of the Game: Normally a catcher, Stubbs played third base. He went 2-for-5 with the double and handled all three plays he was asked to make at third base. Dickerson went 2-for-3. Steven Leyton provided Nicaragua’s lone run with an RBI double. Dean Kremer threw four scoreless innings as Israel’s starter. Israel relievers Zack Weiss, Richard Bleier and Stock combined to throw four perfect innings of relief.

Prospect of Note: Cubs No. 4 prospect Matt Mervis went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk.

What It Means: Nicaragua is 0-2 and still has games left against the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Barring a massive upset, it seems destined for fifth place in the pool and relegation from the next WBC tournament. Israel didn’t play in the first day of Pool D play, so this was its first game. The win virtually ensures that it won’t have to worry about relegation, but the path to advancing to the quarterfinals is still extremely steep, as the team’s remaining three games are against Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

J.J. Cooper

Venezuela 9, Puerto Rico 6

What Happened: Venezuela jumped out to an early 9-1 lead and held off a late rally from Puerto Rico to improve to 2-0 in Pool D. Puerto Rico made things interesting with a four-run sixth inning and cut the deficit to three on an RBI double by MJ Melendez in the bottom of the eighth. Venezuelan righthander Silvino Bracho entered with two on, no outs and the tying run at the plate in the eighth, but he got Javier Baez to pop up and Eddie Rosario to hit into an inning-ending double play to escape the threat.

Stars of the Game: Salvador Perez went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer and finished a triple short of the cycle for Venezuela. He scored three runs and drove in five. Anthony Santander hit a three-run homer and Pablo Lopez held Puerto Rico to one run over 4.2 innings and struck out six for Venezuela. 

Prospects of Note: None. 

What It Means: Venezuela is 2-0 in pool play after defeating the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico in consecutive nights. It is in the driver’s seat to win the pool and should do just that with its two toughest tests out of the way. Puerto Rico still controls its own destiny and will face Israel on Monday.

– Geoff Pontes

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