World Baseball Classic Roundup: Venezuela Stays Perfect

Image credit: Eugenio Suarez (Getty Images)

Venezuela 5, Israel 1

What Happened: Venezuela wrapped up pool play with a 4-0 record to equal Japan for the best record in pool play. Venezuela scored three runs in the first inning with an RBI single by Ronald Acuna and a two-RBI single by Eugenio Suarez. Eduardo Escobar and Suarez added solo home runs, giving Venezuela an effectively insurmountable 5-0 lead by the sixth inning. Jakob Goldfarb singled in Noah Mendlinger for Israel’s lone run in the seventh.

Stars of the Game: Suarez had three more hits including his home run and three RBIs. Suarez was the star of pool play for Venezuela. He’s hitting .600/.636/.900. Acuna went 2-for-4 with a stolen base, an RBI and a run scored. Venezuela starter Jesus Luzardo allowed four hits in four scoreless innings of work.

Prospect of Note: Mendlinger had three hits for Israel. The Cardinals farmhand hit .300/.417/.300 in pool play.

What It Means: Venezuela had already clinched a spot in the quarterfinals, but it finished its pool play in convincing fashion. For Israel, the team’s win over Nicaragua ensures it will automatically qualify for the next WBC, which is mission accomplished in a stacked Pool D. Israel’s lineup will need to improve for the next WBC. In addition to getting blanked in Puerto Rico’s eight-inning perfect game, Israel scored only five runs in four games.

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