News: The World Baseball Classic saw a lot of action on Saturday. Teams in Pool C and D continued their round-robin tournaments. Once again, some Pittsburgh Pirates produced.
Canada vs Colombia
The first game of the day was between Team Canada and Team Colombia. Colombia defeated Canada 4-1. Team Canada had Pittsburgh Pirates prospect starting at third base for the second game in a row. After batting fifth in Canada’s first game, Wood moved up to the third spot. He collected one hit in four plate appearances. His one hit was a ground ball into left field for a single. Wood also struck out twice in the game. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates have no players on Team Colombia’s roster. However, former Pittsburgh Pirates outfield prospect Tito Polo did go two for four while starting in center field. Polo was traded to the Yankees in the Ivan Nova trade last summer.
Italy vs Venezuela
The second game of the day was a high scoring affair between Team Italy and Team Venezuela. Team Venezuela was down early, battled back, went down again, then eventually won 11-10. Of course, Francisco Cervelli started behind the plate for the Italians. He put together a solid game collecting three hits, including a double, in six at-bats. Cervelli also scored two runs and collected a RBI. Team Venezuela does not have any Pittsburgh Pirates on their active roster. Pittsburgh Native Mike Demark appeared for Team Italy. He gave up three runs, but only one was earned after an error by shortstop Gavin Cecchini to start the inning.
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The USA vs the Dominican Republic
The big game of the night was between Team USA and the Dominican Republic. These two teams put out two all-star lineups to square up against one another. Meanwhile, Marcus Stroman started for the Americans, while former Pittsburgh Pirates starter Edinson Volquez started for the Dominican Republic. The Pittsburgh Pirates had four players eligible to play in this game, but Starling Marte was the only one to get in. Marte started in center field, and had somewhat of a blunder leading to two American runs. The Americans eventually pushed the lead to 5-0 and seemed in control. However, the Dominicans were sparked by a Manny Machado solo home runs, and worked their way back into the game. The score was 5-3 when Nelson Cruz came to the plate and blasted a three-run shot against ace reliever Andrew Miller. The DR took a 6-5 lead. Starling Marte then tacked on an insurance run with a solo shot off Miller to put the game away with a final score of 7-5. Marte finished the game with three hits out of four plate appearances. He had one RBI on his solo shot, and he also totaled two runs scored. Gregory Polanco, Andrew McCutchen, and Josh Harrison did not appear in the game.
Puerto Rico vs Mexico
The last game of the night was between Puerto Rico and Mexico. Neither side has any Pittsburgh Pirates on the roster. Puerto Rico won easily by a score of nine to four. Francisco Lindor kicked off the scoring with a two-run shot, and he finished the game 3 for 5. Puerto Rico now has a record of 2-0 in Pool D.
Day Four; 3/12
Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco will be starting off the day against Team Colombia at 12:30 today. Polanco will likely be on the bench to start the game, however he could appear later as a defensive replacement. Meanwhile, Marte will get the call in center field. Then at 3:30 Francisco Cervelli and Team Italy will take on team Puerto Rico. After that game, Team USA will face Team Canada at 7:00 PM. Pittsburgh Pirates in the game will be Eric Wood for Team Canada, Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison will look to get on the field for Team USA. Lastly, Team Venezuela taking on Team Mexico.
11:56 Update: Starling Marte will be on the bench to start the game. Gregory Polanco is getting the start in centerfield for the DR.