Venezuela tries to stay alive against Puerto Rico at WBC

Mar 9, 2013 - 12:02 PM (Sports Network) - If Venezuela wants any chance at advancing at the World Baseball Classic it's going to need to beat Puerto Rico on Saturday in a pivotal Pool C matchup at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

Armed with perhaps the best lineup in this tournament Venezuela entered the Classic as a heavy favorite. However, it ran into the one team that might be better than it in its first game, the Dominican Republic, and lost 9-3.

Pablo Sandoval had a two-run double in the setback, while Anibal Sanchez was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs -- two earned -- on three hits in just one-third of an inning before the weather delay.

"Mood wise, this is a team that's fine," Venezuela manager Luis Sojo said before his team worked out during its off-day on Friday afternoon. "We have no problem at all, and there's no tomorrow. We have to go with that mentality of playing baseball good, to execute. As I've always said, we've got the people there, we've got the group of players that have experience, people who know how to play ball, and what we have to do is do things right to get victory.

"I am convinced that this group of players know what they did (on Thursday). They know, these are people who know how to make adjustments, and that's why they're playing the best baseball in the world. "

It won't be easy for Venezuela on Saturday, as it goes up against a Puerto Rico team that has advanced to the next round in each of the two previous World Baseball Classics and has won its last four games as the hosts.

Puerto Rico started its Classic in winning fashion on Friday, as Carlos Beltran went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored to lift his team past Spain, 3-0.

Angel Pagan also went 1-for-3 and scored a run for Puerto Rico, which has finished in fifth place in its two prior WBCs. Mike Aviles lofted a sacrifice fly as part of a three-run opening inning.

Giancarlo Alvarado picked up the win after tossing four innings of one-hit ball.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!

Related News