Saturday, September 19, 2009


What began with the makings of a Cinderella run at the Baseball World Cup in Europe is going to come to a close for the Mexican National Team on Sunday. The Verde Grande were officially eliminated from contention for a berth in the BWC’s final round with a 7-3 loss to the United States Saturday in Vicenza.

After going 3-0 to sweep Group A pool play in the Czech Republic in mid-September, Mexico has struggled in the second round, winning just two of their first six games. Saturday’s loss came on the heels of Friday’s frustrating 1-0 loss to Taiwan in ten innings.

The Mexicans never led in Saturday’s game, as USA pitchers combined to hold Mexico batters to four hits on the night. The Americans drew first blood when Jon Weber scored on Lucas May’s double. Two innings later, Josh Kroeger scored on Weber’s fielder’s choice grounder in the top of the fourth. The score was stretched to 4-0 one inning later when Daniel Descalso led of the fifth with a homer and Justin Smoak later scored on Terry Tiffee’s two-bagger.

Mexico finally put a run on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Mario Valenzuela led off the inning by reaching first base on an error by USA third baseman Pedro Alvarez. Carlos Valencia came to the plate next and broke up Trevor Reckling’s no-hit bid with a double, scoring Valenzuela. Valencia subsequently plated a run on an Oswaldo Morejon flyout to center field.

The Americans scored once more in the sixth to make it a 5-2 game, and Mexico came back with a counter of their own in the bottom of the frame when Oscar Robles led off with a walk, moved to third on a Cristian Presichi (pictured) double, and came in to score on an Edgar Quintero flyout to left.

Two more runs for the USA in the seventh widened their lead to 7-3, and Mexico was unable to mount a threat the rest of the way as Abel Martinez grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.

Reckling won his second game of the tournament for the Americans, going five-plus innings and combining with four relievers on the four-hitter. Andres Meza took the loss for Mexico but giving up four runs on six hits and a walk in 4-2 innings. Nobody in the Mexican lineup got more than one hit. Although Mexico has cooled considerably at the plate their last wo games, Presichi has continued to smoke the ball. He's batting a team-best .448 with 13 hits for through eight World Cup games.

Mexico will wrap up its appearance in the World Cup Sunday against Australia

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