Sunday, September 20, 2009

RALLY FALLS SHORT AS WORLD CUP ENDS FOR MEXICO


Although they ended up losing their third straight game, Mexico definitely made thing interesting to the end in a 6-5 loss to Australia Sunday at the Baseball World Cup in Macarata, Italy. The defeat ended the second-round schedule for the Mexicans, who were eliminated from contention one day earlier with a loss to the United States.

Trailing 6-3 going into the bottom of Sunday's ninth inning, Oswaldo Morejon led off with a single before Abel Martinez (pictured) strode to the plate and blasted a two-run homer to bring Mexico to within one run of Australia with nobody out.

At that point, Aussie pitcher Matthew Williams was replaced by Adam Bright, who was greeted by a single to right field by Ivan Terrazas. Terrazas advanced to second on an Oscar Robles tapper to the mound, and then to third on Cristian Presichi's 5-4 groundout.

Mexico stayed alive when Noe Munoz was struck by a pitch from Brendan Wise, Australia's third pitcher of the inning, to put runner at the corners with two men down. Tim Cox then became the Aussies' fourth pitcher of the entrada when he strolled in from the bullpen to face Jesus Cota, who was batting .325 with four homers in nine BWC games. With the count at 2-2, Cota hit a Cox pitch into left field, where former major leaguer Chris Snelling made the catch to end the game and Mexico's World Cup run for 2009.

Paul Mildren was awarded the win with two scoreless innings in relief as Australia sent eight men to the mound in the contest. Francisco Cordova was pinned with the loss for Mexico after allowing two runs on four hits in 1.2 innings of relief.

Both teams collected ten hits for the game, as Martinez finished with a double, homer, two runs and three RBIs for the Verde Grande. Mario Valenzuela clubbed a solo homer in the fourth for the Mexicans.

Mexico ended the secound round with a 2-5 record to finish in a tie with Japan for fifth place in the eight-team Pool G standings. Overall, the team was 5-5 under manager Enrique "Che" Reyes.