The Mexican National Team dropped their final three games of the second round at the Baseball World Cup in Italy to be eliminated from third round contention in the tournament.
The Verde Grande followed their heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to Taiwan on Friday, September 18 by losing two more games last weekend to end the second round with a 2-5 record, finishing tied for fifth place with Japan in the Pool G standings. The United States was a perfect 7-0 in the second round, while Australia, Canada and Taiwan tied for second at 5-2. The Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Venezuela advanced to the third round coming out of Pool F. The USA was slated to meet Cuba on Sunday, September 27, for the World Cup title.
Mexico fell to the United States, 7-3, on Saturday, September 19 to be mathematically crossed out. The Mexicans were held to four hits by USA pitchers and never led. The Americans took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Jon Weber scored on Lucas May’s double. Josh Kroeger scored on Weber’s fielder’s choice grounder in the fourth, and the score went to 4-0 one inning later when Daniel Descalso led off the fifth with a homer and Justin Smoak later scored on Terry Tiffee’s two-bagger.
Mexico finally got on the board in the fifth when Carlos Valencia broke up Trevor Reckling’s bid for a no-hitter by doubling in Mario Valenzuela, who led off the frame by reaching first base on an error by USA third baseman Pedro Alvarez, but this game belonged to the Yanquis.
Mexico then wrapped up their World Cup stint Sunday, September 20 with a 6-5 loss to Australia. Unlike Saturday’s game, in which the Mexicans were never really in contention with the Americans, the Big Green fought back from a 6-3 deficit with two runs in the ninth inning and had the tying run on third base with two out. Abel Martinez followed Oswaldo Morejon’s leadoff single by whacking a two-run homer to make it 6-5. Ivan Terrazas then singled, moved to second on Oscar Robles’ groundout and then to third on another groundout by Cristian Presichi. With two out, Noe Munoz was plunked by a Brendan Wise pitch to give Mexico runners at the corners. However, the game ended when Tim Cox came out of the Aussie bullpen and induced Jesus Cota into flying out to former major leaguer Chris Snelling in left field to end the contest.
Mexico finished two rounds of World Cup play with a 5-5 record. Presichi led team batters by hitting .382, tying Cota for the top of the hits list with 13. Cota belted four homers, including three in one game, and led Mexico with eight RBIs. Among pitchers, reliever Arturo Lopez had a 1.12 ERA in eight innings over five appearances and starter Oscar Rivera was sharp, striking out 17 batters in 11.1 innings en route to a 1.59 ERA. Nobody won more than one game as Mexico outscored opponents by a 55-to-47 margin in ten games. Overall, it was a decent showing but with a disappointing ending.