Spain and Great Britain won big on Day 2 of the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Regensburg, with Spain defeating Czechia 21-7 and Great Britain defeating the hosts, Germany, 8-1, in the nightcap. The two victors will meet on Tuesday evening, the winner earning a berth to the March 2023 World Baseball Classic group stage.
Spain vs. Czechia (box score)
Spain enjoyed a 9-2 lead after four innings and broke the game open in a marathon fifth inning that saw 17 Spaniards come to the plate and 12 of them round the bases to score. The Spanish batters collected 18 hits in the afternoon contest, including four homers, and were further aided by eight bases on balls in a comfortable win, their second in the tournament after the 5-4 victory over South Africa on the opening day of competition.
Cincinnati Reds top prospect Noelvi Marte went 4-for-6 and drove in five runs against the Czechs, as did Jesus Ustariz, who went 3-for-5, his first hit a three-run homer that opened the scoring. Edison Valerio contributed two homers and six RBI, four of them coming on a grand slam in the fifth inning.
The Czechs hit three homers of their own, with Vojtech Mensik, the former Los Angeles Angels farmhand, hitting a lead-off blast for the Czechs, but it was all downhill from there for a Czech squad that entered the tournament full of confidence.
Czechia will now face France, who lost to Great Britain yesterday, 14-4, in an elimination game on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 13:00 (CEST).
Great Britain vs. Germany (box score)
A three-run, first inning home run by Justin Wylie provided all the runs that the British pitching staff would need, with the British hurlers combining for 12 strikeouts while allowing just four hits on their way to a 2-o start at the tournament. The British pitchers did walk nine German batters, but the hosts were unable to bring more than one runner home, even after loading the bases with no outs to start the bottom of the ninth inning.
Wylie went 2-for-5, with top Seattle Mariners prospect Harry Ford adding a homer and three RBI of his own for Team GB.
The sellout crowd in Regensburg had little to cheer for on a wet and cool evening, and also had to endure a one-hour rain delay, but the German fans will get a chance to do it again tomorrow evening when the hosts challenge South Africa in the day’s second elimination game. First pitch is scheduled for 19:00 (CEST).
Fore more information, including stats and schedules, visit worldbaseballclassic.com.