The 2023 World Baseball Classic is in the quarterfinal stage, and Friday’s slate featured an anticipated matchup between Puerto Rico and Mexico. The action took place at LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida, where the rest of the World Baseball Classic games will be held.
Puerto Rico blazed out of the gates, going up 4-0 in the first inning, and they held their lead through most of the game. However, Mexico chipped away slowly, then surged ahead in the seventh inning with 3 RBIs in two at-bats. The Pool C champion Mexico squad held on tightly to their hard-earned lead late in the game and ended victorious with a 5-4 win.
Mexico will advance to the semifinals for the first time in team history on Monday at 7 p.m. ET on FS1, where it will face Japan, which was the Pool B champion and topped Italy in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals for the fifth straight time in the World Baseball Classic
The WBC began March 7 and will end on March 21 with the championship game (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET, FS1) in Florida. Quarterfinal games will take place March 15-18, followed by the semifinals from March 19-20.
Games are airing across FOX, FS1, FS2 and are available to stream on the FOX Sports app. View the full schedule here.
Here are the top plays!
On the board
Puerto Rico tallied the first run of the game with a sac fly to deep right field by Emmanuel Rivera, allowing Kiké Hernández to score.
Back-to-back home runs
Javier Báez launched a home run that result in two points, and then Eddie Rosario followed it up with another homer, putting Puerto Rico ahead 4-0 at the top of the first inning.
Javier Báez and Eddie Rosario go back-to-back as Puerto Rico takes a 4-0 lead over Mexico
Javier Báez and Eddie Rosario hit back-to-back home runs as Puerto Rico took a 4-0 lead over Mexico in the Quarterfinal of the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
After a dominant first inning for Puerto Rico, Mexico began composing its response in the second, starting with this homer by Isaac Paredes to make it 4-1.
Isaac Paredes crushes a solo home run, trimming the Puerto Rico lead over Mexico to 4-1
Isaac Paredes crushed a solo home run that trimmed the Puerto Rico lead over Mexico to 4-1.
Puerto Rico’s Hernández made a beautiful diving catch to send Joey Menses off the field and maintain the lead.
Marcus Stroman‘s pitch got away from him with Isaac Paredes at bat, and Paredes took a pitch to the shoulder which awarded him a walk.
Mexico fought hard to chip away at Puerto Rico’s early lead and set itself up well in the fifth inning with an Alex Verdugo single that brought Alek Thomas home to make it 4-2, as well as leaving all three bases loaded …
… But an over-the-shoulder catch by Juan Soto halted the base-runners in their tracks.
Put me in, coach
Yacksel Ríos replaced Stroman on the mound and brought a fresh wave of energy to the Puerto Rican squad by getting them out of a sticky situation at the bottom of the fifth.
Mexico has tenacity
The Mexican players refused to hang their heads early and instead battled back into position to score big with all bases loaded in the seventh inning …
… and they capitalized with a Paredes hit into left field that added two to Mexico’s tally, tying the game at 4-4.
Julio Urías then hit to right field for an RBI and Mexico took the lead going into the eight inning!
Mexico takes a 5-4 lead over Puerto Rico after RBI singles by Isaac Paredes and Luis Urias
Mexico took a 5-4 lead over Puerto Rico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic after RBI singles by Isaac Paredes and Luis Urias.
Randy said “Nope!”
Randy Arozarena made a spectacular catch at the wall to keep Rivera and Puerto Rico off the board, and another out put Mexico in great position at the bottom of the eighth inning.
Puerto Rico began the ninth inning with a lead-off single by Cesar Vargas, but they couldn’t put together any more runs.
Mexico completed their stunning comeback, ending with a 5-4 victory and advancing on to the semifinals!
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