The World Baseball Classic began March 8, 2023, with the championship game to be played on March 21,2023, at loanDepot Park in Miami. Here are the results of the seeding games in pool A & B.
The teams in Pool A were made up of Cuba, Italy, Netherlands, Panama, and Chinese Taipei and ended in a five-way tie with all teams finishing with a record of 2-2. The first tiebreaker utilized by the World Baseball Classic is the head-to-head record between the tied teams. However, the initial tie breaker could not be utilized to decide Pool A because all five teams finished with the same record.
Runs allowed per defensive out recorded is the second tiebreaker used by the WBC. This is done by dividing each team’s total runs allowed in pool play by the total number of outs they recorded on defense. The two teams with the lowest numbers recorded advance. Cuba allowed 15 runs in its four games, and recorded 108 outs, resulting in a ratio of .139 runs allowed/outs recorded. Italy allowed 17 runs in its four games, and recorded 108 outs, resulting in a ratio of .157 runs allowed/outs recorded. With the tiebreakers, Cuba and Italy move on to the second round of play.
Pool B was dominated by Japan, as they went 4-0 and appear to be the team to beat. Japan is led by the uber-talented Shohei Ohtani who recorded a .500 batting average with three doubles and one homerun in pool play to go along with his five strikeouts on 4.0 innings pitched in his lone start of the Classic. Japan will face Italy in their quarterfinal game.
After only two wins in the last four World Baseball Classics’, Australia made history and surprised many by advancing out of Pool B with their 3 -1 record. Australia’s record eliminated Korea, Czech Republic, and China from the tournament. Australia will now play Cuba in the next round, with the winner advancing to the semifinals.
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