Host (and favorite) for the World Baseball Classic qualifier Australia beat the Philippines in seven innings in the second of two games on Thursday, 11-1.
Both teams scored single runs in the first. Leading 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Aussies broke the game open with seven runs. They were led by their veterans, like Stefan Welch (2-for-4, double, two runs scored, and three RBIs), Minnesota’s James Beresford (4-for-5, three RBIs), and Trent Oeltjen (1-for-3, double, and two RBIs).
With the ten-run mercy rule in effect, that gave one of the newest KC Royals, Peter Moylan, the save. Moylan struck out three of the four batters he faced in the top of the seventh. The one reached via a throwing error by third baseman Logan Wade.
Former big leaguer Clay Rapada, who is retiring from baseball following the WBC, pitched two innings for the Philippines. He allowed a two-run double to Oeltjen in the 5th inning (the final pitch he threw).
In the first game of the WBC qualifier, South Africa beat New Zealand, 7-1.
South Africa scored three runs in the top of the third and four more in the top of the ninth. South Africa starter Dylan Unsworth (Seattle) struck out four over eight scoreless innings. He allowed just two hits in the victory: the first was a two out double in the fourth and the second was a two out double in the fifth.
The highlight of the opening game may have been the New Zealand war cry performance:
South Africa and Australia will meet in the winner’s bracket game on Friday (3:30am ET on MLB Network). Warwick Saupold (Detroit) will get the start for Australia against South Africa’s Carl Michaels (Milwaukee).
In the loser’s bracket, the Philippines will face New Zealand at 9pm ET (tonight).
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