Czech Republic beats China 8-5 at WBC, Cuba gets its 1st win Ohtani long HR powers Japan; Italy advances at World Classic

TOKYO. Martin Muzyk hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning, and the Czech Republic beat China 8-5 on Friday at the World Baseball Classic.

The Czech Republic overcame a 5-4 deficit in the ninth and Filip Smola added an RBI single in the team’s first game in Group A.

Matej Mensik also scored for the Czechs, connecting in the third. Marek Minarik was the winner, closing out with 2 2/3 clean innings.

Hai Cheng Gong was defeated when China fell to 0:2. On Thursday, he lost to Japan 8:1.

An amateur Czech team had fun in Japan. Some players even surfed ahead of the tournament during games in Miyazaki in southwestern Japan.

“We enjoy our stay in Japan,” said Czech player Marek Chlup. “In Miyazaki, some players were swimming.”


TAICHUNG, Taiwan — Cuba landed 21 hits and claimed their first World Baseball Classic victory after losing their first two games in Group A.

Panama took a 4-2 lead after two innings, breaking out with four runs in the second inning. Ruben Tejada. But Cuba scored four times in the sixth, five in the seventh and two more in the eighth for a lopsided victory.

Yoan Moncada was 3 of 5 with four RBIs and Yadir Drake went 4 of 4 with two RBIs to lead the Cubans.

Luis Miguel Tejada was the winning pitcher and Matthew Hardy took the loss to Panama.

Both teams play 1-2 in Group A.

TOKYO — Shohei Otani hit a three-point homer that landed just below his billboard image, sending Japan to a 7-1 win over Australia at the World Baseball Classic on Sunday night.

Otani also walked twice and finished with four RBIs. His first pitch went approximately 448 feet.

Japan won Group B 4-0 and will play in the quarter-finals on Wednesday against Italy, who, together with Cuba, were eliminated from Group A in tie-breaks. Matt Harvey took the win when Italy beat the Netherlands 7–1, bringing all five teams to a 2–2 finish.

South Korea beat the Czech Republic 7-3 in the other Group B match, while Cuba beat Taiwan 7-1 in Group A.

Otani spun after a dangling spin ball from Will Sherriff, who wasn’t even watching the ball fly into the Tokyo Dome’s right seats, hunched over with his hands on his knees. It was the first home run of the tournament for Otani, who is 6-for-12 with eight RBIs and seven walks.

Winner Yoshinobu Yamamoto struck out eight of four scoreless innings, allowing one hit and no walks. He threw 42 out of 60 shots for strikes, averaging 95.2 mph with his fastball and reaching a top speed of 96.9 mph. The 24-year-old right-hander was the Pacific League MVP for the Orix Buffaloes in 2021 and 2022, and played a no-hitter last June 22 against the Saitama Seibu Lions.

Robbie Perkins was the only Australian batter to catch up with Yamamato in singles in the third match. Alex Hall finished ninth behind Hiroto Takahashi finishing with five hitters.

Australia (2-1) is second in Group B, ahead of the Czechs and South Korea (both 1-2) and knocking out China (0-3). Australia will move forward by defeating the Czechs on Monday when South Korea plays China.


MIAMI – Garret Stubbs hit a two-run double in the three-run eighth inning that helped Israel rally for the win in the WBC opener.

Stubbs had two of Israel’s seven hits. His bases-loaded double from New York Yankees pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga drove into the net. Spencer Horwitz and Noah Mendlinger with two strikeouts in the eighth. Horwitz equalized earlier in the inning with an RBI single.

Winner Richard Blair there were two outs in one half of the help.

Nicaragua took a 1-0 lead in the fifth leg when Stephen Layton scored a brace for Sandy Bermudez. But in the WBC pool game, it fell to 0-2.


TAICHUNG, Taiwan. Harvey pitched four innings for Italy, while Milwaukee Brewers prospect Sal Frelik had three hits and two RBIs.

The Italian players had to wait a few minutes after the final to find out they had advanced with Cuba while the Netherlands, Taiwan and Panama were eliminated. The group was determined by allowed runs divided by strikeouts, with Cuba (15/108, 0.139) finishing first, followed by Italy (17/108, 0.157), the Netherlands (19/102, 0.186), Panama (21/108, 0.157) . 105, .200) and Taiwan (31/105, .295).

Chadwick Tromp finished third for the Netherlands, but Italy took the lead and were left with six runs in fourth.

Nicky Lopez there were two hits and two RBIs for the Italians who were managed by Mike Piazza.

The Netherlands, who needed three tries to advance, had two no-outs in the ninth match against Mitchell Stampo. Yuremi Profar hit, Tromp ran to the pitcher in foul territory near the plate and Ray Patrick Didder crossed out.

Dutch left fielder Yurikson Profar caught Dominic Fletcher’s ball with two outs in the eighth round, saving two tries.

Padres infielder Xander Bogaerts went 4 of 15 (.267) with one RBI for the Netherlands in the tournament. Yurikson Profar was 3 of 13 (.231) with one RBI, Didi Gregory was 3 out of 12 with three RBIs and Jonathan Shoop 1 in 13 (0.077) no RBI.


TOKYO – Ha-sung Kim from the San Diego Padres struck out two solo homers for South Korea.

Se Un Pak scored eight goals in 4 2/3 innings for South Korea, who improved to 1-2 in Group B and will play China without a win in the last group game. The Czechs are also 1-2.

Linebacker St. Louis Cardinals Tommy Edman hit with two singles for South Korea. Homer Kim in the sixth made it 6-0.

Matej Mensik put the Czech Republic on the board with a double double in seventh place. Kim made his second homer of the game in the bottom half.

Loser Lucas Ercoli allowed six runs in 1 1/3 innings.

Cuba 7, Taiwan 1

TAICHUNG, Taiwan – Yoan Moncada and Erisbel Arrubarrena scored goals to lead Cuba to victory.

Cuba took a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Alfredo Despain rode Moncada and Luis Robert with a double, while Arrubarrena added a two-point shot.

Moncada and Robert play for the Chicago White Sox.

Cuba’s starter Elian Leyva had 2 1/3 scoreless innings, scoring four. Underdog Shi-Peng Chen allowed five runs—four earned—and five hits in 1 1/3 innings.


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