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Odubel Herrera and Venezuela defeat Italy to fend off WBC elimination

It was a Pool D win-or-go-home scrap last night in Jalisco.

World Baseball Classic - Pool D - Game 3 - Venezuela v Italy Photo by Miguel Tovar/Getty Images

Not much Phillies-related action to dictate in the World Baseball Classic last night; just Odubel Herrera’s Venezuelan squad eliminating Italian hurlers Nick Fanti and Pat Venditte from the tournament.

Venezuela 4, Italy 3

  • Herrera didn’t play a real hell of a game, but he did reach on a fateful error in the sixth inning. Daniel Descalso of Italy tried to get him at first as Alcides Escobar headed for second, but tanked the throw and Herrera was safe. Escobar was forced out a play later on a ground ball, but Herrera scored from second on an Ender Inciarte single, tying the game 1-1.
  • Italy had scored in the first inning and held onto their slim lead until that point, thanks in large part to starter A.J. Morris, who threw five innings. Recent Phillies acquisition Pat Venditte took the hill for Italy for two outs in the sixth inning after Herrera scored the equalizer and smothered the remainder of the Venezuelan threat.
  • I don’t know if you’ve heard about this Venditte character but
  • Italy retook the lead with a John Andreoli home run in the seventh, but Miguel Cabrera did his thing in the ninth with the game on the line and retied it with a line drive solo shot. Venezuela finally scared up some offense and got a couple more runs across to make it 4-2. Italy made it interesting with an Alex Liddi home run the next running, cutting the lead to 4-3, but three consecutive ground outs sent them home.
  • Odubel and Venezuela play next on Wednesday at 9:00 p.m., taking on Pat Neshek’s Team USA, who escaped Pool C with a loss.
  • Anybody notice how Japan is 5-0? Might want to watch out for them.