Winter Leagues: Fabricio Macias Leads Mexico to U23 World Cup Title with Game-Winning Hit

The U23 World Cup tournament in Colombia wrapped up on Saturday for three members of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Only one player was active on Sunday, but he had quite a moment for his team.

Robbie Glendinning went 0-for-5 in his final game. His series was basically one big game on Friday when he hit two homers.  He finished 7-for-32 at the plate, posting a .219/.265/.469 slash line.

Victor Ngoepe was 0-for-1 on Saturday, when he picked up an RBI and a stolen base. He hit .125/.214/.167 in 29 plate appearances.

Paul Brands was the backup catcher for the Netherlands and he had just eight plate appearances total. He went 1-for-6 with a double, hit-by-pitch and a sacrifice bunt.

Fabricio Macias was only used as a pinch-runner on Saturday, but his team played for the title on Sunday. The game against Japan went to extra innings with no score. Macias came up with two runners in scoring position in the tenth and poked a single by the drawn in infield to score both runs and give his team the win in the tournament. Macias was 0-for-3 before the hit. Video here.

On Saturday in the Dominican, Pablo Reyes started in left field and went 1-for-4 with a single and his second stolen base. On Sunday, he started at third base (he was at 2B on Friday) and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Reyes is hitting .204/.304/.204 in 13 games this winter.

Tyler Eppler started on Sunday and it was a tough outing. In 2.2 innings, he allowed five runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out one batter. Eppler threw five shutout innings in his debut and gave up two runs over five innings in his last outing.

Jesus Liranzo made his fifth appearance on Sunday and threw two shutout innings. He allowed a single, with no walks and one strikeout. In 7.1 innings, he has allowed one run on four hits, with no walks and nine strikeouts.

In Venezuela, Elvis Escobar made his second appearance. He recorded the final out of the fifth inning, but not before he allowed a single that scored one of two inherited runners.

When he began playing this winter, Escobar said that the Pirates wouldn’t let him pitch on back-to-back days, but he is allowed to pinch-run on the days he can’t pitch. That happened on Sunday when he ran for Jesus Montero in the ninth inning.

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