World Baseball Classic Recap: David Bednar and Duane Underwood Jr Help Their Teams Advance

Today is the first day of six straight days with one game, which will decide the World Baseball Classic winner. Each game from here on out is an elimination game. We will post articles over the next six days whenever at least one Pittsburgh Pirates player sees action. The WBC article series will wrap up at the end of next Tuesday’s finale, with a recap of the tournament for Pirates players.

Rob Zastryzny got the start for Canada in a game that would put them into the next round if they won. He lasted two innings against Mexico, allowing three runs on three hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Mexico would take the game 10-3 to move on to the next round.

Duane Underwood Jr helped Puerto Rico to the next round by pitching a scoreless eighth in a 5-2 victory over the Dominican Republic. He retired all three batters he faced, one by strikeout.

David Bednar had an easy sixth inning for Team USA, retiring the side in order on eight pitches. He picked up one strikeout. He had a 1-2-3 appearance in his only other WBC game. Team USA won 3-2 over Colombia, pushing them to the next round.

Santiago Florez made his first appearance for Colombia. He allowed one run on two hits, one walk and two strikeouts.

Cuba won 4-3 over Australia on Wednesday in the first elimination game. 

Venezuela won 5-1 over Israel. Venezuela went 4-0, while Israel went 1-3. Venezuela and Puerto Rico moved on to the next round from their pool, which also included Nicaragua.

The seven remaining teams include David Bednar, Duane Underwood Jr and the pair of pitchers for Italy who didn’t pitch in the first round, Alessandro Ercolani and Jeffrey Passantino. Both are on the active roster still. Japan, Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela don’t have any Pirates players.

Team USA will play Venezuela Saturday night at 7 PM.

Today’s Schedule

Italy vs Japan 6 AM (eastern time)

UPDATE: Since there won’t be a WBC post here tomorrow, I’m adding this update here today. Japan won 9-3 over Italy. No Pirates played, so all that remains for our coverage is Underwood and Bednar. Articles will be posted when/if they pitch. At minimum, we will have a recap of the Pirates in the tournament at the end of it. Tomorrow’s game is Puerto Rico vs Venezuela at 7 PM.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Columbia is a very good team, they have pitching for sure. But managing can make the difference. (Shelty are you out there?) I was shocked they pitched to Trout with first base open, runners on second and third. Result…..winning single that drove in the decisive 2 runs for USA.


Go PR! We will get Contreras and Ortiz soon!


Congrats PR21! Had no idea your team was THIS stacked! Time to go to that wig shop!


Thanks! That’s without Correa at 3rd and Miranda at 1b who dropped out due to minor injuries!

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