Thursday March 9th, In the first round of WBC action, Italy beat Mexico in a come from behind walk off, five run bottom of the 9th inning.
Italy had tied up the game in the 4th inning when the Dodgers' Rob Segedin hit a two run HR & Cleveland's Chris Colabello connected with a solo shot, making it 4-4.
Then Mexico went ahead 9-4 going into the 9th inning. For Italy, the Pirates Francisco Cervelli & Cleveland's Chris Colabello both doubled. The Royals Alex Liddi, also doubled bringing in two runs. KC's Drew Butera then reached on an error & Drew Maggi walked.
Then some players from the Mets history, past & present both helped the out come of the game. Our old friend Oliver Perez was brought in to pitch for Mexico, to face current Mets outfielder, Brandon Nimmo. In classic Ollie Perez fashion, he served up a line drive base hit to Nimmo, scoring a run bringing Italy to within a run 9-8.
Next batter was The Cub's John Andreoli, he singled past an infield playing in, bringing home the game winning runs. Italy won it in an exciting 10-9walk off.
On Saturday March 11th, Team Italy took a heartbreaking extra inning loss to Venezuela 11-10. In a game which they led 5-0, then came back after blowing the lead with two runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie it. In that game Nimmo would hit a solo HR off Detroit's Bruce Rondon. Nimmo went 1-5 with two runs scored & a walk.
|Gavin Cecchini & coach Frank Catalanotto|
The Mets Gavin Cecchini singled in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game up at ten. The potential winning run; Drew Butera was thrown out at home plate as center fielder; Ender Inciarte relayed to former Met, Frankie Rodriguez who threw home to Royals' catcher Salvatore Perez who applied the tag.
In the next game on Sunday, March 12th, Team Italy lost 9-3 to Puerto Rico, with Nimmo going 0-1, drawing a walk & scoring a run before being removed from the game.
In the bottom of the 5th inning, he chased a fly ball to the outfield wall which eventually became a triple. During that play he pulled a hamstring & will be out of action for the next few weeks. It was a big disappointment for him & a big blow to the Mets reserve outfield situation.
It also raises some eye brows & "I told ya so's" from skeptical fans (like this one), who doesn't believe in the WBC, especially just before the MLB season is about to begin.
Also In that game Drew Butera & Chicago's John Andreoli both hit their second HRs of the WBC.
On Monday, March 13th, Team Italy was eliminated from the WBC, losing the tie breaker 4-3 to Venezuela. In that game Gavin Cecchini went 0-4 finishing up with a .133 batting average.