The World Baseball Classic seems barely underway since none of the first round of Pool play has even started in the United States, but the American Association already has eight of its players, including some due this summer in Lincoln, on teams that have qualified for the second series of games starting in Japan later this week.
Six of those advancing are with the Netherlands, which managed a ninth-inning run to edge Chinese Taipei in its clincher, and the other two with Team Israel, playing in the WBC for the first time.
Dashenko Ricardo, slated to play in Lincoln this summer, went 2-for-4 in both of the Netherlands’ victories, driving in two runs. Future Saltdogs teammate Randolph Oduber cracked a two-run homer and went 2-for-5 when the team blanked Korea 5-0 in its first game.
Shairon Martis (Lincoln, 2015) got the win in the clincher and threw a scoreless inning in both victories. One more Saltdog, Curt Smith, was at first base in both games although he was hitless. Yurendell de Caster (Winnipeg, Fargo) was 0-for-1 in his only action while outfielder Chris Garia (Lincoln, 2017) did not get into either of the first two games.
Blake Gailen (Lincoln, Wichita) was 1-for-7 with a walk as Israel won its first two games and Fargo’s Tyler Herron hurled a scoreless inning in the 15-7 blasting of Chinese Taipei.