11th inning to start with 2 on in World Baseball Classic

NEW YORK (AP) The hitting team will be halfway home already if any games in the World Baseball Classic reach the 11th inning.

Organizers announced a few rules changes Tuesday for next month's tournament, and one was designed to expedite an ending to games that last more than 10 innings. Starting with the 11th, each inning would begin with runners on first and second base. The runners will be the players occupying the previous two slots in the batting order before the hitter leading off the inning.

In another change, teams will be able to designate 10 pitchers eligible to throw in one or more consecutive rounds. Teams must use one or two pitchers from the 10-man group on each roster or else give up the right to use the pool. Pool pitchers placed on a roster and later removed are ineligible for the rest of the tournament.

During the first and second rounds, video review will be used to assist umpires only for boundary calls involving potential home runs, including fair or foul calls and determining whether fly balls clear the fence or are interfered with by a fan. Major League Baseball's regular replay rules will be used in the championship round.

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