Venezuela eliminates Mexico from World Baseball Classic after tiebreaker mixup

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Monday March 13th, 2017

Venezuela still has a chance to advance to the second round of the World Baseball Classic after initially thinking it had been eliminated from the tournament due to an error with early calculations of the first-round tiebreaker.

After losing 11–9 to Mexico on Sunday, three of the Pool D teams—Venezuela, Mexico and Italy—each finished with a 1–2 record (Puerto Rico has already advanced to the second round with a 3–0 record in group play). The tiebreaker for the three remaining teams is runs allowed per defensive inning played. When that stat was initially calculated, Mexico (1.05 runs allowed) beat out Venezuela (1.11) for the right to play Italy (1.05). However, the first calculations had overlooked the fact that Mexico had not, in fact, played a full nine innings in its loss to Italy; instead, the team had played eight innings and failed to record an out in the ninth. When the math was redone to remove those three extra outs given to Mexico, Venezuela came out on top, 1.11 runs to 1.12.

Mexico protested the result based on what the team was told what was needed to advance to Round 2, with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez arguing their case on Twitter.

If the math is not changed again, then Italy will play Venezuela on Monday night for the right to advance to the next round. The winner of the tiebreaker will play the United States on Wednesday at Petco Park in San Diego.

- Scooby Axson

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