Franklin Players at the World Baseball Classic

Joey Votto
Every four years the World Baseball Classic features major league talent playing for their countries and battling for the tournament crown. Sixteen teams qualify for the event before competing in a three-week contest consisting of two rounds of pool play and a championship round, this year the championship is held at AT&T Park in San Francisco March 17 to 19.

Several players at this year’s World Baseball Classic are wearing Franklin batting gloves. Here are a few of their highlights country by country:

Puerto Rico: In a surprise to many, Puerto Rico defeated the Venezuelans in pool play and advanced to the second round held at Marlins Park in Miami joining Italy, Dominican Republic and the United States.
* Yadier Molina recorded two hits in seven at-bats, playing two games in pool play.
* Alex Rios had four runs scored and one stolen base playing in all three games.

Venezuela: The Venezuela team entered this year’s classic as favorites to advance out of their first round pool with multiple MLB players anchoring a potent lineup. However, the team failed to make it past the first round after losing to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
* Martin Prado had a good three games, recording a .455 batting average with three doubles.
* Miguel Cabrera recorded one home run and a .333 batting average.
* Omar Infante batted .444 with four hits in two games.

Canada: The Canadians needed to beat the United States to advance to the second round, but came up short in a tightly contested elimination game.
* Justin Morneau had an excellent three-game stretch, recording hits in seven of his 11 at-bats with three doubles and three runs driven in.
* Opposing pitchers felt the pressure when Joey Votto approached the batter’s box. He drew five walks and scored five runs.

United States: After losing their first game to Mexico, the U.S. responded well and fought back to defeat Canada in the final game of pool play to advance to the second round.
* Willie Bloomquist pinch ran in the eighth inning of the game against Canada and scored the go-ahead run for the US.
* Jonathan Lucroy saw action in all three games, recording two hits in five at-bats driving in one run.

Dominican Republic: The Dominican Republic rolled through pool play, winning all three games handily. Hanley Ramirez is the only Franklin player on the Dominican team, and in three games he belted one home run, drew four walks and scored two runs.

Italy: After beating Mexico and Canada in their first two games, Italy advanced to the second round with plenty of help from Franklin supporter Alex Liddi. The young Seattle Mariners third-baseman recorded a .400 batting average with two RBIs and three runs scored.

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