PHOENIX — Mexico arrives at the World Baseball Classic looking to lift its head after disappointing performances in recent editions. After the first duel, that mission is worthless.
A hit by Gustavo Campero, who could not control shortstop Luis Urías in the tenth inning, ended the give-and-take with which Colombia and Mexico began their participation in the competition on Saturday and in which the farmers 5-4.
Campero’s hit and Urías’ mistake allowed Jorge Alfaro to score the difference in receiving a run in this Group C game.
It’s a bad start for the Mexicans, who could not go out in the tournament with the most talented team, at least on paper, in the first game, although on the mound with star Julio Urías, Los Angeles Dodgers.
“All players are injured. It’s the same if you lose 1-0 or 30-0. In this kind of tournament, any defeat leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth,” said Mexico manager Benjamín Gil.
Urias, who was invited to the final All-Star Game, allowed three hits and three earned runs in five innings of work. All those scores were in a cluster in the fifth inning when Columbus took the lead.
“Julio was untouched for the first four innings. And then there were some of those saves,” Gil added. “Julio had just 45 pitches after four innings, we felt we could hit the fifth inning with no problem, but unfortunately it didn’t happen.”
Although the defeat of the Mexicans is painful, there is little room for regret. On this day, they look at the second match of the United States.
Defeated, although he was not shot, he left the aedile with a desire to go around for seconds.
“At the end of the day, this is invalid, but you don’t have to go forward undefeated. The game is over here, now we’re thinking about the United States,” Gil said. “We’ve got the next game and we’ll see what’s next.”
Colombia will have a rest day on Sunday before Great Britain on Monday. A win will bring the Colombians closer to the second season, especially if the Mexican Americans lose;
“This just confirmed our baseball, Colombian baseball continues to grow. These guys are incredible. They are so talented,” said manager Jolbert Cabrera. “You are fearless and play in your heart, day in and day out. So are we all.”
Mexico opened the scoreboard in an electrifying contest, along with an RBI by Isaac Paredes.
Colombia tied it at 1-1 in the top of the inning, and took a 3-1 lead thanks to a home run by Reynaldo Rodríguez.
The Aztecs answered in the ninth with a two-run home run by Randy Arozarena in the bottom of the inning to tie the game again.
After extra innings, the tie went to 4-4. In the tenth, Campero hit a ground ball that Urias couldn’t control and Alfaro ran to the plate.
Guillermo Zúñiga retired the Mexican batters to secure the win in the bottom of the tenth inning. Jesus Cruz accepted the defeat.