The flags, face paint and food were out in full force as Team USA took on Venezuela in a star-studded affair Saturday night at LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida.
Everything was on the line, and for most of the matchup, Venezuela was in full control. But the U.S. regained control in a come-from-behind effort, guided by a massive grand slam from Trea Turner, a hit he called the biggest homer of his career. The team will now face Cuba in a semifinal game Sunday, and get a chance to bring home the ever-coveted championship trophy.
The WBC began March 7 and will end on March 21 with the championship game (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET, FS1) in Florida. Quarterfinal games will take place March 15-18, followed by the semifinals from March 19-20.
Games are airing across FOX, FS1, FS2 and are available to stream on the FOX Sports app. View the full schedule here.
These are the top plays from the game!
FINAL: USA 9, Venezuela 7
Hit ’em where they ain’t
The U.S. took an early 1-0 lead courtesy of an RBI double by the captain, none other than Mike Trout. The American troupe was awarded an extra base after a misplayed throw left the field.
Few players have put together a better résumé at the plate over the last 10 years than Paul Goldschmidt. The man they call “Goldy” went with the pitch he was given, slapping an RBI single into right field to drive home Trout.
And his captain was loving the team’s start.
Station to station
The U.S. strung together five straight hits in the first inning, and Kyle Tucker fought off an inside pitch to go up the middle for the team’s third run.
Tucker’s hit forced Venezuela starting pitcher Martín Pérez out of the action.
Two on the board
Venezuela got a pair of runs back when Luis Arráez went yard in the bottom half of their own inning. And the stadium was electric after the big blast.
Venezuela’s Luis Arraez crushes a two-run homer to cut the deficit against USA
Venezuela’s Luis Arraez crushed a two-run homer on his home field to cut the deficit 3-2, against USA in the World Baseball Classic Quarterfinal.
Give yourself up
Despite Venezuela’s best efforts to hold off its adversary after allowing multiple baserunners, Mookie Betts thwarted its plight as he poked a ball into center field, just far enough to bring in Kyle Schwarber and extend Team USA’s lead to 4-2.
Swinging for the fences
Despite multiple dazzling defensive plays from Venezuela, Team USA kept its foot on the gas, adding to its lead with its first homer, this time off the bat of Tucker.
Kyle Tucker launches a solo home run to right, giving the USA a 5-2 lead over Venezuela
The USA took a 5-2 lead over Venezuela in the 2023 World Baseball Classic after Kyle Tucker launched a solo home run.
Don’t count us out!
The Venezuelan squad came around in the fifth in a massive way. After José Altuve left the game following a painful HBPhis team notched a run off of a wild pitch with the bases loaded.
It scored again on a rocket-powered line drive to Tim Anderson, who made a potential run-saving stop to collect an out.
Salvador Pérez may very well be the heart and soul of this Venezuelan team, and he ignited his team with a momentous tying RBI to continue to rally.
Venezuela didn’t let up. Ronald Acuña Jr, nearly left the yard to dead center field after Pérez’s RBI, and although Trout camped under the fly ball, it was more than far enough to score another run for the squad.
Lost in the lights
Arráez was teaching a masterclass on fastball hitting in this one. He turned on another heater in the seventh and sent the baseball flying into the stratosphere for Venezuela’s seventh run of the game.
Luis Arráez hits his second home run of the game to give Venezuela a 7-5 lead over the USA
Luis Arráez hit his second home run of the game to give Venezuela a 7-5 lead over the United States.
O. M. G.
What better opportunity is there for a hitter to come up to the plate with the bases loaded and a chance to take the lead?
Trea Turner got exactly that, and down two runs, he put his country on his back with a gargantuan big fly to left field to put Team USA back on top, 9-7.
Trea Turner crushes a go-ahead grand slam that gives the USA a 9-7 lead in the eighth inning
The USA took a 9-7 lead after Trae Turner crushed a go-ahead grand slam.
Turner’s four-RBI jack marked the last score change of the game, and in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly came in to do what he’s done all tournament: Shut the door.
His brilliant pitching set down Venezuela’s last three batters in order, and helped the U.S. advance to the semifinal round.
Team USA advances to the Semifinals after Ryan Pressly gets Anthony Santander to pop out
Team USA will advance to the Semifinals in the World Baseball Classic after Ryan Pressly got Anthony Santander to pop out.
‘This helps us get to that goal’ – Trea Turner reflects on his grand slam in the USA’s 9-7 victory over Venezuela
Trea Turner spoke with Ken Rosenthal after the USA defeated Venezuela 9-7.
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