Italy crushes Canada in World Classic
PHOENIX, Arizona (AFP) –
Chris Colabello smacked a three-run home run in a 4-for-5 batting performance to power Italy over Canada 14-4 on Friday in the World Baseball Classic, keeping the European champions unbeaten.
Colabello drove in three runs and scored three times himself as Italy scored five runs in the eighth inning to end the game under the 10-run mercy rule.
Mike Costanzo hit a two-run double and Mario Chiarini singled in a run to complete the scoring for the Italians, who opened Group D first-round play with a ninth-inning comeback Thursday for a 6-5 victory over Mexico.
Group D host United States was set to make its Classic debut later Friday against the Mexicans, who will face Canada on Saturday while the American squad of Major League Baseball stars meet Italy.
The US-Canada game Sunday will complete round-robin play and help settle which two teams advance to next week’s second-round games at Miami.
Group C host Puerto Rico was set to open play later Friday against Spain at San Juan. Those teams are competing with Venezuela and Dominican Republic for the other two berths in next week’s second-round showdown at Miami.
Japan, Taiwan, Cuba and the Netherlands are playing in a second-round group at Tokyo to decide the first two semi-finalists in the global event. The semi-finals and finals will be staged March 17-19 at San Francisco.