World Baseball Classic returns better than ever after COVID-19 pandemic


Aynsleigh Penland

Graphic design created by Aynsleigh Penland using Canva’s Presentation software

Ralph Philips, Sports Writer

For soccer fans, it’s the World Cup. For gymnasts and bobsledders, it’s the Olympics. For baseball fans, it’s the World Baseball Classic. Every three years, the top baseball players from around the world come together to play ball for their homeland. After a brief six-year hiatus due to the Pandemic, we’re back and better than ever. 

This year’s World Baseball Classic has many new faces who are dominating the game and helping their teams win big. Shohei Ohtani for Japan is playing some amazing baseball right now. In 12 at-bats, he has six hits, eight RBIs, one home run, and three doubles. 

Right now, we’re gearing up for the second round as the pool stage of the tournament is over.  Now it’s time to see which team will climb the mountain and win the championship this year. 

Cuba defeated Australia in a thrilling 4-3 victory as they advanced to the semifinal. Now we just wait to see who will advance between Italy vs. Japan, the USA vs. Venezuela, and Puerto Rico vs. Mexico.

Japan has an amazing team this year with Shohei Ohtani, Yu Darvish, and Lars Nootbar. They faced Italy on March 16, and it wasn’t pretty for Italy. Led by Matt Harvey, Italy was an inexperienced team in this spotlight and struggled down the stretch of the game against Japan. Japan won the game 9-3 and is now heading to the semifinals. 

Next, it’s Mexico vs. Puerto Rico on March 17, and both of these teams are ready to go. Mexico, led by Randy Arozerana, has been a dark horse team as they have risen all of a sudden as the frontrunners to face Japan with players like Julio Urias, Alex Verdugo, and Rowdy Tellez.  Puerto Rico will not go down easy with Javier Baez, Fransisco Lindor, and Jose Berrios. This game is going to be a great one, and we’ll see which country will face Japan.

Then you have the other undefeated team in the tournament with the veteran lead Venezuela, featuring Jose Alvarado, Pablo Lopez, Salvador Perez, and Jose Altuve. But you can never count out the USA featuring world-renowned talents like Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, and Nolan Arenado. These two teams will clash on March 18, and no one should miss out on this matchup. 

It’s been a lot of fun having the World Baseball classic back. We’ll just have to wait to see what happens next in the tournament.