Captain Mike Trout drove in all three runs on Wednesday as the US defeated Colombia 3-2 to book their place in the quarter-finals at the World Baseball Classic (WBC).
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Trout — one of the figureheads of a star-studded US lineup — knocked in singles in the third and fifth innings to send the US into the last eight.
The US, who have recovered after being upset by Mexico in their second game in Pool C on Sunday, face Venezuela in Miami today with a semi-final showdown with Cuba awaiting the winner.
Colombia, needing a big win over the hosts to have any chance of progressing, raised the prospect of an upset after Reynaldo Rodriguez doubled to score Jorge Alfaro for a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third.
However, Trout singled in the fifth inning to score Los Angeles Dodgers duo Will Smith and Mookie Betts, and put the US 3-2 ahead.
Closer Ryan Pressly then got the save in the ninth inning to wrap up the win.
US manager Mark DeRosa lavished praise on Trout.
“I see one of the best players of all time,” DeRosa said of Trout. “The way he’s able to swing the baseball bat ... it was a huge knock for us. Couldn’t be happier for him.”
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Venezuela completed their perfect pool-stage campaign with a 5-1 win over Israel in Pool D in Miami.
Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying on Saturday crashed out of the BWF All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham, with South Korea’s Se Young-an denying the world No. 3 Tai a chance at a fourth All England title. In a replay of their semi-final showdown last year, the world No. 2 Se again beat Tai, saving four match points in a thrilling deciding game to prevail 17-21, 21-19, 24-22. Tai won the women’s singles title in Birmingham in 2017, 2018 and 2020. In the three times the two superstars faced each other prior to Saturday, Tai, 22, had only come out on top once, when
ON ANOTHER LEVEL: In a pregame speech, Ohtani urged his teammates ‘to throw away their admiration’ for the US, because they ‘came here to surpass them, to reach the top’ Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout had dreamed of this moment, along with millions of fans throughout Japan and the US: the two biggest stars on the planet, longtime teammates, facing each other at 60 feet, 6 inches, the world title at stake. Of course, the count went full on Tuesday night, and Ohtani got Trout to swing under a slider on the outside corner, sealing Japan’s 3-2 win and their first World Baseball Classic (WBC) title since 2009. “This is the best moment in my life,” Ohtani said through a translator. Ohtani, the two-way star who has captivated fans across two continents, was
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