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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Venezuela Avenges Earlier Defeat, Wins Pool C

With Francisco Rodriguez getting Kevin Youkilis to swing through a pitch to end the game and save a 5-3 victory, Venezuela avenged their earlier loss and earned the right to be called Pool C champions.

Venezuela got on the board in the third inning when catcher Henry Blanco led off with a solo home run to left field off of United States starter Ted Lilly. The United States tied the game when Ryan Braun doubled home Derek Jeter in the fourth. However, Brian McCann left the two men on base.

Venezuela re-took the lead in the fifth when Baltimore starter Jeremy Guthrie took the mound. With one out, Henry Blanco doubled. Cesar Izturis struck out, but Gregor Blanco tripled him home. Team Venezuela struck again when Miguel Cabrera led off with a double. Magglio Ordonez walked and was pinch-ran for by Endy Chavez. Carlos Guillen grounded back to Guthrie and the runners moved up a base. With a full count, Marco Scutaro singled home both runners to give Venezuela a 4-1 lead. They added another run in the seventh off of Guthrie when Izturis led off with a double and scored on a single by Melvin Mora after Gregor Blanco singled.

The United States finally scored in the eight when Chris Ianetta blasted a two-out, two-run home run down the left field line to score Adam Dunn and close the gap to two runs.

Venezuela brought out new Mets reliever Francisco Rodriguez to close the game in the ninth. Jimmy Rollins led off with a walk and stole second base. Dustin Pedroia flied out to center. Derek Jeter reached on an error by Luis Maza, who couldn't corral a routine grounder. Davey Johnson then tried a double steal on a 1-2 pitch. The pitch was outside, but Henry Blanco gunned the ball down to second and Scutaro applied the tag to Jeter who was just sliding in. Rodriguez then struck out Youkilis to end the game.

Henry Blanco and Gregor Blanco each had three hits. Henry had a homer, double and single to make up a 3-4, two run, and one RBI night. Gregor went 3-5 with a single, double and triple and drove in the go-ahead run for Venezuela in the fifth.

Ryan Braun went 3-4 with two singles, a double and an RBI. Jeter went 2-4 with two singles, a hit by pitch and a run scored.

The United States opens Round 2 play against Puerto Rico while Venezuela goes up first against the Netherlands.

W - Jan Granado (1-0)
L - Jeremy Guthrie (0-1)
S - Francisco Rodriguez (1)
HR - VEN - Henry Blanco (1)
USA - Chris Ianetta (1)


C Henry Blanco, Venezuela - 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI

CF Gregor Blanco, Venezuela - 3-5, 2B, 3B, RBI

C Chris Ianetta, United States - 1-1, HR, R, BB, 2 RBI,

EDIT: Added Three Stars
SECOND EDIT: Added Link To Boxscore

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