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WBC Daily: Australia and Japan roll, Panama wins, a dramatic Chinese Taipei HR
Major League Baseball

WBC Daily: Australia and Japan roll, Panama wins, a dramatic Chinese Taipei HR

Updated Mar. 11, 2023 7:07 p.m. ET

From a thundering grand slam to shutdown pitching performances to a big-time upset and potential chaos in Pool A, here are the biggest takeaways from Day 4 of the World Baseball Classic.

Australia beats China 12-2

  • Two days after upsetting Korea, 8-7, Australia's bats kept rolling in its 12-2 romp over China. It was the first WBC game so far this year to implement the mercy rule. After Australia led China by 10 runs in the seventh inning, umpires ended the game.
  • First baseman Rixon Wingrove and the Angels' Aaron Whitefield led Australia's offensive effort, combining for six RBI, four hits and four runs scored. Royals minor-league infielder Robbie Glendinning cranked his second home run of the tournament in the fourth inning as Australia continued its barrage on China's arms.

China vs. Australia Highlights

China and Australia faced off in a key Pool B game in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Australia got off to a fast start and didn't look back. Darryl George's RBI with bases loaded in the seventh inning set off the mercy rule.
  • China has lost all three of its first WBC games and needs a win against Korea on Monday to avoid finishing in last place in Pool B. If China loses to Korea, it will have to play in a qualifier to enter the 2026 Classic.

Panama beats Italy 2-0

  • Panama, in a must-win game, kept its hopes of advancing alive after beating Italy 2-0 in its final game of pool play. Now Panama, which went 2-2 to open the tournament, no longer controls its own destiny. It needs Taiwan to beat Cuba on Saturday night, and then it needs the Netherlands to beat Taiwan in order to advance.
  • Panama needed just four pitchers to blank Italy across 27 outs. Harold Arauz went four innings, Humberto Mejía allowed just one hit over two innings, Nationals' southpaw Alberto Baldonado covered two more innings of one-hit ball, and Brewers righty Javy Guerra got the save.

Panama vs. Italy Highlights

Panama took on Italy in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Panama's Jose Ramos got the scoring going early with a deep home run. Italy threatened in the ninth inning but an inning-ending double play secured the victory for Panama.
  • Italy has a tougher path to advancing now. The Mike Piazza-led squad must beat the Netherlands in its final pool game on Sunday to stay alive.

Japan beats Czech Republic 10-2

  • Shohei Ohtani once again brought the house down at the Tokyo Dome, collecting a double in the fourth inning, followed by stealing third base, and finally reaching home on a sacrifice fly.

Japan piles it in in the fourth with RBI hits by Lars Nootbaar and Shohei Ohtani

Japan took a 7-1 lead over the Czech Republic in the fourth inning behind RBI base hits by Lars Nootbaar and Shohei Ohtani.
  • Japan is the overwhelming favorite to advance to the quarterfinals after a strong 3-0 start to the tournament. Japan can secure its quarterfinal spot by beating Australia on Sunday, but if South Korea beats the Czech Republic, then Japan will have already advanced anyway.
  • Czech Republic right-hander Ondrej Satoria, despite his loss, enjoyed a few encouraging takeaways in the first third of the game. Satoria struck out four Japan hitters, including Lars Nootbar and Ohtani, across his three innings of work.

Chinese Taipei beats Netherlands 9-5

  • One name stood out above the rest in this electric upset: Yu Chang. One day after his clutch game-tying home run against Italy, Chang repeated his thrilling offensive antics with a second-inning grand slam that put Chinese Taipei up, 5-1, early over the pool-favorite Netherlands. Taiwan's rocking crowd was on its feet well before Chang connected, expecting him to deliver in another big spot. Chang is hitting a remarkable .500/.571/.1.083 in his first three games of the WBC.
  • Chinese Taipei held on to its early lead, tacking on two more runs in the third inning, as the Netherlands suffered its first loss of the tournament. The big-time upset potentially puts the Netherlands, and the rest of Pool A, in a tricky spot.

Netherlands vs. Chinese Taipei Highlights

The Netherlands took on Chinese Taipei in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. The night once again belonged to Yu Chang, who hit a grand slam in the bottom of the second, continuing his clutch streak. Chinese Taipei jumped out to an 8-3 lead after Chieh-Hsien Chen's triple. They would go on to win by a final of 9-5.
  • The Dutch needed just that one win over Chinese Taipei to secure its spot in the quarterfinals, but now there is potential chaos on the horizon. With two games remaining in the pool, if Cuba beats Chinese Taipei and Italy beats the Netherlands, then all five teams, including Panama, will finish with a 2-2 record. According to WBC rules, the tiebreaker in that scenario would be defensive runs allowed divided by outs made, which would put Cuba and the Netherlands in the best shape.

Deesha Thosar is an MLB writer for FOX Sports. She previously covered the Mets as a beat reporter for the New York Daily News. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.

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